Thursday, August 19, 2010

Parenting by Personality: Part II

Opposing parent-child personalities that clash can be very challenging. According to an article in the June/July issue of Working Mother magazine, raising a child who's nothing like you can make you feel like you brought the wrong child home from the hospital. Today we will be looking at The Mess vs. Ms. Meticulous. In other words, your child is a slob and you're neat.

What you need to know is that many kids go through a sloppy phase, which doesn't mean they'll be slobs for life. In fact, what seems like a mess to you might bring your child comfort. "Look fro the motivation behind the messy room," says Dr. Berman, PsyD, a Los Angeles based family therapist. "Sometimes it's a misguided attempt at independence. Sometimes it means I don't want you to come in and this is how to keep you out.

What to do.
1. Let your child know you'd like some clean up give-and-take, ask questions in a non accusatory tone. (example)"Why do you think you've been struggling to keep your room clean?"

2. If your child is losing homework or other important items in the mess, work together to develop a system for putting papers, books, cell phone, and such when they can easily find them.

3. If your child just needs more privacy, consider giving it to him/her. This is as long as he/she are clear about not doing things that are off-limits, like texting instead of doing homework, or visiting inappropriate websites.

4. Try to compromise: Once a week, the sheets are washed and the room is vacuumed. The rest of the time, you let them be and close the door to the room if that works for you.


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