Teenage Bedrooms

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Our apartment is clean, and clutter-free.  While growing up, my room was only clean some of the time.  It was clean maybe 20% of the time.  I remember saying things like 'why do you care if my room is clean if door is shut?'

I came across the following article NY Times this week:

Teenage Bedroom as Battleground:

The NY Times article says that one of the reasons that parents nag their kids keep their rooms clean is because they are 'embarrassed...they wonder whether it represents their lack of parenting control.'  Does a messy room mean that the parents have poorly prepared their children to care for themselves?

The article goes through several examples of teenagers who have epically messy rooms, and whose parents simply try to ignore it.  These parents deal with the fore-mentioned parental anxieties by reminding themselves that their kid makes straight As and is heavily active in one activities circuit or another.  

I wish that my parents had taken a more hands-off approach regarding my bedroom's level of cleanliness.  Instead, it was a perpetually angsty battle with no clear winner.

At the moment, Poppy's room is pristine and beautiful (this can be attributed to my uninterrupted saga of apartment tidying).  When she is older, will I resort to threats and bribery to get her to keep her room clean?  Frankly, I can't imagine that I will ever care that much.

So, after some reflexion on this topic, I have come to the following conclusion:  Poppy will probably keep her room clean and neat all on her own.  She will probably have this innate desire to impress Matt and I with her domestic organizational skills.

In the event that she does have a messy bedroom, I have no intention of nagging her.  Personally, I've never enjoyed being nagged; nor do I enjoy doing the nagging.  This is a pre-emptive boycott of the nagging.  Poppy will be allowed to keep her room in whichever state of cleanliness she finds appealing, as long as she picks up after herself in the rest of the house.

'poppy, will your room been in a state of anarchy when you're a teenager?  
will i let it go, or will i nag you about it for years?'

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