Shadow Of Mom Crouching Next To Son

Did This Mom Give Up?

Dear Sara,

My wife and I have four boys ages ten,twelve, fourteen, and sixteen. My wife doesn’t enforce the rules and the boys just do as they please except when I am around to take charge. They leave the bathroom a mess, clothes and sports items clutter their rooms and they raid the refrigerator at will and often turn up their nose at what’s for dinner. My wife has always been a stay at home Mom and as the kids got older she seems to expect less from them. I would like order and peace not chaos. Is this too much to ask?


Dear Robert,

It sounds like your wife has developed a live and let live approach to parenting. With four boys she may be focusing on things like doing well in school and being respectful and kind. If she is just letting everything go and things are chaos in general then she needs help. She could be depressed and everything is overwhelming to her. If she is not depressed and just prioritizing things that are more important to her then you could take charge of the things that you feel need more attention and put rewards and consequences on things like car or no car, allowance or no allowance or staying home or going out on the weekend so that you can have the order that you need.


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