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jil_stevens
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What do you do with lazy kids???
      #414544 - 06/17/08 09:55 AM

Okay, my SS is one of the laziest kids I have EVER met. He will spend more effort getting out of work, than just doing the work. Quite honestly, it causes ten times as much work for us in following him around, nagging, yelling, whatever, to try to get him to do it right. His dad is ready to throw in the towel and send him to his mother, and quite honestly, I think it would be fantastic because he is three times as much work as the other two kids combined.

BUT...his mother is the bulk of the problem. Lives with her brother and five other people in a three bedroom house, SS has no room and no toys over there, he has to sleep with her, which he says he thinks he is too old for and doesn't like, and I agree. But she also kisses his a$$ if you know what I mean. He doesn't have chores, he doesn't have to help out, he cries like a toddler and gets his way, etc. Doesn't work at our house.

All ours have chores, nothing outrageous but if you want to be part of the family, you help out. We don't tolerate disrespect, mouthing off, etc. The last time he tried that toddler temper tantrum thing with me I made him sit on a chair in the garage until he was in a better mood.

Anyway, as punishment for his laziness, his dad assigned him the care of the cat, I don't know if you remember, but the cat broke a leg and is kenneled, and his kennel needs frequent cleaning. When SS is at his mom's, my YDS does it. Well, I had noticed that even when SS was here, YDS was doing it. YDS freaking loves that cat, and I wouldnt' have a problem with him doing it, but SS was assigned that task because of his laziness at everything else. So I put an end to that, and SS just does a lazy, cover-up job. So then he goes to mom's, YDS goes down, and moves the towels and finds the mess that SS covered and didn't clean. THEN when I am down there, I notice there are dirt spots still all over the hall floor. I had assigned chores the day before and SS was supposed to mop that floor. Obviously didn't because those spots were the reason I wanted it mopped. So now he has to redo it, but it has been several days so I am going to make him sweep it, too, which is someting ODS did originally. If it is still a lousy job, I will make him start over and keep adding chores.

Honestly, I am getting REALLY irked at him. I don't understand why he is so lazy, we have tried everything we can think of. If I assign 30 minutes of chores per kid, my two kids do their chores, do it right and are done. He does a sloppy job, I have to check up on him, and it goes on. It takes up soooo much of my time and I am done.

Today I told him his dad had said the cat kennel was to be done by 8:30, he needed to set his alarm and get up and get it done on his own, that I would no longer be helping him out by waking him up since he doesn't want to help anyone out, he won't get that in return. I told him if he didn't do it, he would not be going to his guitar lesson today, that he would stay at home and work while I took YDS. Not done yet...though he is up and screwing around. Not saying a word to him...I don't think he believes I will make him skip a lesson.

And it isn't just chores...we celebrated father's day last night (SS was at his moms) and one package was heavy. But he insisted upon carrying it in the store, and inside once we got home. But last night, he claims it is too heavy to carry and puts it on a chair to drag down the hall. Now the wood floor is gouged from him dragging a chair. Not once did he ask for help getting it, and I had seen him grab it and run up two flights of stairs. It wasn't THAT heavy, he just doesn't work at anything!!! The whole time he was doing it, he was smiling and laughing, I busted him, made him carry around the package for 15 minutes and today he has to get rid of the marks on the floor, in addition to the downstairs floor. I am not going to spend extra time on cleaning because he makes such a mess doing his lazy crap anymore either...he will fix it.

Anyway, I guess I just needed to vent! He is soooo pi$$ing me off!!!!


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1004SRS
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414553 - 06/17/08 10:10 AM

Why isn't his Dad being a Dad? Why doesn't Dad tell him the punishments? Why doesn't Dad bust him?

Step back and force his birth parent to parent.

ETA: Sorry didn't mean to sound harsh, but my X dumps the kids off at his girlfriends on the Every Other Saturday that he has them. He has to have free time to fish because the kids stress him. In reality she needs to say no, you see your kids 5% of their lives. I will not parent them, you need to do it. But women can't do that.

Edited by 1004SRS (06/17/08 10:14 AM)


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ssmom79
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414554 - 06/17/08 10:16 AM

Well, first of all, if your YDS will take care of the cat, let that be his chore. He cares, he does it properly, and it's best for the cat to be in a clean environment, not some half-ass cleanup.

How old is this child? Does he live with you or his Mom?

What motivates him? If it's guitar then set up a Chores for Music Program. He earns guitar lessons by completing chores.

You could try sitting the kids down and doing chore swap meets. Your write down the chores, put them in a jar and every kid picks their chores. Then they can swap one for another if they get a chore they don't like.

He also knows this bothers you by now and probably feeds off of it. Let him know that you aren't tolerating that and be consistant. If he doesn't complete a chore, then he must redo the chore. You don't need to tack on more punishments.

Of course, venting also helps!


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Sherron
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: 1004SRS]
      #414556 - 06/17/08 10:18 AM

This may sound harsh, but your dh's solution to his lack of parenting is to throw in the towel? Seems like the apple didn't fall far from the tree here... if he is an active parent, my apologies, but all I read in your post is "I, I, I, I"... the only mention of your dh...is him wanting to throw in the towel...

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ssmom79
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: 1004SRS]
      #414558 - 06/17/08 10:21 AM

That's pretty generalized.

Woman can't do that? Well, being a woman I just wanted you to know that some women (apparently not your ex's sweetie) can do that.


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matart1
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414560 - 06/17/08 10:26 AM

sounds like if ss wants to do nothing then ss should receive nothing.

if he wants to act like a baby then he should be treated like a baby.

you don't have much time to turn him around to be productive and sending him to dear old mom is not an option if she feeds into it more.

give him a container of water and make him do manual labor in the loving care of yardwork.

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1004SRS
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: ssmom79]
      #414562 - 06/17/08 10:30 AM

The OP never mentions Dad doing anything to help the situation.

My bestfriend a similar frustration with her husband. SHe doesn't feel like she can say no. So, she does everything for his son.


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Sherron
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: ssmom79]
      #414565 - 06/17/08 10:35 AM

"Woman can't do that? Well, being a woman I just wanted you to know that some women (apparently not your ex's sweetie) can do that. "

Sure, women can do that. On average, though, it is best to let the bioparents do the majority of the parenting of their kids. Steps should enforce house rules, but bios need to deal with any breakdown in the system.


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MaritimeGuy
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414566 - 06/17/08 10:39 AM

At the risk of offending it sounds like you're in the midst of a power struggle with your step son. I don't think that's a battle you can truly win. I agree you should step back and let your husband deal with his son on these matters. You have to let it go or it's going to drive you crazy.

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asurvivor
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414570 - 06/17/08 10:48 AM

Jill

Disengage! That's your only option. Back-up whatever consequences your DH gives to SS but do not be the JUDGE OF HIM.

I was where you are 12 months ago.....my DH is finally getting a clue. I stopped coming home to clean house after my 2 skids. If the kitchen was dirty, I didn't cook. Let's just say that I RARELY COOK bc nothing has changed until this past weekend.

DH would cook and I would help clean. I then after a few months of the kids getting up to leave the table without helping to clean the new rule became: IF YOUR GOING TO SIT AND EAT DINNER YOU WILL ALSO HELP CLEAN UP.

Their bathroom will be gutted when we're ready to sell.....I will not clean up after 16 and 18 y/o's who use the floor as the trash can when the can IS FULL and put NO EFFORT into cleaning the tub, sinks, mirrors or toilet. Hell, when we have guests I tell them DO NOT USE THE UPSTAIRS HALL BATHROOM.

Anyways, disengage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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ssmom79
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Sherron]
      #414574 - 06/17/08 10:53 AM

I like what you said about enforcing the rules, but letting the bio-parents handle the breakdowns, that's a great piece of advice.

Of course, in my situation, we built our system together as a blended family, but I know that not every family works that way.

I just said that to kid with SRS really...no hard feelings, I know if YOUR situation specifically you have major issues in that area.


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MaritimeGuy
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: asurvivor]
      #414579 - 06/17/08 10:59 AM

Someone pointed out this great article a while back...I've posted it once before. I thought it contained a lot of good points...

(Oprah.com) -- As far as hard jobs go, it's up there with air-traffic controller and crane operator. Stepmothers preside over a minefield of hidden hurts, half-concealed traditions and occasional tugs-of-war. Want the job?

It's been said that parenting is the toughest job in the world. Wrong. It's the second toughest: Stepparenting wins hands down. Right now, approximately half of all Americans live in a stepfamily, which means that every day, millions of women are subject to the taunt -- sometimes mournful, often angry --"You're not my mother!"
I've been a stepmother three times. I know, from hard-won experience, that a great relationship with your stepkids is possible. And if you avoid certain trapdoors like the 12 verboten phrases here, you'll not only get along, but you'll never have to ask them to pick up their socks.


1. "Go ahead, call me Mom!"
You're not their mother, and you never will be. They're conflicted enough, and pushing them to use a mom-name will only confuse them more.
Corollary: "We're going to be one big, happy family!"
You might eventually become the happiest of stepfamilies, but it won't happen overnight. Studies show the new family dynamic takes at least three years to fall into place, and the first year is the toughest.


2. "Feel free! Do whatever you want."
Almost as much as they need love, children need boundaries and are adrift without rules. Learn to say (not scream, please) the phrase, "In this house, we ...," so that time together will not be bogged down with endless negotiations.
Corollary: "Let's get down!"
No matter how close in age you are to your stepchildren, you're still a parent figure; try to be an example of mature living and not "one of the gang." This is especially true if your stepkids belong to that group of psychotics euphemistically known as teenagers. Chances are they won't think you're cool for very long.


3. "I'll get it," "I'll drive," "I'll wash it," "Forget about me," etc.
Don't let your stepkids (or their father) turn you into the creature everyone in the world resents: a martyr. Martyrs make people feel creepy and guilty, and when kids feel that way, they generally act out. You're better off being wicked.


4. "Why the long face?"
Your stepchildren are allowed to be sad -- they're in mourning. Let them grieve if and when they feel like it. Sorry, but they probably will grieve more around you, since you're the evidence that their parents are never getting back together. Don't call attention to their sorrow; remove yourself, and get Dad to be a mom at this point. Their depression will pass --they're kids.


5. "Your dad and I always ... "
Don't allude to the great times you have with their father when they're not around. They already feel left out and probably imagine the two of you tossing your heads back laughing, spending wads of money, and throwing Ring Ding wrappers on the floor (not to mention the sexual fantasies going on in their fevered little brains). If you want to give them a positive image of a loving couple, just be a loving couple.


6. "Did your mother bring you up to do that?"
Never bad-mouth the ex -- and your husband (or partner) shouldn't either, even if the fur is still flying. Studies show that it's the ongoing conflict after divorce that hurts kids the most.
Corollary: "How could you have married such an idiot?"
Don't stand next to him when he's on the phone with his ex, making faces and sticking your finger down your throat. Don't write her letters or e-mails, and if she's a crank caller, get caller ID. Fighting about the ex -- call it the 'ex hex' -- is the equivalent of having a stink bomb thrown into your marriage.


7. "Have you always done that?"
Families have traditions that are meaningful to them. So if your husband and his children insist on watching "Hogan's Heroes" reruns, putting mayo on hot dogs, collecting rubber bands, or anything else you find distasteful, just keep your mouth shut.


8. "Your room is a pigsty!"
Something's got to give, and neatness should be it. If the situation is desperate and the kids are growing subspecies in their space, get Dad to go in there and organize a cleanup. Life is messy, and it's even messier when you choose a man with children. But remember: It's better to have a man with kids than one without kids who flosses his cat's teeth.


9. "Well, my kids and I ... "
If you have kids of your own who live with you and your husband, your stepkids may feel like they're getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Mentioning trips, restaurants and the fun stuff you did the weekend they were with their mom feeds the illusion that your children are getting more. Be clear that there are no favorites and everything is even between both sets of kids.


10. "What's the matter, never heard of thank you?"
Don't become a stepparent expecting gratitude. (Don't become a parent expecting it, either.) While you shouldn't tolerate rudeness, choose your battles carefully. Kids generally don't have the best manners; they get preoccupied and forego social niceties. Don't be petulant; you're the grown-up.


11. "We're not made of money, you know."
Their father's primary motivation is guilt. (Come to think of it, that's his secondary one as well.) Dad is guilty, the ex is angry, the battle is on, and money is the weapon. Stay out of the fight, work out a family budget, and don't discuss finances in front of the children.


12. "It's them or me."
It will always have to be them. Your stepchildren are jealous of you. But admit it, you're jealous of them too. If you make it a battlefield, this is a battle you'll lose.
Corollary: "Wake me when it's over."
Rather than enduring the time you spend with his kids, enjoy it. They're never really going to go away, even if you stay under the radar. Intimacy may be a long time coming, but, like so many other situations in life, you've just got to put in the time. Granted, it's a complicated dynamic, but the Beatles were right: "The love you make is equal to the love you take." Or is it the other way around?

By Rosemary Rogers from "O, The Oprah Magazine," May 2003


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1004SRS
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: ssmom79]
      #414584 - 06/17/08 11:08 AM

That is wonderful advice. Enforce the rules, but insist that the bioparent handle the breakdowns.

I can't imagine being a step-Mom - not to mention a step-Mom where the bioDad throws in the towel and leaves everything up to you.


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Relayer
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: asurvivor]
      #414587 - 06/17/08 11:12 AM

Dad's fault here Jill

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asurvivor
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Relayer]
      #414590 - 06/17/08 11:29 AM

I'll admit. My husband is on the verge of throwing in the towel on his 18 y/o. She is home today doing chores bc I'M SURE SHE HAS PLANS AND DOESN'T WANT THEM SQUASHED. (rolling eyes))

But its more then laziness with her. She has attitude and mouth to go with her laziness. In our case, SD knows DH (and I) are hanging by a hair with her and we mean business that either she shapes up or ships out.

It's been 7 years of struggling with her and I will admit she hangs on to every word from BM, DYSFUNCTION (or not) more then she hears us. It's sad bc it holds her back from moving forward but we cant' say to SD don't talk to your mother all she does is f&ck with your head so here we are........................


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KrazyKat
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414601 - 06/17/08 12:32 PM

One thing to consider, Since he doesn't do chores anywhere else, he may not know how to do them. And not knowing the proper way to do them, he's not going to do it to your specifications. He's doing it to his specifications of clean.

Seriously, you may need to take him step by step a few times for him to understand on exactly how that specific chore is to be done.

I do realize that some kids are just plain lazy and won't do anything. However, it sounds as if your SS hasn't truly been taught the proper way. KWIM

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Rebecca5
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414667 - 06/17/08 03:14 PM

Well...

We talk a lot about responsibilities, and how much each child is capable of handling. If they can't get the basics done: cleaning their spaces, putting their clothes away, etc (things with which safety and security are NOT an issue, and should be second nature by now).....then it wouldn't be safe for me to allow them to shoulder the heavier ones: going out in a group of friends, having a cell phone, Internet usage, etc (things that require newly acquired skills, the ability to reason and keep themselves safe).

I usually say something like, "I'm not really comfortable with you going to the beach with Allison and Jordan right now, DD. There seems to be a struggle to get XXX done this week, and I feel like you might be overwhelmed." And it's like magic. XXX gets done. 99% of my rules are centered around safety and security....choices and consequences.... and accountability.

As a general rule, though, I don't think that steps should be doing the lion's share of the disciplining, without a bio-parent's involvement. If a step is the one present in the home most of the time, a simple family meeting where rules/expectations are set forth for everyone, at the same time can set a great tone. It shows unity, and everyone is clear that both parents are of the same mind. IMO, it just looks a lot less like "wicked stepmother" kind of stuff when it's done that way.


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jil_stevens
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: 1004SRS]
      #414677 - 06/17/08 03:26 PM

His dad does...and his dad does most of the punishing, but it is summer and I am home with the kids all day and he is at work, so this time of year more of the responsibility tends to fall on me. SS lives with us about 95% of the time, so we have really gotten into the task of whoever is around does the parenting, rather than pushing everything off until the bio parent is home. Esp. since we have no "joint" kids, just "his" and "hers."

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jil_stevens
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: ssmom79]
      #414678 - 06/17/08 03:28 PM

He is about ten and a half, and the problem is that no matter what the chore is, he is too lazy to do it. His dad has taken away all the video games, television, you name it, the boy cries about it, but is even too freaking lazy to try to earn them back. When I take stuff from my kids and lay out a plan for them to earn their stuff back, they do so to get their things. SS won't...he would rather do without than have to do the work to get it back.

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jil_stevens
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Sherron]
      #414679 - 06/17/08 03:32 PM

I was mainly venting, hence all the "I's" in my post. SO is very active in parenting, but we have been battling this for years and going nowhere and he is getting frustrated. I really doubt he would actually throw in the towel, it is more his frustration talking than anything else. And SS's mother is no help. She comes from a large family, and she was the brains, so she was not given many household chores so she could concentrate on her studies (she is from a very poor family in a Latin American country) and so she now does her son the same way. He should never have to do anything. But then the problem that SO has tried to explain and she says she understands but doesn't follow through is that when she got married, she didn't know how to cleain, cook, or do anything for herself, and she has agreed she doesn't want SS to be that way, but still doesn't make him do anything. Of course then you throw in that she only has him about every other weekend and she does more playing with him than anything.

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jil_stevens
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: matart1]
      #414684 - 06/17/08 03:34 PM

That was my idea! SO didn't like it, but I may do it anyway. He thinks SS should be required to work, but I said I was unwilling to stress over it anymore. He can make SS work when he is home in the evenings and on weekends. Then the rest of the day I was going to only let SS have the necessities, and then bill him for those. Take a shower, and you now owe this amount for the water and soap you used. want clean clothes? That will cost as well. Then SO can have him work off the money.

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jil_stevens
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: KrazyKat]
      #414697 - 06/17/08 03:46 PM

He is aware how...at first that was the issue. His mom didn't make him work, then the parents split up and they shared custody and both lived in an apartment so not as many chores and he was only there half the time. Now his mom likes to party so he is with us most of the time, but I ensured he knew what was expected. If I stand there and ride his butt then he will do it right, but if nobody is there watching, he does a half-a$$ed job of it. Basically, I told SO I wasn't going to ride him anymore. I told SS last night he had been given a morning deadline to do the cat cage and do it right, and if he didn't then I would not drive him to guitar. Apparently it worked...he got out of bed on his own and got it done. But then, he had to reclean the floors downstairs because he didn't mop very good at all, and got lazy and swung the mop around and knocked a picture off the wall and broke it. I must say, after that he started crying and did an excellent job on the floors! Accidents happen, and we understand that, but when you are screwing around (in this case, swinging the mop over his head and twirling in a circle...did it once before with a big shovel and almost hit YDS in the head) then you are responsible for what happens. Accidentally spilling milk at the table, no big deal, goofing around and breaking something, big deal. And then! He dug himself in deeper, as he always does, because later on he will think of a better reason as to why the accident might have happened and change his story. As if we have already forgotten the previous story, now something totally different occurred. So when he came to me I just said, G you know that isn't what happened. He agreed and left. He is very sullen and waiting for dad to come home.

I think part of the problem is that I have ridden my kids since birth and know not to make me mad about chores, but even though SS's dad expects more than I do, SS doesn't really seem to care about the consequences of his actions. SO finally broke down and spanked him with a belt, first time ever (he had been spanked, but really it is not a common punishment and this was a first with a belt) and even THAT didn't work. He would rather tolerate the brief discomfort than get off his butt and do his work.

It shows in his grades as well...his progress report for all assignments will have a long string of A's, and then Fs where he didn't bother, back to A's, etc. Nothing in the middle. He is very capable just has no drive whatsoever!!!

He loves sweets, so last night we had leftover BD cake for dessert, I cut him a big slice, stuck it right in front of him, and right before he stuck his fork in it I stopped him and said, Oh, remember what you were supposed to do Friday? You didn't and then went ot your mom's so YDS had to do it for you. For payment, pass your cake over to K." Seemed to work, when he had to give up his favorite cake for being lazy...

Personally, I think we should let him do nothing and then give him nothing, and then run a tally for the things he has to have, food, a roof, water, etc. He can then pay us back for those things.


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Rebecca5
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414709 - 06/17/08 04:04 PM

Isn't this kid 10? There's a reason why we don't allow 10 year olds to do things like own homes and drive cars. They typically have no forethought, an inability to see future consequences, and are completely self-centered. You're expecting him to respond like you would respond as an adult. He's just not going to. At this point, I would imagine that even if he DID know the right thing to do, he'll avoid it just for spite.

Honestly, the cake thing is bothersome. Food is never a good punishment or reward, and what you may have succeeded in doing is making him pissed off at K. I mean...you chose to punish him by rewarding another child, for something that happened FOUR days ago, in nothing other than a hurtful, embarrassing, teasing manner. If your kid is as awesome as described, he'd have taken that hunk of cake and tossed it in the trash.

It sounds like you're expecting him to react/behave in comparison to the other children, and that's not really very fair. He's not the other children. His parenting, experiences, and life are different. No, he shouldn't get a free pass because of that, but he should be treated accordingly. I don't even treat my two bio-kids exactly the same. I expect different things from them, because they are different people.

And just my opinion? Attempting to whack some sense into a kid rarely has the effect you desire.


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1004SRS
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414715 - 06/17/08 04:08 PM

Wow. I was sorry for you at first. Now - not so much.

He's 10 years old! OMG!?!?

Spanking with a belt? OMG?!?

The cake thing?!?!

Wow, who's the adult and who's the child again? Crap. I am hard on my kids. They are 2 and 4, but they have age appropriate chores. I understand that it will not be done perfectly, but they are learning. That is why they are kids and I am the adult. (Set the table together, match up the socks, fold and put washcloths away, DS4 keeps his room picked up and DS2 puts her toys aways)

I would never ever spank anyone with a belt or anything else. Never.

You need to take Love and Logic classes. Perhaps some type of counseling on appropriate behavior for children and step-parents.

Next thing you know, you'll be posting about tying him to a tree overnight for punishment over chores. That bio-Dad and Stepmom accidentally killed that child. Or the Step-Dad who accidentally killed the little girl in Texas for not saying yes,sir and no,sir.

No, I know not all steps are like those 2 extreme, but you need a serious time-out.

Edited by 1004SRS (06/17/08 04:19 PM)


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414719 - 06/17/08 04:20 PM

The child is 10yrs old. You're putting WAY too much responsibility on a child that isn't USED to having that much responsibility.

From the way it sounds, his mother still treats him more like a 4/5 yr old (hence the reason for crying & temper tantrums). It's what he knows.

You can break the cycle but only a little at a time. Plus, he's not your child and hasn't been in your household with you since the beginning.

I personally don't think giving a 10yr old a broom or mop is safe. They don't focus long enough to do the chores that require a little more skill and thought to not break something else in the process. The walls get hit, other people get hit, etc.

I don't agree that FOOD should be used as a tool to get someone to do a chore either. Especially at the last minute when you've already told the kid you were giving it to them.

I'm sorry to hear you're having difficulties with the child. From what you have posted, he doesn't seem lazy. He seems to be wanting attention. There's a reason he goes from A's to F's and nothing in between. He's only 10. You can't compare him to your children. It's not fair to anyone. They obviously have been raised different.

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: KrazyKat]
      #414744 - 06/17/08 05:18 PM

Seriously? I can't believe you wouldn't allow a ten yr old to use a broom or mop. He is perfectly capable of using them and doing a good job, and I have seen it! Otherwise, I would not expect him to do a good job. He has shown us it is not over his head, and that he can do it, but chooses not to because he doesn't like to work. There is a difference.

Plus, the food? It is a HUGE issue with him, to the point where he has select food to choose from and our cabinets are locked, his father's idea but I concur it was necessary. We only grocery shop once a month and the kids are aware of the rules and follow them for the most part. Until SS decided he would, wihtin 24 hours, eat everything sweet in the house so the others kids couldn't have it.

So, if taking video games away, taking tv away, grounding him, yelling at him, spanking him, etc doesn't work but taking dessert away does, guess what we are going to do? BTW...the second youngest, my YDS, is only about 14 months older, so it isn't like he is the baby by a long shot.

And while there are many parents that disagree with spanking, if you have a child who refuses to listen any other way, what do you propose?

And with the grades I am not talking report card...I was talking a weekly progress report where they detail assignments. Basically, if he does the work he gets an A, he is a really smart kid. But then he gets lazy, doesn't do the work, and gets a 0.0%. That is laziness. And the kid gets TONS of attention. But we are [censored] believers that nobody gets any attention by being bad. We frequently do things...we live in a touristy area and there is LOTS to do and he has done all of it, multiple times. In fact just last week we had friends over with their kids and they were all running around having a blast.

Trust me, we have looked at this from every angle, and he really is just lazy as can be. If it doesn't involve working he is a really well-behaved child and gets rewarded appropriately for his behavior. Our problem simply centers around anything that involves him working, whether that be chores or school. That is laziness...not an inability to concentrate or an inability to understand what is expected.

And quite honestly, if you have a 10 yr old that can't concentrate long enough to sweep a hallway, there is something REALLY odd going on. Kids can do what they are taught to do. He has been taught and has shown us that is very capable of completing the chores.

Guess what? Our kids all do their own laundry as well...and though Mr. Lazy needs to be reminded he does it and he does it well. If a child can do laundry, they can sweep a hall.

BTW...all three kids are treated the same and should be. Any variations in punishment are due to personality and such; ie. my YDS is much more sensitive and doesn't need as harsh a discipline as ODS or SS. And they should be treated the same...we can't make exceptions for one child and allow him to be lazy just to "make him feel good" when the other two don't get that. None of the three has any more chores than any other, etc. And technically, he is my child. He is my SS but he lives with us, and thus gets treated like the other two. In our house we have kids, not my kids, your kids, step kids, bio kids, etc. And kids get treated the same.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414746 - 06/17/08 05:20 PM

Ummm...not asking him to own a home or own a car. He was asked to clean a hallway. Quite honestly, if you can't expect a child to clean a hallway at 10, they are going to be nowhere near driving a car at 16, and quite honestly won't be able to do anything for themselves when they are adults. If you teach them young, it is a habit, and they can care for themselves.

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414747 - 06/17/08 05:21 PM

Kids are carbon copies. You can't treat them alike.

Judging from your post, I thought you had a 14 year old, not a ten year old. WOW.

Well, you'll need to find a motivating factor here. Every kids has a tick...something that drives them...find that. use it.

And vent away, Lord knows that helps!


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jil_stevens
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: ssmom79]
      #414751 - 06/17/08 05:33 PM

We do have a 14 yr old, and a twelve yr old and a ten yr old who is almost 11. The chores they are expected to do are age appropriate, ie. the 10 yr old I would never require to mow the lawn...the other two have hit their growth spurts, but the 10 yr old does not have the body mass to push a mower, esp. in our hilly yard. Even the other two I would never allow to do it unless me or SO is out in the yard watching.

We are still looking for the motivating factor...there must be something!!


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414758 - 06/17/08 05:45 PM

[quote]Ummm...not asking him to own a home or own a car. He was asked to clean a hallway. Quite honestly, if you can't expect a child to clean a hallway at 10, they are going to be nowhere near driving a car at 16, and quite honestly won't be able to do anything for themselves when they are adults. If you teach them young, it is a habit, and they can care for themselves. [/quote]

Ummm....I understand what you were asking him to do. That had nothing to do with what I said. Perhaps a little reading about "reasonable expectations" at different age levels from other resources would help. The more you post, the more appalled I become and the worse I feel for your SS.

So you have humiliated him, severely spanked him, taken away all of his pleasures, and locked the cabinets. Are you getting the results you want? Apparently not, eh? Or you wouldn't be posting about this today. Maybe it's time to actually read what other people are suggesting, and give something different a try. Clearly, what you're currently doing doesn't work for your SS...or for you.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414765 - 06/17/08 06:00 PM

I guess you can ask the kids to mop or whatever, but don't expect it to be done to specifications. There are certain things I don't allow my 15 year old SS to do simply because I like the way I do it better.

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414775 - 06/17/08 06:41 PM

In some ways, yes. And...I have not locked the cabinets nor spanked him. And he was not humiliated by giving away his cake. He merely learned if you not only don't do what is expected, but go to great lengths to hide the fact that you didn't, and someone else has to pick up the slack, you are expected to pay them for doing your job. And again...cleaning a hall floor is a reasonable expectation for a 10 yr old. He is almost in junior high, and you think he should not be expected to clean a floor? Seriously...how would he survive? If we baby him through life should we make plans on someone to follow him through the halls and carry his books and make sure he gets to class on time and has the right books?

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Miranda]
      #414777 - 06/17/08 06:47 PM

Well, yeah...I don't expect him to do it as well as I do. But I do expect him to get the huge puddle of lemonade that *he* split and left, and then *missed* when he mopped the first time. It also could be done without him twirling around in a circle with a mop over his head, something he knows he isn't supposed to do as the last time he did that it was a shovel and resulted in stitches in another child. And he then told me he was twirling the mop because *he* did not want to clean *his own* mess up.

But an hour later, he came out with a different story, out of the blue. And when SO got home an hour ago? Third story. Quite honestly, the lying was much worse than breaking a picture twirling a mop, as kids do stupid stuff all the time. However, he damaged something and then lied about it, after having admitted fault, and then tried a different lie when the other one didn't work.

What surprises me is that I would imagine if I posted on here about how I treat him differently than the other two because he is my step child, it would be evil of me to do that to a child. But if we have similar expectations of all three, then again we are evil for NOT treating him differently from the other two. He is only younger by 14 months, and of course the quality of work and chores assigned is adjusted according to age, however, blatant disregard for what you are told to do and then lying about it is the same offense no matter your age. Quite honestly, if an adult was screwing around at work and broke something expensive, and then lied about it, telling different stories to everyone who asked, they would be fired. G was just given an additional chore and told he would be paying for the damage.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414781 - 06/17/08 07:00 PM

[quote]In some ways, yes. And...I have not locked the cabinets nor spanked him. And he was not humiliated by giving away his cake. He merely learned if you not only don't do what is expected, but go to great lengths to hide the fact that you didn't, and someone else has to pick up the slack, you are expected to pay them for doing your job. And again...cleaning a hall floor is a reasonable expectation for a 10 yr old. He is almost in junior high, and you think he should not be expected to clean a floor? Seriously...how would he survive? If we baby him through life should we make plans on someone to follow him through the halls and carry his books and make sure he gets to class on time and has the right books? [/quote]

Oh geez. I should have specifically included your spouse in the "you," I guess. It was a collective "you," as in....the adults who do the disciplining in your house.

Had you been clear in the beginning that giving away his dessert was going to be the punishment if he forgot the chore, I can *almost* see it as reasonable...although using food as a disciplinary tool is ill-advised. But to give it to him, and THEN tell him that he was going to have to give it away was....well....retaliatory and small.

Cleaning up a mess he made IS a reasonable request, but I would fully expect to have to monitor/direct that action. That's how some kids have to be handled. Maybe your other kids don't need that. Clearly, this one does. The onus is on the parent to teach/guide/lead the child....every day, all of the time.

And let's not make leaps into what "I think" he should or should not be doing for chores. At no point did I say that expecting him to clean up his mess was a bad idea. The only thing I've addressed in my posts is your (meaning you and/or your spouse = your) choices for punishments....how well they are NOT working for this particular child....and how it seems like the more defiant he gets, the more demeaning you get (again, meaning you and/or your spouse).

It has nothing to do with "babying" him, and everything to do with treating him with the basic respect you'd show the family mutt....not matter how much drama you choose to add to your posts.


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greeneyes
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That was very cruel... [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414789 - 06/17/08 07:37 PM

To put cake in front of him and then take it away as punishment. Humiliating him in front of the other kids was cruel.

Plus, he should have been punished on Friday for not doing what he was supposed to - not days later.

Why is he being spanked with a belt?


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KrazyKat
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414790 - 06/17/08 07:39 PM

"Seriously? I can't believe you wouldn't allow a ten yr old to use a broom or mop."

--> No, I wouldn't give them a broom or mop. Too young. Expecially without supervision while using it.

Now if they were cleaning up a spill, mud or dirt they tracked into the house, I'd have the child clean it up. I have my 7yr old clean it up when he does it. Just not with a broom or mop. He gets paper towels, cleaner, rags, etc. Then after he does what he can clean up for his age, I'll go over it and do a good scrubbing. However, he has to clean up his mess first.

I never criticized your spanking. We use that form of discipline in our home on occasion when it's warranted. So who would I be to critcize that?

I totally disagree with using food as a tool in form of discipline. It's one thing to lock the food up. Heck, I have to do that to keep all the teenagers from eating all the snacks the next day after we get them home from the store. Soda is drank faster than the water coming out of the faucet. So, yes, it's rationalized. Teenagers/kids don't have the self control for that sort of thing.

However, I would never pretend to give the kid food and then turn around say, "Oh btw remeber that thing you did/didn't do? Well, nevermind on the food. ABC did it better, so they get it instead." IMO, it's just wrong. Should have just said, "ABC gets cake. You do not get cake tonight because of what you did/didn't do."

I hope you DO find something that works. For your SS's sake and yours.

I feel your pain... Really, I do.

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He's 10, not 16... [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414792 - 06/17/08 07:40 PM

So, if he doesn't clean a floor at 10, he is destined to not survive in the real world? Please.

I would start small, maybe start with loading the dishwasher, helping with laundry. Maybe ask him what type of chore he'd be willing to do. If he found a chore he might "enjoy" it might not be such a power struggle.


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Miranda
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Re: He's 10, not 16... [Re: greeneyes]
      #414793 - 06/17/08 07:42 PM

Children are not supposed to enjoy chores. That is ridiculous. I should ask my son, "Jr., is emptying the dishwasher okay, or would taking the trash out make you happier?"

Personally I don't like cleaning, but I like to have a clean house so I have to clean.

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I disagree... [Re: KrazyKat]
      #414796 - 06/17/08 07:46 PM

If she was going to use cake as the punishment, she should have done it when the incident happened, not several days later.

If she was going to use cake as the punishment, she should have taken him aside and told him he was not getting cake b/c of what happened and he can excuse himself from the table while the others had their cake. Making him watch everyone eat the cake after putting in front of him and taking it away was cruel.


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Why not?... [Re: Miranda]
      #414799 - 06/17/08 07:50 PM

Why can't something necessary also be fun? If child likes to empty the dishwasher but not take out the trash, maybe say, I know you like to empty the dishwasher so you are in charge of that but you also have to do something you don't like, so you will also have to take out the trash.

So can children never enjoy a chore?


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Re: He's 10, not 16... [Re: Miranda]
      #414800 - 06/17/08 07:51 PM

My kids have things they prefer over others. So do I. I'm more than willing to compromise for the best fit. It's really less of a power struggle. When push comes to shove, ALL the stuff still gets done, but I'm more than willing to make it as pleasant as possible to avoid the "because I said so" drama.

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Re: He's 10, not 16... [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414802 - 06/17/08 07:53 PM

Sure, that is logical, but I do not ask if it makes them happy before telling them to clean their room. Some things like cleaning a room, flushing a toilet, or taking a shower must be done regardless of happiness.

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Re: Why not?... [Re: greeneyes]
      #414803 - 06/17/08 07:54 PM

[quote]So can children never enjoy a chore? [/quote]

Did I say children can never enjoy a chore? Don't be ridiculous.

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The way she is dealing with this child is... [Re: Miranda]
      #414805 - 06/17/08 07:55 PM

not working. So, she needs to try another approach. Asking him what he chore he'd like to do to help out the family might be a way of eliminating the power struggle. The goal is to get him to help out. If he picks the chore and does it, why would it matter if it is a chore he enjoys?

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Re: He's 10, not 16... [Re: Miranda]
      #414806 - 06/17/08 07:56 PM

Yeah...as long as everything still gets done, IMO.

Like DD prefers to do the laundry because she has a totally anal retentive nature about her own clothes (Yes!), and DS likes to do the "manly" things like taking out the trash and mowing the yard. By all means....go be manly, buddy.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414840 - 06/17/08 11:27 PM

<<<Had you been clear in the beginning that giving away his dessert was going to be the punishment if he forgot the chore, I can *almost* see it as reasonable...although using food as a disciplinary tool is ill-advised. But to give it to him, and THEN tell him that he was going to have to give it away was....well....retaliatory and small. >>>

Yes, but you misread the issue...he didn't forget to do his chore. He didn't want to do his chore, pretended to do the chore and hid the evidence that he did not do his chore, and then told us he had done the chore. Then he called his mom and asked her to pick him up early, which she did and which we are okay with because we have learned that wehen she is in the mood, we allow her to have him whenever. Had he simply forgotten, that is an understandable childhood error. But he spent more energy trying to get out of it. So, it is a totally different situation.


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Re: That was very cruel... [Re: greeneyes]
      #414841 - 06/17/08 11:29 PM

He had to be punished four days later because he left immediately after pretending to do the chore and then did not come home until late last night. We can't punish him for something when he is at his mom's and the problem was here. That being said, his dad did call him and let him know he was aware he had been deceitful about his chores and that it would be discussed when he returned. So, it was not a shock to him either.

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: KrazyKat]
      #414843 - 06/17/08 11:35 PM

Again...we didn't punish him for forgetting to do something or not doing an adequate job. He was punished for pretending to do a chore isntead of actually doing it, and then trying to hide the evidence that showed he did not do his chore, and then obviously knowing he was wrong because he called his mom and requested an early departure, knowing we permit him to see his mom as often as he wants and that we would not object. He does this often, thinking if he can just get away with it until he gets out of the house then he won't be in trouble and won't have to do his chores. So, the issue was he was supposed to clean the catbox and did not, and instead covered it with a towel so maybe we wouldn't notice. Then, he had spilt lemonade and instead of cleaning it up when he spilt it, he ignored it until he was called on it and told to clean it, at which point he put a towel over that also. So, he was really being punished more for being deceitful and lying than he was for not doing an adequate job with his chores. Again, if he put as much effort into cleaning up his messes as he did into trying to get out of the work, he would be ahead of the game. And the messes he made could not wait four days for him to return to take care of them, so someone else had to do the work he should have done, hence he "paid" that person to do his work with his dessert. We have required him to donate his dessert before getting it, and it does not drive the point home. Putting it in front of him and taking it away got the point through that if you don't do your stuff and someone else does it, you will be required to pay them for their effort.

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Re: That was very cruel... [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414844 - 06/17/08 11:36 PM

Have you ever thought about letting him go live with his mother?

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Re: Why not?... [Re: greeneyes]
      #414846 - 06/17/08 11:39 PM

Yes, but he doesn't do the homework he doesn't enjoy, hence half A's and half F's on his weekly reports. So, is that okay? We should say, oh, nobody likes to clean the floor so it will just never get cleaned. If you don't like that subject at school, it is okay to never do the work. Life is all about having to do things you don't necessarily want to do. And again, the bulk of his punishment is because he is being deliberately deceitful, NOT because I didnt think he was doing the work to my standards. But hiding a mess you made under a towel when you were told to clean it up gets punished. I would fully expect to have to do a better scrubbing afterwards, but now I had to clean the mess and wash the towel he threw over it.

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Re: The way she is dealing with this child is... [Re: greeneyes]
      #414847 - 06/17/08 11:44 PM

The goal is NOT to get him to help out. The goal is to get him to quit using all his energy to get out of work. He does this with ALL chores, even if he was given a choice. And quite honestly, if we give him his choice then the other two get stuck with what is left, and how is that fair? So chores generally rotate. However, it is his cat that is injured and thus his responsibility, and he not only didn't do the work, but covered up and pretended to do it. The mess was his mess that he made, thus he cleans it up. I am not going to clean up after him nor should the other two.

Again, just because on of three children is lazy and deceitful doesnt get him special treatment because that is just punishing the other two for NOT being lazy and deceitful. We certainly don't want to teach him that if you lie about doing your work, you will get to do stuff you enjoy instead.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414848 - 06/17/08 11:45 PM

[quote]<<<Had you been clear in the beginning that giving away his dessert was going to be the punishment if he forgot the chore, I can *almost* see it as reasonable...although using food as a disciplinary tool is ill-advised. But to give it to him, and THEN tell him that he was going to have to give it away was....well....retaliatory and small. >>>

Yes, but you misread the issue...he didn't forget to do his chore. He didn't want to do his chore, pretended to do the chore and hid the evidence that he did not do his chore, and then told us he had done the chore. Then he called his mom and asked her to pick him up early, which she did and which we are okay with because we have learned that wehen she is in the mood, we allow her to have him whenever. Had he simply forgotten, that is an understandable childhood error. But he spent more energy trying to get out of it. So, it is a totally different situation. [/quote]

Okay. Thank you for explaining. It doesn't change my opinion, however. I've tried to explain it a few different ways, but you'd rather argue semantics than actually find other solutions that might work. So...good luck to you.


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Re: That was very cruel... [Re: nrvouswrk]
      #414849 - 06/17/08 11:45 PM

Why would we? She has no interest in raising him. We are lucky when she takes him on the weekends, much less when she takes him for an extra day or so. She doesn't even have a bed for him.

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414850 - 06/17/08 11:46 PM

I am not trying to just argue semantics, but my point was that unless we are harsh, it doesn't get through. And I don't mean harsh as in we beat him. In fact, he has gotten one spanking in the last five years. But the suddenness gets through.

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414851 - 06/17/08 11:53 PM

No. Because you disagree with the way I present something or my word choice, you think I don't understand what's going on and feel the need to correct me, as though it will impact my opinion. That being said....I probably don't fully understand what's going on...because I don't live in your house. However, it doesn't change my opinion.

What I DO know is that what you're doing apparently isn't working very well for this particular child. The punishments you're choosing aren't typically recommended either at all, or for a child his age. But...you do whatever seems to make you feel in control and dominant, and let me know how that works out.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414852 - 06/17/08 11:56 PM

Have you tried rewarding him for good behavior instead of punishing for bad? I think the problem a few of us have is you using food as a form of punishment. It was bad enough letting the others eat cake in front of him, but to hand it to him, then take it away seems childish.

How about telling him that if he does all of his chores for the week, you will make him a special cake next weekend?


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: nrvouswrk]
      #414853 - 06/18/08 12:08 AM

I just had a conversation about this with a former neighbor. She's one of those parents who just punishes and punishes....takes everything away from her son, etc, etc.

I'm like...why WOULD he behave well? He's got nothing to lose. She also does the public humiliation, open irritation/disgust...the whole nine. The kid has no motive for doing well, other than to NOT be punished. Whoopee. It's nothing but negative reinforcement 24/7, and being compared to her other 2 "good" kids.

I guess this one hit a chord for me. It's just so bothersome. I mean...this kid is 10. Jeesh.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414855 - 06/18/08 12:16 AM

It did me too Rebecca...more than you know. My father grew up very poor. He use to tell us that one of his mother's favorite punishments was to send him to bed without dinner. He ended up lying about his age in order to join the military. He said that was the first good meal he had had in his life. Needless to say, he was adamant that food never be used as a punishment. We went to be right AFTER dinner many a time, but NEVER before.

I think when a kid is made to feel that they can't do anything right, instead of trying harder, they just don't try at all. Why bother...It seems like this is the case with this child.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414856 - 06/18/08 12:20 AM

He actually continually gets rewarded for good behavior. In fact, the only time he is ever punished is when he is lying and being deceitful and lazy. In fact, he is in trouble for being lazy today, but has been praised and rewarded multiple times today as well for things he does right. Generally speaking, I agree it works better.

The "public humiliation" is debateable, he was one of three people in the room. And I honestly don't understand where you are getting the whole open irritation and disgust? Because when he (or any of the three) gets punished, it is an instant thing and then we don't continually drag it out and remind them of how disappointed we were. We are disappointd, therefore this, and it is dropped. And he is never compared to the other two. In fact, they are all treated equally. He certainly isn't treated as the loser of the family, which is the way you make it seem. I merely posted, venting about one particular issue and askign what other people did. But seriously, this kid has an easy life, has it made in the shade, and in fact the problem is not he has no incentive to be good (when he isn't trying to get out of work, he is a very good and well-behaved child and we rarely have behavior problems with him) but that he has no incentive to work. So...if it takes making him work for his good life, then that is only fair, isn't it? The other two do an equal amount of chores...perhaps more because the youngest gets the easiest chores...and thus when they do them, have earned their things. The youngest must go out of his way to get out of work, and thus has not earned the easy life he is receiving. Esp. considering they each have maybe 30 minutes of chores a day and the rest of their time is theirs to do with as they please...seriously, you make it sound as if we hate the child, treat him like a dirt bag, and make him sit filthy in a corner with nothing to do. Instead, he has his own room with his own television, cable internet video games, multitudes of toys, gets the music lessons he wants, bikes, scooters, skateboards, dirtbike, basketball hoop, everytghing his heart desires he gets, if anything, he is acting this way because he is spoiled rotten, not because he has nothing to lose.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: nrvouswrk]
      #414857 - 06/18/08 12:22 AM

Especially if he feels rejected by his mother....and I can't imagine that he wouldn't, although he doesn't have the vocabulary to say that. He's already a loser, in his mind. Why try harder?

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414858 - 06/18/08 12:24 AM

Oh...my apologies. I thought you stated that you had removed all of those things.

And again with the drama. I give. Keep on keepin on.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414880 - 06/18/08 07:31 AM

Okay...there is a LOT being assumed here. First, the kid has the vocabulary of a college student and I spent a bulk of everyday answering questions for him. He likes to have all the information and is NOT afraid to ask anything. As for his mother...yes, she has little interest, however, lucky for us, if he calls, she generally picks him up. Generally though, he doesn't like to go to her house. Why would he? He has no toys and no video games there, it's a small house with 6 people already in it, and he has to sleep either with her (which he hates) or on the floor. If she has plans (she is big on a heritage group for her nationality...she has been in this country since a year before SS was born) he loves to go do that stuff, but if she has no plans, he won't go.

My two kids are the opposite, they are desperate to see their father and he refuses. So, we are aware of what the situation will do to the mind of all three of the kids.

What I don't get is how everyone seems to think we should favor this child over the other two kids, and since we don't favor him, then obviously we neglect him.

I cannot stress enough that all three kids are treated equally, and all three are quite spoiled and have anything they could ask for. If you saw this bubbly child running around laughing and asking questions, you would certainly know that he does not think he is a loser, and in fact has very high self-esteem, tons of friends, is very popular, and is frequently playing either at his friend's houses or they are at our house. He certainly is the most confident of the three kids, so I don't get where everyone is implying that he is emotionally damaged because we are constantly belittling him.

I really just don't get why everyone is implying that to this conversation.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #414881 - 06/18/08 07:35 AM

Honestly, I am not trying with the drama, nor trying to argue with you. I honestly was just trying to figure out where you were coming from that we were constantly belittling him, etc. It is slightly confusing to be told how much we are damaging him with our constant reminders of his negative behavior and refusal to enforce the positive, when we go out of our way to do the opposite with all three. I am a [censored] believer that kids get in trouble once when they do something wrong, and then it is forgotten. You don't hold a grudge or anything with kids. And usually, the punishment is instant, however if the child leaves before the incident is discovered, then it is still appropriate to punish as soon as he gets home. If he got away with it because he left, that would not help anything.

But again, punished and over. It actually has not been mentioned again, nor will it. It is over. My problem was how to get him to stop taking the lazy way out on his brief, 30 min. at most daily chores, and somehow everyone thinks we just use this child as our slave and belittle him constantly.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414888 - 06/18/08 08:07 AM

This is an ongoing problem in our household...if things don't go the way SS wants them to..he goes to his mothers...who lives just the next street over...we moved closer to him to be available to him as his life at his mothers house is not the greatest..he comes and goes as he pleases..however, he also uses it as a tool to avoid responsibility...its very frustrating..

We don't allow him to use the ability to go to his mother's house on a whim to manipulate us into not holding him responsible for his behavior or lack thereof...allowing him to that doesn't teach him that he is ultimately responsible..no matter if he runs..when he comes back or it catches up to him, he'll pay the piper...

The difference is...he's 13..and thinks he's a man...LOL..so we'll allow "manly" consequences...running away doesn't keep you from being held responsible...so sometimes consequences are implemented 1-2 days after his actions...we won't keep him from going to his mothers...but we won't allow him to use it to avoid his responsibilities...

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Reilly]
      #414889 - 06/18/08 08:10 AM

Exactly...and quite honestly, if his mother wants him to come and he wants to go, we aren't going to stand in the way!!!

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414926 - 06/18/08 09:12 AM

Okay, you don't like this kid and that is obvious.

I still say YOU need to take some classes to learn to deal with kids. THe cake thing was awful.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414933 - 06/18/08 09:24 AM

Wow. His dad is ready to just throw in the towel and send him to his mother.....his mother who doesnt even have a bed for him to sleep in.

Have you mentioned this to your ss? That is just sh*tty in my opinion. I'm sure that he knows exactly how you (collectively) feel about him.

As punishment for his laziness(did his father actually say that to him) he was assigned to take care of the cat.....so it was a punishment.

Does he know how long this punishment was to last for? Or was it just open ended....because that doesnt EVER work for kids. You cant give them a punishment and not explain it to them.

It sounds to me like you ARE favoring your children over him. You tell him that he wont be going to his guitar lesson but your child will be....thats not right. You tell him that hes getting punished for something that happened DAYS ago and give the cake to your child....I mean come on. It doesnt take a genious to know that you arent treating them the same.

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414941 - 06/18/08 09:32 AM

It will take some work on your part but you can get him to stop being so lazy.

When he has a chore that has to be done, be with him while he is doing it. Watch him like a hawk and let him know the reason is because he needs to be supervisored during the chores. After he does it correctly once or twice than you leave when he is about done and than go back and check. Each time you leave earlier letting him know that you WILL be checking the results.

What your SS is doing is not uncommon for kids to do. If they can get away with it than they will try. Doesn't make sense on why they would spend more energy avoiding the chore than doing the chore but that is how some kids act. Will he totally stop? I doubt it, you may have to do this a few times over the next few years.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #414997 - 06/18/08 10:23 AM

I have lazy children as well..but I TOTALLY stole Rebecca's way of doing things last night and I'll be hornswaggled if it didn't work!

DS14...the very, very social outgoing twin, was buggin' to go to the park with friends for a ball game..

"I just don't know R...you seem to be struggling with your regular chores and I'm just AFRAID that you might be coming down with something or you're completely overwhelmed...adding an additional activity might be more than you need right now..."

WHAMMO! He isn't one to admit to ANY weakness...

DH just called...

Dishes done! Trash out! Floor swept! Room picked up!

I'm just waiting for the phone call from him, asking if he can go to the pool...

Hehehehehe...

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: 1004SRS]
      #415113 - 06/18/08 01:04 PM

Actually, I have no problems with the child except for his laziness. I don't dislike him, and whether or not anyone here believes me, the punishments are the same for all the kids. The reason one got to go to his lesson without being required to work first is because he did his chores properly when told to do so, and SS not only didn't do the chore, but spent twice as much time trying to hide the evidence that he didn't do the chore. So, the punishment was do it and do it right, or no guitar lesson today. Had YDS not done his chore, he would have been in the exact same boat. Do it and do it right, or SS will go and not you.

In fact, YDS left town today to go to an Aunt's house, and I am still taking SS to his guitar lessons. So, it isn't as if I will only take him if YDS goes. Last summer, my kids were gone for ten weeks straight and it was just me and SS. We did TONS of stuff. Went to the amusement park, waterworld, the money museum (which is SS's favorite place to go), the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver (SS and I are the only two in the family that really like to read, so often it is just me and him going there and my two stay home), The Tattered Cover is a HUGE bookstore and SS is in hog heaven there.

I have a HUGE library at home, and SS is the only one of the three kids who I will allow to touch my books, and he knows why. I am very picky about my books, I don't want them grubbed up, covers torn, or anything. SS is the same way with his books, and he knows he can pick any of my books to read because I know he is careful with books. My two...the books get tossed around, shoved under beds, etc. Fine with their books, not mine. SS treats his own books like gold and is the same with mine, thus he knows that BECAUSE he is good with books, he has free reign to read whatever he likes from my library without asking. Including the collection of Hardy Boys books, that he loves, that were my dads when he was SS's age. If I let my kids have free reign, those books would get trashed, but SS has read most of them and is very careful and always puts them back.

So, when my kids weren't around, it was his time and we had a blast. We have similar tastes, both love to read, like museums, etc. Last summer I took him to the Nature and Science Museum for the Titanic Exhibit, and this year he, YDS, and I went to the Gold Rush exhibit. There is another exhibit later this summer that SS and I want to see but ODS and YDS do not, so SS and I have tickets and we will go.


Next week, SS and ODS are going back to waterworld and the amusement park as well, and the following week I am taking SS to the mining museum, we have gone there previously when they had some display of old fashioned mining and farming equipment made out of legos, he was in heaven! When YDS gets back, he, SS and I are going to the Lego store.


So, you can see that often it is just SS and I doing stuff because the others don't want to. If I disliked this child even slightly, I wouldn't bother taking him anywhere, especially if my kids aren't going and he is the only one who wants to. SS and I also hit every book fair and used book sale we can find, and often hit garage sales on SAturdays for fun and to "treasure hunt." My kids hate that stuff, so it is nearly always just me and SS. In fact, I am going to school in Denver, and earlier this summer I enrolled SS in a baseball camp here, and came up three hours early every day to take him to camp, then he watched movies on my computer afterwards while I was in class, then we grabbed dinner and went home. Neither of my kids like baseball, so it was just me and SS, every day for three weeks. Seriously, does it sound like I have any dislike for this child? The ONLY problem is that he is so lazy when it comes to chores. It works best when I have a TON to do, as I did Friday, and I merely make a list of all chores that need to be done, assign them to nobody, and say when all is done, we all have free time. So, we all worked, myself and all three kids, they would pick a chore, do it, scratch it off the list, and move on.

Unfortunately, sometimes dad is at work, and I am at school and they have to do a couple things on their own. THAT is when the problem comes in. And quite honestly, it isn't the lack of effort that bothers me and SO NEARLY as much as how he spends twice as much time concocting a way to get out of the work and hide the fact that he didn't do it, than if he just did the work.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Becky]
      #415120 - 06/18/08 01:15 PM

Actually, the cat assignment was not given as a punishment so much, but he had been continually lying to both of us, and SO told SS that this was going to be his opportunity to show us he could be responsible. It was for a set limit, because it only lasts while the cat is kenneled due to his injury. And if SS spends the night at mom's or at a friends, then others do the chore. So he is never required to miss out because of this chore. The ONLY reason he had to do it or miss guitar lesson was because he had spent a good half hour covering his tracks to NOT do the work, and called his mom to pick him up early, knowing we wouldn't object, so he wouldn't be around when his lie was discovered. So, he was punished as SOON as he returned to our house, we didn't delay it four days while he was home, and had he been home it would have been taken care of immediately. Had he merely forgotten, he would not have been given an ultimatum. But seriously, he spent half an hour getting out of a job that would have taken two minutes...it was the scooping of a small litter box in the kennel, and checking the food and water levels. That was ALL. And as I have said, if he did the work, but didn't do it to our standards, that would be different, as we know he doesn't have the work quality an adult does. But to spend that much time covering your tracks and lying about it rather than do the work is what got him in trouble.

And considering he would MUCH rather be with us than with his mom, I highly doubt he thinks we hate him. When he is with his mom, he calls us every day just to talk. He is an information-needing kid, and he knows that I am the only one who will take the time to fully explain whatever it is he is asking about, so he even calls me from his mom's to ask questions. Anytime he sees something, he wants more information. I have explained ED, multiple-personality disorder, other mental illnesses, we had a long discussion on why someone would try to assassinate a president and not go to jail (he saw a special on Reagan and Hinckley). He just has this need to know everything, and he knows I will answer his questions. Yes, he is ten, so sometimes I tailor my answers accordingly, but I give him the answers he is looking for. Sometimes SO just shakes his head when I tell him of some weird conversation SS and I had. He is very curious about everything. For Christmas I got him a HUGE set of fact books, and he devoured them, he just loves that sort of thing, and then is always giving me facts about everything. Sometimes, it is really stupid stuff and I go along because he is excited, but sometimes, he brings up some really interesting things. For instance, who knew a cat has over 30 vocalizations? Seriously, he comes up with some interesting stuff. If he gives me some oddball fact, sometimes SO will be like, "where the heck did you hear that?" and he will reply he read it somewhere, and I never doubt it! He has an uncanny memory for that sort of thing.

And of course, SS doesn't know how frustrated SO and I get with his laziness. If I told him, I really wouldn't need to come on here and vent! But when SO said he wondered if he should just throw in the towel, I am the one who refused, and said it didn't matter if he killed us from stress...it's our job as the parents to get him to do his stuff.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #415458 - 06/18/08 05:32 PM

[quote]First, the kid has the vocabulary of a college student and I spent a bulk of everyday answering questions for him. He likes to have all the information and is NOT afraid to ask anything. As for his mother...yes, she has little interest, however, lucky for us, if he calls, she generally picks him up. Generally though, he doesn't like to go to her house. Why would he? He has no toys and no video games there, it's a small house with 6 people already in it, and he has to sleep either with her (which he hates) or on the floor. If she has plans (she is big on a heritage group for her nationality...she has been in this country since a year before SS was born) he loves to go do that stuff, but if she has no plans, he won't go.[/quote]

Having a vocabulary to read and write isn't the same as being able to label your(collective) emotions. Young children don't know how to convey their emotions well. They just don't.

ALL children have wishes for their relationships with their parents. ALL of them. Just because his mother sucks, and he doesn't stand on the rooftop begging for her affection doesn't mean that his relationship or lack thereof doesn't impact him in some way.

Have you considered some resources about children of divorce, and how they express their emotions non-verbally? I think a little research on the subject may really help you in the long run.


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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Rebecca5]
      #415460 - 06/18/08 05:37 PM

[quote][quote]
ALL children have wishes for their relationships with their parents. ALL of them. Just because his mother sucks, and he doesn't stand on the rooftop begging for her affection doesn't mean that his relationship or lack thereof doesn't impact him in some way.

[/quote]

Watch out Rebecca. I have said the same thing here a number of times and was attacked by many women on the board. Let's see if the same happens to you..LOL

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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: Relayer]
      #415508 - 06/18/08 07:43 PM

I agree Rebecca...however, his dad and mom have not been together for the majority of his life. For him to "suddenly" develop problems doing things he doesn't want to do doesn't seem divorce related, kwim? If he was having trouble in several areas, or the divorce was fresh, i would absolutely agree. But honestly, his mother doesn't ignore him...she is just more of a buddy, I guess. We are the parents, and she is the Disney-mom. In fact, they just got back from Disneyland last week.

Really, the ONLY problem this kid has is that he only wants to do what he finds fun, and not what is necessary, whether it be chores, school-work, whatever. In fact, today when I got home he was super excited to go buy car paint with SO except was worried that he would be late for the tacos we are having for dinner. I told him not to worry, get a snack, go with dad, and there would still be tacos when he got home. So, he danced out of the house and is having a grand time...buying tape to paint a car, LOL.

His mom and dad actually have a model relationship when it comes to him, if you ask me. They hate each other, but you would never know it if he is around. And they back each other up on everything. If he gets mouthy with mom, she calls dad, and dad handles it over the phone. Honestly, though she doesn't spend as much time with him as I think she should, since she lives so close, and I think she should at least have a place to live where he has a bed, the time she does spend is all about him. Both parents are at every band concert, awards dinner, you name it. She and I have even eaten dinner together, because we were switching off at a restaurant at dinner time, so we just all ate, then he left with her. I don't consider her a friend, but we are civil for SS.

I seriously doubt this is a product of something that happend 8 years ago and just manifested in an "I don't want to do my chores" thing now, kwim?

But, I don't disregard your belief on counseling, etc. My kids see a counselor because their dad won't leave them out of the middle, etc. There are times when it is absolutely necessary, and if there was any evidence at all he was having emotional problems, he would already be in counseling. But seriously, he just doesn't want to do his chores, and that isn't an odd problem for kids, whether they are from divorced families or intact families.


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Rebecca5
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Re: What do you do with lazy kids??? [Re: jil_stevens]
      #415516 - 06/18/08 07:53 PM

It sounds like the lack of motivation and lying are a global issue...not just related to chores or whatever. There's usually some reason for that.

I wouldn't discount the effects of his craptastic relationship with his mother (I don't care how much money she spends or all that crap, it's not your typical parent/kid relationship, and that makes things tough for any kid), the fact that his parents have an acrimonious relationship, or the effects of things like step-siblings and step-parents...and where he fits in in his world.

It's not really about counseling....just trying, maybe, to understand the motives behind his actions on a little less superficial level. It's a heck of a lot easier to parent effectively if parents understand what's underneath it all.

My parents divorced...jeesh....28 years ago, and there are still things that come up sometimes that are tough for me for a moment.

It's just one person's opinion, you know? Take it or leave it.


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