Dear Annie: This is in response to “Tired in Rural Oregon,” whose kids are slobs and whose husband doesn’t care. I told my kids if they didn’t pick up their messes, I would hire a “maid.” One day, they came home to a clean, organized house. I said the “maid” had come. When I handed out my children’s allowance for the week, I took back the money it cost to hire the “maid.” I then told them that the “maid” was going to the mall to buy herself something really nice. I came home with a new top and thanked my kids for making the “maid” so happy.
From then on, I just had to remind my kids that if they didn’t pick up after themselves, I would hire the “maid” again. – Honolulu Housewife
Dear Honolulu: We love it. Here’s more:
From Louisiana: My psychologist said, “You teach people how to treat you.” This starts when your children are born. A parent has to tolerate poor behavior from the beginning, or their children would not expect to get away with such deplorable actions.
Illinois: Nagging is not part of a parent’s job. Nagging is a contest of wills. At an early age, parents should instill in the child what is proper and correct. There are developmental tasks that a person learns throughout life, and if those tasks are not learned at the critical points, it becomes much more difficult. The parent is not a buddy, but a person who is due respect and obedience. “Tired” should count the days until the kids are 18, and if they don’t shape up, invite them to move out.
Georgia: We got our teens to help with chores by making sure their chores were done as a condition for getting to use the car on the weekend.
Florida: You were right on when you said to close the kids’ bedroom doors and teach them how to do laundry. And enforce the rule that anything left in a common area when you go to bed will be confiscated. They can earn it back by doing chores.