Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Older childrens bedroom - haven or hole?

Last night I spent 2 hours helping (in other words doing 90%) my daughter sort out her drawers and wardrobe.  In her drawers we found many tops that no longer fitted.

After we (I) had finished and we had a half full black bin bag for the bin and a quarter full bag for donating, the room looked much better.  No drawer contents were spewing out their tongue of clothes, no wardrobe bulging at the door with thrown in items and no bed held up by shoes stuffed under it.

As I looked around it came to my mind that the room was now cleaned to my standard of cleaning but then the question arose.... Should older childrens rooms be their rooms?  By this I mean should they decide what or how tidy they are or should we as parents?  Do we invade their privacy by entering their rooms?  And should they be haven or be allowed to be holes?

Although my daughter was in the room with me the whole time 'helping' by watching the Wizard of Oz (!!) I soon realised that she was not bothered whether the t-shirts went in a t-shirt only drawer or were in a pile on the floor.

So it begs me the question as to why we as parents tidy, or ask our children to tidy their rooms.  I like to think that it teaches them to be tidy, organised and ensures they can find clean clothes where they should be - not on the floor!! Or is it because we want them to validate what we think is an important quality - cleanliness/tidiness/respect ?? 

I remember as a teen my Mum putting everything that had been dumped on the floor in my bedroom onto my bed so she could hoover. By doing this I then I had to put it away before I could get into bed.  My brother (8 years my senior) decided that he would just move his back to the floor when he got into bed and I came home from school the next day to find it all laid on a blanket in the front garden - ready and waiting for him to come and tidy!!

So do you tidy your children's rooms, help tidy or just shut the door and pretend you never saw what was lurking behind?  I would really like to know what others think so please leave me a comment below...