We do wonder what happens to our children when they reach the age of 13 and suddenly become completely incapable of even a basic level of cleanliness in their bedrooms.
Here at Blitzable, we’ve seen some pretty nasty rooms that haven’t seen a hoover or duster in many a month but one common room that drives parents mad is the teenagers bedroom. If you go to YouTube and search for ‘messy teenagers bedrooms’, you’ll see thousands of results which suggests that this is a common problem, so much so that it’s actually driven frustrated parents to video their teenagers rooms and upload them to a public forum – that suggests a quite severe level of desperation.
Out of all the videos that we managed to look at before we lost the will to live, the one below seems to typify what most parents have to deal with.
How to Deal With a Messy Teenagers Bedroom
We’ve noticed that the biggest issue is that many parents will occasionally ‘Blitz‘ their teenagers bedroom in the hope that the teenager will simply keep it tidy. Unfortunately, it’s not a solution that works as there is no reason for the teenager to comply. Parents assume that teenagers want to live in a nice tidy bedroom but most of them appear not to care.
They also know that Mum or Dad will eventually give-in and clean the room for them if they leave it long enough so where’s the incentive for them to keep it clean and tidy themselves?
Bring Out The Stick, Not The Carrot
Not literally obviously but in our experience, it’s pretty clear that if your teenager knows there are implications for not keeping their room tidy then they’re more likely to have some motivation for keeping their room tidy. As parents ourselves, we’ve tried many different ‘carrots’ to try and encourage our teenagers to keep their rooms tidy but none of them have worked.
However, when we switched to the ‘stick’ strategy, the results were significantly better. After trying many different strategies like grounding, early bedtimes, etc, here’s the one method that actually worked!
WiFi Denial – We set a fixed time on a Saturday when we’d inspect their bedrooms and if they weren’t reasonably clean, we’d change the password for the home WiFi network, meaning that they couldn’t use their Xbox, mobile, tablet or laptop to access the Internet. The teenager then had to wait for the next weekend to come around and if they passed the next inspection, they’d be given the new WiFi code.
With most teenagers spending so much of their free time online, denying them Internet access is possibly worse to them than being denied food. We did this consistently for three weeks and the results were dramatic.
For this strategy to really work and be sustained by your teenagers, you absolutely have to fix a specific day and time every week when you’ll conduct an inspection. And you absolutely must not be tempted to give-in after a few days and give them the WiFi password.
With a little patience and the occasional hassle of having to update your WiFi password, we think you’ll find that this method DOES actually work.
If you’ve got any other suggestions, drop by our Facebook Page and share them or if you try this method, we’d love to know how it worked for you. And if you’d like to share it, please do so by clicking the buttons below.