Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Parent to Parent: Messy Room
It's a familar fight in just about every household. Parents and children battling over a messy bedroom. But in tonight's Parent To Parent, Dr. Debbie shows us you can get your kids to clean-up without a fight.
WSVN--Carolina Gonzalez is a ten-year-old with a great sense of style.
Fashion comes easy to her, but cleaning her room is another story.
Carolina: "I never like to throw anything out. For me it's memories, for other people it's trash."
And her memories usually end up under the bed...
In the closet...
Or stuffed in a drawer.
For Carolina out of sight is out of mind and it drives her mom, Andrea, crazy.
Andrea: "She's been a messy girl since she was born. For me that room is a pig sty. I couldn't live like that and I bother her all the time to pick it up."
Seven News parenting expert Dr. Debbie Glasser says messy rooms are usually the outcome of kids developing a drive to claim their own domain.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "They are really seeking independence and a sense of control over their lives and one way where kids seek that sense of control is by keeping the room the way they feel comfortable."
But unfortunately, parents aren't always comfortable with a cluttered room.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "Chances are most teen rooms don't look like the cover of home decorating magazine. So take a step back and figure out how much of this can you let go and how much of this is really crossing the family line."
If your child's room is very messy, break down the cleanup into smaller tasks so it's not overwhelming.
Buy a few containers to help them get organized.
Then work out a schedule for cleanup days.
You can also motivate them by rewarding them for a job well done.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "It's really an oppotunity for parent to step in first and say it seems like you're having some trouble here let me see how I can help."
But make sure you're clear about what's acceptable and what's not.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "Keep you expectations low and know that every teen has a unique comfort level for the way that they live. For example, some teens thrive in a little organized chaos. Their desks don't have to overly neat for them to be useful to them."
And as a last resort - consider teaching your children the consequences of having a messy room.
For example, don't clean their clothes and don't pick up after them.
Then hopefully soon, they'll miss having mom the maid
Carolina is cleaning up her act.
But she's not doing it alone.
Her mom has decided the best way to learn is to do it together.
Andrea: "I try to tell here that if she's organized and keeps everything in it's place it's going to last longer, look better and be better for her in the long term."
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