In our household no one likes to do chores and every single one of us feels like we’re already being asked to do more than is fair to ask of any human being.
So whenever circumstances change, like someone is working more hours, someone is taking tests, someone started college – we all use this as an opportunity to try to pawn off chores on somebody else.
Lately, the boys, 19 and 16, had been dropping the ball on a number of chores, acting like they just had too much homework to do.
It Cut Into Our Family Time
When your child lets you know they are too busy to do their chores, it becomes impossible to plan family outings. Family time, which I enjoy very much, was reduced to almost nothing. The only time I got to share with them was during dinner or while acting as a chauffeur for them.
But the boys made one critical mistake. At the same time as they pretended to be overworked and in need of help with chores, they increased their social events. And they seemed to think I wouldn’t notice.
You just can’t spend four hours with the girlfriend one day and claim you don’t have time to mop the cat room.
You can’t ask to be taken to the skate park three times a week and claim you don’t have time to do laundry.
It’s Not Like I Didn’t Teach Them
I have developed methods to make chores happier, including a signature process to teach children and teens to keep their rooms tidy, so it’s not like they don’t have the tools to get things done quickly and painlessly.
And then there was my husband, dropping the ball on some of his chores too, allowing spaces he’s in control of to get cluttered. There he was, noticing things went undone and instead of helping me enforce the house rules, looking for what else from his chores he could ask the boys to do. There he was, letting me become a nag.
So I went on strike. I told my family that for one week I wouldn’t be cooking for them or serving them food.
If you ever had the chance to enjoy my cooking, you’ll understand how much of a shock this was for the fam.
A Strike with Demands, Just Like Any Other Strike
I announced my strike during a family meeting and I listed the conditions that had to be met for me to end my strike. I wrote them down on our family blackboard. Below, see a picture of our family blackboard and my demands.
I didn’t abandon them that week. I stayed close to the kitchen to give them ideas on what meals they might prepare. I have previously taught them to cook, and I knew they wouldn’t starve. When I went in to cook something for myself, I made a tiny bit extra for them, so they wouldn’t forget what they were missing .
I had to force myself not to capitulate. I had to keep reminding myself that, while doing things for them makes me a good mom, teaching them the skills they’ll need so they can keep a home of their own one day makes me an even better mom!
It Lasted One Week
The Castaneda guys didn’t suffer much during the week I was on strike, but they understood what was at stake (my delicious food), so they were on their best behavior.
After the one week, having seen that all my demands were met, my strike ended. However, the list remains. They boys and their dad have to read it often, until remembering to do these chores becomes second nature.
In addition to the terms of the list, my older son agreed to surrender his phone at night so he doesn’t stay up too late talking with his girlfriend. If your kid doesn’t get enough sleep, everything is harder.
To have family harmony, every member of the family needs to do their part.
How About You?
How about you? Did you ever have to go on strike at home? How did that go?
Let us know in the comments below, using the “reply” feature.
How to Get Along with Your Family Members
All families have conflicts because people are all different. To get along with your relatives you first need to understand the Feng Shui Five Elements Personality Types.
Click on the link below to enter your name and email so I can send you the guide to find your personality type and that of your family members, as well as register you for the free webinar on how to get along with them. https://moni-family.gr8.com/
Once, long time ago I went on different kind of “strike”.
My son went through a period of time when he didn’t wanted to clean himself or his room even though he was learned and he was doing ok.
Strangly, his part on family life he was still doing (moping up, bringing trash out etc)
We, as parents, tried everything we know, I was trying with reason and peaceful methods, husband with commands and punishment…nothing worked.
So I decided let him do what he wanted. I didn’t say to him or do anything connected to higiénia.
It was really hard for me to keep myself and husband quiet, but it worked. After 2 weeks, he started to act differently.
He still has sometime short periods, but now we laughing on this…
Sometimes you just have to allow kids to experience the natural consequences of their choices.