It’s true; teens can learn to clean their room without attitude.
You just finished scrubbing the floors for two hours, when suddenly, your teen barges through the door with muddy shoes on. Panic sets in as your beautiful clean white floors are about to become a thing of the past. Oh No!
Sounds like a scene from a parent’s bad dream, right? I know it’s frustrating to try and keep some kind of cleanliness and order in your home when living with teens. With the hustle and bustle of your own life, keeping the house clean is a challenge at best.
Why is it you work so hard to keep your house clean only to have your teenager mess it up again? And why is your teenager’s room always so messy? Pondering these questions can lead you to thinking there must be a better way.
Understandably, you’ve got enough cleaning to do and your teenager should be responsible, at the very least, for their own bedroom. So how do you get your teenager to keep their room clean and neat without having to butt heads every time? Believe it or not, there are ways to get the help you need from your teenage house mate.
Here are 7 tips to get you started in the right direction:
* Teach them Early – To begin with, teaching a child how to clean up after themselves is much easier than trying to instill these lessons to a teenager. If they learn at an early age how to be organized, it will become routine by the time they reach their teenage years. Over time, keeping their things in the proper place becomes a habit and they will get used to order in their life. To maintain this habit, the only thing they may require from you is an occasional reminder. If you haven’t taught your teen to be neat, or to pick up their room, don’t despair, it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks.
* Practice What You Preach – If you don’t mind a messy house, neither will your teenager. Like it or not, we parents set an example. We can’t get too upset if they exhibit the same bad habits we have. If they see you making an effort to keep the house clean and presentable, they will be more inclined to keep their room clean and neat as well.
* Help Them – Yes, that’s right! You need to actually go into their room and show them how to clean and organize it correctly. A great way to help them is to make sure they have a few places to store their things. This could be putting up shelves, buying storage containers, for under the bed, or hooks to hang jackets and shirts in the closet. Quickly, they will come to realize, it’s much easier to stay organized and keep their room neat, rather than letting it go, which can take hours to clean. Not a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
* Give Them Incentives – A great way to get your teen to respond and cooperate is by offering incentives. People like to be rewarded for a job well done and teens are no exception. Why not give them a reason to do a good job and feel proud of their clean room? Some ideas you may consider are giving some cool new boxes for storage, or what about getting them that funky new clock they’ve always wanted? These little rewards will go a long way to help them want to keep their room neat and clean.
* Communication is Key – Asking your teen what they think, will help them feel respected and part of the decision making process. When you get around to asking them to clean their room, they may not want to do it right away and that’s OK. You can explain to them that you understand, but they still have to do it. It’s part of being responsible. Try to come to an agreement and work together to figure out the best time to accomplish this task.
* Give Them A Reasonable Time Frame – It’s not a good idea to march into their room and tell them they aren’t going anywhere until it’s cleaned up. That’s not fair. Make sure you give them a reasonable deadline as to when you want it done. Maybe they will find it easier to do a little each day for two or three days. Make sure they are very clear you expect them to stick to the deadline and they will be rewarded for doing so.
* Try to Stay Calm – Teenagers may not have a clean room on the top of their ‘To-Do List,’ but if you are relaxed about it, your teen is more likely to get it done. (Trust me on this one.) Work together to achieve your goal and it’s a whole lot easier and a lot more fun.
You don’t have to battle with your teen every time they’re asked to clean their room. Use these simple suggestions to help establish your expectations and work together to ensure a smooth process.
Soon enough, you will walk into your teen’s CLEAN room and wonder who moved in!
Leigh LaCava is the Publisher of www.ilovemyvacuumreviews.com. Leigh lives in Los Angeles with her husband Jeff and 15 year old daughter, Ava.