Cleaning Your Room – Parent vs Child

The biggest battle of parenthood I see as a “choose your battles wisely” topic is cleaning your child’s bedroom.  So many parents complain about how messy their child’s room is, or complain about how they can’t get their child to clean their room. I see two types of parental mindsets with the topic of children’s bedroom cleaning;

  1. The parents who simply want their child’s room to be clutter free, organized and presentable.
  2. The parents who want their child’s bedroom cleaned and organized their way vs the child’s way.

Both parents are perfectly right, who’s to say it’s going to ruin a child by making them clean their bedroom a certain way. I am sure the child will survive the life of having to keep a clean and tidy room whether by their own standards or their parents standards. I simply choose to take another route. Spending many years in therapy with my middle child has really helped open my eyes to what battles are worth fighting for or not.

Cleaning Your Room - Parent vs Child

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How I think A Parent Can Handle Cleaning of their Child’s Room with Less Stress

First off, one thing that bothered me from my childhood was the constant need for me to fold clothes the way the parent did it, clean room the way the parent wants it, and even wash dishes the same exact way my parent wanted me to. I see a flaw in this; I believe parents are suppose to guide children to be individuals. No two people will do the same task in the exact same method but they can end up with the same positive result; meaning my bedroom can be clean by my standards but it may not be up to par with your view of what clean is. The dishes may end up clean, but the process I took to get there is not the same process you took. This is all perfectly okay.

Again, one thing most parents start to realize is that we parent based on our own experiences. I parent based on my own to shed a positive light upon things I felt agonized about as a child.

The key to alleviating stress when it comes to cleaning your child’s bedroom is as simple as allowing your child to clean their room in their own unique way. For example, my daughter has a clutter fest of a bedroom, she is a person who hangs onto everything. It drives me bonkers! I had a discussion with  my daughter, I listened to her side of what a clean room should be and came to my own conclusion of an acceptable approach to her bedroom cleanliness.

My mission is simple: I want the bedroom to be sanitary without food or trash anywhere. I want to be able to walk through my daughter’s room without stepping on anything, including trash. I want to be able to know which clothes are clean and which clothes are dirty in her bedroom and I want her room to be fire safe.

Pretty simple, right?

That’s how I handle the topic of cleaning a child’s bedroom. I allow that to be their space, organized just how they want but it must be a presentable place where I can walk into and hang out with my child or read a book with them without stepping or sitting on things. I want no trash nor food in the room so that the house is sanitary as a whole. This works for us and has actually increased the times my daughter cleans her room close to what I would clean it to more often than not.

There is no arguing over her personal space and there is no stress involved when I say “go clean your room up a bit please”. It’s a win/win and the way I look at it is this; if there comes a day when she can’t find something because of the way she “organizes” her bedroom, then maybe she will change her method up a bit. For now? We live in peace with sanitary bedrooms. I am good with that.

Trying to Teach a Six Year old with Bipolar What Personal Space Is

AJ in pilot seatMy son, Aedan, the middle child was diagnosed with a mood disorder last April and while they leaned towards bipolar I am uncertain if he truly has bipolar on his record for true diagnosis due to his age. Since bipolar runs in the family and he has always had the symptoms of that of my bipolar sister, I can honestly say he exhibits pretty much 100% of the symptoms of child bipolar. I don’t know if being bipolar is part of his issue with respecting personal space or if it’s just unique to him, but trying to teach him about personal space is proving to be somewhat difficult. It’s as if he is six years old in many ways but a little behind in other ways, the way he doesn’t respect personal space is as if he is a younger child who knows no boundaries. I am an extremely affectionate person, a hugger if you wish to call me that, so I get that I don’t always respect that boundary that many in our society place upon people. Sometimes I realize that in a line at the grocery store I may be standing a tad bit too close to the person in front of me, when they give me that look like what the heck, I back off.

Maybe that is where Aedan gets it from, his Mama but whatever the reasons for his lack in respecting personal space there are times when this lack of knowledge of personal space creates an issue. Like when he wants a hug, which lately has been all of the time, he can hang off of you. He also is about the height of my large boobs so it makes me extremely uncomfortable that he is hanging on me with his head in my boobs basically. I am trying to teach him personal space and that some body parts are private, but he just doesn’t seem to get it. It’s frustrating when he thinks my boobs are something that he can try to touch, not under shirt but just touch like a tap outside of the shirt and sometimes he just doesn’t get that those are my body parts and he needs to ask for a hug so that I can be prepared to hug him. When he is hanging off of me and then trying to tap my boobs like a baby would, I get frustrated and feel uncomfortable.

Aj Making MaskAedan has this lack of respect for females in his life too. He truly feels that girls can’t do anything; they can’t win races, they can’t succeed in playing board games, he is so against females at times that even playing the game of Life he is found “marrying” a boy peg because he doesn’t want any girls in his Life car. It’s crazy. I have never had to deal with such behavior, even my four year old son is not like this. I have shown by putting my hands out what personal space is. I have explained that he can touch his own body parts anytime, they are his. No one else can touch them except Mama or Daddy when giving a bath or a doctor who needs to examine him. The normal boundaries one would teach a child. I also try to show him that while I love hugs, and he can hug me anytime, he needs to let me know he wants a hug or ask for a hug because unlike my other two kids who try to hug me in a normal way, he does it in this weird way, that makes everyone he tries to hug feel uncomfortable. I don’t get it. I am so confused on this behavior.

Back last year someone somewhere who was seeing him to help diagnosis him properly for proper parenting lessons for me and his Dad and also, if needed proper medication, they questioned that he may be autistic. Aedan does have some small signs of a spectrum of autism and the older he gets, the more I want to research autism because based on what little I know of autism, I almost have to wonder if that fits him more. Then I realize that for five years of Aedan’s life he was sheltered, he pretty much stayed home because he had such a mood up and down disorder that I couldn’t bring him anywhere for fear one of the bad moods would hit and he would go ape on someone. His mood changes where that bad, so I guess while he is technically six years old by birth rights, emotionally and socially he is just getting started. Last year in Kindergarten was the first time he had been outside of the home, interacting with other children and adults.

So maybe it’s not that he has “something wrong with him”, it’s that I have to step back as a parent and realize that while my son is six years old that he has never been demanded or taught to be a six year old, he wasn’t taught various normal every day life lessons that have been taught to my other children at the age appropriate time due to his mood disorder. Everyone tells me I am one patient Mom, so I know I will succeed in teaching Aedan the social skills he needs to know in both through parenting and living the way I live. It’s just hard sometimes because I think “he is six, why does he do this”.

Employee Lockers, School Lockers Oh My!

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I remember back in high school I had my own locker and funny thing is there were days when I would go into the school and actually forget where my locker was. It seems my spacey attitude I have now has been around since the days of my teen years!  School Lockers were awesome in that you could have anything “legal” in there and it was your own little space, but be sure to have a lock on them and as a parent I know I will not allow my children to take expensive items to school because lock or no lock you never know who will gain access to your personal space!

Every school needs to have Gym Lockers too, because it’s always nice to have a private place to place your regular school clothes while you are working out in gym class. There are many Lockers for sale online and you can even buy employee lockers. If I had a business that wasn’t based in my home and I had employees I would most certainly invest some funds into employee lockers because it’s important to ensure the security of your employee’s belongings.

One thing I learned by visiting is that there are actually Wood Lockers available for use by businesses and schools, now I am not sure how I feel about wood lockers, but they seem pretty decent.

Questions for Thought: What type of lockers would you use for your employees or students? Do you have any stories to share about lockers in your school days?

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