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winding down
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I hired my 15 year old nephew as a farm slave for a week. We got a lot done. WE. I literally could not give him any job and leave him to do it. WE cleaned out the barn so the second half of my hay can be delivered. WE cleaned out the lean-to area of the barn, built a new hayrack and a few other small things.

WE built rabbit cages, and I hung them, with him standing there looking at me like I was an idiot. He only helped if I gave him very specific directions. He did like the J-clip pliers, but would literally sit there and clamp J-clips in the air, for fun, if I left to so much as go to the bathroom! I had to tell him each and every time to clip the long sides first. And the next time, he would start on the short side. When I reminded him, he'd say, "Oh, I thought you said do the short sides first." Every time! I tried leaving him once to continue, after several cages, while I moved the finished cages to the rabbit house. He messed up the side he was working on (How???) and just 'skipped' that part and started putting on another piece! I had to explain to him that if you're building something, and you hit a glitch, you don't just ignore it! I had to unclip a whole piece he had added to go back and fix what he'd messed up!

I couldn't send him to get something, because he'd leave before I finished telling him what it was! or where it was! It was like he anticipated what he thought I was going to say, so didn't listen to me. I sent him once for a single landscaping brick. Told him exactly where they were, and what they looked like. He came back with a landscaping timber from a totally different place! And told me that was what I asked for!

WE cleaned out the poultry house, even with me in a leg brace from hip to ankle, because I fell Tuesday night and broke my kneecap. Cleaning it out, even with a good quality mask, gave him a headache. :rolleyes: The chicken house is all of 8 x 8 feet! So I did most of it, and he pushed the wheelbarrow.

After I got hurt, I quit cooking, as I didn't want to to stand there and do that. He would hang back each time we went somewhere, and watch me struggle with the door until I gave up. Then I still had to ASK him to get the door.

Saturday was his last morning before I took him home. I told him the night before that I would get him up late...about 8:00. And the only chore for the morning was doing the last vaccs on the lambs, worming those sheep that needed it, and trimming hooves.

So, he got up at 8:00. I told him that while he got ready, I'd go do the rest of the feeding, then come back to the house for him and the meds. I went to feed, then came back.

He had gone back to bed. He got up when I came in, and proceeded to start to get ready. I grabbed my stuff and headed for the sheep. As slow as I am right now, I was on the last of ten sheep for vaccs and worming, when he came out. He said, "You didn't tell me you were doing this now."

I didn't get to the hooves, and will have to hire someone to do it, because I can't by myself.

I don't remember my kids being this brain-dead as teens. They would either listen and argue, or listen and do what I wanted, or even completely ignore me on occasion, but never this half-listening, but hearing something else thing. In fact, I discussed it with my 21 year-old son, and he didn't have a clue what was wrong with this boy. A girlfriend thought maybe he was day-dreaming about a girl, and couldn't concentrate. The kid has a 3.6 GPa, so he's not stupid. And he helps his dad with chores all the time.

Last summer I hired a 17 yer old girl...and she was awesome! That's what I want next time I need help!

I'm just venting. We did get a lot done, but not nearly what I had planned to get done. Part of that is due to me getting hurt. But mostly it's because I couldn't trust him to do a job alone. Heck, I couldn't even trust him to do a job with me sitting there, if I took my eyes off of him! And I couldn't vent on here before because he would hang out and read over my shoulder! Even when asked to leave, he'd go for just a minute, and come right back, and have forgotten that I wanted him to go!

No more 15 year old boys for me! ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

No comments needed, really...just getting this off my chest!

Meg
 

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Maybe he didn't really want to be there.

I know my brother used to mess things up on purpose so that mom wouldn't ask him to do it again.
 

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Goes to show you that everyone is different. Motivation is different also. We use kids in the summer and some were so awesome that I admire them still! Some thought they should just chat all day and sometimes do something.:)

One kid literally worked for the good lunches--fresh veggies from the garden every day. Wow! He said his mom worked and they hardly ever ate like this. I do believe he would have worked for the lunch alone! :)

Good for you for giving him a chance to learn how to work. I tell my kids, it's not enough to do the job, but do it efficiently. Which employee is an employer going to keep: the one who works faster!
 

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Don't let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel. My 13-year-old nephew just spent a week with us and he did an awesome job...didn't matter what we asked him to do.
 

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Living in the Hills
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He sounds like my brother all through his teens. I didn't get it then, I don't get it now. How's your knee and how long should it take to heal? Providing of course you don't overwork it.
 

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winding down
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Discussion Starter #7
Just to clarify...he wasn't ordered to come. He was offered a PAID job with me for a week, at an agreed upon wage. He eagerly accepted it.

Next time I'll....there won't be a next time. Hubby will retire next year, and won't be living in Afghanistan, so I won't be trying to do everything alone.

Meg
 
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It sounds like he is lazy. My 15 year old boy is the same way. He only does the exact bare minimum, and doesnt take any inititive. If I tell him to do something, and if he isnt supervised he either does it wrong, or just takes forever to get 1/4 of it done.

He mother let him get away with everything because sticking to her guns take effort that she doesnt want to spend.
 

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I've got a friend whose son was like this at 15 and is still like this at 18. It's called "lazy". He, too, is pretty darned book-smart, but ask him to do something requiring physical effort that doesn't involve a skateboard or a football and he looks at you like you're a complete idiot.

He sure can talk, though, and has an indignant viewpoint on every injustice in the world. Good kid, just needs a major reality check.
 

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MY dc are pretty good workers but I do have a few that I have learned to give them the directions then say "now, what are you going to do?" because otherwise they will hear only half. Once they repeat it and we have clarified they will do a great job, they just are lousy auditory processors. I am the same way...tell me orally and I will remember it only a few minutes. IF I write it down...I have it.
 

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What kind of chores are asked of him at home?
Some kids can not do things because no one has ever taken the time with them, Try him again. Everyone deserves a second chance. Some just need guidance or direction. If he is a city kid it will never take. Work ethics are learned by example. Big Dave
 

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I think that aliens came down & snatched up my boy, and replaced him with a smart mouthed, lazy, fast-growing, big-eating teenager. Now, I have to say when he wants to work he does a fantastic job. He's a really hard worker, people all around town comment on it. He was just handed the job of doing landscaping & maintenance at our church-neighbors ($200 a month!) he does pet sitting, and has taken over the aquarium maintenance at the elementary school & is hoping to get funding to do the same at the big daycare center in town.

But sometimes you have to practically light a fire under his butt to get him out of bed or off the couch! We don't live on a farm, or even in the country (well, it's in a small rural town) so he doesn't have animal chores to do. But most everything we ask him to do is such a big struggle! I want my kid who, last summer worked 5 hours a day, 6 days a week at a horse ranch - mucking out stalls, breaking down horses & working with his own horse. Where is he, who took him? I want him back :p
 

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I've not hired teenagers for years, which is probably a good thing.

The only teenaged boys my father ever hired (actually it was the only outside help we ever hired when I was growing up on the ranch) was during haying season. We baled the hay and Dad and I could handle it up to the picking up out of the field and stacking.

So every hay crop he'd go into town and pick up 2 or 3 teen age boys, usually through the coach, who had a list of football players that wanted "heavy physical work" to get into/ stay in shape for fall football season.

They were paid "X" cents per bale stacked and we picked up the bales, stacked them on a skid pulled by a tractor, then pulled them to the haystack and stacked. We were, quite literally, up and out in the field pretty much by daylight ... took a brief nap after lunch ... then back out and worked until just before dark. Usually took 3 or 4 days to finish.

Some worked very well ... in fact there was one boy that started with us when he was a freshman in high school and worked every year and every haycrop until after the summer he graduated. In fact after the second year, he picked the other one or two kids to come out ... he didn't want to be the only one that worked!

But the advantage my Dad had was that I was also out there working ... I wasn't big ... and I was a GIRL ... but I'd been stacking hay since I was 12 years old and knew how to handle bales. I couldn't pick up and carry or load on the skid ... but I could stack. And there wasn't a boy in any of the groups we had that would quit as long as I was on the stack ready for more bales!
 

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Failure is not an option.
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Hey.

Next time go to the local 4H/FFA chapter to find your helper. They have more motivation.

RF
 

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DH does NOT understand why I don't just give the tools to my teenagers and say "Get going"! They WILL do the work because they were raised that way, but they will NOT! think or remember all of the instructions!

I suppose some kids develope more quickly in some areas than others. I have seen my DH send out my son to bring in the defective tail light from the right rear light on the pickup: no problem. But, send him out on an AGRICULTURAL errand........ OY!
 

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If I need a Shelter
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I had one living with me,he helped out for room and board.He was feeding one of my Dogs and kicked it,told him he crossed the line to hit the road.

Me by 15 I had worked for this Farmer for 7 years and I knew to do stuff before asked.But also he treated me as a GS when I first started working for him and him his DW and DD were family.

big rockpile
 

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My first thought about this young man was, "Is this kid bipolar?" Seriously... John is 15 and bipolar and is so closely like this.... it is eerie. The only thing that I saw from your post that he would not do, is he would not have watched anyone struggle with a door... unless he was distracted and did not see it happening. God love him, John is a hard worker if you can get him focused on the task at hand. But you have to be very specific with him. For example.... if I want him to weed whack the garden area, I have to make a list like this:
weed whack around the garden
weed whack the walkways within the garden
be careful not to chop off any plants
lift up the vines and weed whack under the plants
put the weed eater up in the garage when you are finished

Sound familiar? It is so frustrating for us because before medications, he could concentrate a little bit, but now...when he is manic... nothing! I am not saying that your nephew is bipolar, but is he on any kind of medication? Perhaps his brain is just wired differently and his folks have learned to compensate with him and don't even realize it. JMHO
God bless you and yours
Deb
 

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SFM in KY said:
I've not hired teenagers for years, which is probably a good thing.

The only teenaged boys my father ever hired (actually it was the only outside help we ever hired when I was growing up on the ranch) was during haying season. We baled the hay and Dad and I could handle it up to the picking up out of the field and stacking.

So every hay crop he'd go into town and pick up 2 or 3 teen age boys, usually through the coach, who had a list of football players that wanted "heavy physical work" to get into/ stay in shape for fall football season.

They were paid "X" cents per bale stacked and we picked up the bales, stacked them on a skid pulled by a tractor, then pulled them to the haystack and stacked. We were, quite literally, up and out in the field pretty much by daylight ... took a brief nap after lunch ... then back out and worked until just before dark. Usually took 3 or 4 days to finish.

Some worked very well ... in fact there was one boy that started with us when he was a freshman in high school and worked every year and every haycrop until after the summer he graduated. In fact after the second year, he picked the other one or two kids to come out ... he didn't want to be the only one that worked!

But the advantage my Dad had was that I was also out there working ... I wasn't big ... and I was a GIRL ... but I'd been stacking hay since I was 12 years old and knew how to handle bales. I couldn't pick up and carry or load on the skid ... but I could stack. And there wasn't a boy in any of the groups we had that would quit as long as I was on the stack ready for more bales!
Your daddy was a wise man -- the best motivator in the world to get great work from a teenage boy is to have a teenage girl around to impress :)

And I'm with Ravenlost, don't let one bad experience ruin it for all teenage boys. I have a grandnephew that age who I've seen very little of this summer because he has a job clearing rocks from a future Ozark hayfield. Out there on his own getting the job done without supervision - unless you consider having to explain things to his daddy if he didn't :)

Marlene
 

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Stop giving every single 15 year-old a bad rap and change your post to say that you won't hire LAZY people of any age. I hate it when people do that! It's clear he didn't want to be there. I hope you didn't actually pay him any money, because it sounds like he didn't earn it. Lesson learned?

Pat
 

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It's not just 15yr. I worked for a company who had caregivers for the elderly. These were mainly 25-60yr. women and there were times I worked behind ladies that had done NOTHING all night long--"because no one told them to do it".. They kept no records of what had been done, bed changes or when meds were given and couldn't remember the exact time!

DH has a neice who is 19 yrs old and she is the exact same as your nephew. She wants the money but is too lazy to do the job and soooo many family members pay her --even if the job is 1/2 done or done sloppy 'becasue she is family'.. That's not teaching them anything but that they can get away with 1/2 doing stuff! She wanted extra money to go on vac.. DD hired her to come clean her house (her daily job is working w/ a crew cleaning houses). She was there from 8am to 6pm. She put away dirty dishes (I mean dishes that had not been washed at all) stacked them under the clean dishes that were already in the cabinet, laid the sheets on the bed and covered it with the comforter, did not sweep before she mopped--there was all kinds of stuff pushed to the baseboards. She ate and drank leaving dirty dishes in the sink and 'forget to vaccum the floor'. DD asked what she did all day long. After questioning her a little she admitted her friends had come with her and said they watch soaps and played on the computer. DD had left her the money and she had taken it... That night dd found out that her computer was dead--they had dropped it!!! I would have demanded that she give me back the money and pay for another computer but dd wouldn't do that! :flame: Then two weeks later she called and asked if she could clean my house -she needed to pay her car insurance!! No Thank you was my respone..QB
 
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