November 7, 2013 WHEN YOUR PARENTS ASK YOU TO DO TOO MUCH Today’s question comes from Abby, who writes: My parents are sort of confusing, like they’ll allow us to buy books, but weeks later they’ll say, “Why don’t you read or sell your books first? You have too many books!” Also, I have to do multiple chores, all at the same time! For example, my mom will ask me to hang the clothes on the clothesline, and then I’m rushing to make my baby sister stop crying. And when our dog has accidents in the house, I’m supposed to clean them up. My parents ask for so many favors that my back aches, and I sometimes blurt out in annoyance, “Can’t you see I’m busy?!” What should I do? My Advice: Hi Abby! Before you read this, grab a soda, put on your fuzzy slippers, and kick back for a bit, because it sounds like you need a break! I totally get how annoying it is to have to do a ton of different chores, especially when it’s not even for more allowance or anything. I’d rather clean toilets at McDonalds…at least then I’d get PAID! It sounds like your parents might have some money stresses of their own. I mean, think about everything they’ve said to you. They buy you books because they’re good parents and want you to eventually be able to get a better job than, well…cleaning toilets at Mickey D’s! But then they tell you to sell your books (I’m guessing when you ask them to buy you more stuff). AND they ask you for all kinds of help with chores. They’re probably exhausted from taking care of a new baby, and even though they work jobs too, they’re STILL strapped for cash, which is why they’re asking for so much and being so confusing. I know it doesn’t make it any easier to feel like their one-woman nanny/housekeeping crew, but maybe it will help to think about where they’re coming from. Then you can sit them down and sound super mature when you say, “I know you both work really hard and that having a new baby isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s stressful to have to do a lot of different chores at once. Could you maybe make a list of things I need to do, and then once I’ve done them, give me a little time and space to do my own stuff?” I think this is TOTALLY reasonable! This way, you’re not saying you won’t help out…you’re just saying that sometimes you need them to cut you some slack when you’re busy with your homework, or other super important things, like Skype chatting with your friends! I bet if you show them that you see where they’re coming from, they’ll be much more likely to do the same for you! What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Abby?