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Daughters bedroom

(38 Posts)
LifeLaundry Mon 09-Oct-17 10:31:23

I posted this in Chat last night, but didn't get any response. I've name changed for this but joined in 2007.

I know lots of people think their children's rooms are messy, but my sixteen year olds is absolutely disgusting. We've had a lot of problems with her which included social services and police involvement, and we have been told that her room is her sanctuary and we're not to go in there if that's what she wants.

But it's vile. It's as bad as you see on cleaning programmes on tv, it's filthy, and makes me feel sick that it's in our house. We offer her money to clean it, I'd willingly do it myself, or even get a cleaner to come in. She wants new Ikea furniture which we are happy to buy, once there's room to build it.

I feel like I'm at my wits end, and I feel shaky and pathetic writing this. I've seen posts like this before, accompanied by photos of perfectly fine rooms, with maybe a stray sock on the floor, but this is in a different league.

What can I do? Entering her room will cause so much anger and violence, but I can't just leave it any more.

OohMrDarcy Mon 09-Oct-17 10:37:59

If it was me (and I don't have a teen yet so may be wildly out!)

I would go buy the ikea furniture - when she is at school or something.

Head into her room in a hasmat kit wink and a load of binbags and sort it - don't get rid of any of her stuff.... but clear the rubbish - dirty crockery etc. Tidy what you can... then build the new furniture and sell it to her as a nice surprise?

corlan Mon 09-Oct-17 10:40:28

With the best will in the world, you have to leave it. I had a few years like this with my DD, and even when I made this such an issue that she actually cleaned her room, it was back to a worse state than ever within a couple of months.
DD just left home for University and she finally made an attempt to clear the room the night before she left.
I think you realise it's not about being lazy or dirty for your child, it's about a whole heap of other issues.

everymummy Mon 09-Oct-17 11:24:34

Having had a difficult and defensive teen, I understand how frustrating it is not to be able to go in and sort it out (in your own home no less!)

Your only hope seems to be this expressed wish for new furniture, so that is definitely an 'in'.

Perhaps your relationship is strained (in the wake of police and social service interventions) to the point where this is a battle you can't afford to fight. It's interesting that somebody, presumably in a professional capacity, has said that her bedroom is her sanctuary and you're not to go in. Is she using her room as somewhere she can recover her energy? My guess is that it's a place for her to fester. In our most difficult times with a depressed and troubled teenager, I always cleaned his room precisely because it is a healthier environment, in the same way I would always pay for him to do anything outside of the house.

Possible options, depending on how your conversations with her are going, could be trading off laundry/cups/rubbish brought downstairs/cleaning being done in return for items being placed in the ikea shopping basket with checkout when it's done and a contract to say that you can clean it once a week.

It's difficult to look at this issue in isolation. I relied on the book 'how to talk to teenagers so they listen and listen so they talk' but there are others.

What's the rest of your life with her like?

LifeLaundry Tue 10-Oct-17 12:24:07

Sorry it took me so long to get back. Thank you all for your replies

Just want to answer everything. We’ve tried going in when shes out before (it takes two of us a weekend), and shes come back and just trashed it again straight away, drawers pulled out, everything turned upside down, you just wouldnt believe it.

Yes we had social services intervention, I dont think the lady was actually a social worker but a support worker who came because i requested support after the police were called here by my older daughter. A year ago 16 year old broke her metal framed double bed, she chose a new one, it arrived and she knew that husband (her dad) would be coming home from work and building it. She knew she’d need to let him in to do it and knew it had to be done that night as our house isnt very big, not enough room for a bed and mattress to stay on the landing. Anyway once he got home she sId he couldnt come in, he said he had to, went in anyway, and she swung the metal frame at him, knocking out his two front teeth and cutting his head. Other daughter called the police, and she calmed down and allowed the bed to be built BUT within 6 months she had destroyed that too, and this time we replaced it with a single bed as we thought she’d have more space. So far it’s survived.

Our relationship with her is fine, she always says shes ‘going’ to tidy her room but I think its just too daunting. Ive tried to get her to do it in bits, ie give me all your washing and i’ll deal with it; get some bin bags and fill them with rubbish, etc? Baby steps, but its not even made a dent.

I try to do a bit of trading off - wifi will only be switched back on once Ive got plates, towels, spoons or whatever, but really I need to do a deep clean including shampooing or replacing the carpet.

I think you’re right Corlan, that its other issues. The policeman I spoke to said he thinks its a form of OCD, and hed heard of it before.

LifeLaundry Tue 10-Oct-17 12:28:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kingfishergreen Tue 10-Oct-17 12:36:46

It does sound like there's some disordered behaviour happening here. Here resistance (and violence) with regards to her room is pretty unusual.

But, and I hope this is in some way reassuring... I was a VERY messy teenager.

I had two foot-holes on the floor to get from the door to the bed.

Around me were clothes (clean and dirty), magazines, make-up trodden into the carpet, CDs out of their boxes, face-down under piles of other mess.

My parents would try to cajole me and threaten me with throwing it all away, they'd tidy in my absence, and nothing changed how messy I was.

Unlike your DD's room, I wasn't 'dirty' per se, though I did once leave a bowl of Supernoodles under my bed until it was completely unrecognisable, and when the house ran out of cutlery, you could bet your bottom dollar it was all in my room, stuck to the carpet.

As an adult I'm super tidy, my house is never ever messy. And although I feel like I'm naturally quite untidy, I take real pride in keeping my house immaculate.

I was a very unhappy teenager, I felt quite alone and 'different' to my peers (I didn't really have friends, or at least not ones I could trust and open-up to). I don't know if I was acting out in some way, or if I was keeping control of the only space I had control of, but it passed and I'm a functional and tidy mother, wife and have plenty of friends.

Caulkheadupnorf Tue 10-Oct-17 12:37:56

I had a bedroom like that as a teen. I’m still Messy now but not to the same level.

I was an incredibly unhappy teenager. I didn’t care enough to tidy it, and that no one would help me confirmed how worthless I felt. It sounds like your DD is angry, is the anger covering a sadness?

Do friends come round, and how do they react to it? Would she begin to tidy if someone sat in there with her?

MidLifeCrisis2017 Tue 10-Oct-17 12:40:16

I've got one like that but she's much older.........she's had terrible mental health issues. I've had to learn to ignore it and not intervene. It does get better but she's never going to be Marie Kondo!

misscph1973 Tue 10-Oct-17 12:43:56

OMG, OP, I thought I was messy as a teenager! Those photoes, that's just not acceptable. I know that is an easy things to say (my MIL used to say this a lot), but you can't allow that. You absolutely have to cut her of WiFi, pocket money or anything that could make her sort this out, or perhaps better let you help her sort it out, do it together. Good luck, I think you are going to need it.

corlan Tue 10-Oct-17 20:39:53

Now steady on LifeLaundry. It's not that bad - you can still see bits of the carpet in some of those photos! wink

schoolgaterebel Wed 11-Oct-17 10:14:56

That’s not normal.

It’s YOUR house.

Give her an ultimatum, it is cleaned by a certain day or you will do it yourself.

Enb76 Wed 11-Oct-17 10:24:05

I would leave it - tell her that plates and cutlery have to come out every morning or you will place a ban on food being eaten outside of the kitchen and that if she wants help to tidy, you will help her. I don't think going in yourself & cleaning is a good idea. I know it's your house but it's her nest and hiding place and whatever is going on in her head she feels safe there. This won't last forever, just shut the door on it.

wonderingstar01 Wed 11-Oct-17 17:49:48

That room is shocking by anyone's standards and I'm saying that as the mum of a DD with less than good tidy habits.

I would be telling her that the room is being overhauled and she needs to have the room tidied by xx day otherwise you'll assume it's all rubbish and you'll throw it out. In reality, I'd put everything into bin bags and put into the garage.

Tell her once the room has been cleaned properly, you can go together and choose some new furniture/carpet. Having an organised, clean, tidy personal space will perhaps help to bring about a new attitude in her.

LifeLaundry Wed 11-Oct-17 19:42:28

I went in there today. I know i shouldnt have but the smell was seeping out under the door, and i had to open her window. To get to the window required kind of skiing through piles of crap, so I ended up filling her double duvet cover (that wasnt on her duvet) with clothes and dragging them downstairs to wash. It hasnt even made a dent, but i’m going to finish this lot and go back for the next. I estimate Ive got six machine loads downstairs already.

The thing that upset me most wasnt treading on a used sanitary towel, or cuttinmg my ankle on a razor; but a brand new, still with labels on, pair of grey Nike leggings that we bought her for her birthday, covered in felt tip pen, where they’ve just been dumped on an uncapped pen, or had the pen dumped on them.

Shes staying with a college friend tonight, so we’re going to get all the rubbish out too and try to get rid of the smell at least.

I really appreciate all of you taking time to reply, and I understand those who say its her private space, and up until now we’ve tried to respect that. If she comes home and trashes it, at least we’ll know the underneath is clean.

misscph1973 Wed 11-Oct-17 19:57:16

I think you did well. And I so understand the thing with the leggings, that would have upset me, the disregard and ungratefulness for a present someone spent money on buying and time choosing.

I know she is a teenager, but especially teenagers need to know where the limits are. Could you have a daily check of the state of her room for a while, before she gets her phone/wi-fi access/similar?

wonderingstar01 Wed 11-Oct-17 20:07:23

I know you'll want to buy her things, in a way us mums sometimes do that in the hope there will be some positive emotion or gratitude from our DCs. But, I wouldn't buy her anything again. Does she have a part-time job? If she gets nothing from you, she'll have to earn her money and then maybe she'll have respect for the things she buys herself.

timeforabrewnow Wed 11-Oct-17 20:08:25

I don't think it's a good idea to put pictures up of your daughter's bedroom. I hope she doesn't see this thread.

forcryinoutloud Wed 11-Oct-17 20:29:39

I know it's her private space but I would say it is encroaching on your space if there is a bad smell. There is messy and there is dirty.

teaortequila23 Wed 11-Oct-17 20:44:07

Hey op my mum was a clean freak and I wasn't allowed for my room to get that bad but it probably would have.
She's a teenager she don't give a shit and tbh neither did I at that age.
I feel like she has too many clothes maybe ask her to go through them and give some away to charity.
The new leggings would upset me too but I wouldn't even mention it to her.
Get her the new ikea stuff and say let's redo your room some white paint and a makeup table I think once her room is gorgeous she will care enough to keep it half decent.
I think she feels like her room is basic so why keep it clean that's what I thought anyway.

Good luck! X

stripysleeves Wed 11-Oct-17 20:44:33

My room was like that as a teenager. My mum withheld any money from me for months. I didn't clean it as I didn't know how to stay foussed long enough to do it, but I wasn't able to articulate that at the time.

I've realised, nearly 30 years later that I have ADHD, it's still seriously affecting my life. Really I wish I'd known then, might have been able to do something about it.

Have you ever looked into ADHD?

Hufflepuff719 Wed 11-Oct-17 21:42:57

I would not go into DD's room, especially when she's not there, if this results in violence.

Like you said OP, I understand it's hard to copy with this in your house. I don't think I could buy new furniture if it is going to be ruined.

Maybe as DD grows up- wants to invite friends over, go to university, meet a partner- she will realise that living like she is in her room isn't right.

If you keep up a good example with the rest of the house- a clean and tidy home- she may understand and get the message.

Her room seems extreme to me but I do think that she needs to realise this for herself. I don't think nagging to clean will help this situation OP.

LifeLaundry Thu 12-Oct-17 11:28:38

We have had her assessed for adhd, as we thought, and her school thought she might have this. Initially we were told she did have this and she was prescribed a low dose of medication, and slowly the dose grew bigger and bigger, and her behaviour became more extreme, she wouldn’t eat and she was becoming a danger to herself so we stopped the medication (we had been told to only give it to her on School days, so we stopped it when she broke up) and almost over night her behaviour changed back. She calmed right down and began eating again, and was suddenly happy again. I know this might not have been solely due to the medication as there were other variables (school, food), but we are pretty sure the medication didnt help. Her Camhs doctor supported us and has since said that he doesnt believe she has adhd, but the bad behaviour might just be immaturity.

Sorry for rambling

LifeLaundry Thu 12-Oct-17 11:37:13

timeforabrewnow can I just ask why its a bad idea to post pictures of her room? I badly needed some other perspectives, and would not show these pictures to family and friends as I wouldnt want them to judge her. Strangers seeing it is completely different. Its also extremely unlikely she will ever see this post. I took the chance because everyones idea of what a disgusting teenagers room looks like is different - probably the only ones we see nowadays belong to our own children so we dont have anything to compare with.

LinoleumBlownapart Thu 12-Oct-17 11:54:57

Only wanted to add that her room in that state will contribute to depression and aggression because it may seem on the surface like she doesn't care but seeing that everyday will make her feel low and overwhelmed. I understand that actually getting it cleaned is difficult. Her room should be her sanctuary but in that state it is likely contributing to the problem. She's not letting you in and her aggression at you entering I bet is because she is both aware and ashamed of the state of her room. No matter what it seems like. No one likes to be seen at their most vulnerable.
I agree that a new room might help. Have you tried 10 minutes a day, like give her a bin bag and say fill it for 10 minutes only and then leave it outside the door. It would give her control and privacy and it's not the overwhelming task of cleaning the whole room. The Ikea bedroom could be the motivation, I appreciate this is much easier said than done.

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