PARENTING HELL! My 14 Year Old Son Wants to Be Paid For Chores

PARENTING HELL! My 14 Year Old Son Wants to Be Paid For Chores

This is yet another blog about my 14-year-old son and his piss poor attitude to life and school. This behavior and attitude is getting increasingly worse as he gets older, frankly, he is turning into a self-entitled brat, a trait, neither his mother nor I exhibit, we have worked hard for everything we have, rarely getting something for nothing, so we are truly baffled where he is getting this attitude from.

On Saturday, he made a comment that he can’t wait to be 18 so he can move out, my response, joking, of course, was “why wait? go down to the courthouse and start emancipation proceedings, and you can move out before your 18″. If he thinks chores are, well a chore, he’s in for a shock when he will be financially and legally responsible for himself, no more money from the bank of mom and dad!

Recently, after he claimed we are putting too much pressure on him in school, with our expectations of a C or above grade in all subjects. I said, fine, “I”, that’s me, not his mother, would not mention grades and that I would allow him to play video games all he wants until the end of the school year in May, calling his bluff about pressure from us causing his terrible grades, which are actually due to missing assignments.

To give you an idea of the burden we put on him, we expect him to keep his own room clean and tidy, load and unload the dishwasher, wash the few pots and pans in the sink daily, and vacuum the living room and hallway, 2 – 3 times per week. Which, being generous is maybe 2 – 2 1/2 hours per week out of his busy schedule of being sedimentary, sitting watching TV and playing on his Nintendo Switch.

My son’s attitude is night and day from his 9-year-old sister, who does the majority of the laundry, including my son’s laundry, keeps her own room clean and tidy for the most part, she sometimes needs some prodding, and also vacuums the carpets, maybe once a week, she actually gets upset if we don’t allow her to help with household chores. Why is this? we have raised them the exact same way.

Back to my son; let’s say we pay him, being generous, $15/hour, which is supposedly a living wage in the United States. For what we ask him to do, that’s 2 – 2 1/2 hours per week, so taking the higher number of hours ‘worked’, that’s just $37.50/week. That is not going to go far, trust me, it costs us far in excess of that amount every week to feed, clothe and keep a roof over his head, get him to and from school etc.

But, in all seriousness, we are massively concerned by this behavior and the progression in severeness of his attitude. We try to correct his behavior, and it just causes his behavior to get worse. All we are trying to do is guide our child in the right direction to be a productive member of society, teaching him the life skills he needs to achieve that. But, his attitude is that of entitlement, having everyone hand everything to him, without him having to lift a finger, seemingly unwilling to do anything to help himself.

We have considered the option of military school, I had some friends, that attended cadets, back home in Plymouth, UK, who were on the wrong track, who went to military school, and came out much better people. Maybe some military discipline and structure with straighten out his attitude and improve his work ethic, both in life and school, as we are clearly failing miserably in achieving that goal.

He wants to go to Full Sail University to study game development, but he is unwilling to put in the effort required to make that a reality. We try to encourage him, and he throws it back in our faces, we offer to help him with his school work, he refuses, not even bringing it home, for us to look at. I can’t believe that as a freshman in high school, there’s no homework. Personally, I feel I am failing as a parent with my son.

His behavior has been an issue since he started middle school, but these behavioral and school grades issues have been doubly bad since he started high school last August. I can only assume that something in school has inspired this terrible, disrespectful behavior from him, nothing has changed at home.

Over the past 3 1/2 years, we have tried reward systems, punishment, hybrid reward/punishment systems, nothing works to motivate him. He just wants to be left alone, preferably, not having to go to school, which, obviously is a legal requirement, he cannot choose to not attend school, even if he chose the emancipation option, which is not really an option, he doesn’t have the $150 – 200 filing fee.

I don’t want to give up on him, but we are at a loss of where to go next. We have talked to life coaches, therapists, teachers and many more, and they all have said, we are doing the right thing. For us, it’s hard to believe that is the case, when everything we try makes his behavior and attitude worse.

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