When the clutter climbs to epic proportions and you haven’t seen her bedroom floor for months, it may be time to have a talk with your teenager about proper bedroom maintenance. Sure, adolescents are busy these days, but that shouldn’t mean that she allows chaos to take over in her bedroom. With the right kind of encouragement, you can succeed in motivating your teenager to keep her room cleaner.
Discuss the issues with your teenager to communicate your concerns. Stay calm and talk respectfully as you discuss the bedroom cleanliness. By speaking openly and honestly about the situation and striving to resolve it, you help create an environment of communication and trust in your family, states extension specialist Shannon L. Sachs, with the Ohio State University. Your teen is more likely to listen to your concerns and respond positively when you treat her with respect.
Describe how you would like you teen to maintain her room. Keep your expectations realistic, however. If you are a neatnik and your youngster hasn’t worn matching socks for years, it may be best to meet somewhere in the middle to help everyone feel happier. You might say, “I would really like all dirty dishes returned to the kitchen every evening and dirty clothes placed in the hamper at the very least. If you do more than this, great.”
Ask your teen if she needs help organizing clutter. Perhaps she’s having storage issues and needs some shelves or bins. You might be able to provide suggestions and guidance for maintaining her room and organizing her items. Maybe she needs help sorting items and getting rid of some things, too. If your teen’s room has become exceedingly messy, she may not know how to restore order. It might help if you work with her initially to work through the worst of the mess.
Set an example of neatness and organization for your teen to see. Keep your home and your bedroom tidy and clean, and it’s likely that your adolescent will learn from your positive example, states educator Marie Hartwell-Walker, writing for PsychCentral.
Add room maintenance to your teenager’s household responsibilities. Whatever standards and expectations you described to your teen should become part of her chores. Household chores are often beneficial for teenagers because they help teach life skills and responsibility, states psychologist Fred Provenzano, writing for the National Mental Health and Education Center.
Connect a consequence for household chores not completed. By instituting consequences, you teach responsibility and you teach your child that you will hold her accountable to perform her duties, recommends educator Sara Bean, writing for the Empowering Parents website. Perhaps your teen won’t be able to use her cellphone until she completes her bedroom chores, or maybe she cannot use the family computer until after she finishes her work.