Dear Thelma: My sister doesn’t do her chores and I have to take over

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Dear Thelma,

I live with my parents and my younger sister.

Everything is fine, except my sister seems to be lazy or should I say enjoying it.

We share household chores which are assigned accordingly. She is in charge of cleaning the floor.

Sometimes there are shoes at the door. After having the floors cleaned, she would not return them to their original position. This happened continuously. My mom and I would have to if she didn’t.

I scolded her once. She retaliated by asking me to do it myself. I was stunned – how could she say such a thing!

So, I replied saying she should put them back in their original place – and she just walked away.

Other than that, when it comes to replacing/refilling things in our shared bathroom, things like empty toothpaste tubes, toilet paper, shower gel and shampoo, she just wouldn’t replace them not/would not fulfill them.

Instead, I had and still have to do it every time. When I voiced it, all I got was a nonchalant response, “He’s that kind of person and there’s no point in getting upset about it.”

I don’t calculate.

While this may seem like a trivial matter, all I need is for her to take on some basic responsibilities around the house and not just rely on others to clean up after her.I hope you can advise me on how I can cope with life with this sister. Thank you.

worked girl


Dear horny girl,

Thank you for writing about this, as it is a very hot topic. At first glance, this seems like a pretty simple problem. However, it’s the kind of “little thing” that fuels tempers and harms relationships. Unequal housework even breaks up marriages.

Cleaning and housekeeping issues can be rooted in conflicting needs, as well as respect and control.

When people share a space, the happiest solution is for them to share the work equally and do it without being told or reminded.

However, a key issue is that everyone has different standards of house cleaning. Some people want to clean floors and dust every day. Others don’t mind a few days apart. Some can live with a little dust; others cannot.

In addition, cleaning is a boring and endless job. As a result, many of us would prefer not to. When a person categorically refuses to do their fair share, there is injustice. This leads to anger and frustration. Additionally, those involved begin to argue for control.

This is where you and your sister are. She refuses to do her part, deliberately does her job poorly, and this leads to bad feelings. You are angry because it is unfair. You try to force her by scolding her.

Plus, you’re doing her job for her. Do you realize that what you do rewards his bad behavior?

Your sister has learned that if she doesn’t do her fair share, you will do it for her. All she has to do is sulk, then you nag her a bit and work on all the things she’s supposed to do.

This is clearly not acceptable.

I suggest these two paths to an equitable solution.

One method is to step back completely. You and your sister live in your parents’ house – parents make the rules, and parents should enforce them.

It’s not your job to raise your sister. Nor is it for you to scold her. Do your job and leave your sister to your mother and father.

If the shoes are everywhere, let your parents discipline her. If bathroom things are not replaced, leave them and let older people teach him. Stay out of it.

Another method is one that works for people who share apartments, such as college students and married couples. You sit down and point out (politely) that sharing a house means everyone is doing chores. It’s a question of respect.

However, since it can be very boring doing things you don’t really care about, chores are easier if you invest in the outcome. So, people who like clean floors mop and those who like to chop prepare food.

Make a list of what needs to be done and break it down as well as possible. With this method, care must be taken to distribute effort and time fairly.

Alternatively, you do it all one week and she does it all the next.

However you approach it, you can be sure that household chores will be an argument you will have many times in your life. So think carefully, get started and good luck to you!

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