There is hope for parents of adolescents who never clean their room.
Clean your room!
While the fruit flies, fungi, and pungent odor are gaining the upper hand in the adolescent rooms, my wife Nathalie thought there was nothing to do about the chaos there. But she got another glimmer of hope that one day the puberty rooms will be spic and span.
In attempts to get to the bottom of the adolescent, we still encounter inexplicable phenomena. For about three years now, I’ve been wondering how those kids of mine can even live in that mess in their rooms. My sixteen-year-old son likes to stay between the packets of leaflets from his leaflet district, his soccer clothes he took off after training, and his school books. I regularly ask him, ‘How in God’s name can you work here?’ when I find him back there on the bed with the curtains closed and the dirty socks on the windowsill.
No difference between boys and girls
With my daughter, the chaos is not less but different. Apart from the clothes on the ground, I regularly find remains of experiments with mucus and putty. And although she doesn’t use makeup, there are many toiletries on her desk like deodorant and lens fluid. I also regularly ask her why it’s such a mess in her room.
Fruitflies and molds
Of course, we kindly ask them to clean up the mess, and we use drastic means such as coercion and bribery. While the fruit flies, fungi, and pungent foot odor make the puberty rooms unlivable, we often hear that our loved ones can’t do anything about it with that soup head with its underdeveloped frontal lobe. But there’s more to it. I read the book ” Your Teenager Is Not Crazy” by Jerusha Clark today. Adults and parents look at a conflict in a completely different way, she writes. “It’s the adults who are stressed by arguments that have to do with everyday things ‘that are too silly to talk about: everyone just has a task in the house, and cleaning out the dishwasher is part of it…’.
As parents, we make a moral distinction between ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ Clark argues. “These are value judgments about traditions, social customs, and core values. Our teenagers are not at all concerned with that. They only see decisions as a matter of personal choices. They can’t do otherwise because the teenager has no insight at all into the deeper meaning of ‘how it’s done’ and ‘how we’ve always done it.’
I sleep there, so I decide.
So your teenager may find it completely unfair for his parents to decide what their room looks like. Indeed that’s something he can decide for himself? In this reasoning line, my son often says that he doesn’t mind and then always yells, ‘What difference does it make? Not him, but for me. But it does not help if you appeal to ‘how to hear things.’
Jerusha Clark advises you to help your adolescent reason so that he will realize that something is more convenient to do. You help your adolescent, as it were, to see the consequences of his actions, or in this case, not acting. Humour, irony, and understatements help in this. You can, according to Jolles, for instance, ask whether he finds it useful to keep the banana peel. Or, in my son’s case, ask if he wouldn’t rather play soccer in a clean shirt.
Reference: Your Teenager Is Not Crazy
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