When she became a tween and through her teen years my daughter’s room was the safest room in our home. The very room we should hide all of our valuables in, for if our home was ever broken into even the thief would be so overwhelmed upon entrance to her room he would have shuddered and made a fast retreat to a more organized part of the home.
What the heck happened to my “clean up, clean up…everybody, everywhere…clean up, clean up…everybody do your share” purple dinosaur lovin daughter? (Random fact: I met the guy whose daughter sang all the songs for the actual Barney television show, he said it was grueling, but fun for her.)
Back to the mess.
I mean seriously, do you know how many years and words I have put into – a place for everything and everything in its place? So, after days, weeks, months of arguing and punishing we had a “meeting” and discussed what would bring peace back to our home.
This “my way disease” suffering mama came to the realization that it was her room and she had to figure out how she was going to live in her space. We made an agreement. She could live however she wanted, but I was encouraging her to live with order to make her life easier. Therefore, Fridays her room needed to be neat and clean or weekend fun had to wait. She agreed, but she did not like it.
Yes, there were weeks of success, weeks of failure – but she agreed. There were also weeks where I gave grace, if I knew it had been an extra packed week. So there were times where Friday was given a reprieve until Saturday morning. (I have weeks my bedroom looks like a dump too!)
You can “make” your kid do anything, your goal is to guide them to “want” to do the right thing.
Fast forward to last year, my daughters freshman year in college. I went to visit Samara for a few days before a break and they were not allowed to leave for the weekend until their room was “checked.” The RA walked by her room and said, “No need to check this room, it’s always the neatest, cleanest room in the dorm.”
I snapped my head back, turned and looked at my girl, mouth agape. She grinned and said, “See mom, I was listening, I did learn – it does matter to me now.”
Happy dance…I will not see my daughter on an episode of hoarders.
Do not grow weary moms…keep teaching!