Messy bedroom - standards!

popi_gwJune 28, 2006

My daughter is coming home from college in a few days. She is 19.

Bathroom is tidy when she is away....when she comes back, hair on sink, makeup all over the sink, "stuff" everywhere. In her bedroom, clothes on floor, increasing mess.

Me....the mother.. ask nicely "could you please keep the bathroom tidy". Response.....argument, "you are obsessed with cleanliness", amongst other increasingly cranky words.

Can you imagine this scenario ?

How can I handle this impending stress, for me, better? How can I lay down the law, with authority, and have harmony in the household?



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We told daughter, if it's not picked up we will do like it is at the dorms..throw out what isn't picked up. She has her towels from dorm, that's hers, put the rest away, yes an inconvience to you, but stress saver. Bedroom..keep door closed (less stress). Make-up not allowed in bathroom, she'll have to do that in her room.

Comments like "you are obsessed with cleanliness" are NOT welcome, and if you don't like the rules, sorry, you will have to find somewhere else to live. I don't want it to be this way, but this is my house too (Yes I have done this, my son will be moving out Aug 1, like it our not, place to live or not...long story).

Good luck, maybe she'll have grown up a little, we can all hope!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 5:01PM
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Thanks Vicky

I think your idea about no makeup in the bathroom is a good plan, I am going to stick to that. You might hear the yelling from my house, when I mention that, and I am in Australia!

I will close her bedroom door....good idea.

I have taken a beating over the years with my daughter's behaviour, mostly selfish.

Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate it.

Sorry your son is flying the coop.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 4:28AM
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Hopelly she'll have matured over the year, but don't hold your breath. Our Daughter didn't (but she was a neat freak anyway). Don't feel sorry for our son flying the coop, it is our choice not his !!! You have learned to LOVE your house without the mess, and LOVE IT.

I'm not sure when school starts up again in Australia, but summer break will be LONG if you don't put your foot down from the start.

We are looking to be childless soon (and can't wait!!) Our school year is Sept - May, and we're actually apartment hunting for my daughter in 2 weeks as she'll be leaving again for college soon, 7 years until she finishes this time...Pharmacy school takes a long time to finish (she's my over-achiever, and it will get her places, I can tell you that!). My son on the other hand, well the best I can say is he will be out by Aug first, you may have to envision a scene where there are clothing flying out of a house as he is thrown out of a house. He is just NOT motivated - they say kids are opposite, and these two could not be less opposite in many ways!!

Don't just clench your teeth with your daughter, keep putting your foot down, you'll win!!! Now this battle will seem small compared to the "Oops I forgot to tell you I wasn't coming home last night" battle, and the what do you mean I can't sleep all day? battle. Sorry to burst those bubbles!!! It is such a good thing they're so cute when they're babies!!!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 6:11AM
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I have to say, I've done the taking away the things left out (I'd put them in "time out" for a set period) with my son. He never leaves anything out any more, he's six. It does work.

I also remember when I was a teenager, and my mother brought me back into the bathroom to see the mess I'd made, the toothpaste left in the sink, powder on the floor, one time. I honestly hadn't even realized I'd done it. Never did it again and still don't a score of years later in my own home.

Last, be sure to compliment her when she does something you like. "I really appreciate the way you cleaned out the sink when you were finished", etc. Emphasize what she does right, the moment it happens and thereafter. Who doesn't like positive attention? Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 3:54PM
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Keeping cleaning wipes and other tidy-up tools handy will help. It's easy to grab a pop-up wipe and clean the counter and wipe out the sink. (I had to do this with ex.)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 7:05PM
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So how's it going, she's been home a while now.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 7:09PM
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I am at my wit's end--My daughters room is awful--I mean ridiculus--She is a good person and to look at her you would think she has it all together--(She doesn't!) I would be soo ashamed if someone saw her room--(Thankfully I moved her new room down in the basement with her own bathroom)--but honestly--it is really disgusting--I am so ashamed and feel somewhere along the way I must not have done something I should have--i have tried everything--Praise, threats, shouting, discussions etc..--to no avail--Her room at university is the same--( I am so ashamed), When she comes home on the weekend--I ask her very calmly and nicely to make sure she cleans her room--she agrees--but never makes an attempt--When she started university I went down and totally cleaned everything--thinking I had it conquered and when she came home she'd try and keep it neat--It never worked--I really really dont know what to do--Any suggestions before I totally lose my mind?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 9:19AM
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When I think back to my angst of two years ago, regarding this topic - I had a big chuckle the other day, when I was able to bring this up with my daughter, now 21 and living in her own home.

She was complaining to me about her messy boyfriend. When she goes over to his house, where he lives with a friend, it is so messy.

She told me in great detail about the clothes all over his floor in his bedroom and what does this say about him as a person.

I just could not hold my tongue ! I reminisced with her about the turmoil of our "discussions" about her clothes etc.

I am happy to say, we had a good laugh about it all..

It's really funny how things that can be such a source of argument in a household, can, over time, seem so trivial and a source of hilarity.

So what have I learnt from this - although things seems awful at the time, it really isn't as bad as you think !


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 8:41PM
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Oh Popi, that is so funny. She grew up on you didn't she. Told you she would. Told you the messy room would be one of those non-issues, not worth the fight in the long run! She listened to you afterall, watch pretty soon she'll say something, clamp her hand over her mouth ... you'll say "what's wrong"...she'll say..."your words just came out of my mouth"...It's just the best laugh there is!


    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 3:42AM
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Exactly what I have said many times....let it go...ignore the mess, she/he will eventually grow up and move out of your house, then they will either keep their own space neat and clean...or they won't.
In any case it's never worth arguing or getting angry about.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Vickey, she has already used my words, herself....she told me that the other day.

It's wonderful, when you start to see in them, that all the parenting you did over the years, really actually works !

I think she is starting to see me as a person with high values, and not just an annoying mother !

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 5:59PM
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