Sunday 11 March 2012

Messy pre teens

Well we've tidied the bedroom.
When I say we, I mean I barked orders, 12yo got angry and hubby came in, shouted, reclaimed his stuff and stormed out muttering.
We found a hand saw, several items of crockery, a bin bag full of rubbish to throw out, a park town prawn, retrieved my camping table and a pile of chargers and USB cables, all of which was a complete surprise to son, esp the hand saw.

In the past I've tweeted about cleaning/tidying up after my kids and many of you ask 'why' and that I should install discipline and not tidy up after them.

But I live in the real world, they leave for school at 7am and don't get home till 3pm and then there's sports club and the heat to deal with. I don't do much between 3pm and sundown, it's too hot.

They do have chores like laying and cleaning the table, emptying and reloading the dish washer, sweeping the floors and iron their own school uniform and helping with the food shop.

But I supervise, I help them and it's a good way of spending some time together.

Weekends everything goes to pot. At 17 & 12 we can leave them at home while hubby and I go out and spend time together away from the kids. Saying that, we did all go out together last night for dinner and a show with friends.

I left 17yo looking after 12yo and his 9th friend while us two mums went to the cinema and for a coffee.

I returned to chaos, it was so bad I actually cried.

So 2hrs on we have a clean and tidy bedroom, TV has been banned after school, full stop and Internet time is now limited.

More importantly we now have a clean and tidy bedroom, a baseline to work from. I've installed storage boxes and removed stuff he's out grown and we have a clean slate.

I'm fed up of the arguing, the shouting and the fighting over it. Clear guidelines and sanctions are in place for future requests and my favourite sanction is...borrow something and don't return it, then I get to confiscate something of my choosing for 24hrs so hopefully he'll learn what happens when he borrows other people's things.


  1. I find keeping teenagers bedrooms clean is a losing battle, I just keep their door closed. If I find I am missing something, I will enter their den of messiness, look for the item, hopefully find it, then leave quietly, shutting the door behind me.