So Your Teen’s Bedroom is a Mess
Do you have a teenager, and her room is driving you crazy? Maybe the bathroom is even worse: it smells like gym socks or is covered in make-up and hair bands. The days of the perfectly made bed seem far away, and you have lowered the bar way down to “Can you please not leave food on the floor where the dog will get it?” You wonder, “Where did I go wrong?”
The answer may very well be, “You didn’t!” As with many aspects of teenage life, the spaces that teenagers inhabit are often chaotic. On the list of priorities, cleaning up is pretty far down. I know. I have two teenage girls, and with a professional organizer as their mother, they have surely been taught better! But in my years of observing them, I’ve come to two conclusions. First, their unwillingness to clean up is not a personal vendetta against a parent or an intentional sign of rebellion. Second, the situation may not improve for a long time, so you need to find ways to “negotiate” some boundaries you can both live with. This post will address the first point … check back soon for tips on the second.
The first reality we need to embrace is that when a teenager leaves his room in a state of disorder, he most likely isn’t trying to upset you. Rather, his room is just the symptom of the chaos going on in his life. Most teens are spending all of their energy on trying to balance the wide variety of pressures they are facing, and the mess in the room just doesn’t scream back at them (you may, but the mess doesn’t!) They may be keeping late hours, either because they need to do school work, their schedules are packed, or they aren’t managing their time well. Many teens find their body clocks shift and they can’t fall asleep, so they sleep until the last possible minute in the morning (translated “no time to make the bed”). Or your daughter has started showering in the morning, and she spends so much time straightening her hair that she barely takes time to eat. Teenage activity is similar to the behavior we exhibit when we are in a crisis situation. If the hospital calls and says my father had a heart attack, I probably wouldn’t take the time to polish the sink before dashing off the ER. For many teens, each day seems to be full of “calls from the hospital.”
About Seana Turner –
Seana founded The Seana Method in 2010 because she wanted to help people. She was saddened by the many people in her life who complained that their spaces were a mess, their schedules were out of control, and they felt overwhelmed by their “stuff”. In a society where accumulation of wealth had always been linked to high quality of life, Seana was seeing that the direct opposite was happening.
Over time she developed The Seana Method, and since her launch has found great joy in helping others realize the freedom that organization can bring to life. She now lives in the New York metro area with her husband and two daughters.
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