Neat Freak Mom vs. Messy Family: What to Do?

Posted April 20, 2009 by

I am a neat freak. My husband is not. You would think that we would have had at least a one in four chance of producing one child who took after me. Unfortunately, this is not the case. All four of my kids are, well, untidy, a kinder gentler way of saying “slobs.” They don’t care, but I do!

I am alone in fighting this battle because my husband doesn’t even notice there is a problem. He is “untidy” also. Recently my younger daughter and I were away for ten days, leaving my older daughter and husband to fend for themselves.

I am surprised the house wasn’t condemned while we were away.

I walked through the door jet-lagged and tired from an overseas flight and three hour drive home from the airport. My nose could immediately detect the fact that cats live in our house. The litter box was overflowing and the cats had used several other choice spots in protest. And apparently, their diet hadn’t agreed with them either, as there were several clumps of evidence pointing to food intolerance.

Mail was scattered everywhere along with school papers, missed (no doubt) permission slips and photo forms for dance pictures, come and gone.

Next I surveyed the sink, or rather the dishes in the sink. The truth is, I couldn’t see the sink.  Oh well, at least the dishes in the dishwasher were clean. It appeared that the two “missing” family members had been living out of the dishes in the dishwashers as it was in the open and unlocked position.

I suppose if the cats had run out of water, they could have licked the droplets from inside the dishwasher door. The cats have been known to drink out of the toilet, but that wouldn’t have been such a wise choice this time. Of course, that could have been what was responsible for their GI distress…

Then there was the laundry. It was impossible to tell what was clean and what was dirty. The predominant wisdom governing laundry in my house seems to be, “If in doubt, throw it in again.” Then it sits, the cats use it as a litter box, and it needs to be washed again.

I stumbled up the stairs and was not any happier with what greeted me in my bedroom. Covers disheveled, several towels strewn between our bathroom and the two occupied bedrooms and what looked like my husband’s complete wardrobe hanging off the far bedpost.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry, or simply die.  Not to mention how to figure out how to prevent it from happening again…

I’d had a lovely time away and my daughter had a great time with her dad (why not? He didn’t make her clean up a thing!) But how do I prevent this from happening again? Is it worth having hysterics over a husband who doesn’t get it?

How do you handle this issue?

About

Kathy has four children, aged 9, 12, 24 and 26. Her second son was seduced by marijuana when he was 16. Kathy is now a published author of "Winning the Drug War at Home". She is also a childbirth educator and is writing a pregnancy and childbirth book. Kathy graduated from Brown University with a degree in Health and Society, and also has a BSN in Nursing.

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  1. MCSH Report

    Throw it in the trash that’s what I’ve been doing my husband helps out in the home but destroys other areas like my backyard and my unfinished upstairs, storage building ,throws trash up under porch scatters stuff all over upstairs and leaves it . our utility homes blew away so instead of taking the trash off he throws tarps over it and leaves it in back yard. And he also throws unused wood and pipe pieces to swimming pool up under the porch to get wet and rott. Its driving me absolutely CRAZY!!!!!! AND MY 2 Girls are complete slobs age 10 and 14 there rooms stink they also throw trash on floor. I am thinking either we clean it or throw it all in the trash then we won’t have to clean it and they won’t have anything to trash.

    Reply
  2. amom23 Report

    Being a mom of a family that forgets about chore charts and doesn’t listen to nice polite requests from me, you have one of two options. go back to Europe and say you are not coming back until everything is absolutely perfect and clean and put where it belongs… your second option is anything that is dirty or out of place – throw it away. Just like that. they will never behave like that again, trust me 😉  This is not extreme. Being treated like a slave by a bunch of entitles slobs is what is extreme here. How can you do anything you enjoy with your family or by yourself? Why should they be having all the fun and you do all the work? That is a way bigger offence than teaching them a lesson is. It will make for a happier you, and instill better character in your family. THAT is the job of a mom. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Relieved Report

    I let out a very deep breath when I read all the information above things “Oh thank God I’m not the only one!” I am a stay at home mom with 3 children. Ages 7, 4, and 2. My husband is away for work 99% of the time so it’s just the kids and I. A clean house is a must to me BUT only me. My kids could care less. It seems like everyone makes a mess because they know I can’t stand it and will clean it up. It’s so frustrating, it also doesn’t help that my kids don’t listen to me what so ever and do whatever they want and yes I disapline them, again doesn’t bother them. It’s gotten to the point where I would like to just throw everything away and then there wouldn’t be anything to pick up or make a mess with. I feel the pain of the writer and of the others writing comments, reading them helped me realize I’m not alone.

    Reply
  4. Joanna Report

    In our home I have always known that if my husband and I are in agreement and share the same values, then we support each other so that everything else falls into place. This would be my starting point, to work out your shared values together and try to understand each other better, by giving and taking. This has always been the strength of our family. If our boys don’t clear up after themselves, then I don’t do them any favours until what’s needed is done. Works every time!

    Reply
  5. DYSL Report

    I have a 22 year old and a 13 year old (girls). My older daughter went o a college that had no dorms. She complained about certain messy roommates and I thought, “This is great! She now knows the beauty of a clean living space”. The 3 other roommates were messy with the shared spaces of their apartment, (rich girls who had maids at home. My daughter would get a on a soap box about them on the phone. I was sure she had a breakthrough on her own, about being messy.

    But then, I visited the apt. and saw her and her roommate’s clothes and towels and underwear in a pile higher than my thigh. The sheets were NEVER changed for the entire semester and they had cats and snakes. THe bathtub had never been cleaned out. The fridge was also abused. They were all not getting along either.

    Now she has graduated and there are no jobs in her field. I offered that she could come home til she got on her feet, and now the beautiful bedroom that is now her’s is abominable. and she refuses to hang up her clothes. I fear that if ever gets with a guy she may marry, this may be a deal breaker eventually.

    I don’t seem to be able to convince her that this slovenly living affects everything physically, mentally and spiritually..We feel that we are dealing with a teenager again picking up where we left off when she graduated from high school. I’m worried about her. But our counselor says, respect her space and keep her door closed, but she has a jack and jill bathroom with our 13 year old. DO messy girls have a harder time in life? THere has to be organization problems as well as social!

    I purchased the fridge, washer and dryer for the apt

    Reply
  6. Jim Bowlin Report

    I married a good woman who has 2 boys 12 and 16. We have been together since 2004 and life gets tougher everyday they get older ! The 16 year old is a slob beyond slobs ! I am very neat and want the same throughout the house ! His room can be cleaned at 9:00 Am and by 11:00 Am it’s trashed again and when I confront him he explains to me that it’s his room so it shouldn’t be an issue ! HMMM I explain that it’s my house so my room. I catch aot of greif from my wife for this attitude I am giving , not his ! He is very disrespectful all the way around with lying , laziness and pure talking back. The wife and I are coming to the realization that we won’t be a family soon. Its actually came to the point we were ready to fist fight ! She of course teams up with him , she her self is not really a very neat indivdual.I have a son that is 12 and is like me very neat ! Can anyone help me and my marriage ????

    Reply
  7. Chris Report

    I think its sad to see so many families including mine torn apart by meaningless stuff, when there are so many other terrible things in this world to worry about. My mother is a neat freak has been for over 30 yrs now, Im 32 yrs old and I still see how my parents fight over stupid things most of them my mom complains about this or that not orderly or neat. My father is 73 with quadruple bypass and other illnesses, she is 63 and also is sick but not nearly as much as him. She still has the energy to fight over meaningless stuff. We never have company over, specially now, yet to her, its a major concern what “IF” we ever have guests. They should both be happy they are still are alive and try to enjoy the last years together but the Neat Freak in my mom is relentless and my dads lack of neatness is killing what little bit of family I have left. I dont see it, he is a very clean person but he does not focus on organization or tidiness like she does. He is a gentle kind man and has always been there for all of us, his only fault is he talks back very ugly yelling when he feels attacked by anyone. My mom is a great person too she is loving and caring to the max, but she is such a neat freak and its so unnecessary.

    Only my sister and I visit them, no one else so why does it mater to her so much?

    I can switch to a slob or a neat freak instantly depending on what life is like at the moment, if I’m moving or working on a project my focus is the project at hand and I see it through. If my life is calm and leisure then my place looks spotless, I enjoy a clean place… but I could never get mad over it, I have dealt with so many much worse life issues than that, so mess or no mess is petty to me, like a bug …its bothersome but not a big thing. Is there medication I can give my mom to mellow her out, I mean I cant stand her when she gets in her neat mode and she wants to convince you that NEAT is the RIGHT WAY all others are ignorant uncultured common folk….thats just nuts to me. Help!!!

    Reply
  8. JudyMomma Report

    I think its an amazing opportunity IF you like the children, they will bond with you for life, but you cannot discipline them as stepparent, you have to be on a different level, my husband is the step and he came into the pic at ages 2 and 4 and it is still a struggle because they know who their blood is. Its a tough call, but they are also grieving their mother and are probably not even half through it, also affecting their energy and effort.
    Be patient but set REAListic standards, and lots of understanding….I like the one above IF….THEN..that will work…know their currency and thats whatever they love…

    Good luck and prayers with all of you….and those kids need to care for the pets or eliminate them one at a time..
    I have 4 kids, 3 cats, and a bunny and a husband…so I COMPLETELY understand…do you work too? If so, hubby needs to kick in some dough for a housekeeper! ONLY FAIR!!

    Reply
  9. Elaine in LA Report

    Any suggestions on how to get a kid to brush their teeth? My 12 year old daughter would go for days without! Uggh! I remind her to do it, she says ok, then I know she doesn’t, and if I hang around the bathroom she is brilliant at doing something else (brush her hair, whatever) to stall and distract. I end up frustrated and annoyed and stomp away, saying, fine don’t brush your teeth, you’ll pay the price later. Or, she’ll out and out lie about it. I know she’s asserting control over her life and hates to be told what to do. I want to give her that freedom and responsibility, but her performance suggests she’s not up to the task. Right now, I’m trying the strategy of docking her $2 for every time she doesn’t brush teeth, sass me or dad, sass her brother, waste food, whatever. She’s been saving for a new cell phone and I can’t think of any other way to get her attention other than her pocketbook. Help!

    Reply
  10. Gina Report

    Just something to let all of you know..there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    I have an 18 year old daughter and 11 year old son. My son is really pretty good about keeping his room clean. However my daughter is a little ms.piggy when it comes to hers. As she was growing up when I would complain to her about her room…repeatedly I heard “why can’t you just shut the door until I get a chance to clean it”..Like she was the only one busy…how does she think all those groceries got in the pantry, clean clothes in the dressers and closets,clean towels in the linen closets, and her little fanny to softball, etc..YOU CATCH MY DRIFT RIGHT???? ANYWAY…..she just graduated high school and got her first house with a roommate. I talk to her daily and have found that she always seem to be cleaning.. Good thing I still have her on insurance…which reminds me I need to schedule an appt. something must be seriously wrong with her LOL…so I asked her the other day…whats up with all the cleaning and she replied “MOM….My roommate is a slob…she never picks up after her self.” I just laughed it off and said sweetie…I must go..I’m going to work out…(after all I have free time..daughter moved out ENTIRE house is clean now)the next day we spoke just briefly on the phone again and she said she was cleaning roommates room??? I said of course “WHY??? “she said i’m so sick of it being nasty. clothes i’ve just washed thrown in the floor which will now require washing again….(Of course i’m rotfl)I said why dont you just shut the door???? once again rotfl….!!! she said I just can’t do that. The whole house is clean and her room is a mess…All of a sudden..silence on the other end of the line…as i chuckle ever so humbly and say
    My child:
    Mirror Mirror on the wall….
    You are your mother after all……!!! She hung up and now that I think about it I havent talked to her in a day or two…maybe I should give her a call….I will be sure to do that when I finish working out…!!

    Reply
  11. shelkd Report

    To Mary Peta I felt the same way, now my husbands
    children whom I never thought wanted anything to
    do with my except for financial. One has just
    given birth to planned pregnancy at 18 years old
    with no husband and his son just moved in with there
    mother in Texas. Life at our house is more normal, my
    only issue now is my husband has no problem discipling
    my son which he did little of when his children lived
    there. I know exactly how you feel.

    Reply
  12. Mary Peta Report

    I’m 44 years old and have never had children. 18 months ago the mother of my husbands 3 children passed away. That very evening my life as I knew it would never be the same. I am very neat. Not neurotic…I just like things to be tidy. That is the way I was raised and how MY family lives. That night my family (just me and my husband) became an instant family of 5. Matt who was 17, Casey (female)who was 14, and Abby who was 11. Along with 3 children…I inherited 2 pitbulls, a border collie,4 cats and an indoor rabbit. It still makes me cringe slightly when I think that this is now my life.I’m being honest and I don’t say this because they’re bad kids. I realize that when it happened, I had to decide if this is what I wanted to sign up for, knowing this was a new and permanent change that would be my partial responsibilty until at least the youngest heads off to college. My husband is the greatest man I’ve ever known and I did make that choice because I love him. HOWEVER……his children are SLOBS! I will only say this because he openly says this and lets them know it as well. Letting them know, unfortunately has no bearing on change in behavior. They were brought up in a home where no one had any responsiblity. Even if I ask for alittle help, which they are reluctant to give….they do not have the know-how to start or complete chores or responsibilities. Matt, who is now 18 did not know how to start a push-mower. No one knew the first thing about laundry, loading a dishwasher and so on. Our house constantly looks like a bomb hit it and because of the filth, dishes, towels etc. in their rooms, the house smells. I feel so defeated and also so guilty that I count down the days until all are in college and I can have my life, clean house and most importantly my husband back. I’ve tried since the beginning to instill just the basics…….like if you dirty it, clean it….if you drop it, pick it up…….if you take it out, put it back. Nothing has worked.They have no respect for me or anyone else for that matter.
    They have finally learned some basic manners (please, thankyou, and an occasional excuse me) but I have to be the teacher and inforcer. If these children were 6,9,&12 I might have a bit more tolerance. They are12,15,& 18. I find the behavior and lack of manners, respect and responsibility very sad and embarassing. I have recently resigned myself to start taking care of ME again and pretty much looking the other way (if possible)on the issues that aren’t crucial in our lives. It is hard for me to admit defeat after this amount of time but I’m not doing this to hurt them….I’m doing this to take care of me. I can no longer keep trying and banging my head against the wall if no one else is willing to listen or try. I of course will give them all they need as far as food, clothes and lifes necessities but the paid car, paid insurance, weekly voice lessons,spending money, and all the other luxuries that are just handed to them need to be cut back. I know I must sound like a lunatic and certain days I’m sure I am one but I just feel that my job as a step-parent is the most thankless, non-respcted and non-paying job I ever took. As I finish this….I realize I’ve left out the most crucial part……My husband accepted a job 4 months ago in DE (we’re in NJ) so he lives there and tries to get home for a night every week or two. The kids and I live here until the school year is finished. I feel alone just having my husband living away….let alone the messy children situation I do my best to live with daily. Maybe the advice you may have for me will be better suited for step-parent/guardian issues, since I’m now feeling that maybe what I’ve been writing started out as a messy,disrespectful children topic and has probably been more about the step-parent/children relationship. I feel like I’m crazy! Any advice? P.S. I do have your Total Transformation CD Program. Thank You, Mary Peta

    Reply
  13. Pennsylvania Report

    We have found that the only thing that works for teen cleaning is IF THEN. If you clean your room, then you will be allowed to go (to the movies, to your friends, to the party).
    IF not, you cannot go. You can’t leave until the work is completed and inspected. Every time we inspect and every time there is more to do so the leaving gets delayed but the result is tht the work gets done without threats or hollering. It puts the teen in control of his own “destiny” and usually this gets a good result.

    Reply
  14. Debbie Report

    What do you do when the kids won’t help clean if the dad doesn’t help? My husband doesn’t clean up after himself and lays around all day on the weekends and expects the kids to do all the chores and cleaning up. They refuse, especially when they see he isn’t helping. He wants someone to mow the grass when he has never shown them how to run the mower? He thinks that the kids come pre-programmed I suppose. I agree with the kids, myself. I think that we all work hard during the week and it would be quicker if we all pitched in and cleaned up on Saturday morning to have the rest of the weekend to lay around if that’s what you prefer to do.

    Reply
  15. billy Report

    oh my god, this is my family. I too have taken the approach to doing things myself but then feel like the family slave. We recently but not consistenly have purchased a chore chart and reward completed chores monetarily. I realize I am paying them to do things that should be done without my asking or bribing but don’t know how else to get my 6 and 9 year old to do them on their own. My husband will help when he sees me at my most frantic or when company is coming over or has left. He is a good man and thanking him for little things has helped to lasso him in on bigger projects. We all need a bit of luck and support it seems…

    Reply
  16. Elisabeth Wilkins, EP Editor Report

    Kathy, you’ve really had a rough time lately — I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so hard to lose a parent, and it sounds like there is a lot of accompanying chaos. (Which, sadly, is often the way it goes.) I think having a family meeting, as you’re planning to do, makes sense. Maybe you need to remind everyone how hard this time is and ask them to pitch in a little more. Good luck, and hang in there.

    Reply
  17. Laura near Austin Report

    It really does all come down to respect. My husband has his guilty moments, but is GREAT with our 8 yo. Earlier this winter on a rainy, cold day, my son didn’t go feed the outside dog and cat (his first daily chore). So my husband didn’t get started on breakfast. About an hour later, when my son finally realized he was hungry and asked when we’re going to eat, my husband said, “Well, you didn’t feed Pepper and Sweetie, so I thought we weren’t going to eat today!”

    My husband homeschools our son, so they’re home together all day while I’m away at work. They used to clean up first thing in the morning, but then I never got to see a tidy house, so now they clean up about an hour before I get home, with certain school projects allowed to be out past then. When I get home, we do “kiss and confiscate”: my son welcomes me with a hug and a kiss, then goes and sits on his bed while I confiscate anything that’s not put away. We get it back out and put it away while we’re putting away the laundry on the weekends.

    The turning point was when he left a HUGE pile of hot wheels-type cars on the floor and said, “You can have those, I don’t want them any more!” Back to the old purge routine – we try to do “one in and one out” with anything we bring in new and then 3 or 4 times a year touch EVERYTHING in his room and see if it’s still useful and/or loved and get rid of it if not. Makes such a difference in making things manageable.

    Reply
  18. le Report

    It is so frustrating to be the one who actually CARES and has PRIDE in how one’s house looks. Thankfully my husband and I have agreed on the ‘last one out’ rule for making the bed. This works great. We also have a whoever cooks, doesn’t clean rule. My husband will do most of the after dinner clean up and tell the girls exactly what they need to do. They sometimes just don’t have the capability of KNOWING exactly what to do. Just like when they’re really young and you say, “go clean your room”. They really need you to say, “go put all your toys in the toy basket” next “go put all your shoes in your closet where they belong” etc. Completely elementary but very needed – particularly where boys are concerned. (uh… duh)

    Chores are divided up and switched off weekly so one kid doesn’t feel like they’re getting the grossest chore all the time – unfortunately I still have to tell them to do them.

    My oldest (17) will just do it when I say it cause she has learned she’d rather do it then and get it over with rather than hear me nag – the younger one (13) on the other hand I have to ask and ask and if they weren’t told – all animals would die of hunger and thirst!

    I do enforce the bathroom rule and have them clean it thoroughly about every 2 weeks – or if company is coming – NOW or you do nothing until it is done. I cut off access to computer and television which gets a pretty quick response. Further, you don’t do anything with friends unless it’s done.

    Luckily their rooms are upstairs, mainly separate from the media & game rooms and because they are typically disaster areas with a mix of clean and dirty laundry – if I find ANYTHING that belongs to them around the house – I literally just toss it on into their room with the rest of the junk. When I REALLY get tired of it – I just shut the door.

    Mainly, I just don’t want to stress MYSELF out about it so I let them live as slobs keeping the downstairs area where I live in order.

    Summer camp is always a great time to purge their rooms. I take the time to go through EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY, cleaning and nosing through their belongings – when they return they are happy and thankful…
    … I don’t worry about it too much cause I know the wreck will return shortly!!

    It’s nice to know it’s a syndrome!

    Reply
  19. Kathy Pride Report

    Enabling, ah, and also repeating the same behavior/actions over and over but expecting different results…I know all about these things.

    We had been making good progress in this department with chores, set responsibilities, good communication and consequences.

    Then, the middle of February crisis hit and it has unraveled pretty rapidly from there. Truthfully, I have had people tell me they say the only reason they know my life stories are true is because I couldn’t make them up!

    The middle of February my dad fell down a flight of stairs, got great medical attention, but never came out of a coma after surgery and died five days later. He was an artist in NY, and the woman who positioned herself as his agent/assistant is claiming ownership of his entire artistic estate. My mom is a mess and has some real pockets of forgetfulness and lives three hours away in NYC where she will be evicted if she isn’t there at least half time. Oh, and did I mention she mistakenly ate some charcoal fire starter wafers right after Christmas and got really, really sick. She thought they were crackers and even dipped them in BBQ sauce because they didn’t taste quite right.

    The trip I took was overseas with her to take care of some things, and we had all been living on the edge about to teeter off by that point. Oh, and in the interim I had a writing project returned for major revisions and we had to put our dog of sixteen faithful years down…

    See what I mean? I couldn’t make these things up.

    So now I have been away again for two weeks, working on the writing project, and this time there have been three slobs left behind…As a temporary stop gap solution, I have hired someone to come in and clean before I get home. My husband works insanely long hours and then is also training for a triathlon (which I honestly feel is more important than I am) and taking care of the girls, but believe me, the family meeting is happening as soon as we can assemble in the same place, which will be a priority.

    The family meeting is going to happen, the rules set, consequences listed, and training begin.

    I will let you all know how it goes.

    I had been doing fine at keeping my own areas picked up, but absolutely need the support of my also overextended husband.

    You can follow my escapades on my blog at http://www.kathypride.com

    Reply
  20. Arbonnelady Report

    I think the lady that wrote this article has been living in my house. I have been like a pendulum on this issue since my oldest children grew up, and now my youngest (18) years difference in age) is 23 but still living at home. I have reacted from one extreme to another. There is alot to be said for doing it myself, its just easier that way, but you want to train your kids to be responsible for themselves too. I have finally settled on the approach that I only clean up after myself and others who are incapable of doing for themselves(babiies, people who are ill, etc.). I taught my children how to use the washing machine and dryer, and how to hang clothes up to dry. They know how to use an iron and how to wash dishes. They know how to clean a toilet, and sweep and vacumm Now they are on their own. I shut my son’s bedroom door and told him if anything creeps outside his room it would be thrown in the garbage. This seems to keep things under control with a lid on it. At times things do overflow and objects will disappear now and then. Anyother ideas would be welcomed.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  21. rockin grandma Report

    I have a 13 year old granddaughter that we adopted when she was a baby. I don’t think there is a “neat and clean” bone in her body. She is very clean about her personal cleanliness but her room and her bathroom is horrible. It can be cleaned spotless on Friday and 15 minutes after she walks through the door from scool the bathroom is a disaster. We have a rule that the first thing she does everyday when she gets home from school is to clean her room and bathroom. Even before she gets on the computer, does her homework, texts her friends, etc. If she does not keep up with it then she does not get to go the the mall on Friday with her friends. I think a person is either instinctively a “neat” person or not but for those who are not, I do believe they can be taught how to be a “neat” person. I don’t think those feelings will ever just come naturally to those people though. They will have to work harder at it than another person that it may come naturally to. My granddaughter’s mother was the same way when she was young up until she was about 30 years old and then she discovered it is so much easier to keep the house clean than let it get filthy and then have a huge mess to clean up so now her house is spotless.

    Reply
  22. I feel your pain Report

    I read with empathy your letter about living with slobs. I must admit, my situation isn’t nearly as extreme , but I think a few of the same principals apply. One, is our enabling of the situation and the other is disrespect for us by members of the family.
    I find myself picking up after everyone rather than nagging and fighting but this has only served to enable the behaviors. They figure it will get done. It takes effort to lasso them from whatever they may be doing to come and pick up their mess but eventually they will get sick of being called away from their leisure. I have also begun holding them responsible by denying their requests for rides, money, sleepovers, etc, ect if they are not able to meet my requests. They are also now required to clean on Saturdays before any other activity can take place. They have found out two things; 1. cleaning is much easier if you don’t let it get to the point of no return and 2. if you respect my wishes, I will respect yours.
    AS far as the husband goes, if he has one ounce of respect for you, he will understand you when you calmly and matter-of-factly tell him that you feel disrespected and dismissed when he ignores your need for some semblance of cleanliness and order in your own home. He needs to know that his cooperation is essential to any cooperation from the kids.
    My husband has learned that if Mom is happy, eveyone is happy. When I go away, they live like the slobs that they are but, he puts them to work the day before I arrive home so that I do not have to return to a pigpen. An important point I need to work on as well is expressing gratitude and appreciation for the effort.
    I know changing the way we do things is tough but doing the same thing over and over and expecting a differant result is truly the definition of insane.
    Good luck!!

    Reply
  23. Been There Report

    It sounds like Mom does the work so no one else thinks they have to. That process continues when she’s gone since they know she’ll return & clean up their mess. Perhaps a chore list is needed for the entire family from which each member can select their chores which will clean up the house and teach responsibility to the entire family unit.

    Reply
  24. MAHARLIKA Report

    As i have seen the relationship which was chaos in terms of messy and everything, i think the wife should call a meeting and express the idea that sometimes we have to be cleaned or else we well be unhealthy sooner or later…. initiating and explaining the cause and effect.

    Reply

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