It's easy to simply close the door on your child's messy bedroom. This avoids nagging, tantrums by your kids and the struggle over bedroom housekeeping. Dealing with the cleaning problem and teaching your child to keep a neat bedroom, however, has advantages for both children and parents. The ability to keep a room clean demonstrates that your children understand how to maintain a routine and a tidy room might even avoid family illnesses.
Health and Illness
Clean rooms promote healthy living, and dirty bedrooms risk your child's health. Messy rooms aggravate allergies when dust and mites infest mattresses, drapes, rugs and scattered clothing. Food and snack crumbs attract mice, cockroaches and mold in humid weather. Bed bugs, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, live in household clutter, and a messy room offers places for the bugs to hide eggs. Establishing rules for a clean bedroom also help parents identify signs that children have emotional or learning disabilities such as attention deficit problems. The Anderton Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on education and learning disabilities, identifies messy bedrooms as one symptom of childhood dyslexia, a learning disability that inhibits learning and processing language.
Organization and Lost Items
Children have trouble keeping track of personal items in messy bedrooms, and parents and kids either do without or buy extra items when necessary things become lost in the mess. Cluttered and dirty bedrooms sometimes lead to the feeling of lost control over personal lives when kids can't find items or clothing in the room or when children despair over the site of the disaster, according to Texas psychologist Carl Pickhardt. Removing unnecessary bedroom clutter helps kids keep things organized and makes room for vacuum sweepers, dust cloths and brooms. Adding a bookshelf, toy box and a few storage tubs also helps children keep rooms neat by creating special places to store all personal items that typically end up on the floor or scattered around the bedroom.
Kids learn routines and develop personal habits early in life, according to the Hansen Centre, a group focused on helping children with communication disorders. Once children accept careless and messy behavior this risks becoming routine behavior. Parents must teach children how to keep bedrooms clean by demonstrating the proper cleaning process, according to the Hansen Centre. Sitting down with your child to develop a daily and weekly cleaning list assists your children develop the personal discipline to keep a clean bedroom. The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families claims routines, like bedroom cleaning, help kids learn self control. Daily chores, including hanging up clothes worn each day, also avoid the mad rush to clean at the end of the week to meet the chore calendar of duties.
House behavior rules help parents establish overall control over the family. Parental standards teach children to understand the authority hierarchy in the home with parents in charge of supervising children. Messy bedrooms give the signal that parents agree to abandon teaching appropriate behavior when children refuse to follow family rules, according to psychologist Carl Pickhardt. He urges parents to enforce a household policy that requires clean bedrooms to keep family harmony.
- Psychology Today: Surviving (Your Child's) Adolescence -- The Messy Room: Symbol of the Adolescent Age; Carl Pickhardt
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Bed Bugs Information, Resources and Management -- Myth and Facts
- Anderton Foundation: Information About Disabilities -- Dyslexia
- The Hanen Centre: What We Do
- National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families Zero to Three: Behavior and Development -- Love, Learning, and Routines
- Pearson Education FamilyEducation.com: Getting Kids to Clean Their Rooms
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