Thanks for writing into us today. Many children are assigned chores in their home because as a family you guys are a team. Everyone is expected to pitch in and do their fare share of work to keep the house a "home". If you feel the duties are unfair or unreasonable, talk to your parents about it and explain why. If they disagree, perhaps talk with them about ways to make your duties less stressful on you.
Maybe you can divide some of your chores up before and after school. Maybe you can do some chores after school and one or two before bed. You're right that your number one responsibility is to be a student so it's important that you manage these responsibilities as well. As far as the chores "passing inspection", pay attention to what your father expects so that you can hopefully get his approval the first time. Having to re-do a chore only takes more time and energy which from the sound of it, is something you don't have much to spare.
Being 16, you will soon be on your own and will need these skills of organization and time management. Your current responsibilities are preparing you for this time because when you have your own place you too will need to manage house duties as well as work or student duties. True, you might not have the same expectations as your father does but it will be your home and therefore your choice how you choose to clean it.
The fact that this situation has caused you so much stress and emotional downfall is very concerning to us. Reaching out for help is a great way to deal with a situation like this, hurting yourself is not. Again, being 16 we can understand the pressure that is often put on you from home and school. Finding healthier ways to cope with the stress is something others can help you with. Your teachers, parents, and counselors all want to see you succeed so reach out to them and let them know that you are struggling right now. Chances are, things are only going to become more stressful as you get ready to graduate and continue on to college so learning how to deal with the stress now is very important before things become worse.
Stephanie, Crisis Counselor