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How do I get two teenage girls to clean up after themselves?

Myhusband and I have tried just about all we can think about (outside of Medieval torture devices) to get our 13 and 15 year old to keep their bedroom and bathroom clean. We have taken away EVERYTHING and had them earn each item back in lieu of allowance. We have taken their clothes and supervised them picking out outfits for the next day. We have also picked up clothing items on the floor and given them directly to charity (after they were warned of such action). We've made them do their own laundry so they could experience themselves what a pain in the duff it is to do countless loads of sometimes clean clothing. We've grounded, yelled, screamed. We have even decided to let them keep their room a pig sty in hopes of them becoming completely disgusted with the mess themselves. Everything we try works for a while, but then their detour back to their messy ways. HELP us!!!

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Asked by Liese at 1:57 PM on Aug. 1, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (12)
  • well for one, its a phase it will pass. but to keep them from doing it, dont let them go anywhere, do anything before they leave theyre personal spaces clean. it will become drilled into them. keep at them, when you find which technique is best to make them clean, dont get off theyre backs about it. they may moan and huff but theyre teenagers, thats what they do. they will learn. good luck!

    Answer by ifuseekamy123 at 2:08 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • I would take a comepletely different approach...close thier door and don't look back, if the laundry doesn't go in the hamper, they will eventually have nothing clean to wear, and don't wash thier clothes when that happens.....they can do it themselves. Can't find domething in the room...not your problem. I have 4 yeens and had the exact same battle, then I quit fighting them, if something was lost or not clean it was thier problem not mine. It took a while but eventually they caught on, they still wash thier own laundry and 80% of the time thier rooms are clean, they eventually get embaressed when friends start to come over and they eventually get sick of having nothing clean. We can't always do it for them and we can't motivate them, somethings they have to learn on thier own.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 4:00 PM on Aug. 1, 2009



    Answer by lighthousemom3 at 9:44 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • I think you should just let them keep their room a mess, shut the door and ignore it. Do NOT go in there for clothes to wash, if they want clean clothes they do it themselves. It is, hopefully, a phase.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:15 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • take everything away from them till they clean it. If it gets dirty....take their things again.
    computer, tv, radio, cell phones....

    Answer by MitaUrAvonRep at 12:37 AM on Aug. 2, 2009

  • Leave it alone, close the doors and dont go in for anything.If you are worried about bugs and rodents don't allow them to bring in food and drinks. If they need clean clothes they can wash them. I hate the 'it's my house' attitude, it is theirs too, you have control of the whole house they need to have control of that one little space, if you don't want them to have people in there then tell them they have to clean it before friends come over, but I am betting based on experience with my 16 y.o son's nasty room that one cannot walk very far on the floor of that their friends will just say "you think this is bad you should see so-and-so's room!" or if it is too bad they will tell them to clean it up.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 9:57 AM on Aug. 2, 2009

  • i say you take all the clothes awayand u pick out their outfits. tell them if they are gonna act like pigs then they are not allow to choose whatthey wear. i say show the opics of all the nastyb bugs that could be lurking in the room. take everything away. basically just live the beds in the room.

    Answer by piwife at 11:18 AM on Aug. 2, 2009

  • As far as the room goes...If you don't want to look at it, close the door. If they want to live in a pig sty there is nothing you can do about it. Plus the more you nag the worse it will be. The bathroom is a different story especially if it's the one guest use. I would have a set day and time that it had to be clean by, like sat @ noon or you will do it for them for a price... You mention if they normally get $10 a week then make cleaning the bathroom cost $5 each. If they are out of money then it comes out of next weeks. I would also make them start doing there own laundry. again with a time line. clothes are at least clean and in there room by whenever you choose. If it's not done then that's another $5 or IOU for next week. If you are doing allowance then you need to stop providing some things like cash to go out with friends or special snacks in the house or money for special optional events.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:06 PM on Aug. 2, 2009

  • at like church or school. Make sure that there having to pay you makes them miss things. You can't make them want to do these things but you can teach them what happens when ignore our responsibilities. Make sure you stay consistent. I really have come to like the allowance thing at my house recently. My son is 5 and gets 5 quarters a week. Every time I have to do his chore I get paid a quarter. He is responsible for his own ice cream money and any toys he wants between birthday and Christmas. He has saved $14 already! Boy was he upset when he had to pay me last night for cleaning up the living room!

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:11 PM on Aug. 2, 2009

  • I agree with Luck, I have fought that battle and decided to fight no more. I close the door and dont look at it. When he has no clean clothes to wear thats his problem. The way I figure it is that I have bigger battles to fight. I have taught my 15 yr son how to take care of things and himself so if he wants to live in a pig sty thats his choice. Good Luck momma, choose your battles wisely.

    Answer by dillonsma at 12:25 AM on Aug. 3, 2009

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