If you are worried that your teen has stopped doing their chores because they are battling depression, get help from a professional therapist. Teens suffering from depression or suicidal ideation can lose the motivation to complete even the most basic tasks. They can switch from being a helpful child who barely needed direction to being lethargic and mopey. If this is the case for your son, he may benefit from attending a residential treatment center for teens to get the deeper help that he needs.
Addressing the behavior
Your reaction to your teen’s behavior will make a huge difference in their next steps.
There’s no point addressing the issues head-on while you’re still angry. You’re more likely to overreact, and your teen will be more likely to shut down or blow up. Remain calm and address the behavior while your mind is clear.
Don’t power struggle
Teens are great at engaging in a power struggle with their parents and wearing them down over time. If your kid has learned that they can convince you to let them out of their responsibilities or punishments, they’re more likely to keep it up. Remember that you are the adult in the conversation, and you have to set boundaries.
Include them in the conversation
While you need to make it clear to your teen they are expected to follow through with their responsibilities. It’s better to include them in the conversation rather than lecture them. Try to find out why they’re refusing to do their chores.
Are they just being lazy?
Do they feel overwhelmed?
When you understand why your teen is rejecting their responsibility, you have a better chance of improving the situation.
Setting effective consequences
One problem you might face when your teen refuses to do their chores is setting effective consequences. If the consequences are too harsh, your teen might feel hopeless and shut down. If the consequences are too soft, your teen won’t have an incentive to change their behavior. Setting the right consequences is key to changing your teen’s behavior.
Remind your teen that they’re part of the household. Since they haven’t had to be in charge of a home before, your teen might forget what being part of the household entails. Have a conversation with your teen to help them see their role in the home as important and necessary, just like yours. As an important member of the family, it affects everyone else if they refuse to do their chores.
Remember that you’re in charge. As the parent, you are the head of your house. Everything your teen has is a privilege, not a right. If your teen is not acting responsibly, you can take away their privileges. Some commonly overlooked privileges include smartphones, video games, tablets, social media apps, and streaming services.
Link the consequences to the chore. As an adult, neglecting our responsibilities comes with direct consequences. If you don’t pay your electricity bill, the power company will turn off the lights. Your teen needs to learn that neglecting their responsibilities comes with direct consequences. Rather than implementing an arbitrary punishment like being grounded for two weeks, link the consequence to the chore that they neglected.
Follow through with the consequences. Make sure that your teen knows all of the consequences for refusing to do their chores beforehand. Then, if they neglect a chore, do what you said you would do. You have to follow through with any consequences you set, or your teen won’t take you seriously.
If your son refuses to do his chores even after you have set clear consequences, there may be something larger at play. Teens with mental health trouble like depression, substance abuse, ADHD, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder often struggle to complete their chores at home.
By attending a therapeutic boarding school, your teen can receive the support they need to overcome mental health struggles and learn to follow through with responsibilities. Contact us today to find out more about our therapeutic program for troubled teen boys.