Teenage Woes – Why does my teen seem to have selective memory??

Ah memories…remember when your son or daughter remembered everything you told them to do, at the proper time and where at the proper place they were supposed to be without even being told? Of course not!! It never happened. Don’t fret, this is normal and every parent goes through it.

I can remember my own dilemma with my son – OMG-SMH!! I was convinced he was conveniently remembering what he wanted and none of what he was supposed to. I mean after all, if he can remember when the next hottest video game came out or when the next mid-night screening of “whatever” movie was showing – certainly he was able to remember to take out the trash.

Truth of the matter is, your kids remember what is important to them; which is the reason that remembering the aforementioned came easy to my son.

The trick is to make it worth their while to remember. Hopefully with rewards and not punishment, but either should prove effective.  Suffice it to say that we tried both ways. When my son forgot to take the trash out, he was docked part of his allowance. Unfortunately, that didn’t yield any results, since he had every necessity in his room it didn’t really matter; plus he worked so he still had access to funds whenever needed.

We decided the way to get him to remember was to remove the video games. Amazingly this worked! So he was rewarded by the return of his electronics and games.

The main thing to remember is that your teen won’t be living with you much longer as they are already approaching adulthood, so harmony at home is more important than getting them to remember to do every chore expected of them. This way they will have fond memories to look back on. Face it our kids will probably remember their teenage years at home more than the early years.

So it is better to not be negative or demeaning (don’t call them a slob or absentminded), instead, help to build up (self-esteem) their self-image, and simply encourage basic cleanliness as being a sign of self-respect. This will go a long way in teaching them the responsibility and importance of daily chores.

Just food for thought. As usual I would love to know your thoughts ~ D. Linn Whorley

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