Advanced search

How much does a tidy bedroom matter?

(25 Posts)
lilibet Fri 04-Mar-05 13:19:56

ok,so he isn't a teenager yet, he's 11, but he certainly acts like one!

We have a lot of arguments with Ds1, and I feel that we are making his life a misery, they tend to be split between his schoolwork (or lack of it), we have the school involved in this, and his untidy bedroom. This is a seriously untidy room, and I am tempted to say to hell with it and go with the 'it's his room, he can mess it how he wants' theory. The main drawback with this is that on his floor are the majority of his clothes, clean and dirty, and he has no problem at all with putting on clothes that are totally filthy and going out in them and of course I feel that this reflects on me. one of the main ground rules in the house is that when you have done your homeword and your room is tidy you can then watch tv/go on the xbox. This boy hasn't been on the x box for weeks as he just quite happlily sits there in his mess doing nothing, regardless of how much trouble he gets in and what other threats are made/carried out.

If I surrender and tidy it for him, I will then get grief from the other two who have to tidy their rooms and I can't do ot for one without doing it for th e other two.

ScummyMummy Fri 04-Mar-05 13:34:35

Does he know how to tidy, lilibet? I think sometimes it gets so messy that kids get overwhelmed and don't know where to start! I did (and do).

lilibet Fri 04-Mar-05 13:47:54

oh, yes sometimes we 'break' and go in and do it with him and then we can say - 'look it's taken three of us 10 minutes each'

I think he lets it get that messy it overwhenlmes him. and it can get that messy in a day!!

oxocube Fri 04-Mar-05 13:53:18

Its hard isn't it. I remember really resenting my mum asking me to tidy my room as I thought of it as my personal space and said she should simply shut the door and not look at the mess!! Now I have grown up, I know its not that simple - it might have been my room but it was her house! I tidy my kids' room every day, usually with help from the older 2 and it only takes us about 5 min for each room. Sorry, this isn't helping much!

oxocube Fri 04-Mar-05 13:54:14

Kids' rooms, that should say. They don't all sleep in one!!

HappyDaddy Fri 04-Mar-05 13:58:07

Also you're balancing that with a growing child's need for private space. When he starts meeting girls and they tell him his clothes are smelly and dirty, he'll soon sort it out!
How about you tell him that he has to bring clothes down regularly but the rest of the mess is upto him. A bit of a compromise?

Potty1 Fri 04-Mar-05 14:27:35

As a mother of two teenagers who share a room (can you imagine!!) and a pre-teen daughter I'd say forget it - you're swimming against the tide with that one

My one piece of advice to parents of teens is to pick your battles - laying the law down over stuff thats illegal/dangerous/unhealthy etc is much more important than their personal hygiene or the tip that they call a bedroom.

lilibet Fri 04-Mar-05 14:29:48

I know what you mean potty1, in the scheme of things his homework is so much more important, but it does really get me down

fostermum Fri 04-Mar-05 18:43:04

im with you all the way potty1 pick battles worth fighting over,his friends or a girl will tell him he pongs and problem will be solved,dirty rooms are a pain but not life threatning

saffy202 Sun 06-Mar-05 20:38:33

I sympathise Lillibet. My 11 year old can wear 3-4 outfits a day and without fail they end up on his bedroom floor. Socks too are just flung off his feet and land where-ever. It then becomes my problem when he moans he has no clean socks. I tell him everyday that if he just tidied up a little it wouldn't get to the stage of overwhelming him.

Now and then he will tidy it up - normally when I lose the plot and really start ranting and raving. I just resent the fact that my days off are spent tidying up after him - like Thursday spent a couple of hours sorting through his stuff and today it just looks the same as it did before

I could die if he wants to invite his friends into play as like you say I feel it reflects on me

fostermum Mon 07-Mar-05 07:26:01

actually if he invited some friends home they proberly wouldnt notice as there rooms would be just the same, if he moans about no clean socks let him!show him where the washing machine is and tell him if he cant find the wash basket then your not doing it for him and he will have to wash them his self, usually puts the frightners on for a while!does he have a washing basket in his room of his own?

saffy202 Tue 08-Mar-05 21:42:13

Yes he has a washing basket in his room - however he then thinks he can just throw his entire wardrobe in there and that's his 'tidying up'. So if he wore something for half an hour and it was perfectly clean - in the basket it would go!

I wised up to that trick when the amount of washing quadrupled.

fostermum Wed 09-Mar-05 06:31:24

think i would show him the washing machine and how it works then tell him till he stops changing his clothes every few hours,he can wash his own!

redsky Tue 15-Mar-05 16:24:44

In the grand scheme of life I rate messy bedrooms pretty low in priorities - I'd save the arguments for more important issues. But I'm no expert re teenagers - see 'anxious ds thread'. Good luck!

kama Tue 15-Mar-05 16:29:07

Message withdrawn

Lara2 Tue 15-Mar-05 22:55:06

I'd put tidy bedrooms at the bottom of the pile. As a teenager (and a student) you could never see my bedroom floor. My mum used to open the door, hoover the 2 inches of carpet that she could and leave it at that. I'm not particularly untidy now, expect the communal areas to be tidy - but they have to have their own space - and do the upkeep of their own accord. One day, I won't be there, and I'm certainly not phoning them up to check!

edenverity Thu 21-Apr-05 14:41:36

my 3 girls are th untidiest ever! I keep on at then to clear up. No chance. Old food, dirty washing, dirty floors etc

wilbur Thu 21-Apr-05 15:00:04

I don't think a spotless room is required, esp from a teenager, but I do think that basic strategies for tidiness need to be taught to children who struggle to be naturally tidy and organised. I say this as a lifetime untidy domestic disaster who really struggles to keep my home from being utterly disgusting. I absolutely identify with your ds's sense of being too overwhelmed to do anything. I can't help wondering if, instead of yelling at me about my armpit of a bedroom, my mother had sat down and worked out some simple formulas/reminders/solutions it might not have got so out of hand. Instead of doing tidying for him, or even with him, what about breaking the mess down into categories (dirty clothes, clean clothes, books, school papers, toys etc) and then writing a simple reminder list on the back of the door about where each category goes? ie: at the end of each day, any clothing on the floor goes in the laundry basket, when clothes come into your room from the laundry they must go away immediately or they will be confiscated for a week no matter how much you like that sweatshirt, books go on these two shelves, school papers go on desk in a folder etc etc. Say there are ten category reminders on his list, even if he only manages five a day, it's still going to help him (and you) cope better.

SoBlue Wed 18-May-05 21:35:53

Both my teens were messy but we had a rule about dirty washing and dirty plates being brought out for hygiene reasons. The punishment was not having any clean clothes to wear (cos all on floor)and not being able to eat/drink upstairs. The rest was left and tidied once a week with the help of incentives e.g less pocket money if room isn't tidy or not going out or anyone in till its done at weekend.

jampots Wed 18-May-05 21:51:55

my dd is 12 and she has an allowance of £40 per month and all she has to do is keep up to date with homework/get good grades and keep her room tidy which I dont think is a lot. However, she is still a little off the mark with regards to my tidiness standard but every so often I will clear out from under her bed and from under her desk and just dump it all in the middle of her floor - it soon goes away. That said, I went to my friend's house the other week and her ENTIRE house was in such a shithole and she wasnt in the least bit bothered so wondered then whether I was making a big thing of it.

JoolsToo Wed 18-May-05 21:52:48

£40 a month mine got 50 p a week LOL!!!!

jampots Wed 18-May-05 21:55:02

she needs it to buy crack Jools

SleepyJess Wed 18-May-05 21:55:15

Cripes.. my 12 year old only gets £10 a fortnight in pocket money .. and a extra fiver for any praise letters sent home from school. (All students gets them fairly regularly.)

He is pretty good with tidying his room when I ask him. Especially since he has to share it with his 4 year old brother who has SN and trashes is regularly including DS1's stuff! He makes both their beds every morning.

Milliways Wed 18-May-05 22:28:11

My DD is on a school holiday at the moment - so I have taken the opportunity & completely spring cleaned her room. Not one thing on the floor or under bed etc.

How long do you think it will last

starshaker Wed 18-May-05 22:47:42

have u tried offering to help him do it this might help or do what my mum did once and that was put everything into a bin bag and tell him ur gonna throw it out if he doesnt sort it. (obviously dont but dont give it back till hes willing to sort it) it worked for her and i tidied it so i didnt lose all my personal stuff

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »