They aren’t lazy they just don’t want to do it. If they were ill with swine flu and their cell phone was across the room, if you didn’t come get the phone for them, they would crawl across the floor and get their phone, or video game or computer, whatever as long as it interested them. The issue is what you are asking them to do is not fun for them. Sure, this is called being selfish, but not lazy.

Teens generally avoid things that hamper their idea of a good time. They are wired at this point in life to really think about themselves. It isn’t as selfish as you would think. They should think about themselves if they’re ever going to consider some of the things that give them a sense of who they are. This is the way they discover their value system and sense of the world around them. So avoid thinking selfish the way it’s meant with adults.

Instead, appeal to their sense of, shall we say self? Explain that you understand they want to be able to hang with their friends. They are going to want to do activities like over-nights and later curfews. Doing your chores without being asked is the way you get that stuff. Consider it a type of payment for services rendered, giving permission. If you don’t have to remind them about the chore and grades are up, you are likely to say, “Yes” to safe outings. If not, don’t bother asking.

If you can do this for your tween, even better! Because they will get more practice. What your tween eventually teen may not know is that this is really about them helping out and being part of the team called family. They don’t understand all the ranting about how it hurts your feelings and how it is thoughtless all the time. So for those who need a little wheeling and dealing to get the job done, offer them this deal; because the last thing they are is lazy, they just need a better incentive.

Adekemi Oguntala, M