By Emma Toomey.
74% of mums say their teenager is extremely, very or somewhat lazy, according to the recent Newspoll VIVA Share the Cleaning Survey.
But are our kids lazy? Or just disinterested?
Remember, this was a survey about cleaning. No one wants to clean. If it had been a survey about how often your teenager likes to hang out with friends, or go skateboarding, I’m quite sure we wouldn’t be saying they are “lazy”!
Perhaps what the survey is showing is that kids are not interested in cleaning, and don’t do much of it. And I have already written about how us mums are not taking the time to show them the ropes.
Laziness through the ages
Another statistic from the survey was that 65% of mums say their teenager is lazier than they were at the same age. Rachel from The Kids Are All Right asked her own mum about this. Did her mum do more cleaning as a teenager in the 1950s than Rachel did in the 1980s? “Yes, probably,” was the diplomatic reply! How about her mum’s mum? Did she do more cleaning as a teenager in the 1920s?
Rachel’s mum recalled an argument she had as a teenager with her mother, because she dared push back on helping her mum clean. It was the 1950s and ‘the teenager’ was coming into their own – they had a life, they were a sub-culture, they had things to do and places to be. Rachel’s grandmother said she would never have dared question the authority of her own mother in the 20s – but this was the 1950s, and the teenager was a newly minted individual, beginning to fight for their rights.
In 2013, we certainly allow that our teenagers are individuals – young adults – who have lives and rights and thoughts and opinions. But they are young adults who still need to learn to clean and help out around the home.
Week 2 update – “OH MY GOSHNESS IT’S WORKING”
We are into week 2 of the 30 Day Challenge, using an online calendar to help get our kids cleaning more. And you know what? It seems to be working!
Ok, there was an early hiccup for Beck (CraftyPJMum):
What a weekend! It started off well and then BOOM ! Teens were to busy (lazy) to lend a hand…….
My cleaning party hit a low, no enthusiasm could be found and most things (as usual) were done by Mum. I get that 3 of them work, and they are tired. BOY I know that feeling, but push them along I will, it’s time for them to step up and realize that Mum is not a slave….they best be careful or I may just add to their list of chores :/
But this soon changed to:
WOW ! What a difference a week can make….
We are finally on the path to success. Makes my day when the chores are getting done without a million reminders, and one teen even stretched himself today when he even did chores that were not on his list I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO ASK HIM !! So glad I was sitting down when this miracle occurred.
I am very happy to say that all tasks were completed 100% (and there were no clothes quickly stashed in drawers…)
And Miss Cinders from Saturday Morning Ogre Mum very eloquently wrote:
IT’S WORKING PEOPLE!!! OH MY GOSHNESS IT’S WORKING!!!!
Eleise from A Very Blended Family thinks the reward system is working well, even though her kids are normally pretty motivated:
Last night we chatted about the cleaning challenge and Mr 16 piped up, “Do I win because I have the cleanest bedroom?” It is true! Mr 16 is really motivated by the driving lessons, we only have his once a week and some other times, like this weekend, so I have made each task worth 30minutes driving.
Rachel found it a good opportunity to teach a few basics:
She did a good job cleaning up the kitchen and I only had to call her back twice. There is definitely still an element of “teaching” about it – I had to show her to scrape the fat out of the roasting pan into the bin first, because I was afraid it was going to go into the sink. I feel almost ashamed that these are things I haven’t shown her before now!
We are concerned about a couple of our members though…
It’s been a lot of hard word for Becci from Birdy Num Num:
Finally got round to trying to get the kids involved in the cleaning today. And all I can say is I’m exhausted!
Hmm … something is not quite right there 🙂
And the last we heard from Janine at Shambolic Living, she was taking the kids out to dinner to break the news about the challenge. Janine, phone home.
If you’d like to join us or generally share the pain of getting teenagers to clean more, please visit our forum thread on the challenge. We also have some very lucky and clever members – Mimbles and Storm – who have great advice, and no need for the challenge. We bow at their feet.
What do you think of the term “lazy”? Do you think kids are lazy? Do you think you were a lazier teenager than your own mum?
Disclosure: Emma Toomey and The Kids Are All Right have been engaged by VIVA to share the survey results with the media. A few members on the forum who also blog about teenagers were offered a gift pack of VIVA products to try while they do the challenge – they are under no obligation to use them or mention them. (Mostly, we just want to get our teens to clean more.)