The one that complains

July 11, 2007 at 10:06 pm 30 comments


It was a couple of months before school ended when I realized that I should start giving my middle son, Ryan, new chores.  He was 12 at that time but I noticed that his younger brother, Ryland, who’s nine, was doing more chores than him on Sundays.

You see, Sunday is cleaning day at our house and we have a chores list posted on our fridge door.  I usually wait until they’re on vacation before I introduce them to new chores but I didn’t like what I’ve been seeing – Ryan trying to get away from chores while his brothers do their share.

Oh yes, I have that list and he knows when it’s his turn to wash the dishes or cook rice but I always have to remind him and even if I do, he will give me a hard time – either complaining or sneaking  his way out.


For instance, after he eats snacks in the afternoon, he goes to the basement to play his Gamecube or Playstation.  At around 6:00 p.m., I come downstairs to remind him to cook rice within the next half hour if they want to eat at 7:00 p.m., our usual dinnertime.  Come 6:30 p.m. and he’s still down there. So I will call him again and he gets mad at me.  “Now you ruin my game” or “you ruin my day.”  Such irreverence!

Or we will be eating our fruits or desserts after supper and I will remind him.  “Ryan, it’s your turn to wash the dishes.”  “Aww!  Can I not do it?”  He will complain.  “Oh, you have to do it.  Your brothers did their turn,” I will say.  And when he thinks I’m not looking, he will slowly slide from his chair, go under the table and run away upstairs.  But what he doesn’t know is that I’m watching him and before he could go upstairs, I will be shouting at him, “Come back here, Ryan and don’t you pull that trick on me again.”  Then he’ll come back, sometimes grinning and sometimes frowning, depending on his mood.

So it was one Sunday morning when I said, “Ryan, I think you can take over the vacuuming.  Kuya Reggie will show you how.  Reggie, I am promoting you.  I’ll show you how to clean the washroom.”

But that sneaky little booger got away from it and his older brother found a window of opportunity to get away from his also and I don’t know how I ended up doing both of their chores for two weeks.

I tried a different approach on the third week.

“Ryan, how would you like to clean the washroom?” I asked him that Sunday morning.  “Ah! I have to clean the toilet?” he complained.  Okay, I didn’t want to push it.  “No, just the sink and the counter,” I said.  So I showed him how to clear the clutter first, spray with Lysol, wait for a few minutes, and then wipe and rinse.  “Okay, I can do that,” he replied.  What, no complaints?  I was surprised.  Did he find vacuuming too easy or too boring?  Did he find cleaning the sink and counter more challenging?  Who knows?  But I’m not complaining.  And I won’t ask him why for he might change his mind.

So he cleaned the washroom sink and counter.  And he’s been doing it every Sunday.  That’s one less job for me.   And I’m a happy mom.


Entry filed under: Raising the 3Rs, Ryan in the middle.

The View From My Post Road trip to Alberta

30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Daphne  |  July 11, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    It’s good that your boys are taught early on to do chores. Unlike the older generation where guys basically were useless when it comes to chores. hehehe
    Kudos to your boys 🙂

  • 2. Swipe  |  July 11, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    When I was younger, I got away from sweeping the house because I had asthma and the household dust would usually trigger an attack. I was stuck to doing the dishes, cooking the rice and sweeping the leaves from the yard.

    I also got some of the more ‘manly’ chores like chopping overgrown branches from the trees in our yard. I gotta admit that chopping branches was probably my favorite chore. psychologists would probably say that I got rid of a lot of aggression by hacking away at innocuous branches.

  • 3. Kyels  |  July 11, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    I’m glad that Ryan is not complaining anymore and that he is doing his chores at home.

    Well, my brothers’ always sneak away when they’re asked to do house chores and I’ll end up doing it myself and sometimes when I’m irritated, I will shout at them. But now they’re better off since they grew up from their little boy’s behavior.

    Good to hear that you’re a happy mom now!


  • 4. tutubi  |  July 12, 2007 at 1:20 am

    ah, parenting and training children to be responsible.
    not yet for me but already learning 🙂

  • 5. Mitchteryosa  |  July 12, 2007 at 7:30 am

    Ang organized naman, may listahan pa. Parang yung mommy sa Big Momma’s House. 😛

  • 6. bingskee  |  July 12, 2007 at 8:15 am

    in our house, the deal is during weekends, holidays and summertime, the two will wash the dishes, clean the sink and the dining table. and since they are older, Kay already in college, and Daryl in 4th year HS, they should clean their own rooms. it had started in the middle of Kay’s HS life.

    then came a time i visited their rooms. i was really shocked. they were not cleaning regularly. everything in their rooms was in chaos. no wonder one time when Daryl cleaned his room, he had 4 bags of trash from his room. 😦

  • 7. julie  |  July 12, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Aw, Niceheart, maybe there are chores that he’d rather do and there are those that he doesn’t like to do. It takes a lot of time for them to “remember” doing the chores, especially with boys. But it would do them good if they know some chores, when they are older and live away from home. 🙂

  • 8. sesame  |  July 12, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Wow, that’s really good. I must learn this from you Niceheart. But yeah, I believe in getting my boy to do simple tasks even now. I think it’s important to start young.

  • 9. noemi  |  July 12, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    wow how nice. One day they will appreciate that you taught them early on to be responsible. Way to go!

  • 10. Gypsy  |  July 13, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Always great to train them young! They will make good husbands some day! 😀

  • 11. verns  |  July 13, 2007 at 2:14 am

    oh well my big brother hated washing the dishes too when we were younger. He was assigned to do it during dinner, me during lunch and my younger sister during breakfast…but he changed the assignment (he has the authority given he’s the eldest)…he assigned himself to wash the dishes during breakfast but you see it’s because we hardly use eating utensils during breakfast hehe

    I guess its true that there are some chores that boys/men don’t like…

  • 12. pining  |  July 13, 2007 at 10:41 am

    it’s good of you to train them, well, especially as they’re boys 🙂
    in my household I have to do everything… I better start training my 5 year old 🙂

  • 13. NICEHEART  |  July 13, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for the comments, guys. I will get back to them later.

    As for now, I’m busy packing. We’re going on a road trip. Our first time ever as a family, first time for myself actually. 🙂 We’re heading WEST. I haven’t been that way yet. So I’m excited. But you see, I’m already exhausted and we haven’t even left yet. 😦

    That’s it for now. I still have to finish packing and I want to go to bed early. We leave at 5 am tomorrow. So I guess, I’ll catch up with you guys in a bit.

    Have a nice weekend everyone. 🙂

  • 14. JO  |  July 13, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    i have not yet assign housechores to my kids… i know i am spoiling them and its not good. hopefully they will learn their responsibilities at home in due time.

    happy weekend!

  • 15. Tin  |  July 13, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    I’m glad you found the trick somehow. 🙂 We were like Ryan when we we at his age. Hehe.

  • 16. MommyBa  |  July 14, 2007 at 2:13 am

    got here from the love tag. you have responsible sons and that’s great 🙂 it’s definitely something to be happy about.

    happy weekend!

  • 17. Major Tom  |  July 14, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Now this is a good reminder for a young parant like me who have still very young kids, the oldest at 8 years old. Maybe I’d start giving them task at home.

    I remember that when I was a kid we had scheduled task at home, scrubbing the floor, getting water downstairs coz water pressure at night is so low, buying at the store—such and such things.

    I sometimes escape from doing those chores but you know it was always heavy on the conscience everytime, like I did something so wrong the day after. So I had to do it every other time.

    Thanks for this reminder then.

  • 18. Abaniko  |  July 15, 2007 at 12:46 am

    That’s good training, huh? When we were kids, we did a lot of things, fetch water from a water pump located half a kilometer away from home, scrub the floor with a coconut husk, sweep the backyard with a broomstick, buy food from the market, etc. I’m glad opur parents involved us in the household chores. It taught us responsibility and accountability.

  • 19. annamanila  |  July 17, 2007 at 1:48 am

    Ah I can see how leaving abroad — usually without maids — can instill discipline and work ethic and housekeeping skills — among members of a family, young and old.

    Many of our kids raised here in Pinas are spoiled. But parents, like me who allow them to overdepend on katulong, are to blame. 😦

    I was also brought up knowing nothing about housework, though we are far from “may kaya.”

  • 20. annamanila  |  July 17, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Bilib ako sa household chore sked mo. Sa tutuo lang, I have something like that too during summer when the katulong is away.

  • 21. Belle  |  July 17, 2007 at 1:53 am

    i tried my best to train my kids but my youngest seems to always need constant reminder. but, when i left her alone for three weeks, she survived on her own and even changed my old fashioned curtain into something modern.

    way to go, niceheart for a job well done! he looks cute doing the dishes. i remember my kids stepping on a stool, too, when they did dishes.

  • 22. eric aka senor enrique  |  July 18, 2007 at 4:02 am

    Your a good mom, Irene, for assigning them chores, They’ll grow up keeping a clean house 🙂

  • 23. ann  |  July 19, 2007 at 1:06 am

    I had that schedule too, but when mil came..wala na nasira ang skedyul ng mga kids, sya na gumagawa…hay..ayoko namang kontrahin.

  • 24. vic  |  July 19, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    My sis oldest son, growing up in pinas with all the help they can get turn up to be the best when it comes to house works and my sister told me he outdoes everyone when it comes to sticking to each other house works now they have to do everything on their own in the u.s., but the younger two still have that mentality where they just waited in the tables and have their helpers did everything for them, and they will change…

    by the way, i was tagged by Major Tom who in turn wanted us to tag our blog friends and luckily (or unluckily) i tagged you, nothing unussual , just half a dozen weird things in your life.. thanks..

  • 25. Leah  |  July 19, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    What good kids you have. Its good to give them responsibilities at an early age.

  • 26. watson  |  July 20, 2007 at 7:36 am

    ehehehe. I remember when I was a kid. I did not like chores that much too, especially washing oily dishes. But I have to do it now that I live in an apartment. When I eat in, that is.

  • 27. Lazarus  |  July 21, 2007 at 11:37 am

    i learned how to cook food using firewood when i was 5. i climbed at the kitchen sink just to wash the dishes when i was 4

  • 28. Toe  |  July 24, 2007 at 1:49 am

    “sneaky little booger,” hahaha Niceheart! I can totally relate with Ryan! 🙂

  • 29. haze  |  July 26, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Nyay this schedule looks familiar to me ! My Mom did exactly the same thing with us ! So to enjoy the chores we even did our theme song while doing our task 🙂 !

  • 30. He’s trying to get away « n i c e h e a r t  |  July 17, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    […] Ryland: He’s just trying to get away. […]


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