Disorderliness or messiness is a growing kid’s right; or so do the kids themselves truly believe! Being messy is a very common developmental trait amongst pre-teens. Although it might seem like a bug having taken over your once sane and organized kid’s mind, there is no need for you as a parent to get so panicky about it all.
Your kids and their brains are growing. There are a lot of changes happening in their bodies, and this certainly includes their grey matter.
Moodiness, lack of civil communication, absent mindedness, etc. are regular tween traits which you will need to learn to accept and deal with.
Another factor which plays an important role in changing your tween’s otherwise ‘good’ behavior is, ‘peer pressure’. After all, your tween does not want to look like a ‘nerd’ to his/her so called ‘cool’ friends.
Here are few tips for you to handle your messy tween in the best possible manner:
1. Be cool, as long as his messiness does not affect you!
Your kid’s messiness is strictly his prerogative, as long as it’s about him and him only. The moment it gets out to affect you or anybody else in the family, that is when you need to intervene.
His clothes are clean and yet in the laundry basket, it’s his problem. But if he leaves the milk on the kitchen counter overnight and as a consequence you are not able to have your cereal the next morning, his messiness certainly becomes your problem. This is when you have to put your foot down.
2. It’s neither about rewards nor about threats!
It’s the truth guys and research proved. None of this works. What will certainly work is firmness coupled with kind understanding. You have to be firm for what cannot be accepted and placid because they, after all, are growing children.
3. Agreements work!
It always has to be a two way dialogue. Negotiations and following them through is something that will always work. When your child is ready to commit to a certain task in a time frame, and if the consequence of not doing it is correlated, respectful and rational, then it is called a win-win agreement.
4. Try not to lose it!
Losing your cool will not get you anywhere. Accept it. After all, a messy room, spilled tea, soiled dishes under the bed, etc. are all not worth it when there are so many other pressing issues surrounding your tween.
In conclusion, all we can say is that you have passed that age too! Never stop reminding yourself that. This way you will keep your cool and will try to understand your tween’s temperament and behavior better.