If like me you have a couple of messy teenagers in your household, you may be at a loss as to how to get them to clean their rooms. As teenagers, all they seem to care about is music, movies, friends, social media, gaming and fashion. They want the latest gadgets and gizmos, yearn to be popular at school and are seemingly stuck to their tablets like limpets for hours each day trying to enhance their online following. Cleaning their bedroom is the last thing on their minds even if there are some week old slices of pizza under the bed and some mouldy mugs of tea on their window sill. Try not to worry. There are ways in which you can encourage your offspring to shape up and sort their rooms out.
While you shouldn’t have to bribe your child to do the right thing, a little bit of gentle persuasion never does any harm. If you know that your little cherub adores heading onto the Xbox at the weekend, suggest to them that their gaming privileges could be extended to Friday evenings as well if they clean their room. You may want to try another option and remove some much taken for granted privileges away. Don’t threaten, merely demonstrate their reliance on you as it crops up. You may have asked them to make their bed, they have chosen to ignore your request and yet need a lift to the cinema to meet up with their friends. This is the ideal time to bargain for what you require them to do, and this strategy usually works like a charm.
Have a family meeting once a week. This doesn’t have to be super formal and shouldn’t involve you spending a set amount of time talking down to your kids or giving instructions. Instead, share your thoughts as a family. Collectively construct a contract that every family member signs up to detailing responsibilities when it comes to cleanliness and clutter. Teenagers can struggle with the most basic of tasks so help them by getting them some fitted bed sheets for when they make up their beds, easy to use cleaning wipes and fragrant smells to mask adolescent odours. Always encourage them to keep their bedroom windows open and hang a Tag Fresh on their door handle to help keep any nasty odours at bay.
You cannot possibly expect your child to be neat and tidy if you don’t do the household chores every week and you allow your common living areas to become messy and unclean. Try to lead by example and follow a simple cleaning routine each week, maybe look at giving them a task of my Cleaning Calendar. The chances are that your offspring will respect the high expectations that you set and follow your example. Also, give praise and positively reinforce their cleaning and tidying when you head up to their room. They will appreciate the acknowledgement and feel like their effort is valued.
In answer to the question that makes up the title of this blog post, the dreaded teenage bedroom may not ever truly be clean considering that they are… well… teenagers. However, you can encourage your little darlings to be more proactive in maintaining their personal living spaces. Sometimes a simple affordable bedroom makeover will really kick them into touch.