My bedroom - which was a level 4 when this thread started - is now between a 1 and a 2! Yay!
: It was definitely the worst room in my house. And now, my kids' room has migrated from a 2 to a 3. Sooo... I'm tackling that tonight. And then my WHOLE house will be between a 1 and a 2. Boo Yah.
Originally Posted by homeblossom
Do messy parents make messy kids? and in turn neat ones beget little neatfreaks?
Is it worth all the stress of hounding your children incessantly to clean up?
Do you see kids who carelessly trash the house as not caring or just kids who are too busy being kids to worry about big people stuff like cleaning and organizing?
I think it does tend to run in families. I have the same struggles my mom did. Which is the same that her mom and sister have always had, as well as my dad's mom and his siblings. And now me and my siblings, all to varying degrees. And neat parents generally have neat kids (or neatish, anyway.) My best friend is the tidiest person in the world. (Not a neat freak but she is just so ... tidy.) And she doesn't remember EVER being told to clean her room or straighten up. There are some who have a "backlash" effect when they're on their own - the child of white-glove OCD parents who becomes a slob, or the child of slobs who becomes OCD about the cleaning. But I think in general, we learn what we live, and carry that into our lives.
I think that it's absolutely pointless to hound kids to clean up. It's not pointless to try and engage them. It's not pointless to model habitual cleanliness, tidying up, taking joy in a clear counter or a shiny sink or folded laundry. But what it boils down to, in the VERY black and white world of kiddos, if you want the toys picked up, and you do everything you can think of to get them to do it, what they see is that you want something done and will do anything to get someone else to do it. If nothing else, we teach them to rely on outside motivation to "take personal responsibility" - instead of their personal responsibility being something internally motivated.
I do think that for a person who is habitually tidy, kids can be a shock and a half as far as the mess goes, in those early years. I feel bad for people like me who are living with clutter and mess pretty consistently, and definitely for people who are living with level 4 or above. But I also feel bad for people who have to have less than 1, because that seems like it would be so much work and stress all the time. I watched Nanny 911 (or Supernanny, I don't remember) once and the mom would stay up until 2 or 3 EVERY morning to clean her house to her specifications. And she would tidy up all day long. She was so focused on keeping her house looking as clean as she thought it needed to be, that it was interfering with her enjoyment of life and her children. I am sure that those of you who have houses that are less than one either simply don't have anything in your house, or you'll chime in with how you fit it all in... but as someone who is NEVER less than one in any more than a square foot of my house at a time, it's hard to envision. Because if not being able to relax if there is any disorder is the price to pay, I'm not willing to do it. I've got way too much on my plate to freak out if there's a towel in the middle of the living room floor.