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13 year old son....that say's it all!


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Old 4th January 2006, 11:53 AM   #1
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Unhappy 13 year old son....that say's it all!

My 13 year old son cannot keep his room clean. I am pretty easy going but when there is food all over the floor and 2 weeks worth of dirty dishes in his room, stains on the carpet, stinky laundry, paper and garbage all over I get pretty pissed. I ground him until it's clean. He'll clean it and the next day it looks the same all over again. What the heck is he doing in there?? Even he complaines that he just cleaned it and how does it get so messy? Plus that is the only thing he HAS to do in our household! Don't think I am too easy going. He gets grounded for bad grades or mouthing off as well. Other than that he's a good kid. Should I just let it go and let him have his room his way? maybe just not allow food up there? I use to get mad at my mom for making me clean my room and keep it spotless. She use to clean my room with a garbage bag and chuck it all away if I didn't clean it up. But I want him to learn how to take care of himself and teach him to respect his things and the feelings and surrounding of others. Is this a case for the Dr. Phil show?
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Old 4th January 2006, 12:36 PM   #2
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At 13, he may not understand what the big deal of keeping his room clean is. I would point out to him that food, crumbs, dirty dishes will attract insects. (Hopefully, he won't think that's cool. ) You should point out that the cleanliness of his room is the personal hygiene of his space - his space needs to be clean just as his body needs to be showered.

Be sure that he has necessary shelves, containers, hamper, drawers, etc. for organizing. Buy him his favorite color of containers (in different sizes) if you can afford it. Or better yet, give his room an extreme makeover. Take him to the store to pick out paint color(s) and have him help you design storage solutions.

Does he have too much stuff? Does he still have things that no longer interest him that he could give to charity? A lot of the problem of keeping organized is getting rid of excess stuff to begin with. You should talk to him about how his definition of tidying up is different than yours. A simple compromise might be a solution.
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Old 4th January 2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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Lil Honey had some great ideas but I was just going to add that I would ban the eating in the bedroom. Tell him (this worked with my son) that he's banned from eating in there for a period of time...a week, 2 weesk, whatever you think. After that, he can eat in there if he does NOT leave any dishes, glasses. He has to immediately put them in dishwasher. If they're left in his room, back to banning eating in his room.

This should work if you stick to it.
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Old 4th January 2006, 12:43 PM   #4
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Ehhh as ashamed as I am to admit this... I will for the sake of hopefully helping you!!

When I was 13/14 I rebelled and put a lock on my door. My big sister had one, and no matter how she tried my mum couldn't really get around my reasoning that if she had one to keep me out of her room, then I could damn well have one on mine.

Anyway, at this point my Mum stopped being able clean my room and it turned into a cess pit!! There were dirty cups/plates/bowls going moldy everywhere, dirty washing messed up with clean on the floor... aggghhhh all kinds of horrible stuff that would make me wince now!!!!

Anyway my point is that I'm an absolute clean freak now!! I love a tidy house and can't relax in a unclean/untidy house.

I don't think my mother did anything except wait until my interest in boys and therefore my looks/and space motivated me to change a little!!

Many of us go through this.. most come out for the better! I think it's just a time thing...

Although he is a boy.... !! Joke!!
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Old 4th January 2006, 12:50 PM   #5
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Cool

Funny, my room was very dirty too as a kid! I am not a clean freak but not happy in a pig sty either!

I told him about ants, he doesn't care..maybe until it actually happens. he has a girlfriend, who wouldn't set foot in his room if she saw it. He's just lazy. I had some green tubs inthe basement I said he could use but he would have to wash them up first....so he dragged them up the stairs and would'nt wash them!!! I am not letting dirty tubs go into a dirty room. So he said "Fine I am not cleaning my room then". He has to come home from school today to clean it, no girlfriends house! Maybe that will give him some motivation!

Oh get this. He wanted to go to the movies, I said not until you clean your room, so the kid bribed me with a $30 gift card to wal-mart so he wouldn't have to clean his room!!!! he paid me so he didn't have to clean it!!!
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Old 4th January 2006, 12:54 PM   #6
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Oh get this. He wanted to go to the movies, I said not until you clean your room, so the kid bribed me with a $30 gift card to wal-mart so he wouldn't have to clean his room!!!! he paid me so he didn't have to clean it!!!

Huh? Did you take the bribe? How very strange.
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Old 4th January 2006, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It's all good
Funny, my room was very dirty too as a kid! I am not a clean freak but not happy in a pig sty either!

I told him about ants, he doesn't care..maybe until it actually happens. he has a girlfriend, who wouldn't set foot in his room if she saw it. He's just lazy. I had some green tubs inthe basement I said he could use but he would have to wash them up first....so he dragged them up the stairs and would'nt wash them!!! I am not letting dirty tubs go into a dirty room. So he said "Fine I am not cleaning my room then". He has to come home from school today to clean it, no girlfriends house! Maybe that will give him some motivation!

Oh get this. He wanted to go to the movies, I said not until you clean your room, so the kid bribed me with a $30 gift card to wal-mart so he wouldn't have to clean his room!!!! he paid me so he didn't have to clean it!!!
Ha! He's clearly pretty clued up then!! *Makes note that children may bribe parents out of cleaning bedrooms*

Hmmm does his girlfriend come to your house? Is she allowed in his room - if he could drag her in there?! Maybe thinking she might be able to go in there would scare him into it?!

Ehhh I'd try restricting his time with said gf until he gets to grips with his room. Perhaps showing him how 5 mins each day can stop him having to take 5 hours every couple week to clean it might help?!
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Old 4th January 2006, 1:08 PM   #8
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I did take the bribe. Sick huh? But I just wanted him to feel how it felt to loose 30 bucks for being lazy!!! I should take the gift card and take him to wal-mart and make him buy cleaning supplies for his room, or shelves or something! I thought since he really values money that it would hurt to hand over 30 bucks for a dirty room since he would have to clean it when he got home anyway! But alas...he's 13 and doesn't see that.

As far as the girlfriend (which I am freaked out about, nice girl though) she has never been here. He say's shes afraid to meet us, prob. more afraid of being swallowed by the room. Even his friends have made comments about how his room stinks! And their boys too! I guess when a girl actually does come over he will clean his room. How embarassing! He is good at hygene, showers, wears pit stick, body spray, but will wear dirty clothes to school if he hasn't brought them down for me to wash. Weird! I don't get it. I am going to have a talk with him after school to see what I can do to help him keep his room more organized. Thanks for the advice on the containers and such, he doesn't have a closet but I can imagine what that would look like if he did! We have yard sales every summer so he recycles his stuff. He also has plenty of storage!
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Old 4th January 2006, 8:33 PM   #9
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Should I just let it go and let him have his room his way?

Hells no! It's your house too!

The point of making us clean our room is so that when we leave, we know how to function as normal people, and not slobs. Like, I don't mean to offend anyone, but people who don't take care of their **** will always have snap judgments made about them.

Immediately, forbid him from having food or drink in his room. It's not just about insects. You could attract rats, and that's something that will piss off the whole family (presumably).

Nice Mom: If you have the time/energy, help him clean his room really well just once. Make him throw away ALL the crap he doesn't need (it will feel so good to have it all out). Help him get a system for things, and make sure that he maintains the room so that it's not a big deal.

It isn't just a personal preference, I think. It's about respect.
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Old 4th January 2006, 9:05 PM   #10
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make a list of rules and a list of chores and post them in the hallway. also make a list of punishments for those offenses like grounded from going places, grounded to room, no tv no stereo , no phone, no video games whatever and post that too.
stick to it.

he sounds like a healthy 13 who is rebelling just a tad.
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Old 5th January 2006, 1:32 PM   #11
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I think my 13 year old is now becoming a lawyer! He is great at arguing his way out of everything.

Quote:
Nice Mom: If you have the time/energy, help him clean his room really well just once. Make him throw away ALL the crap he doesn't need (it will feel so good to have it all out). Help him get a system for things, and make sure that he maintains the room so that it's not a big deal.
I have done this exact thing and the problem with that is he will wait it out until I clean the darn thing myself!!! I guess I just have to keep on him about it until he moves out! hopefully his dorm room will be cleaner!
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Old 5th January 2006, 11:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It's all good
I have done this exact thing and the problem with that is he will wait it out until I clean the darn thing myself!!!
Don't make that a good thing. Threaten to go in there with a garbage bag and throw away everything on the floor, regardless of their sentimental or material worth. Then follow through with it.

There's no point in having nice things if you can't respect them.
Quote:
I guess I just have to keep on him about it until he moves out! hopefully his dorm room will be cleaner!
I could be wrong, but I seem to sense some resignation. Is it possible he's taking advantage of your patience and desire for nonconfrontation?
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Old 6th January 2006, 3:26 AM   #13
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From what you've said this is the only chore he has, and he can't even do that much. You're much kinder than I am, because believe me, that kid would go no where if he were living in my house. He would not be allowed to so much as talk on the phone and I would remove everything from his room, no tv, no games, no computer. I raised three boys, and things like that were just not tolerated, and there were times when I would say, "In one hour I'm coming upstairs" and they knew that meant I'd be looking at their rooms and you should have heard the commotion, sweeper running, closet doors banging, furniture getting moved back into place, they'd come charging down the stairs with trashbags....it was music to my ears. *S*
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Old 9th January 2006, 11:13 AM   #14
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Angry 13, grounded, and still a dirty room, until...

So he has gotten two detentions in one day. one for no completing work in class, then the other for not showing up at the first detention. So i grounded him for two weeks in his room. Only to come down for food and bathroom. No phone, no T.V, no video games. Just a radio. And his room is still a pig sty!! Finally my H went up stairs (he's the step-dad) and threw a few choice words at him (as I have done) and walla! The kid starts to clean his room! It's now clean, all the dished brought down to be washed, no dirty clothes, all picked up. What did I do wrong?? I screamed the same as my H did, I am the one grounding him and sticking to it.

Do boys listen to fathers and step-dads more than mom's???
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Old 9th January 2006, 11:46 AM   #15
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Do boys listen to fathers and step-dads more than mom's???

Depends on the dynamics of the family relationships. In our house Dad was the silent type, but when he spoke, boy did we listen!

No offense intended, but you sound like somewhat of a push-over when it comes to this issue with your son. You even allowed yourself to be bribed so he could get out of it. It seems to me that he's convinced there are no consequences for him if he doesn't clean up his room, at least when it's you doing the asking/demanding.

I think my 13 year old is now becoming a lawyer! He is great at arguing his way out of everything.

How can you be swayed by the arguments of a 13 year old?

Generally we were allowed to let our rooms fester, to a point. But we also understood that when Mom said, 'Clean it up', she meant it. Or else, as one poster has pointed out here, she would take everything that was on the floor & throw it away.
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