If you ask around, you will find that home cleaning is one of the hardest things to do as parents of teenagers. There are some truly disgusting sights that a parent can witness in their child’s room. The worst part is that they may feel powerless to address the issue, as their teen might not seem to care at all about cleaning.
If you are a parent in a similar situation, you may hope that your child will learn some cleaning naturally. They may be horrified after finding their favourite jeans covered in mildew at the bottom of the laundry pile. Maybe they will come to their senses, but maybe they won’t. You will probably need to adopt a more direct approach. Here are few suggestions in that regard:
- Set some standards – before anything else, you must first set the standard you want your teenager to follow. Don’t just say that they should clean their room. Instead, define what a ‘clean room’ actually means. How often should they clean it? Don’t just make some rules on the fly, because that will get you nowhere. You need to think out thorough standards that your teen will not be able to find loopholes in. That is the only solid base upon which to build on.
- Make some compromises – it is obvious that you cannot win every battle. With that in mind, handling your teen a list of 20 chores is likely going to result in a fight and nothing done. So instead of doing that, you should maybe settle for a few chores that are more important to you. That way you will up your chances of coming to terms with the child.
- Talk with your whole family – there is one way to ensure everyone does their fair share of house cleaning and that is to discuss it together. Make it a habit of meeting with every member of the family, perhaps once every week. Use that time to discuss your teen’s chores and what they should do around their room. Again, make sure your instructions are clear.
- Take some of the load – you cannot expect to just make demands. Your teen will never follow your rules that way. Instead, you can share some of the chores with them. For example, you can agree to wash the dishes, only if they help you bring them down to the sink.
- Some extra responsibility – at times it could be better to just increase your teen’s responsibilities. It could be the case that your teen’s mess is so bothersome for you because you are the one cleaning it up. Change things around: make your child do the laundry. There will be no conflicting point over which to battle and the child will be made aware of the consequences of their actions.
As a parent, you need to approach the problem from an angle that doesn’t jeopardise your relationship with your child. Find the right approach by following the steps outlined above and home cleaning will never be an issue between you two.
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