Written by Doctor G

Teen Girls and a Messy Bathroom

how-to-clean-a-bathtub.pngMy two teenage daughters share a bathroom. It’s a mess! I thought maybe girls were naturally neat, but not these two, they just don’t care. They don’t replace the TP, they leave everything a mess. No amount of shouting has worked. My wife and I are just lucky no one else needs to use that bathroom. What can we do, or should we just drop it?

Anonymous, in PA

Stop shouting.

It’s taking your energy but it’s not working. I’ll bet there are more important conversations you want to be having with your daughters than cleaning the vanity in their bathroom.

Communicate your reasons.

Your girls need to know why you think this is important. Are you bothered by this because you want to know your whole house is clean? Are you worried they will not be able to keep a roommate (or a spouse) someday if they don’t learn to clean up after themselves? Since you don’t mention an equally messy kitchen or hallway, I’m betting that they know how to clean up, but don’t want to do it. Figure out what is your main motivation and then make it clear.

Speaking as someone who lost a roommate because it genuinely never occurred to me to clean the bathroom in my first ever apartment, I can tell you that some basic information is not as obvious as you might think!

Define your expections.

If they must treat your home more respectfully, attach the cleanliness of the bathroom to privileges that do matter to each of them. For example, a clean bathroom might be one of the necessary accomplishments for you to continue to pay a portion of their cell phone bills each month!

If you (and your wife) are OK just shutting the door to the bathroom and ignoring the mess, that is also fine. Once you’ve explained why a clean bathroom is important to most people, and that they might want to consider occasionally straightening up as practice for college, your work is done. However…

Create some boundaries.

Let the girls know that…

  1. If you have company who needs that bathroom, it must be cleaned 24 hours before and kept clean for the duration of the visit.
  2. If they stop up the toilet using makeup wipes because they ran out of toilet paper, they will pay to have the plumbing fixed themselves
  3. If anything permanently stains or ruins any of the surfaces, they will have to pay to replace it.

NOW you can drop it!

Parents, what do you do if your kid’s room or bathroom is too messy?


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2 thoughts on “Teen Girls and a Messy Bathroom”

  1. My 10 year old is to make her bed as soon as she awakens. I have a reminder sheets posted near the doorway of her bedroom, bathroom and our study. The sheets have things that need to be done before she leaves that room like hang up wet towel, put all dental items away, toss clothes in hamper. At the bottom of each sheet is a thank you like “Thank you for being so helpful, or considerate, or responsible!”

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