I love my kids, y’all. Each one. But one of my daughters and dishes? Well, it’s a struggle. Let me put it this way: The fall of man is prominent at The Sanders Home after dinner each evening. It all starts with, “Hey, have the dishes been cleaned?” In this post, we’ll look at one situation I continually face at home as an example. Then, we’ll look at 10 questions to ask when your child won’t accept responsibility. Hopefully, you’ll find the questions as enlightening as I have. Let’s do this.


The problem

Now, I shouldn’t even have to ask, right? She and I have talked about this over and over. Dishes—her responsibility. End of discussion. But when the question, “Have these dishes been cleaned?” comes up—I often get one of these three things: 


#1 The negative negotiator: She will ask to do them later in the night, wait until tomorrow, do some other task in the house—anything but the actual dishes. I could go on here. I’ll just move on.


#2 The passive procrastinator: Once she commits to standing at the kitchen sink, then it’s, “Wait, I HAVE to have music.” This turns in to, “Wait, I HAVE to find my headphones.” The mood and atmosphere have to be perfect in order to get clean dishes at my home! Then comes the hiding. She will hide in the bathroom or retreat to her room—somewhere—anywhere but the dreaded sink. She attempts to do anything she can to make today’s dirty dishes turn into tomorrow’s dirty dishes. 


#3 The crawling cleaner: Or how about this—she can look super busy in the act of “doing the dishes”. But she does what I call doing them “too well”. We have a dishwasher. The one job? Get the food off of the plate and toss the dish in the washer. Bam. Oh, but no! She all but gets the microscope out for pre-washing a si