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OP, I do not have any advice to give about this, but I am going to tell you of a time when I was a teen for I see strong parallels between this and many of your posts though I grew up in a different country and culture.

I grew up in a gender based culture to very loving parents. But at 12 or 13 if you told me my parents loved me, I would not have believed you especially my mom. All I wanted  was to be treated equally to my brother and not be prevented from doing things because I was a girl. It made life very difficult for me for it affected my education, my movements outside and generally how my day to day life was lived.

Since my culture is heavily patriarchal and my dad knew no better he tried to raise me in a way that the culture said girls should be and though mom disagreed with him, the culture and because she took the vow to obey and submit to her husband as part of her wedding vows she believed she must always defer to my dad's wishes. So she always tried to fix me when it was clear to me if she only stood up to my dad, it would make it so much better. So we had almost daily conflicts between us, I almost hated my mom for that. It came to head until it was very clear that for me to live the life I wanted which was just to be treated as an equal to my brother, she had to take a stand with my father instead of trying to always fix me. 

I can still remember what happened. My gentle, soft spoken mother raised her voice against my dad probably for the very first and last time in their life and said she will not stand for her daughter to be treated unequally to her son. I have tears in my eyes writing this because I realized that day how much my mother loved me, how much she had to overcome to stand up for me because she had to overcome the culture she was raised and the idea that she was dishonoring her wedding vows if she went against her husband. It changed my life completely. I have no doubt in my mind that the life I live today is directly because my mom stood up for me. My dad is also a very loving person, he has always loved me, but preconceived ideas about how a girl should be raised hurt our relationship. My father changed and my mom got more used to speaking up. My brother parents his daughter differently than how I was raised because how it affected me.

In all your posts, two things come clearly across to me. Your love for your children and how you seem to be caught between doing what is best for them and your DH's ideas. You seem to be trying to fix your children when I truly think if you try to change your DH's ideas it will benefit all of you. 

I left the country of my origin almost 20 years ago but I have the most loving and close relationship with my parents now living across continents  which I did not have when I was living in the same house. It changed because my mom stood up for me. Our entire family did.  It was not easy and she had to overcome so much. So it maybe for you too. But I can tell you it was worth it in terms of the life of my brother and me and also relationship wise. 

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How would I handle it? Most of your kids have executive functioning issues. (Half of mine do too, so I am very much living this also.) Figure out what works for your kid. I have one kid who

I know that this is not what you want to hear, but it's the only thing that I can suggest. You have to provide the executive function that she lacks. I know it stinks. But there it is. So, I

Meant to add: My ds sounds similar to your dd, but we don't have a cat. He drops his clothes in the middle of the floor. I started putting a laundry basket right in that spot and most of the time

26 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

 

A truer statement is that kids (and adults!) generally have a REASON for doing (or not doing) what they are doing. There are many possible issues: 

I agree.  It's why I've been surprised that people have been so emphatic about having the right solution - just use a checklist, just supervise, never have consequences, etc.  My 2 kids respond very differently.  One of my kids has almost no consequences ever because they do what is asked, or, often, what needs to be done without being asked.  It's really easy to help this kid build good habits, and their mantra is 'Do what you're supposed to and life is easy', at least as far as parental involvement is concerned.  The other kid, either explicitly with words or sometimes with attitude, asks 'What will happen if I don't?'.  For this kid, allowing them to live with the natural results of their actions can work, but a checklist actually makes them less likely to do it becaue it creates a power struggle.  I've known adults like both of my kids, so it's nothing specific to kids.  Maybe the OP's kid needs an eval based on other things, or maybe they're just being a teen who will get it together once they have to wear stinky clothes and decide that this is a priority, or maybe they just need a bit of scaffolding.  I think we can offer a lot of suggestions for OP to consider, but there's no way to know which, if any, is right or even whether this is worth fixing or is just a 'parent of teens' annoyance.  

When my kids were little a wise friend said not to invest a lot of effort in fixing things that the kids would outgrow (like pulling tupperware out of drawers during the toddler years) and instead focus on things that would be long-term problems.  It can be hard to discern which is which, and it probably varies from family to family.  

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13 minutes ago, Clemsondana said:

I agree.  It's why I've been surprised that people have been so emphatic about having the right solution - just use a checklist, just supervise, never have consequences, etc.  My 2 kids respond very differently.  One of my kids has almost no consequences ever because they do what is asked, or, often, what needs to be done without being asked.  It's really easy to help this kid build good habits, and their mantra is 'Do what you're supposed to and life is easy', at least as far as parental involvement is concerned.  The other kid, either explicitly with words or sometimes with attitude, asks 'What will happen if I don't?'.  For this kid, allowing them to live with the natural results of their actions can work, but a checklist actually makes them less likely to do it becaue it creates a power struggle. 

My kids are littler, but they also respond very differently to different structures and incentives. I gave examples from the preschool phase, because only one of them is out of that phase, but I'm absolutely sure that this will continue to be the case as they grow older, because they are very different people. 

And both of my kids are absolutely allergic to power struggles and NEED consequences to do things they don't innately want to. I don't have a kid like your older one, who is interested in obliging me. DD4 is more of a people pleaser than DD8, so it's possible she'll become better about this... but she's also incredibly willful, so the way her people-pleasing manifests is not usually in doing what people ask, but in thinking up creative ways to be nice to people that no one ever asked her for. As soon as someone actually ASKS her, it becomes less fun, and she's far less interested 😉 . 

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@Not_a_Numberstrangely enough, had you predicted how agreeable my kids would be as toddlers, it would be reversed.  Theyre still kids, and I expect more changes.   I had sort of thought that my wise friend's advice wouldn't extend beyond the tupperware years, but it does.  

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3 hours ago, Susan in TX said:

For me, the time and effort it would take to count the number of clothes she left on the floor and consistently fine her for it would not be worth the trouble. It would be much easier for me to just go into her room every day and pick up the clothes myself. Problem solved!

Also I wouldn't waste effort making her put her clothes away. Let her keep the clean clothes in the laundry basket. Many adults I know do just that. Who has time to fold clothes anyway?

If you simply put a laundry basket in her room for the dirty clothes would she put them in the basket?

 

Susan in TX

 

My suggestion is 2 baskets. One for the clean clothes coming up from the laundry room; one for the dirty clothes to go down. Once the clothes are in the bedroom, if they not on the floor, I don't particularly care where they store the clothing. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:59 AM, caedmyn said:

The cat has peed on clothes left on the floor a few times (maybe 4 total over the past year).  He has never peed on the floor, just on clothes left on the floor. 

Did everyone miss this bolded and underlined important detail?

Really?  You rant like she’s a horrible slob and human and she might be but this has happened FOUR times?  That’s not going to ruin anything unless it’s left that way. Tell her to clean her own laundry and supervise the carpet cleaning. And then move on already.

If you genuinely think your child has a problem that needs medical help - then tell husband to either shut up or get on board with getting your child the medical help they need to manage living in a world filled with humans they need to interact with. I don’t think that you need his approval to take your child in.

But this scenario is extremely typical of any teen or cat and all this anger over something that happens maybe once a quarter seems very overblown to me.

I’d begin to think the poor kitty needs a new home if this were a daily or even weekly happening.   But right now I’m just feeling bad for the cat and the girl.

 

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31 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

Did everyone miss this bolded and underlined important detail?

Really?  You rant like she’s a horrible slob and human and she might be but this has happened FOUR times?  That’s not going to ruin anything unless it’s left that way. Tell her to clean her own laundry and supervise the carpet cleaning. And then move on already.

If you genuinely think your child has a problem that needs medical help - then tell husband to either shut up or get on board with getting your child the medical help they need to manage living in a world filled with humans they need to interact with. I don’t think that you need his approval to take your child in.

But this scenario is extremely typical of any teen or cat and all this anger over something that happens maybe once a quarter seems very overblown to me.

I’d begin to think the poor kitty needs a new home if this were a daily or even weekly happening.   But right now I’m just feeling bad for the cat and the girl.

 

There’s not any anger at all in my OP, nor throughout this whole thread (on my part anyway).  I’m not sure where you’re getting that from.  If it wasn’t for the cat I wouldn’t worry much about her clothes being on the floor, but since both her and I would like to keep the cat, and I don’t want the carpet or the clothes ruined, I am trying to solve the peeing-on-clothes problem which is caused by clothes left on the floor.  

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4 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

OP, I do not have any advice to give about this, but I am going to tell you of a time when I was a teen for I see strong parallels between this and many of your posts though I grew up in a different country and culture.

I grew up in a gender based culture to very loving parents. But at 12 or 13 if you told me my parents loved me, I would not have believed you especially my mom. All I wanted  was to be treated equally to my brother and not be prevented from doing things because I was a girl. It made life very difficult for me for it affected my education, my movements outside and generally how my day to day life was lived.

Since my culture is heavily patriarchal and my dad knew no better he tried to raise me in a way that the culture said girls should be and though mom disagreed with him, the culture and because she took the vow to obey and submit to her husband as part of her wedding vows she believed she must always defer to my dad's wishes. So she always tried to fix me when it was clear to me if she only stood up to my dad, it would make it so much better. So we had almost daily conflicts between us, I almost hated my mom for that. It came to head until it was very clear that for me to live the life I wanted which was just to be treated as an equal to my brother, she had to take a stand with my father instead of trying to always fix me. 

I can still remember what happened. My gentle, soft spoken mother raised her voice against my dad probably for the very first and last time in their life and said she will not stand for her daughter to be treated unequally to her son. I have tears in my eyes writing this because I realized that day how much my mother loved me, how much she had to overcome to stand up for me because she had to overcome the culture she was raised and the idea that she was dishonoring her wedding vows if she went against her husband. It changed my life completely. I have no doubt in my mind that the life I live today is directly because my mom stood up for me. My dad is also a very loving person, he has always loved me, but preconceived ideas about how a girl should be raised hurt our relationship. My father changed and my mom got more used to speaking up. My brother parents his daughter differently than how I was raised because how it affected me.

In all your posts, two things come clearly across to me. Your love for your children and how you seem to be caught between doing what is best for them and your DH's ideas. You seem to be trying to fix your children when I truly think if you try to change your DH's ideas it will benefit all of you. 

I left the country of my origin almost 20 years ago but I have the most loving and close relationship with my parents now living across continents  which I did not have when I was living in the same house. It changed because my mom stood up for me. Our entire family did.  It was not easy and she had to overcome so much. So it maybe for you too. But I can tell you it was worth it in terms of the life of my brother and me and also relationship wise. 

I agree that it would benefit all of us if DH changed his ideas.  I’ve tried. He is unwilling to change his ideas.  I do stand up for my kids, which doesn’t change DH’s ideas any, but is at least somewhat helpful for them.  I just have to pick the battles that I feel are most worth fighting, because I don’t have the energy to fight them all.

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On 2/27/2021 at 12:20 AM, Garga said:

I have baby fine hair, but I have thick-haired friends and they all swear by thinning shears. They haaaaate having wet hair for hours or taking forever to dry it with a dryer.

I timed it and my hair went from towel dry to dry as a bone in 1 minute and 37 seconds with the dryer on medium heat and medium blowing power. My thick hair friends were amazed. If I used thinning shears I’d be downright bald, but a lot of thick-haired people love them.

I thought I had the baby-finest hair in the world and it takes me at least 15-20 minutes to diffuse my hair.  I guess people who are allowed to touch their hair while it's drying can get the job done faster, but if you try that with curls you look like a troll doll.

On 2/27/2021 at 1:14 AM, Tanaqui said:

You know, Caedmyn, I often see people ask for help with a child and then, when people suggest reasons for the problem and solutions, go "Well, my child is perfectly capable of doing the thing."

I guess if your child is perfectly capable of keeping her room tidy without a checklist, then there's no problem.

Except... there is a problem, and you're asking for help with it. If she's capable of doing it, why doesn't she do it?  If she's really motivated to keep clean, why isn't the very real consequence of having peed-on clothes doing the trick without you trying to brainstorm another consequence or another carrot?

You are trying to tell us two different things. First, you're saying that you can't get your daughter to pick up her clothes... and then you're saying that she's actually totally able to do this without a checklist or supervision. I don't think that both these statements can possibly be true.

To be clear, I think you think they're true - but I don't see how it's possible that they both are.

I have a theory about how both can be true.  I don't know the situation at the OP's house, but I have seen a plea for advice go thermonuclear more than once here.  If I could hold my liquor I'd make it a game and drink every time someone urged therapy when a mom was asking for organizational tips.  Don't get me wrong, I think therapy is awesome.  I just don't think it's always the most practical way to keep a cat from peeing on the floor.  

@caedmynAre you up for going a whole new direction with this?  Is there a show that you and DD like to watch together?  Maybe you can play it in her room and watch it together while you get her room squared away.  After the first session you're probably looking at three minutes of clean-up and the rest is just hanging out together. You can work together for three minutes.  Give it a stupid name and have a snack to go with it.  You won't have to do it forever, but it could be nice to have that dedicated time with your daughter until the habit is set.  

Is it possible to get a sheet of linoleum for her floor until the cat situation is resolved?  Or even that plastic runner stuff with the spiky back? If her room smells like cat pee, then she will smell like cat pee and that's going to cause social issues.  If the mess can't soak into the foam backing and subfloor, you have a shot of getting things completely clean. 

Personally, I'm not naturally organized, so I NEED checklists and one-step systems to keep me neat and moving forward.  My house doesn't look chaotic, and I appear organized, but it's an illusion.  If I don't start the day with a checklist, I might accomplish nothing or start three projects and finish none of them.  My clothes hamper can't have a lid.  I HAVE to have an "It's Still Good" basket in my closet to contain things that have been worn once but don't need to be washed yet. Keeping my beds off of walls so they're easy to make is a must for me.  I need a full-sized trash can in my bedroom. Open shelving is a great place to put things where you can see them but they're not on the floor.  Can you identify the categories of stuff your daughter leaves on the floor and create an off-floor home for them?  Could her things be contained with a clothes basket and a few square feet of shelving?

Some problems will never be wished, talked, or threatened away.  Sometimes you have to come up with a plan for physical action, a real appointment on the calendar to carry it out, and enough time/repetition to give your plan a chance to  work.  "Daughter, we're going to do this every weekday for three weeks, then we'll evaluate the situation and move forward from there."

I'm kinda jealous that I don't have a project to do with my daughter.  She moved out and LEFT me here with JUST boys. 

 

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23 hours ago, Susan in TX said:

For me, the time and effort it would take to count the number of clothes she left on the floor and consistently fine her for it would not be worth the trouble. It would be much easier for me to just go into her room every day and pick up the clothes myself. Problem solved!

The point is to do it for a short time to build a new habit, not to be constantly fining her. If this works, it usually just takes a few weeks. It also works best right as someone's putting clothes on the floor/doing whatever it is you're trying to discourage. You don't really want to ONLY do it at the end of the day, since that doesn't build the habit. 

I absolutely got some bang for my buck when I taught DD8 to put her own dishes in the sink, lol. Yes, I had to fine her for a few weeks, but now I don't have to deal with those dishes at all 😉 . And I don't have to remind her, either. 

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6 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

If I could hold my liquor I'd make it a game and drink every time someone urged therapy when a mom was asking for organizational tips.  Don't get me wrong, I think therapy is awesome.  I just don't think it's always the most practical way to keep a cat from peeing on the floor.  

You're not wrong there. And sometimes it DOES get pretty tiring. I've had a similar thread go sideways myself. 

One of the problems is that we've never actually met the people on here. So we get some glimpse of their life, but it's a heavily filtered glimpse. Plus our interpretation of it doesn't have the usual emotional signals we get from talking to people IRL. So... it's not very reliable. And sometimes the patterns re more about how someone's choosing to present themselves and less about what's actually going on in their lives.

I also think that there can be value in suggesting therapy... once. Pushing messages someone isn't receptive to is totally pointless and will only put their back up. 

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18 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I agree that it would benefit all of us if DH changed his ideas.  I’ve tried. He is unwilling to change his ideas.  I do stand up for my kids, which doesn’t change DH’s ideas any, but is at least somewhat helpful for them.  I just have to pick the battles that I feel are most worth fighting, because I don’t have the energy to fight them all.

Once in a blue moon, the cat pees on the clothes DD left on the floor, is probably not a battle worth picking. 

Dump a laundry basket in her room, put the floor clothes in there before bed, done. 

I grew up with a mom who treated mess like a crime ( yeah, she would have called me a slob to her friends too, I guess) and never did a single item of my clothing spend a night on the floor. Yay, I guess.

Weirdly enough, I still resent her for calling me names, and focusing on ultimately meaningless battles.

 

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4 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I grew up with a mom who treated mess like a crime ( yeah, she would have called me a slob to her friends too, I guess) and never did a single item of my clothing spend a night on the floor. Yay, I guess.

Weirdly enough, I still resent her for calling me names, and focusing on ultimately meaningless battles.

You know, there's a difference between "you shouldn't call your kids names" (obviously) and deciding that you'd like your house to be clean, especially if it's an issue of cat pee... 

I don't think keeping the house clean is a meaningless battle. I think it's a habit that serves a kid well in their life. However, that's only if it doesn't ruin the relationship or become a power struggle. 

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5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

You know, there's a difference between "you shouldn't call your kids names" (obviously) and deciding that you'd like your house to be clean, especially if it's an issue of cat pee... 

I don't think keeping the house clean is a meaningless battle. I think it's a habit that serves a kid well in their life. However, that's only if it doesn't ruin the relationship or become a power struggle. 

She called her DD a slob in the OP. 

Wants carrots and sticks for a problem that has occured four times in 12 months. Mountain, molehill. 

There are no dire long term consequences to leaving ones clothes on the floor/chair/basket.  None. Clothes on the floor/not in a drawer Kondo style is mess, not dirt. 

4 times a year, it's dirty. So, it gets cleaned. 

If it's a mess in a bedroom you don't use, close the door. 

Why go straight to 'my kid is a slob and needs to change so I am not occasionally bothered by it' ? 

I'm glad I don't waste time and relationship micromanaging my teen's messy bedroom. I'd encourage other parents of teens to similarly not micromanage mess that is not in a communal area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just now, Melissa Louise said:

She called her DD a slob in the OP. 

I think there's a difference between ranting online and name calling in real life. 

 

Just now, Melissa Louise said:

Wants carrots and sticks for a problem that has occured four times in 12 months. Mountain, molehill. 

I mean... the cat pee has occurred 4 times. I assume the clothes are there more often. And cat pee sounds gross. 

 

Just now, Melissa Louise said:

There are no dire long term consequences to leaving ones clothes on the floor/chair/basket.  None. Clothes on the floor/not in a drawer Kondo style is mess, not dirt. 

There are no dire long term consequences to most chores your kids might skip, but it doesn't mean it's unreasonable to have chores. And cat pee is a consequence one might very reasonably want to avoid. 

 

Just now, Melissa Louise said:

4 times a year, it's dirty. So, it gets cleaned. 

If it's a mess in a bedroom you don't use, close the door. 

Why go straight to 'my kid is a slob and needs to change so I am not occasionally bothered by it' ? 

I'm glad I don't waste time and relationship micromanaging my teen's messy bedroom. I'd encourage other parents of teens to similarly not micromanage mess that is not in a communal area.

I'm also glad it doesn't bother you, because certainly it seems easier not to have this fight. But people are bothered by different stuff, and I don't think it's unreasonable for parents to have rules about cleanliness around the house. 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think there's a difference between ranting online and name calling in real life. 

 

I mean... the cat pee has occurred 4 times. I assume the clothes are there more often. And cat pee sounds gross. 

 

There are no dire long term consequences to most chores your kids might skip, but it doesn't mean it's unreasonable to have chores. And cat pee is a consequence one might very reasonably want to avoid. 

 

I'm also glad it doesn't bother you, because certainly it seems easier not to have this fight. But people are bothered by different stuff, and I don't think it's unreasonable for parents to have rules about cleanliness around the house. 

A parent can vent without calling her child (who is clearly struggling with aspects of function) a slob who can't be bothered. 

Good luck raising teens, if you think your rules about mess can and should apply to their own space, and are worth having a power struggle over. 

It's not about what's easier; it's about how you spend your relationship capital.

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1 minute ago, Melissa Louise said:

A parent can vent without calling her child (who is clearly struggling with aspects of function) a slob who can't be bothered. 

Good luck raising teens, if you think your rules about mess can and should apply to their own space, and are worth having a power struggle over.

Well, I haven’t tried raising teens yet, so I wouldn’t know!! Are household rules about mess not supposed to apply to them?

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1 minute ago, Thatboyofmine said:

Teens rooms are their rooms.    With the exception of food in the room (unless it's a quick snack and is thrown out quickly), I have zero rules.  I would help him clean up when he was ready or when he got tired of me asking him to clean it up, but I was very hands-off with his space.  Never walk in. Always knock until permission is given.   Sometimes he asked me to clean it up and I would because i am an organizing fool, but that was only if he allowed me or asked.   If I had a pet that pees randomly (I do-- a chihuahua), I'd keep their door closed.  Ds would do that on his own, though, because he can't stand pup peeing on anything.  

Hmmmm. Does everyone have this approach? I very much respect privacy and the ability to decorate a room, but I'm not sure I'd have no rules at all about cleanliness. Of course, I haven't tried. 

When my sister (my bonus teen) visits, I don't have rules for her, but it's a little different because it's so time limited. 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmmm. Does everyone have this approach? I very much respect privacy and the ability to decorate a room, but I'm not sure I'd have no rules at all about cleanliness. Of course, I haven't tried. 

When my sister (my bonus teen) visits, I don't have rules for her, but it's a little different because it's so time limited. 

I have 3 teens.

Rules here are:

No food other than some dry candy type things. I don't want weeks-old yogurt containers drawing bugs.

Only dishes allowed are water bottles.

Keep a path from the door to the bed clear for fire safety. 

 

Other than that, I pretty much stay out. I'm willing to help organize and/or clean and/or decorate if asked which they all have at some time or other. 

Of my three, one has a super clean room, one has a disaster that makes me super glad she has a door I can close, and the other is somewhere in the middle.  

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On 2/28/2021 at 3:47 AM, Scarlett said:

Peeing on clothing and carpet is not in the normal realm of pet wear and tear.  
 

We will just have to disagree on this.  OP isn’t getting rid of the cat so for this discussion to doesn’t matter any way.  
 

I doubt I am the only person who would get rid (or make it an outside pet) of a cat that pees on the carpet and clothing.  

Not the only person by a long shot. 

I don't have animals in the house at all. 

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@Not_a_NumberDifferent parents have different rules for teens.  Picking your battles varies between families and kids.  My mom expected my room to be similarly tidy to the living room.  I rolled my eyes a lot, and it's now a running joke.  I rebelled my first year in college, but in later years decided I preferred tidier.  I think it takes more than one thing to ruin most relationships - we understood that parents have quirks, although if they are sticklers about everything that's a different issue.  A parent with a clean thing but flexible about curfews is different than being raised by a drill sargeant.  I figure family policies have to work with the needs and abilities of the people in the actual family.  

I'm more hands-off with my own kids because it's just not as much of a priority. But, I have my limits.  My messier kid actually just did a major room clean and it looks good and they are happier.  My less messy kid actually has a lot of lego-type clutter, but they're happy with it and the floor is clean other than stacks of books.  Clothes are never a problem because I don't wash what isn't in the hamper and both do sports so they need certain things clean.  I do insist on periodic vacuuming of their rooms, though, or allergies go haywire.  

One thing that probably had an effect on one kid is that a few years ago we had a small house fire due to a lightning strike.  The fire dept had to run a hose through part of the house, including their bedroom, to drip water through a hole they cut in a wall.  Anything that had been in the floor and in their way would have been demolished, crushed under their boots and the heavy hose, smeared with the dirt and sooty mess that was on all of their equipment.  Fortunately we had just cleaned because we had company.  

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58 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmmm. Does everyone have this approach? I very much respect privacy and the ability to decorate a room, but I'm not sure I'd have no rules at all about cleanliness. Of course, I haven't tried. 

When my sister (my bonus teen) visits, I don't have rules for her, but it's a little different because it's so time limited. 

4 teens here — similar rules as others: no food/drink except water bottles; paths to the doors/closets for walking around/safety; you want mom or dad to do laundry with the family’s, you get your clothes into the hampers; otherwise you do your own laundry; mom and dad won’t barge in without knocking except in cases of an emergency.

 

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It's not valuing a tidy home that's the problem; it's feelings of contempt (she's a slob, it's too much work for her precious self) when others don't live up to your values that are corrosive. 

Edited by Melissa Louise
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21 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I agree that it would benefit all of us if DH changed his ideas.  I’ve tried. He is unwilling to change his ideas.  I do stand up for my kids, which doesn’t change DH’s ideas any, but is at least somewhat helpful for them.  I just have to pick the battles that I feel are most worth fighting, because I don’t have the energy to fight them all.

It is time to make the appointments and tell DH you are doing this.  If he has a problem with it, perhaps he needs to take himself to the corner and figure out why it bothers him so much.  But those kids are going to get the evaluations they need. Those kids need the help to become productive adults.  And if he wants to be the people who kids don’t come visit him when they are older and resent the help not being giving them well then keep on the current path. But you want the kids to know you did everything for them to be productive adults and that they will want to visit YOU.

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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I think calling names comes through in our attitudes toward people even if we never, ever, say it to their face.  I think it's possible to vent as needed without calling names and is worth the effort.

Just my two cents.

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23 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

It's not valuing a tidy home that's the problem; it's feelings of contempt (she's a slob, it's too much work for her previous self) when others don't live up to your values that are corrosive. 

I don't think it's always contempt as much as frustration. It sounds like a frustrating situation. 

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3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, I haven’t tried raising teens yet, so I wouldn’t know!! Are household rules about mess not supposed to apply to them?

I have never applied rules to my teen's rooms-other than no food/dirty dishes left in their rooms. They could clean up or not; their rooms had doors, and I didn't have to see their mess. And a mess it was at times, believe me. But not my problem. I'd announce when I did laundry, and heaps of dirty clothes were usually forthcoming.

(This said:  none of my kids would have been ok with the cat peeing in their rooms)

Edited by regentrude
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On 2/28/2021 at 3:17 AM, Scarlett said:

Peeing on clothing and carpet is not in the normal realm of pet wear and tear.  
 

We will just have to disagree on this.  OP isn’t getting rid of the cat so for this discussion to doesn’t matter any way.  
 

I doubt I am the only person who would get rid (or make it an outside pet) of a cat that pees on the carpet and clothing.  

This is definitely within the realms of normal for a cat particularly as they get old.  We did make ours an outdoor cat for this reason.  I don’t really like free range cats though so if we ever have another I want an outdoor cat run.

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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmmm. Does everyone have this approach? I very much respect privacy and the ability to decorate a room, but I'm not sure I'd have no rules at all about cleanliness. Of course, I haven't tried. 

When my sister (my bonus teen) visits, I don't have rules for her, but it's a little different because it's so time limited. 

Yeah basically.  If I walk past and see food dishes etc I will make sure that gets dealt with.  At a certain point they need some privacy/own space. If it was observably a fire hazard it might be different but my eight year olds room is more likely to be that way than my teens. 

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I haven’t told my boys of any rules about their rooms. My room as a teen was waaaay much more of a mess than their rooms. Thinking back, it was a disaster.

My youngest son likes things mostly tidy. He keeps up nicely with his room, except for dusting and vacuuming. But he picks things up for the most part.

My oldest isn’t as particular, but the center of his room is completely clear, though items stack up around the furniture (maybe a clipboard on the floor against the bookcase, or a pile of old scrap paper under the desk, pjs balled up on a chair...stuff like that.)

Neither of them are anywhere near as messy as I was as a kid. My mother likes a super clean house and it must have driven her nuts to see my room, but she gritted her teeth and gave me my messy space.

I do that for the boys. If they were attracting bugs or if there wasn’t a path to the door, I might have to step in, but for now, I don’t care at all about the state of their rooms.

We do have a kitty who has peed on cloth in the past (usually throw rugs, though), and I have told them to pick up some throw blankets that have fallen off the beds from time to time. “Miles will probably pee on that if you don’t.” Otherwise, their rooms are their own.

Edited by Garga
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22 hours ago, caedmyn said:

I agree that it would benefit all of us if DH changed his ideas.  I’ve tried. He is unwilling to change his ideas.  I do stand up for my kids, which doesn’t change DH’s ideas any, but is at least somewhat helpful for them.  I just have to pick the battles that I feel are most worth fighting, because I don’t have the energy to fight them all.

I see this as akin to not pursuing a medical diagnosis even when he might know it's adversely affecting his kids' quality of life.  I didn't know my daughter had polyps growing in her nose and sinuses for years, even though she was constantly stuffed up and struggled with post nasal drip and constant infections.  When we did finally get it diagnosed, we got surgery and she can breathe so much better.  I would never have just said eh, you can breathe alright, you're getting by well enough, and just let her exist with her quality of life impacted by something that is fixable. 

The statistics for people who have untreated ADHD are not good.   Addiction, car accidents, divorce, unemployment... the risks are all much higher with untreated ADHD. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Yeah basically.  If I walk past and see food dishes etc I will make sure that gets dealt with.  At a certain point they need some privacy/own space. If it was observably a fire hazard it might be different but my eight year olds room is more likely to be that way than my teens. 

Interesting. 

So, at least right now, I have a family cleaning time where we put things back in place. And we do pick up their room along the way. Would that be something that's expected to go away as they get older?

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9 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom said:

I see this as akin to not pursuing a medical diagnosis even when he might know it's adversely affecting his kids' quality of life.  I didn't know my daughter had polyps growing in her nose and sinuses for years, even though she was constantly stuffed up and struggled with post nasal drip and constant infections.  When we did finally get it diagnosed, we got surgery and she can breathe so much better.  I would never have just said eh, you can breathe alright, you're getting by well enough, and just let her exist with her quality of life impacted by something that is fixable. 

The statistics for people who have untreated ADHD are not good.   Addiction, car accidents, divorce, unemployment... the risks are all much higher with untreated ADHD. 

 

I have a relative who has been a teacher for many years, and she has concluded from her observations that a ton of untreated ADHD ends up with kids getting into self-medication later in life.

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

So, at least right now, I have a family cleaning time where we put things back in place. And we do pick up their room along the way. Would that be something that's expected to go away as they get older?

I can't imagine that working for my teens. First, schedules are so busy that  "family cleanup time" wouldn't be a thing. Second, they would not care to pick up their room alongside mommy. They would want their privacy. 

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I have 3 teens at home now.

dd19 has always been tidy so it's never been an issue for her.

dd15 can be messy but she likes it tidy. It's just that sometimes she just doesn't care enough to straighten it up. However, her room is TINY, so generally, when she wants to have a guest she cleans it up so they can enjoy themselves in her room. I used to simply tie the two together "Your friend is coming over Friday, I expect your room to be clean by then."

For us, clean room means things off the floor, clean/dirty clothes are put away, bed made. They can dust or not. I don't care if things are cluttery, but I do want the floor vacuumed or swept depending on whether it's carpeted or not.

My ds is 13. He has a really hard time with mess, just no sense of personal organization, but he does like it when things are clean. So I still help him clean, We do it together, just picking up stuff and straightening his dresser and all. We dust his room more frequently, mostly because he has allergies and that goes better if it's dusted regular. I do want a daily quick tidy so that mostly consists of picking up dirty clothes, putting away shoes, hanging up coats, etc. He can do that in less than 5 minutes. I do that mostly because he loses things and can't get out the door if he can't find his shoes or coat or something.

So it's not a free for all here, but I do keep a fairly low standard for their rooms.

Edited by fairfarmhand
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21 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I can't imagine that working for my teens. First, schedules are so busy that  "family cleanup time" wouldn't be a thing. Second, they would not care to pick up their room alongside mommy. They would want their privacy. 

Got it. Did that work for you earlier? 

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

Got it. Did that work for you earlier? 

Never had family cleanup. Periodically I'd help them pick up their rooms. When sorely necessary. Since we don't allowed food in their rooms and don't wear shoes in the house, it was not dirty, just untidy. Shrug. Not a hill.

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Just now, regentrude said:

Never had family cleanup. Periodically I'd help them pick up their rooms. When sorely necessary. Since we don't allowed food in their rooms and don't wear shoes in the house, it was not dirty, just untidy. Shrug. Not a hill.

I figure they live here, too, and are responsible for helping maintain the place. Most of the mess wasn't in their room, anyway, since they play outside it. So we pick things up together every day at a set time. It's a structure that works well for me, because I don't want to spend all day picking up after them. 

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48 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Interesting. 

So, at least right now, I have a family cleaning time where we put things back in place. And we do pick up their room along the way. Would that be something that's expected to go away as they get older?

You can't treat teens like kids. 

I also had family pick up time when my kids were little. 

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14 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I figure they live here, too, and are responsible for helping maintain the place. Most of the mess wasn't in their room, anyway, since they play outside it. So we pick things up together every day at a set time. It's a structure that works well for me, because I don't want to spend all day picking up after them. 

If you keep doing this all the time, then by the time they’re teens, they’ll probably still do it. Or if you give a gentle reminder, “Can you guys keep your rooms clean,” they probably will because it’ll be such an ingrained habit.

It’s weird, though, when they get older. You start to actually want to let them do their own thing and you want to let go and let them have their own space, and don’t care so much if it’s messy. (Well...that’s been my experience.) Little kids need micromanagement and older ones just don’t. And you kind of get tired of micromanaging things and are happy to let them do their own thing, at least for low-risk activities like cleaning a room.

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1 minute ago, Garga said:

It’s weird, though, when they get older. You start to actually want to let them do their own thing and you want to let go and let them have their own space, and don’t care so much if it’s messy. (Well...that’s been my experience.) Little kids need micromanagement and older ones just don’t. And you kind of get tired of micromanaging things and are happy to let them do their own thing, at least for low-risk activities like cleaning a room.

I do kind of have a bonus teen, as I said 😉 . I know it's very different. I'm just curious how our family cleaning time will morph -- we've done it together every day since they are teeny. 

 

1 minute ago, Garga said:

If you keep doing this all the time, then by the time they’re teens, they’ll probably still do it. Or if you give a gentle reminder, “Can you guys keep your rooms clean,” they probably will because it’ll be such an ingrained habit.

I'm really hoping so!! That's kind of what I'm going for -- building habits that'll help them out as adults. 

 

3 minutes ago, Garga said:

It’s weird, though, when they get older. You start to actually want to let them do their own thing and you want to let go and let them have their own space, and don’t care so much if it’s messy. (Well...that’s been my experience.) Little kids need micromanagement and older ones just don’t. And you kind of get tired of micromanaging things and are happy to let them do their own thing, at least for low-risk activities like cleaning a room.

Makes sense!! I hope I feel that way when the time comes 😄

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26 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I figure they live here, too, and are responsible for helping maintain the place. Most of the mess wasn't in their room, anyway, since they play outside it. So we pick things up together every day at a set time. It's a structure that works well for me, because I don't want to spend all day picking up after them. 

I just noticed that your kids are 8 and 4. Yes, they’re still little, even the 8 yo. 

You will change. When they’re teens, you’ll see the adult emerging from them and you won’t feel the need to oversee things as much. You’ll be content to let them be in charge of their rooms, even if they’re messy. 

It’s just not the same as when you are actively training up an 8 and 4 yo. By the time they’re in their mid-teens, things shift a little and you actually look for areas to back off in. 

My ds18 has some EF issues and ADHD and I have to help him much more than I want to now. I am so ready for this little bird to fly, but he’s not quite ready. He still needs some of my scaffolding.  

When the kids become teens, you start to be ready for them to fly. After 18 years of constant teaching and mentoring and training, you’re tired! And you want them to take over their own lives, at least in a few areas!

Now...I’m dreading when they actually move out, but it’s kinda nice when all the years of training and teaching and managing pay off and you can say things like “your room is your room and I’m not going to be part of cleaning it anymore.”

Well, that’s me anyway. I do know that there are people who are very particular about rooms, even for older teens/early twenties. Bugs or having to climb over piles of things to exit the room would be my hills to die on. But dust and clutter? Not my problem anymore. Thank goodness!

Edited by Garga
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9 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I do kind of have a bonus teen, as I said 😉 . I know it's very different. I'm just curious how our family cleaning time will morph -- we've done it together every day since they are teeny. 

 

You know, maybe in your family you’ll keep doing family cleaning time. Are you in their room with them, or are they in their room tidying while you’re in another room?

They might not want you in their room after a bit. It might be where they say, “Mom. I’ve got this,” and you can tell they need the breathing room and they want to clean their room alone. Their tone with have a little bit of a reprimand in it like, “Mom, I love you...but I’m not a baby. I’ve got this.” You’ll hear the tone. It’s not disrespectful, but it happens and you realize that they aren’t babies and they do “got this.”

But maybe your family will still have family cleaning time each day, though it might not look exactly like it does now.

 

Edited by Garga
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I do family cleaning time, too, and I still do ot with teens (I've got 13, 16 and almost 18 at home now).  Family cleaning time is not for bedrooms, though- its for picking up family areas. Everyone here participates if I call Cleaning time.  If someone is working,  lucky them.  Our home still needs picked up so those home do it.  Today we were all home- including DH- and we had a much needed hour of cleaning  (snow stuff up, mud areas cleaned,  laundry, a few younger kids needed extra encouragement in their rooms).  1 hour, lots of dusting and vacuuming, putting away- We are set for a clean start to the week!  If they live here, they will help pick up.  

 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Interesting. 

So, at least right now, I have a family cleaning time where we put things back in place. And we do pick up their room along the way. Would that be something that's expected to go away as they get older?

We do a group thing through the main rooms.  Mostly it happened naturally because I didn’t have time to manage their rooms anymore and they have become more capable of managing them.  Natural result of having three kids and a farm and too much going on.  Every now and then ds will ask for a hand sorting his cupboard but to be honest I struggle with time.  I spent quite a bit of time doing the kon Mari decluttering with the older two and they do it themselves now.  My youngest not so much 😬

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I have a relative who has been a teacher for many years, and she has concluded from her observations that a ton of untreated ADHD ends up with kids getting into self-medication later in life.

My mom was a teacher for 20 years and says she only had one student she felt needed medication for ADHD but lots and lots were medicated. 

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43 minutes ago, Thatboyofmine said:

Honestly, by the time your kids are teens, your priorities have shifted.   And whether their room is picked up or not is the least of your worries.   

Again, I do have a bonus teen 😉 . I get it. This might be moot by then, I know.

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