Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Argue or Not?




“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24

Years ago, when my daughter was a teenager, we would argue quite often about how she kept her bedroom – or should I say didn’t keep her room! I had well meaning relatives and friends who would give me advice on how I should make her clean her room. Nothing worked! It became a battle ground. Then one day while I was at work, I was listening to Family Life Radio, a well known Christian family Psychologist was answering questions from listeners. That hour I heard something that helped turn around my daughter’s and my relationship. A mother was sharing how she and her teenage daughter fight all the time regarding her messy room. The Psychologist said, “Is there a door to your daughter’s bedroom?” The mother said, “Yes,” The Psychologist replied, “Shut the door! There are better things for your daughter and you to discuss than to fight over her room.” Wow, those words hit me like a ton of bricks. It seemed that all my daughter and I did was fight over something. So that evening after work, my daughter and I had a little discussion. I told her I was no longer going to argue with her about her room as long as she kept her door closed and did her own laundry. From that day forward we did not argue about her room. Other things yes, after all she was a teenager. But her room was her space.

It’s a little funny, to this day she diligently cleans every room in her home, but her bedroom is usually the last room that gets clean. Now she has a teenage son whom I believe keeps his room neater than she did; with one exception – everything gets thrown into the closet or drawers! He seems to be a pack rat like his grandfather! Now that's a story for another time.

Did anyone else have problems with their teen keeping their room clean? How did you resolve the problem?


 

20 comments:

Debra said...

Michele,

Yes, we have had that argument! Many times! Josh is very disorganized to my eyes, but if I try to organize him..he can't find anything. So, we try to find that happy medium.

I do his linens on Monday where I pray over him and make sure his linens are fresh for the week. He is responsible knowing where things are at and being on time places and when company comes...he has to shape it up some! tee hee

Blessings to you today, Michele

Denise said...

May God grant patience.

Renee said...

My children are all grown and gone, but as we grew older and less willing to battle with the kids, we compromised with the idea that every other week the room needed to be organized enough to see the floor. Any food containers had to be removed, etc. to avoid bugs! Otherwise, the door was kept shut. And when the youngest one was still home, she did her own laundry too. Each child is different in how they keep their homes now ~ 1 messy, 2 really messy, and 2 not messy!

Marsha said...

When the girls shared a room, they would always argue over who's mess it was. When we were finally able to give them each their own room, it became quite clear who the messy one was and who took care of her space.

I'll let them come on here and make their claims if they want to.

Missy said...

I plead the 5th.
But I must tell you, that even at 33 years old, I still have to keep my room door shut!

Lady of Value said...

My girls shared a room until the oldest moved out and now the younger one keeps things somewhat tidy, it is good enough for me anyway, she too is a pack rat and has more things shoved in drawers, but it is out of sight, so it doesn't bother me.

My son, on the other hand! Whew, you can barely walk in his room! He just turned 12 on Sunday. His room is small and he has boxes of stuff stacked all over. I fuss at him all the time, but you are so right, just shut the door, that is good advice!

Laurie Ann said...

I love this WFW! Um, yes, we had trouble with the room issue. I wish I'd had that advice about shutting the door back in the day. My method was to bribe or threaten, whichever I felt like at the time. Both worked. Money or clothes or a movie for cleaning it; me getting in there and throwing away stuff if she didn't. She always got the better end of that deal, hah hah!

Kristi said...

That is so cute! Blessings to you!

Susan said...

Well, I sure needed to read this post. I'm convicted!!

Thanks for sharing this today.

Have a blessed WFW!!!

He And Me + 3 said...

My 8 year old and I butt heads often...about silly things, but your post really opened my eyes. Thank you for those kind but honest words. I needed to hear them. So glad I stopped by today.

Lisa said...

I love the verse on kind words. Our boys haven't reached their teen years yet, and they share a room and keep it fairly neat. My room (especially the master bathroom) tends to be the last to get cleaned.

ellen b. said...

Hee, hee. My 22 year old daughter's room is horrible. We've shut the door for years :0)
Sometimes she'll let me help her clean up then we just sit there and ooo and ahhhh....
Kind words are good and there are plenty of things that matter to have discussions over...

Stacy said...

How true it is that if the messy bedroom was hindering more meaningful conversations...drop the bedroom! Kind words are like honey to our children and to our ears. May my words be sweet to my children's soul and pleasing to their ears. I know that that isn't always the case! Thanks for sharing with us today.

also known as Alicia said...

I agree with Missy...I plead the 5th. My mother was always complaining about my room when I was a teenager. I try to keep a clean house. Some days are better than others!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

DeeDee said...

Love the verse and the pic (love Winnie the Pooh!)
And I remember those days well... and finally deciding that I needed to choose my battles. LOL
Both girls now do a wonderful job in their own home and the son has a great wife to help him :)
LOL
Sweet Blessings,
DeeDee

Kat said...

I'm far past the age for Winnie the Pooh, but I confess I still love him! He is just so sweet looking and always has something nice to say to everyone in all circumstance it seems. The verse went perfectly with Pooh who always seems to have words like honey (no wonder he loves honey ;) for all :)

Peggy said...

Blessings again Michele...I enjoy so much that you have Pooh with this Proverb verse! How sweet! I'm way past advice on teens...mine were adopted and I also had foster teens, but I don't recall ever having arguments over their rooms! I must have been more blessed than I thought! Maybe it was all their other issues that made that a difficult time! Good thing for Radio Programs that God uses to clunk us over the head with what we need to hear at the time we are struggling!!! Glad you heard it and applied it! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Willow said...

I was the one with the filthy (okay not dirty but really MESSY) room. Drove my mom to distraction. She finally bought a poster of a room that looked like a disaster area with the slogan "My Room -- Love It or Leave It", taped it to the front of my door and closed the door. I have LONG SINCE applied that with my 18-year-old. My 14-year-old (for now anyway) is neat as a pin!

I do think we have to pick our battles so I try to only fight about the things that matter -- school and moral choices mainly and we end up not having to fight a whole lot.

ozjane said...

I think that untidy rooms is one of the few reasons why I am grateful I could not have children.
I would have managed I'm sure, but I do hate closed doors. vbg.

Love the WFW, such a cute picture
to match the verse.

kbbryant said...

Being conscious of my words, hurtful or encouraging has been a theme for me this week. Again you reinforced it for me with this verse.

Kathy b