Dealing with Excuses

Every parent has dealt with her or his child’s excuses. And you keep thinking that if she would just do her chores instead of making excuses and arguing, she’d have them done already! Use the following tips to help get kids into action.

  • Figure out consequences for when your child refuses to take responsibility. For example, if your child won’t do the dishes, restrict his access to video games, the computer, or TV until he’s finished he’s done them.
  • Create routines in which responsibility comes first and fun times come after. That way if your child dawdles through her responsibilities, her fun time will be cut short.
  • Young children come up with fantastical excuses when they don’t want to stop playing. Go along with their fantasies and try to work them into the responsibility. For example, if your child is talking about how a monster keeps him from picking up his room, say that the monster’s mom told you that the monster also has to help.
  • Teach kids the difference between real excuses and lazy excuses. Real excuses mean that something has come up that makes it difficult to follow through with a responsibility, such as getting sick. A real excuse means that you will still need to take responsibility, but you will get more time to complete it. A lazy excuse is one that your child makes up or is using only because he or she does not want to do chores.
  • Keep a sense of humor. If your child constantly comes up with more and more outrageous excuses, write them down. (Save them to tell your kids when they become adults!)

Dealing with excuses can be frustrating. But by being reasonable with your children, setting a good example, and making chores a part of your family’s daily routine, you can minimize the number of excuses that you’ll have to hear.



My teenage son 15 is a undercover slob. He clean his room daily and weekly. The rooom appears to be clean and orderly until you look under the surface. This includes everything from soil underwear, dirty dishes, food, soda bottles etc. I find it in the draws, behind and under the bed and dresser, in the closet, everywhere! I feel enraged when I see it. I work hard to keep a clean home and peaceful environmen but….. At this point I want him to spend two weeks in the shed or garage with dog since he wants to live like an animal.

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