Thursday, December 09, 2004
Local Family make the news-
Parents Go On Strike, Move Out To Protest Messy Kids
Couple Striking Until Children Clean, Show Respect
POSTED: 12:14 am EST December 8, 2004
UPDATED: 10:28 am EST December 8, 2004
Two parents in Deltona, Fla., have moved out of their home and are living in a small tent in their driveway hoping to embarrass their children into cleaning up after themselves, according to Local 6 News.
Cat and Harlen Bernard said they were tired of their two children not helping out with chores around the house so they decided to go on strike.
The couple has been living in a small tent pitched in their driveway for about two days.
They want the strike to motivate their two children.
"They are 17 and 12 (years old), able bodied and nothing is more frustrating to me than when they expect everything to be done for them," Harlen Bernard said.
the Bernards said they'll continue their strike until their children help out and learn to appreciate their parents.
"We don't know if it's going to work, it's not like kids come with a rule book or instruction manual," Cat Bernard said.
After his first night in the yard, Harlan Barnard, 56, said he woke up feeling stiff, but liberated
"It was like I'd done something to take back my little corner of the world," he said.
Their children were confused on the first day when they came home from school. But their son, Ben Barnard, a senior at Deltona High School, said the parental strike is already having consequences.
"It's extremely inconvenient," Ben said. "Every time the phone rings, we have to run outside to give it to them."
A neighbor called a local radio call-in show on Tuesday, bringing attention to their strike. A teacher of their daughter, Kit, made a visit and the Volusia County Sheriff's office stopped by three times Tuesday night to check on the children.
Whether the couple's actions could be regarded as abandonment depends on how much guidance the parents are still providing and "if the children are suffering as a result," said Carrie Hoeppner, a spokeswoman with the Department of Children & Families in Orange County.
Ruth Peters, a Clearwater clinical psychologist and author who specializes in treating children and adolescents, said the tent tactic could easily backfire on the parents.
She doesn't expect the children to clean up the house or do any chores without their parents living under the same roof. And it could give the kids star status with their peers because they drove their parents out.
"All this does is inconvenience the parent. It doesn't inconvenience the kids at all," Peters said. "I can't imagine the kids begging their parents to come back."
Both children acknowledge they could do more to help out around the house. But they expect their parents to give up the stunt in a few more days.
But Cat Barnard says the strike may already be paying dividends. She noted that her daughter washed her own clothes for the first time on Tuesday.
With Florida's mild winter, a freezer full of frozen dinners and the children down to plasticware, the couples said they are ready to ride out the standoff.
"This is war," Cat Barnard said. "I love my babies, but I don't like what they're doing."
This is me- What do you all think? I can tell you that it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion that I would just LOVE to go on strike. If I hear " but I didn't make the mess" one more time, I'll just scream! ( oh wait, I have !!!!) I clean clothes, wash dishes, pick up stuff ad-nauseum that is not "mine". I realize that that is part of my job as a mother, but at 14 and 10, my elder kids should put in their fair share. They have chores- but have to be constantly "hounded" to do them. I had many more chores than each of them have ( I was an only child, I got ALL the chores- they get them "split" between them)and if I hadn't done them when expected, I got hell! I swear, I have left something on the floor- and it has stayed there for a week, before someone picked it up ( and it was usually me!) Anyone else have this problem- and if so, any ideas? Grounding,taking away priviages doesn't seem to work with mine, but whatever. Just something I was thinking about this morning.
Have a good day! Peace, KC
Invisioned on |8:21 AM|
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