I have a teenager now.
My eldest, Indiana, is officially 13 going on 17.
My daughter has always been my testing ground given that she was the first of my babies; my introduction to motherhood.
When she was little, I was very much a control freak. If she made a mess of her toys, my blood would secretly and quietly boil while I kept a happy exterior. I would gently coerce her to clean up and failing that approach, I would suggest, then bribe and in (failing) extremes, get angry until the offending mess was restored.
|Indiana dressed as a Zombie, Halloween 2013.|
Zombies are her current obsession
I really hate mess and always have.
In hindsight, I wonder why her untidy things made me feel so stressed.
At least it was clean mess!
She was never a very tidy kid. She would empty boxes and baskets and forget the game she started out playing. Eventually the mess would distract and then overwhelm her and she would simply walk away and forget about it.
Fast forward that same trait to now and apply it to a teen and it's a whole new experience altogether.
Mess is no longer messy. It borders on filthy!
I took these shots of her bedroom floor a few weeks ago before she finally caved in and cleaned it. I think the lack of area to walk, sit or even get dressed was the catalyst for change.
I thought it might make a fun post for those of you who have very young kids who think times may be tough now! I am certain there are many of you who have much older kids who will think this is equally the least of my cares compared with what lies ahead!
Whatever stage you are at with your kids, let's have a fun pick-over of my daughter's bedroom floor.1) Discarded schoolbag.
(Help us IKEA)!
(Help us IKEA)!
3) Dirty bowl! There's a 'no food upstairs' rule in my home. Somehow these appear in her room at regular intervals.
4) Clean clothing. Once clothing is cleaned, folded or hung, teenage girls get the urge to try their clothes on for no apparent reason. Often they change outfits several times a day. The discarded clothing ends up screwed-up and on the floor.
5) Upturned pencil box.
6) Jewellery mannequin (minus most of the jewellery).
7) Folded, clean clothing that she was meant to hang in her wardrobe or place in her drawers.
8) The waste paper bin. Either always empty (as the mess surrounds it) or never emptied.
9) Various items of clothing from the trying-on phases.
10) Paper items such as school notices, homework, drawings.
1) Wet towel. Usually several.
2) Power board - precariously placed and often overloaded!
3) Precious standing room!
If there were a fourth picture here, it would feature the upstairs landing outside her bedroom. More towels, underwear, clothing and school uniform - all thrown on the floor every day.
In case you are wondering why I don't clean it up (and I used to)...I raise my kids to be independent! A 13 year old is old enough to learn to care for her own possessions. Nagging and bribery work well on this age group! If she wants something, she works for it.
Perhaps one day she will be taking this same picture of her own child's room.
Do you have a teenager who lives like this? Tell me your story!
Are you dreading teenage mess if you are a parent of younger kids?
If you had teenagers long ago - tell me when it gets better!
All comments are appreciated!