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Mom on Strike

Last weeks the children have developed a skill to “slip away” from their responsibilities in the household. They tend to leave their schoolbags, skateboards or instruments on the floor right at the entrance. Used plates stay on the table, packing garbage doesn’t find its way into the bin. When asked to clear their mess away, they tend to say, “Yes, I’ll do it in a minute” – and nothing happens. Computer games are much more fascinating than homework, and the latter are started late in the night.

Two days ago my wife felt tired of the Don Quichottean fight, the feeling of running against rubber walls. So she decided to go on strike as per the service in the “Hotel Mom”. She packed the dirty clothes of the children into their room and told them to do their laundry themselves. And she stopped preparing food for them. So yesterday we had breakfast, lunch and a cake – but not for the children. They stayed at first “cool” and were out most of the day.

In the evening the younger one (14) made a “charm offensive” and said, o.k., he’ll clean up his mess and help preparing the dinner. We had a dinner with three – the elder one didn’t yet come back. But my wife didn’t react on the younger one’s demands for preparing some extra wishes. The youngest found this “antisocial”, but tried not to come into the front line. And he did the clean-up of the kitchen.

The other one (16) is living at “minimum effort level” in highschool and at home. He yesterday said he would come home at 8.30 pm, however, it turned out to be 2 hours later, totally wet from rain. At the moment he is still blocking and somehow organising his meals. If “mom on strike” is stronger or his “strategy of freedom” – the outcome is still open…

A friend sent me the following comment: “There were some articles recently in Swedish newspapers on teenagers and empathy. Twelve year olds have great empathy. Then it disappears totally, and re-appears around 18-20. So there is some light in the end of the tunnel :-)”

In puberty the inner roads sometimes seem to be blocked because of reconstruction work.

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