Parents of pre-teens and younger kids would be horrified at the battles that lie ahead in an effort to keep a sane and sanitary home with teenagers. As parents of teens, the options to get them to clean often boils down to bribing or begging.
While the bribe and beg approach could work, the reality is for how long?
Instinctively the urge is to storm into their rooms and demand that they clean it up or else. Resist this urge! Instead follow our 4 quick tips for dealing with your teen.
Agree Upon “Clean” Passing Grade
Teens understand standards in the form of a “pass” or “fail”. So decide what’s mandatory such as making their bed every day; returning dirty dishes to the kitchen every day, putting away the laundry away on a schedule you would like – this could be once a week or every few days depending on your laundry schedule. Once you’ve settled on a few critical things that will make you happy as a parent ensure it is transparent to them and easily monitored so you continue to manage your collective standard of acceptance.
2. Explain the Difference between Slobbery & Sanitary
Messy room with piles of books and papers might be visually off-putting to you. But they are not unsanitary when compared to weeks old dirty plates that can be a great place for mold to hang out. Explain to your teen that mold, fungus, mites and other insects can multiply and result in very unhealthy environment for all. Go further to show how the cause (damp clothes, moldy dirty dishes) and effect (allergies, asthma are related. And even further to explain that some of the airborne germs can not only affect them in the confines of their room but everyone living in the home. It is important to also remind them that if they keep mixing clean and dirty clothes picked up from the floor pile they can also develop rashes and other problems – like jock itch- and no one wants that.
3. Respect your Teens’ Differences
Yes you may have given birth to them and expected a mini-you. Wrong!
Just because you do things one way doesn’t mean your kid will follow suit. He or she may just be less neat and organized than you may be. Respect that difference. Consider helping them from time to time – whether it is with laundry folding or general habitual things that that can copy. While doing this way before teenage-hood arrives is optimal, hopefully some will catch on. After all you wish them to learn and see if habit and practice your way rubs off on them. It often will.
4. Be Consistent
Many of us are easily manipulated by the delay tactics that many of our kids have mastered when it comes to chores. Stick to your guns about when things need to be done before the respective privileges are allowed. Until the “Clean” grade has been met then what they want to do will have to be delayed.
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