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Mum takes drastic action to address teenage son's laziness: 'He looked so sick and grossed out'

By Merryn Porter |

Most parents of teenage boys will tell you that their son will do almost anything to avoid cleaning up after themselves or helping around the house.

Whether it is hiding dirty dishes and clothes, to lying about doing their chores, it is enough to make some mums lose their minds. Then we end up doing crazy things, which the world judges us for.

Now a mum has asked the internet if she went too far with a punishment when she made her son eat off dirty dishes to teach him a lesson.

READ MORE: The household item that could make your child very sick

A mum came up with an unusual punishment for her teenage son. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The woman, who called herself, aitadirtydishes, took to Reddit's popular "Am I the A---hole" advice column overnight to explain her son was still furious over the incident two months ago.

The woman said she loves her oldest son, who is 17, but they have a "constant battle" over chores.

"Dishes are the worst. He overpacks the dishwasher so the dish detergent can't even get on the dishes. He also doesn't rinse the dishes at all, so they come out dirty and caked in food.

"If we want to eat the day after he does dishes, we end up having to hand wash them. He doesn't care. Any attempt to talk to him is met with a little smirk and he would say, 'But the dishwasher sanitised it'," adding, "He knows exactly what he's doing."

The woman said things came to a head recently when she went to cook dinner after his night to do the dishes and found them still in the dishwasher, filthy.

"I had worked all day. I was exhausted. I honestly teared up seeing this bulls---. I didn't have the energy to make dinner, let alone do an entire load of dishes first," she wrote.

"I quietly called hubby in and he offered to hand wash the dishes I needed," adding it was then she had a "lightbulb moment."

"I told him, yes please, but only enough dishes for preparing the food and serving everyone but [her son].

READ MORE: Heartless reason mum-to-be refused to accept handmade baby gift

The son wanted to wash his own dishes but the mum refused. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

"I made dinner and called kiddos to eat. 17 yo sat down and saw his setting was empty. He asked where his plate and silverware and water cup was. I pointed to the dishwasher and said, 'Tonight you'll be eating off of the dishes you did. Go pick them out'.

"He went pale and started protesting that it was gross. I quickly cut him off and reminded him that the dishwasher sanitised them."

She said her husband backed her up and told their son if he wanted to eat, it would be off his dirty dishes. They also refused his request to wash his own dishes first or make his own food.

"Eventually, he relented and found the least disgusting dishes and ate his dinner quietly," she wrote. "I felt bad he looked so sick and grossed out. But I was sick of him wasting time and water and detergent."

The woman added, "It worked! His dishes came out spotless after. Not a speck. But like I said, he's still furious and I do feel bad now that it's over and done with.

"I'm just sick of the weaponised incompetence. He doesn't realise that his laziness f---s over everyone else in the house."

The post has already received thousands of votes and hundreds of comments. Most commenters praised the mum for her "grade A parenting".

"The fact that [she] and her husband have gotten in the habit of cleaning the dishes after their son failed to clean them properly means he was never learning his lesson," wrote one.

"Natural consequences are an important tool in raising kids who aren't assholes. Eating off dirty dishes is a natural consequence of doing a shitty job when cleaning. Let him be p---ed now. He'll be grateful later," wrote another.

But at least one person said there may be something deeper going on with their son.

"As a kid with ADHD, that mindset was very hurtful when I grew up and caused me to have severe problems with perfectionism, which paired with ADHD and anxiety is a very very horrible thing," they wrote, adding that while parents "need to be strict" they must also make sure "it doesn't leave a negative impact on your kids."

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