Giving someone a taste of their own medicine is always the quickest way to get the message through, whether they like it or not.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she was wrong for using weaponized incompetence to make a point to her son. She wrote:
I am so tired. My son (15) has been messing up all of his chores on purpose, I started to teach him how to cook more complex stuff and other stuff ( like proper deep cleaning, how to clean the bathroom well, laundry…think grown up chores). He messes up, at first I thought he was just having a harder time so I spent more time on it with him.
It was driving me insane because I tried so many ways to teach him and I was getting quite frustrated. I even went to book an appointment to see if he ADHD or something. I canceled it after I heard him talking with his friend bragging how he got out of his chores by messing them up. I sat him down and talked to him and he denied that, saying he doesn’t get it.
He went as far as say it wasn’t a big deal he can’t do it. So after I have been messing up his stuff on purpose to show how much of an inconvenience it is. For example forgot to turn on the dryer so he had wet clothes. We got in an argument today thinking I am a huge jerk and that he knows I am doing it on purpose.
I told him that's the point and I won’t stop until he does his stuff correctly. He won’t talk to me and my husband is on his side.
Since your husband is on his side, let him handle the chores originally assigned to your son.
"Oh, dinner isn't on the table? Well, that's too bad. Guess I will be having some fancy meal I had premade for tomorrow! You would like to have some? Sorry, won't do, there is only enough for myself. I'm selfish? Nope, just hungry. You want something to eat? There is the kitchen, help yourselves."
"Oh, your room isn't clean? Well here is the mop. Trash hasn't been taken out? Gosh, the smell in your room must be horrendous. You didn't clean the bathroom? Yeah, I figured you had a number two, the smell made it quite obvious. Your laundry isn't done? How so, when the washer and dryer are right here?"
Be snarky and unapologetic about it. They're not ready to put in their fair share of work? Well, that's too bad, neither are you. And tell your son that a 15-year-old who does not know how to clean a toilet, to do his laundry or to cook a simple meal twice a month is ridiculous and borders on pathetic.
And OP responded:
It truly was driving me insane why he was messing up. Like I got messing up or mixing the wrong chemical the first time. But I started to use sticky notes. I removed the bleach so he wouldn’t make mustard gas. Like the floor cleaner says floor cleaner and he used it in the sink. I probably should have seen what he was doing sooner but I truly thought he was having issues.
NTA- you have a husband problem tho. Does he do his chores or do you do it all? I would either talk to him and be fully honest with him. If you WANT to get a point across to both in a more extreme way, you could just stop cleaning up and cooking except for YOUR things. Cook and buy groceries only for you. Do your dishes and put them up someplace that’s just accessed by you. Do only your laundry.
Clean only your things. (If you have pets include them in this obviously please). If he’s under 18, really just do medical stuff for your son and that’s it. Also, get him into therapy if you can. There may be more going on but sometimes teens are just not wanting to do stuff and do anything to get out of it. Therapy can still help regardless.
NTA. He may think you’re slacking as a parent but, in fact, you are teaching him a very valuable lesson as a parent - don’t be an AH and learn to be a part of a household with responsibilities.
Given your husband’s view, maybe your ‘incompetence’ should extend to him. Either do a subpar job on your responsibilities or abdicate them completely. After all, if your son is allowed to half- or no-a*s it at everybody’s expense, why cannot you?
And OP responded:
I'm confused with my husband on this, he does pull his weight with the chores so I don’t understand why he is backing up our son on this. I know he wants our kid to be a kid but kids do chores.
NTA my parents inspected my chores and I got to redo them if they were not properly done the first time. Learned pretty quick not to mess it up or it would just take longer and longer to fix it.
NTA. He is messing things up on purpose and your husband is on his side? I do not get it. He is lazy, manipulative, and lying to your face, why would your husband be OK with that? He needs serious consequences. Stop doing things for him. He can do his laundry and cook for himself from now on.
Clearly, OP is NTA - it's important she doesn't let her son get away with this behavior.