Ah, to be a 16 year old boy. My son dislikes cleaning his room, and in fact seems to prefer to live amidst a state of constant chaos.
When I was young, I was really messy and my mother, who lived by the rule that “Cleanliness is next to godliness” used to do crazy, periodic room cleanings where she’d upend everything in my room and throw it all in a big pile on the floor and then leave me to restore order. She’d literally take all my dresser drawers out and dump them in a big pile in the middle of my room (yes — reminiscent of Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest”).
It used to completely freak me out and was extremely overwhelming and has undoubtedly contributed in some part to the many years of therapy that I’ve gone through so far in my life!
When I had kids of my own I resolved not to foist such lunacy on them, and have been (I believe) extremely generous and non-judgemental about how they keep their rooms. I’ve decided that I’m more interested in them getting good grades and being kind, generous and caring people than clean freaks.
But every other Monday my cleaning lady comes and so I have a firm rule that whatever is on the floor of their rooms must be removed and put in either the laundry room, the recycling bin (note the many water bottles) or in the garbage bin on every other Sunday night before Maricel comes to restore order to our home. This way she can actually get in there to vacuum the floor.
Recently I went into my son’s room and found this note taped to his book shelf.
After I snort laughed out loud for a while, I gotta’ say I was kind of impressed that he took the time and effort to find this little scientific discourse, print it out and tape it up there without telling me, assuming that the next time I went in his room to straighten it out, I’d see it (which of course is exactly what happened).
And, I was more than a little impressed by the fact that he knows what the word “entropy” means. I mean, I was an English major and all, so the fact that he knows what entropy means makes me a lot happier than a clean room ever would.
So I guess I’ll just leave his disordered room to it’s entropic state.
What about you guys, are your kids as messy as my son? Do you just give in to it, or do you have firm rules about how they keep their rooms?