17 year old daughter won't clean her room, we have tried everything., Please help

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Shelley - posted on 06/17/2013

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I honestly think both Jodi and Whitney were out of line. Whether or not who started it, both were attacking each other in the end. Both of you guys should own up! But it does seem like a lot of people are ganging up on Whitney. In all fairness, she did ask you to stop. If you really wanted the arguing to end, you would have just not responded and let it go. Both of you guys should stop trying to get the "last word" in. Shawnn, a couple of a bugs that wouldn't do any harm wouldn't be sabotaging her room. Throwing away her stuff is sabotage. If nothing she has tried worked, maybe something like bugs that extreme would be the solution. It's not really up to any of us and it's likely Pamela has already decided what to do. Personally, I think she should just close the door and leave it. The older our kids get, the more their minds become set in stone. There isn't a lot you can do to change their minds. At 17, you're already a long way down the road to who you are suppose to be.

Shelley - posted on 06/17/2013

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I'm new to this site and I thought this was suppose to be a site where Moms encouraged each other!! Not stir up fights!

Denikka - posted on 06/15/2013

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Unfortunately this is degenerating into a bickering contest with Whitney. . .

Pamela, I'm sorry nothing has worked, including drastic measures. I assume that your daughter is working if she can go behind your back and purchase her own replacement phone. That makes things much more difficult. I'm not sure what else to suggest, but I hope you find some sort of answer :)

Whitney, just because it didn't work in this particular case and has not worked in others doesn't *prove* anything. As I mentioned in my previous post, nothing will work 100% of the time with 100% of kids. It's just and OPTION that may work in SOME cases. Yes, I did say that it is working in the case of my 4yr old. I ALSO stated that I knew of and have seen other cases where it has worked with teens (aka, over 13 years old and under 20 years old).
Just like spanking works in some cases and not in others. Same with time outs, removing items, taking away special treats like going out, charging kids for not doing their chores, etc. Some things will work with one child and not with others. When a parent is at their wits end, it's not a bad idea to start trying things that are a bit more extreme and unconventional.
As for your comment to Jodi, that was exceptionally rude and uncalled for. She is a VERY active member on CoM and posts everywhere. MOST of the topics that I have posted to since I joined, she has also posted to. It's not surprising that she has also posted to many topics that you have also posted to and, knowing her responses in the past, if she disagrees with you, it's because she disagrees with you. Not because she *doesn't like you* or whatever.
Your profile says you have no children. I'm curious why you're posting motherly advice if you have no children (obviously I could be wrong if you just haven't added any to your profile). I know I would much rather take advice from someone who has actually been there, instead of someone with (potentially) zero experience. You seem a lot more like an older teenager/young adult who thinks that they know best even with no life experience to back them up. If you're getting negative responses, perhaps you might want to reevaluate how you're coming across to others who can't read into the tone of your posts.

Callen - posted on 06/15/2013

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I had the same problem but decided to "pick my battles" and this wasn't one of them. I tried to live by the motto "inspire, not require" Both of my daughters turned out just fine! Just shut the door!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/07/2014

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In response to senior mother: Who gave your daughter permission to move into your home? I see that you say her late father 'told her' to move in with you, but did he tell her that with your permission?

If so, you should have set terms and conditions with your permission. If not, you should have met her at the door with terms and conditions for an adult child living in your home.

If my soon to be 20 year old took on his own responsibilities without prompting from his parents, I am flummoxed as to how other parents are neglecting this most necessary part of raising children. My sons have known since they were old enough to do math that they would be expected to contribute to their expenses once they reached adulthood. Adulthood, in my definition, was when they graduated HS. My eldest came to me within a week of graduation with an outline that he'd completed for what he felt his responsibilities to the house were at that time. HE did it on HIS OWN. He insisted on contributing to household expenses, etc.

My youngest son knows that he'll have the same responsibilities.

They haven't argued, they haven't disrespected us, they haven't had any problems. BUT, I must point out that our expectations of our sons have ALWAYS been very clear at any age. That makes a difference. Yes, we spoilt them to an extent, yes we gave them things that sometimes they didn't need...but we tempered that with life lessons along the way, and daily expectations of them, whether it was the expectation to feed the dogs or clean their rooms.

Without these expectations clearly in place from the beginning, many adults feel that their parents should still be taking care of them. I'll be damned if I EVER ask my mother to move back in with her. I'll live in a friggin cardboard box before I ask for her 'help'. I am beyond myself to see that people with adult children OLDER THAN I AM who don't seem to think they have a responsibility to be mature.

Write up a contract for your daughter. Include a set date by which she must be out. Include, effective immediately, the amounts she will be expected to pay for her share of the household expenses. These include mortgage, utilities, and any extras such as landline and cable. Include dates by which each installment MUST be paid, or all else in the contract will be forfeit.

Expect a fight. YOu've shown her that you'll allow the behaviour, and she's accustomed to you waiting on her and her children. People cry when they're taken from their comfort zone. STAND YOUR GROUND.

Good luck.

Senior Mother - posted on 05/06/2014

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I'm a senior mother that would like to offer this, I learned from a counselor to just close the child's door. Children need a sense of power and control over SOMETHING. If they choose to live in a mess, it's their choice. It's not easy to do and it's frustrating as heck. This acceptance saves arguments etc. Once I learned this, I preferred to assert MY power in other departmenst. It's like choosing one's battles.
Senior Mother 73
Why is a senior mother on this site? It was an accident. I'm desperate for help. One of the above daughters (divorced) 45 yrs is no now living with me. Along with her are my two grandsons 7 and 10. Before her dad died, he told her to move in with me. I have not been in the best of health. I just had major surgery. This daughter over the past two and 1/2 years has not even offered or asked if she could help me around the large house. The boys activities are always getting in the way of them taking time to do anything around the home. She and I had a few words about that last night. She is disrespectful, unappreciative and has a quick machine gun brain and mouth. I'm just the opposite. I'm dreading to tell her one of the days SOON that things are going to change. I'm bracing myself because her mouth will mow me down in a minute! I know that there are more parents and children living with their older parents now days. Thanks for reading this. I'm going to check out the disrespectful child thread and see if it can help.

Shelley - posted on 06/17/2013

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I could name a few children it would. I know it would work for me!! If I found any type of bug in my home that isn't a spider or a fly, I'd be cleaning away! Of course I try my best to keep things neat and tidy so it wouldn't happen anyways ... :) But then again you have those kids who think bugs are cool.

[deleted account]

I like how everyone is pointing fingers at me and refusing to own up to their own mistakes. I asked her to stop multiple times and she continued it, not me. I have every right to ask someone to leave me alone. I will not apologize for that, nor will I agree with it being wrong to stand up for myself and ask someone to quit it. But I think I will quit commenting because a bunch of mothers who act like teenagers on the internet are not worth my time.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/17/2013

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In full agreement with Jodi.

One side of the argument took the adult route, the other chose to continue to nit-pick and push the issue.

NONE of us are picking on anyone. Simply mentioning a name is not picking on, it is used as an aid to identify which post being referred to.

Jodi - posted on 06/17/2013

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Shelley, could you please stop carrying it on? Let's be honest here, if she had wanted it to stop, she also would have stopped and would not have sent me all the private messages that she did. I have decided to stop and removed my posts in order for that to happen. I would ask that you do the same and that Whitney remove her posts accordingly. That way, we can all stop commenting on it and get back to business.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/17/2013

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So...LOL..Whitney would actually sabotage her kid's room to get them to clean it? And would you please point out where anyone called you ANY names?

LMAO!!!

Close the door. Pick your battles. When she bitches about mice/pests, smile and say "you chose the pigsty lifestyle, glad you're enjoying that".

She'll get over it, most likely, and you'll be less stressed.

Jodi - posted on 06/17/2013

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In fairness to the OP, I have decided to remove and/or edit all of my posts that are off topic. I think that in fairness to the OP Whitney should do the same, and also remove any posts that personally attack any other member of the community.

[deleted account]

After you sent a very long message (which I didn't read after glancing at some of the material). Just stop.

[deleted account]

The message I sent you was nothing but kind which I'd be happy to copy and paste to prove it. I'd say you're the one twisting things around. Just leave me alone and quit being a bitch.

[deleted account]

You don't have to call someone names to be rude. Just stop, since I can't block you apparently, please kindly do not respond to anything I say. Your ignorance is absolutely irritating.

Debating is not the same as personally attacking what someone says.

Do yourself a favor and don't respond.

Jodi - posted on 06/15/2013

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"Whitney, just because it didn't work in this particular case and has not worked in others doesn't *prove* anything."

Dennika put it beautifully. Just because it wouldn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work.

BEING a teenager and having a view from the perspective of a teenager and what you may or may not have felt when you were a teenager is very different to raising a teenager and responding to the personality of that child.

Delaney - posted on 06/15/2013

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My sister, Katie went through the same thing with her now 19 year old. As I used to write a parenting column in the local news paper while on maternity leave with my youngest, they turned to me. I gave them a solution that worked so well, now her dorm is spotless! We made a bigger mess. Okay, maybe your thinking ''what type of solution is that!'', but there was a catch. She had to spend all her time in her room until it was clean. Every day she didnt completely clean room, or at least clean to my sister's standers, we added more to the mess. And when I say she didnt go anywhere but school, I mean for a month she was only allowed to leave her room for chores and meals, as she had a bathroom in her room. Eventually, she just broke down and cleaned. I know its extreme, but it did work!

[deleted account]

Oh and Chris's idea about letting it stay dirty had some potential. Except (this may seem extreme), the ants thing would %100 guarentee she cleaned her room. Go to the pet store and get some of the bugs that they feed to some of the animals (no harmful bugs), and put them in her room right before she goes in there. Enough that she'll see them but not enough to where you forget how many were in there. Then tell her, "That's what happens when you keep a dirty room." She'll clean in for sure.

[deleted account]

It takes two people to argue. Parents under estimate younger generations than them. They assume they always know best, when truth be told, they don't. Life experience means nothing when you don't let it shape you for the better.

Spanking has been proven in the majority of cases to psychologically effect children for the worse past certain ages and in the ways children are spanked.

I don't know you, therefore your opinions mean nothing to me. You're a argumentative woman online who thinks they know best. Well, there is not a single mom out there who knows best. Every mother will make mistakes and be incorrect where their children are right in some way. Every mother will have the choice to learn from the mistakes they make, or continue to make them.

I just find it strange she has posted negatively trying to start arguments with me on things that are completely irrelevant to what has been said. So I'll tell someone to knock it off and grow up. I don't understand why if you disagree with someone on this site, they attack you with their words.

[deleted account]

On a 4 year old you said it worked ... Like I said it doesn't work for a 17 year old. As it has been proven below me.

Jodi, why are you following the posts I comment on and negatively responding to everything I say? Seriously, you'd think as a mom you would learn to act older than your children.

Pamela - posted on 06/15/2013

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I have tried that also, i have thrown out beautiful expensive items, taken her prize possession off her (Iphone) she just purchased another one behind my back and hide it for days...still it hasn't worked. But thanks for all your wonderful responses...it helps to think people out going through the same thing.

Denikka - posted on 06/14/2013

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Whitney, I have PERSONALLY witnessed how the technique I suggest has worked, in real life. I have seen the effects of before, during and after. It CAN work. Not in every situation, but there is NOTHING out there that will work with every child.
It can and does work. And it is ignorant of you to say that it doesn't or won't. It MAY be exactly what this particular child needs. It may not. But it IS a viable option, as are many other option. You can speak of your own situation, where it wouldn't have worked with you. I have seen situations where it does work, and it WOULD have worked with me (I was a clean kid, so it never became an issue anyways).
I never said, and neither has Jodi, that what i suggested was the only option, but it is an option. And, as the title says that the parents have said that they have already tried *everything*, I can only assume that includes removing things like her phone and/or car keys or whatever else, and things like grounding. So, while those may be viable options in other situations, if they've already been tried and haven't worked, they're no longer reasonable options.
Unfortunately, I don't see where the OP has replied to this topic, so we can't be sure what techniques have already been tried and have failed.

Chris - posted on 06/14/2013

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Why do anything? Are you sharing the room with her? Let her live in her own mess. We have done this with our daughter, we said nothing at all, just closed the door. After sometime she did not find what she needed in the disaster and after she got ants looking for food she cleaned everything up and most of the time it looks really nice.
And the best thing when she has friends over it it super well cleaned. But she had to start hating the mess first by her self - not by her parents telling her.

Jodi - posted on 06/14/2013

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"4 years old and 17 years old are a big difference. Doesn't work like that for teenagers."

Uh, yeah it does......

Trina - posted on 06/13/2013

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The best thing I would recommend first is prayer. I have a 15 year old daughter and I can relate. I tried punishing, yelling taking away things it didnt work. I bought a book but Stomie Omarian and I began to read and increase my faith in my child. I must say first you must have faith in your child. You must keep all of your house clean as well. Present it to your child diffrently, teens love compliments, clean it with her buy air fresher and plug ins a couple new nick nacks, she may like a new mirror or paint or something that compliments who she is. Write down what you would like to see change in your child over all!!!!! I guarantee you PRAYER works everytime ! I've had this book 6 months my daughter cleans stop talking back walks the dogs even prays with me on her own attitude is gone and she even passed to the next grade in school when I tell you I had a beast on my hands. Woooooow there is hope in our children. We must speak life into them and believe in them and ourselves 1st. I want to praise him for you in advance! Go get the book I promise it shows you how to be specific in your prayers over your children. My daughter even stop lying to me and talks to me now! I'm telling you it works! The book is called THE POWER OF A PRAYING PARENT

Denikka - posted on 06/12/2013

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I've known of many situations where it has worked for teenagers. I never said it was a first go to response, but a last resort.
I realize that 4 and 17 are drastically difference ages, but let's face it, most teenagers can sometimes act like toddlers.
I know that if this tactic had ever been tried on me, it would have happened ONE time, and my stuff would never have made it past the garage stage. Just the threat of losing my belongings would have been more than enough to get me to pick up and keep my room reasonably clean. Obviously a parent shouldn't threaten to throw everything out over a couple articles on the floor or out of place, but when you haven't see the floor in the past 6 months and the junk is a foot high, it's time for some drastic measures.

Denikka - posted on 06/11/2013

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I'm also a younger woman Whitney. I'm 23.
I definitely believe in giving her an opportunity to clean her stuff up. But I know how my younger sister was and I know the state of her room. If it's anything similar to that, then it's a serious issue. This teen needs to take responsibility for her items. If she can't do that, she doesn't deserve them.
Pamela says they have tried everything. I would have to assume that would mean that they have already tried grounding and taking things away. Obviously if it's still such an issue, those solutions didn't work. If they didn't work, you have to up the consequences. Even just the threat of throwing things out is quite often enough to kick a kids butt into gear. That's what I do with my older child. He's 4 years old. I've been teaching him since he was capable of putting toys away that he needs to do it when he's asked. He's always been bad for putting it off and getting distracted and just plain not wanting to do it. In the past couple of months I have gotten fed up with being on his case and having to literally stand over top of him to get him to pick up a single thing. So I have told him that he has a certain time frame to clean up a certain area and if it's not done, then whatever's left on the floor is going to go in the garbage. There have been a few (very few) occasions where I have had to throw out small things (usually like Kinder Surprise toys) but boy, when I start threatening, he moves his butt. And just as I grab the broom, I give him one last chance to go over the floor and make sure he got everything. And everything gets picked up and put away.
It works extremely well as a threat, but it's only effective if you're willing to actually go through with it. I can pretty much guarantee that it would only happen once, if at all.

[deleted account]

DO NOT THROW HER STUFF AWAY. Coming from a younger woman here, if my mom had ever done that, I can %100 guarantee you I would not clean my room and I would throw her stuff away. Ground her until she cleans her room. Take stuff away when she is gone, and tell her she can have one bag of stuff back until everything is completely clean. Take her phone, if she has a car, no keys. She can stay confined until it's clean. Stuff like that works.

Denikka - posted on 06/11/2013

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Clean it for her. And by clean, I mean clear out. Everything that's on the floor/not put away can go in garbage bags.
Obviously, this would have to be done while she's out for an extended period of time, a couple hours at least. But I can guarantee that it'll have an impact. Take the garbage bags out to the garage and, when she freaks out (as she most definitely will) tell her that's where he stuff is and she can go and organize it properly. And let her know that the next time her room gets bad and she decides not to clean it up, her stuff won't be ending up in the garage, it'll be ending up in the dump.
It's a shock tactic, but it's definitely effective if you've tried everything else and nothing has worked.

Lakota - posted on 06/11/2013

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Have you taken her cell phone, computer, video games, time spent with her friends, car or the privilege to drive away from her? If not, that usually does the trick.

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