Originally Posted by operamommy
This *can* be changed, right? Not just the room, but the important stuff?
Like a previous poster said, someday it might just click for your daughter and she will take over keeping her room neat. But I really think it's based in Nature (vs. Nurture). Some people have a natural inclination to keep order. Some people do not. Still, it's our jobs to remind, over and over, maybe even until they're adults and no longer in our homes, to keep their rooms reasonably neat.
Kids are selfish. When I was a kid I just figured I had a right
to all the stuff I was given. And I had a right to neglect and lose stuff, too, and on top of that I was too lazy to take care of my stuff.
It's not until we've worked hard
to acquire something ourselves that we're motivated to truly take care of it by ourselves. Buying something with an allowance just isn't the same, even when the allowance is merit-based, though I do think that's a great first step towards learning that lesson.
The Decluttering, Organizing and Simplifying forum here bears this out. We adults struggle mightily to keep up with our Stuff. It's just normal.
And so far, with my own kids, I've accepted that for now
it's simply on me to periodically go in and clear things out. It's what I need to to be satisfied.
Dd had a VERY difficult time academically in seventh grade last year. It was really painful. I think she realizes her chaotic room didn't help. It wasn't a good place to do homework. Her desk has a hutch covered with knickknacks and I asked her if having that clutter looming over her at the desk was bothering her, she said YES, it is in the way. So I packed up the birthday angels and the sports trophies and am getting ready to take the hutch off. IF
(big if) I get crafty I'll put cute shelves up for her to display her birthday girl figurines and her trophies.
A couple of help-your-child-stay-organized-for-school sites that I visited said that clutter really impedes a person's ability to study and do homework. Kids bedrooms are pretty small and we typically cram too much stuff in there. I'm starting to suspect that seriously simplifying dd's room, even more than my original plan, might be even more helpful.
However I am finally getting around to consistently insisting they do certain things: no towels, no wet bathing suits, no garbage, no food, no community property in the bedrooms.
Birds: take them out of the bed room, put them in a public place for all to enjoy, and understand that you are going to end up cleaning the cage and caring for them sometimes, if not most of the time. If this really distresses your son, let him take them back and try again. It's not to punish him, it's to ensure the living animals get the care they deserve.
Dd has a guinea pig. His cage was in her room at first. But 1) her messy room made it difficult to get in there and properly clean his cage and 2) guinea pigs make messes, too, and it just was NOT ok that there was bedding and turds all over the place. So now he's in the family room. His cage gets cleaned more often and he's more sociable. He likes it, we like him.
Gosh, sorry about the long post. I guess I had a lot to say.