I’m facing an age-old problem and I need answers. At what point do you intervene and tidy your child’s bedroom on their behalf? Should you even consider doing this or does it simply create problems in later life?
Do I stage an intervention the moment I see a stray crayon on the floor? Should I offer tidiness training every time I discover a wet towel on the floor (that would involve a LOT of training)? Alternatively, do I wait until I can’t see the floor at all?
It’s a problem I’m sure all us mums and dads face. I hate it when my kids’ bedrooms are untidy. I find it just saps my energy when I walk into an untidy room and it must do the same to them.
Sometimes my kids are really good and I walk into a their rooms and find them superbly clean and tidy. Other times, they’re, erm, not so clean and tidy.
I desperately didn’t want to make this blog post about Covid-19 (a subject I’m writing about a lot at the moment), but I am noticing the untidiness a lot more while we’re all locked inside our houses for so much time each day. It’s hardly surprising my kids’ bedrooms are messier than normal but, wow, does it take an impressive amount of effort to keep on top of all this stuff.
As part of our homeschooling day, Helen and Izzy are supposed to spend some time tidying each day. Most days they do, but it’s still not enough to keep things to the standard I’d like it.
That said, I have to recognise their limits. Aged eleven and seven, they’re never going to leave their rooms spotless and get the furniture polish out. What I usually end up doing is telling them that we’re all going to tidy up together. When they see mum and/or dad tidying up with them, it becomes much less of a chore.
This, of course, is the challenge isn’t it? If youngsters think tidying up is a chore, they’re avoid doing it as much as they possibly can. That’s just human nature.
The flip side, of course, is that if you do too much for your kids, they won’t develop the independence and skills to live on their own. When the day comes and they do fly the nest, they’ll be in for a shock.
I don’t know what the answer is. I’m not even sure there is an answer.
What concerns me is that the teenage years are just on the horizon. Let’s face it, teenagers aren’t exactly renowned for being tidy.
I simply think Mrs Adams and I need to ensure the kids do a fare share of housework for their age. For now, I think that will mean helping them keeping their rooms tidy. This, I should add, is entirely different from making sure they do a fare share of household chores. That’s a blog post for another day.
Tell me ‘though, is this an issue in your house? Do you have incredibly motivated children with spotless bedrooms? Maybe you have kids who live in a jungle and you’re happy for them to do so? Whatever your story, do leave me a comment below. It’s interesting to hear how different families handle these common issues.