Double Trouble or Double Whammy?

Dear Inya Faas,

Holidays, Gifts, Gratefulness, and Chores–I am a mother of twin 18-year old girls, in their final year of high school. They are good kids, good students, respectful, honest, and polite. The only thing is, they have this sense of entitlement that just makes me want to scream! I ask them to pick up their things, load or unload the dishwasher, walk the cat-doesn’t really matter what. Inevitably, the first response out of their mouths is, “No, I can’t-I have to….”
This is so frustrating. There has to be an easier way to get them to pitch in than to threaten, bribe, cajole, and plea with them. It is just easier for us as parents to do the chores instead of wasting our time with endless discussions of who did what, when, and why they won’t do any more. What say you?
Sincerely yours,

Over it in Arkansas

Oh Over it,

Come to your senses. They are playing you like a Steinway. Why in the world would they change? They’ve obviously got a good deal going–room, board, maid service and restaurant. Do you help them dress, fix their hair, fasten their stays, lace up their booties, perchance? All this is to ask you why you think they would want to change a system that is currently functioning so smoothly and to their advantage? Want to hear a good one? Listen up. A good friend recently told the story of how she knew a mother whose child din’t want to help with the chores “because I didn’t dirty all those dishes. Besides, I never said I wanted to be part of this family–I want to be an island!” that having been said, she promptly put together a list of the various charges he would be billed for what he had thus far considered normal services.
He had to pay for rides, by the mile-standard rates; meals were $4.00 each; toothbrush, toothpaste, sleeping bag, deodorant & pillow were thrown in free of charge, but there were fees for use of electricity, electronics, entertainment, play time with siblings-in short, everything. He was cured before they could bat an eye. Go for it, you have nothing to lose but unpaid, unacknowledged maid services.

Sincerely,

Inya Faas