My teenaged son keeps a very messy room, what can I do to break him of this bad habit?
Question: My son is a teenager. He does not care for the cleanliness or arrangement of his room. He does not put things, such as books and clothes, in their places. Sometimes, he sleeps in his clothes that he wears when he goes out and sometimes even with his shoes. Everything about his behaviors is overcome by absolute disorderliness. I go to his room and arrange it properly, but after a short time the situation becomes as it was before. I am tired of his state, and I fear that he will remain so all his life.
The answer: I do not think that all the blame is on this young man. There might have been prior incidents in the family from where he has acquired this disorderliness.
He might have been so in his childhood. You should review that period to ascertain from where he has originally learned this disorderliness. He might have learned it from the manners of his parents or brothers, or from school, or from the environment he lived in and then he took that with him when he entered his youth.
Sometimes, parents do not teach their children how to undertake responsibility. A pampered child, who is given everything without making any effort, remains the same when he becomes a young man. He expects others to serve him as before. It is not right for a mother to say: “do not let my son be tired”, “I fear for him”, “let him rest”, “I serve him”, etc.
This way of education makes a child grow accustomed to irresponsibility, and when he grows older, he will not be able to manage his affairs, arrange his things, or organize his life, and this is the very failure.
The cause of disorderliness of the youth often stems from the kind of education they receive from their parents during childhood. So parents should not let their sentiments and excessive love for their children give them such a result later on.
Parents should teach their child that they will not undertake his responsibilities for him. Everyone has his own existence and duties in life. Cooperation is necessary, but it does not mean being lazy and burdening others with one’s own duties and tasks because this is an injustice and does not befit one with dignity and honor.
One of the reasons behind disorderliness in a young man’s life may be his discontent with his state for making him bored and aimless. Such a young man may be angry at something and so his disorderliness is a means of showing his anger and obstinacy to make others feel his suffering. Sometimes, the cause may be the state of adolescence and the change of instincts from which one suffers during the period of adulthood.
What is required in all these cases is as follows:
1. You should explain to your son the advantages of orderliness and its important effect on success and happiness in life.
2. You should inspire in him the spirit of undertaking responsibilities and encourage him with nice words of thanks and appreciation whenever he achieves something by himself.
3. You should not make yourself his deputy; rather, you should assist him in the task that he has to carry out. You can help him to carry out his duties, but little by little you should leave him alone to do his duties by himself.
4. You should teach him how to carry out some deeds and actions as a supervisor, without interfering in his achievement of them.
5. Let the things demanded from him vary and be free from monotony. You should not ask him to do things insistently or by threatening, shouting or begging.
6. You should not let him grow accustomed to stipulate certain things when you ask him to do something.
7. You should not punish him if he does not do what he promises to do.
8. You should be a practical example for him in all that you want from him, whether in orderliness, cleanliness, discipline, or any other good habits.
FOR A BETTER FUTURE