PBC Foundation

how do you "engage teenagers"

Ok, I know they are a difficult age group to deal with normally, but I would be intersted to hear how you out there who have teenagers get them to help out at home. As we all know they can be very focussed on themselves. I have tended to "protect them" and "hide the truth" about how I feel ( generally very tired, confused and feeling yucky) because they are busy with their exams, After this summer though, one set of A levels will be done and the other will have completed their GCSE's. I was hoping they could help more, can I play the "I need more help card" after their exams without feeling guilty?...................any tops tips?

7 Replies

As the mother of 5 ages 18-30 I think you will have a rough time if they are not already helping out. Around our home everyone had a job as soon as they could walk and carry at the same time. We are a family and everyone pull together for the good of all.

I have been completely up front with all my children about how I am feeling. I am sure if your children know how you feel they will be more likely to step up and help.

Our kids had assigned chores and then I had a list of things they could do for extra money. Things like deep cleaning the bathroom (grout cleaning) or refrigerator or oven.

If money does not motivate then find what does. Maybe more tv or computer time, extra time with friends. All teens have a "currency" you have to figure out what it is and they use it.

As far as feeling guilty - Your children need to learn to take care of themselves someday and now is the someday.

When my oldest 2 sons were 19 and 21 they purchased a home together and it was only a few months later when they were thanking me for making them help around the house when they were young. They said they would have been lost as to how to run a house.



Thanks Kozy 2, I know you speak the truth, it makes so much sense.............sometimes its easy to just think I will do it myself, but when you cant anymore, you just cant.

I will take your wise words to heart.....



Just want to prepare you that it's a teenager's job to push back against their parents - don't take this personally, it's what they do. At first it might be easier to do it yourself but I encourage you to press on and require them to take on some of the house work. I pray that it does not happen for you but remember that PBC does seems to get worse not better. I also would make sure you husband is behind you 150%. You will need his strength when your teens test you (THEY WILL TEST YOU).

This is just another part of their training for adulthood. They would have needed this training even if you were in perfect health. Promise yourself no guilt.


You have totally convinced me :-)

No guilt wil be my mantra!!



I do not have the experience of being a mother, but I can say, as a child of a mother who had PBC, that it would have been MUCH BETTER for Everybody if she would have communciated more about how she felt, both physically and mentally. I would have maybe been much more patient (because I would have udnerstood better what her psychological challenges were), more understanding with her physical symptoms, the fatigue, the pains, etc. She kept much of that inside, we had no idea but could only guess from certain signs, so everybody was quite in the dark. My conduct was surely not as appropriate, understanding, patient, empathic as it should have been.

When you know things and are not in the dark, you can understand and deal with a situation. As having been a child without too much information about my mom's condition, I can surely say I have lots of regrets. Wished I had known then, from her (how she feels, what she goes through) and from competent & kind people (like the ones in the PBC Foundation).


Thanks for your reply, its always good to see things from a different perspective. They are aware of the diagnosis, its just the impact on daily life. Think I need to take your advice and remind them from time to time


Just keep them in the loop about what's happening. Hopefully they will surprise you with their offer of help, although most of the time you will need to ask but when you do, they will support you because they love you. Sometimes they just don't think about the everyday things that need to be done. X


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