Not wanting to cause trouble (yet), I thought I’d start off with something light….
On my way to the kitchen yesterday, the always closed door to my daughter’s bedroom was wide open exposing me to filth and chaos on levels only seen on the Hoarders. The piles of clothes and shoes and paper and wrappers made it impossible to pass. I waded two feet into the mess and was forced to retreat. For my own health and safety. Even her bed was piled high with clothes, both dirty and clean. Where is this kid sleeping?
I’m positive that a finer example of entropy could not be found. I’ll admit that I’ve neglected to snoop around her room. She’s 17, a senior in high-school, and a great kid with a job; heck, my work is mostly done. All that’s left is to get her off to college and enjoy the solitude. But after seeing the level of destruction, I couldn’t look away. I had to step in, be the mom that hassles her kid, and make her clean her room. I asked nicely.
She’s always been like this. When she was younger, I would rummage through her piles with a 40 gallon trash bag (the stretchy kind) purging anything that didn’t look important. I was hoping that she’d enjoy the order and floor space and strive to keep it that way. I was hopeful she’d develop good habits and carry them into adulthood. Nope. Oh, she enjoyed the order and floor space, but when sloth* comes so easily, why would she fight it?
Later, I would make her clean her room, but as many of you with children know, that’s just an exercise in parental futility, frustration, and fury. The kid almost always wins.
In recent years, she’s proven herself trustworthy so I mostly stay off her back. She still has chores around the house; dishes, trash removal, and cleaning her bathroom. Mostly easy stuff (going back to the three f’s, I needed to keep it simple), but I don’t pay her for these chores. I also don’t pay her to clean her room. The way I see it, it’s her contribution to the home. It’s part of being a family member.
I know that everyone has different ideas on this kind of stuff. I also know there’s a few of you dealing with chronically messy children that ooze filth from every molecule (Pig Pen!). So I was wondering…
Do you make your kid(s) clean his/her room? And do you dole out cash for completed chores ? Maybe you find it a non- issue, in which case I just killed an hour that could have been spent folding my own massive pile of laundry.
* She knows about this post an my feelings.