Age-Old Debate: Is There a Limit to How Long You Should Clean Your Kid’s Room?

Age-Old Debate: Is There a Limit to How Long You Should Clean Your Kid's Room?

It’s a fact that my teenager’s room is often so disorganized that I’m concerned about the possibility of a bug infestation. The mess includes a hidden stash of candy wrappers that could easily fill up the sink, a heap of clean laundry that has never been put away and is accumulating dust, a collection of old school supplies that has reached the ceiling level on her desk, stuffed animals scattered throughout, half-eaten granola bars tossed around, and cups of Gatorade left in the room despite being asked to return them to the kitchen multiple times.

I request and implore my daughter to tidy her room, resorting to measures such as warning her about the loss of privileges, leaving notes as reminders, and setting a deadline for her to at least dispose of garbage and put away laundry. However, most of these attempts are met with no response. While I understand that my daughter is a busy teenager with school and sports commitments, I am concerned about the potential bug and rat infestation in her messy room. I acknowledge that cleaning her room may not be a priority when hanging out with friends, but eventually, the state of her room will affect the entire family.

Whenever I see the entrance to my chaotic room, I end up entering and tidying up everything. This is why I can relate to a mother on Tiktok who took advantage of her daughter’s school trip to clean and organize her room. The mother, known as @snowenne_cleans, regularly maintains her daughter’s room clean as seen from her video captioned “So, it’s that time again.” The video shows the mother cleaning the space by disposing of trash, removing soiled clothes, and arranging the daughter’s art supplies.

In the video, the mother is seen going to great lengths to tidy up her daughter’s room. She even repaints the furniture and removes stains from the carpet. Another scene shows her meticulously folding clothes and organizing them in drawers and vacuuming the rug. The end result is a clean and well-organized space that any child would be fortunate to come home to. However, some viewers expressed anger towards the mother for allowing the room to become so messy in the first place. As someone who has dealt with teens and their messy rooms, I can attest that it doesn’t take long for things to get out of hand.

Fortunately, several individuals agreed with the author’s struggle in keeping their children’s rooms tidy and acknowledged that teenagers can have a lot on their plate, preventing them from keeping their rooms clean. These commenters also mentioned that their own teenagers face similar challenges and empathized with the author’s situation. In response to suggestions that threatening to not let her daughter leave the house might motivate her to clean her room, the author responded by scoffing and wishing the commenter good luck.

Additional commenters expressed their dislike for their parents cleaning their rooms, and one individual even argued that teenagers deserve privacy. Over 15,000 passionate comments flooded in, yet the mother couldn’t comprehend why cleaning her child’s room generated such anger. On the follow-up video, more than 1,600 comments disputed the mother’s actions. Despite repeated inquiries about her daughter’s age and why she was still cleaning her room, the creator insisted that she will always support her children, no matter their age.

When I tidy up my teenager’s room, I no longer handle her belongings with the same care and concern as she would. However, I have given her ample opportunities to clean up her own things. Eventually, I will have hung up numerous sweaters and jackets in her closet, disposed of food wrappers and crumpled notebook paper that didn’t seem important, and possibly even vacuumed her rug. The bed will be made, stuffed animals will be arranged on the sofa, and the room will resemble a space that people would want to be in, rather than a “before” snapshot from Hoarders.

Do I have a slight sense of guilt for giving in and cleaning my daughter’s room instead of standing my ground and using it as an opportunity to teach her a lesson? Not really, as cleaning her room brings me more satisfaction than it does for her, and someday she’ll have her own house to manage. However, I can understand where the critics are coming from when they criticized the TikTok mom’s actions. I’m just grateful that she didn’t take the criticism to heart because some people were definitely harsh on her decision to clean her daughter’s room. It’s clear that this approach may not work for every family.

Although I’m someone who gives in and tidies up my child’s room, I believe that it benefits everyone when I take the time to organize the space and help my daughter out of her mess. This is because when I ask her to clean up later, she doesn’t feel as daunted by the task. Additionally, I have the advantage of being the one who cleaned last time, and I feel less stressed when I walk by the room. However, as the mom on TikTok joked, it only takes a few hours for the clutter to build up once again.

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