How to Solve Common Teenage Problems Using the Five Minute Work Chore

 

Five minute work choreDefiance, rebellion, disrespect, talking back–these are all common teenage problems, and children of any age. Teenagers are "growing" through so many things, they can often seem out of character. And sometimes they can just be downright mean and difficult.

If you are a parent or caregiver who struggles with a defiant child or a rebellious younger teen, this quick intervention may be helpful.

The 5 Minute Work Chore is a valuable tool for parents who are trying to teach their children to follow directions. This is especially helpful for young children who try to manipulate, delay, or act defiantly when asked to do things they don't like doing.

Many parents find themselves caught up in power struggles–yelling and arguing with their child or teen about some minor request. It is important for children to learn to respect the authority of their parents and gain the benefits of contributing, sharing, and taking responsibility. Helping children and teens learn to take responsibility not only helps you solve common teenage problems, it helps your teenager to feel more confident and in control. And this can lead to fewer yelling matches.

Prior to the assignment of a 5 minute work chore it is important parents have given clear expectations–including consequences–to their child and that the child understands the type of refusals or misbehavior that would result in a 5 minute work chore.

 

Possible 5 Minute Chores
  • Clean a Window
  • Clean a Sink
  • Vacuum a room
  • Dust furniture
  • Straiten a bookcase
  • Sweep the front walk
  • Wash the dishes
  • Wash a countertop
  • Fold clean clothes
  • Upload dishwasher
  • Wash car windshield
  • Vacuum stairs
  • Clean tub or shower
  • Clean the inside of the microwave
  • Pull weeds in a small area of the yard
  • Pick up dog droppings
  • Wash fingerprints from a wall or door
  • Empty the wastepaper baskets
  • Clean mirrors
  • Wash refrigerator doors
  • Clean oven door
  • Clean tub or shower
  • Wash baseboards
Steps

1.      Respond immediately! Think of a couple of short chores that you can assign your child when he/she does not follow through with a request or misbehaves.

2.      Give a single warning. Use a firm calm voice. Tell your child if he/she does not follow through with a request or continues to misbehave that he/she will be assigned a chore.

3.      Assign the chore (If the child continues to misbehave). Be brief, neutral, and specific. Remove your attention from the child until he/she completes the chore.

4.      Assign a second chore (Only if the child won't do the chore, total 10 minutes combined).

5.      Remove an important privilege (If the child continues to refuse to complete the assigned chore). Remove the important privilege until the child completes both chores and the original request.

6.      Remove your attention until the child completes the chores and the original request. Do not argue with your child about the assigned tasks. Ignore complaining or whining. Privileges should not be given back until the child completes the chores and the original request.

No Food, Friends, or Fun...Until Done! 

Removal of privileges is an example of a logical consequence. Effective logical consequences are closely linked to the misbehavior. Removal of privileges is also most effective when the privilege removed is closely linked to the misbehavior. For example, if your child leaves his/her bicycle in the driveway, the privilege of using his/her bike may be taken away for a specified amount of time. Removal of privileges should not include basic necessities, such as meals, hygiene products, or any item that helps the child to feel safe (e.g. blanket, pacifier, doll, or night light). to the assignment of a 5 minute work chore it is important parents have given clear expectations–including consequences–to their child and that the child understands the type of refusals or misbehavior that would result in a 5 minute work chore.

 

Click to download a printable copy of The Five Minute Work Chore. Feel free to share it!

5 minute work chore

 

Dr. Rob Dindinger is a contributing author to FirstAnswers.comDr. Rob Dindinger is a clinical psychologist with Child & Family Psychology and an expert at helping parents solve common teenage problems. 

 

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