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How Can You Raise a Clean Teen?

It's possible to get your teenager to help keep the house clean -- it just takes patience.

Teen Cleaning Tips continued...

There’s some final advice that’s at least as important as the other suggestions: Don’t try to change who your kids are. Part of the issue here is personality and temperament. Can you require that your teens do their own laundry and pick up their shoes? Yes. Can you make sloppy teens become a fastidious, tidy people? No – no more than you can make them, through force of will, into concert cellists or medal-winning high divers.

“Our kids are not ourselves,” says Wibbelsman. “You can’t impose your own personality on them.”

So as parents, you need to set some standards for how your kids behave in your house and some expectations they have to meet. But don’t go too far beyond that. Don’t try to change how they think. Respecting your teens’ individuality can mean compromise – accepting that they’re just not quite as tidy as you wish they were, and that it’s not something that arguing will change.

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Reviewed on July 21, 2010

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