05-10-2022 04:05 AM - last edited on 05-10-2022 03:47 PM by Philippa-RO
My 14yo daughter will not keep her room clean. I'm not talking a small mess. She has rotting food, dishes, clothes, rubbish everywhere. I have cleaned it for her and 2 days later it's the same. She's not allowed to eat in her room but she sneaks food in. I have offered her bribes to clean it that didn't work. I took her phone away that didn't work either. I'm at my wit's end how to address it. She doesn't look after anything she has. I actually have to sit at her door for her to clean it or she will just go in her room and read a book. Any tips on how to deal with a filthy teen?
05-10-2022 02:24 PM - edited 05-10-2022 02:38 PM
Welcome @Crazymum66 - it's great to have you join the community.
I can hear your frustration - I really feel for you with the stress this sounds like this is causing.
Can I ask how your daughter feels about her room?
I noticed in another thread that you mentioned your daughter has ADHD and I'm wondering if she could be struggling with executive function.
Does she have any professional support for her ADHD? If so, have her support people been able to offer any suggestions on ways to help her manage her room?
I thought this article had some nice tips if it's something you'd like to take a look at. For more individualised support, the ADHD Foundation have a helpline, or we have a one-to-one parent coaching service if you'd like to connect with them.
I'm not sure if it's helpful, but sometimes I've found with my child who has ADHD that they seem to feel less overwhelmed if I break things right down for them... for example, I might just ask them to do one really specific manageable task (eg. pick up 5 things from the floor or put your shoes in your shoe basket). Is your daughter able to manage small tasks, or does she find any cleaning too hard?
We're here to support you as you try to find strategies that work for you and your daughter, so please feel free to talk things through here any time.
05-10-2022 05:07 PM
05-10-2022 11:20 PM
Hi @Crazymum66 and thank you for getting back to us about this.
It sounds like you have tried a number of different things in hopes of getting your daughter to clean her room. You mentioned that one solution only lasted a week, do you mind me asking how long you tried these new suggestions for? Whether it was days or weeks. I'm also wondering if you have spoken to your daughter about this and asked what things she might be willing to try to help keep her room clean?
What kinds of things is your daughter interested in? Is there a way you could incorporate some of these things, to make cleaning her room a little more fun and interesting?
We're all here for you.
05-11-2022 01:15 AM - edited 05-11-2022 01:16 AM
05-11-2022 10:59 AM
It sounds like it's a really stressful time for everyone in the family at the moment. It's really great that you are reaching out for some support even when you're feeling frustrated.
It sounds like your daughter might be struggling with executive dysfunction, which can be really debilitating for people with ADHD. And sometimes things that we think are really simple tasks, are extremely difficult when ADHD is involved. I'm wondering if you have tried to clean her room with her? Having someone else to make the task less overwhelming (without just doing it all for her) might be something to explore. It could even turn into a time you get to spend together one on one to chat about how you're both feeling.
Have you got any supports in place for yourself at the moment? It's so important to remember to look after yourself too.
05-11-2022 11:47 AM
05-11-2022 02:58 PM - last edited on 05-11-2022 03:54 PM by Philippa-RO
I suppose you don't like my advice, but don't clean her room, she knows that it's important for you and maybe even exhausts you. If she wants to be in a messy room, it's her right. At least she will get tired of living in the dirt and she will clean herself
05-11-2022 03:34 PM
05-11-2022 04:27 PM
@Crazymum66 I can really hear how stressful this is for you.
I noticed you said you don't have much support and I was wondering if you think it would be helpful to link with an ADHD parent support group to connect with other parents who are going through similar things? If so, ADHD Foundation and ADHD support Australia both have support groups.