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Homepage – Forum Forums Off Topic They Do Eventually Grow Up

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    Most people on this site know that I have 4 sons, all now young adults. The oldest three are out on their own. The youngest is still living with us. Each in turn has gone through what I call the “slob phase”. Their bedrooms were nothing short of being condemmed. For us, it started at about age 13 and ended when they moved out at 19-21 years of age. No more mess. They gradually learned to care for their own places.

    Our youngest, now 22, has been a little slower on the uptake. I’ve tried nagging and bribing to some degree, threats, punishments when he was younger but nothing would move him to clean up his room so unless there was rotting garbage we decided to let him live in the filth and mess. It got pretty gross. Too gross even for him and this is a kid that spends hours grooming to look good, so go figure. Anyhow, I got the shock of my life yesterday. I happened to see in his room and it is almost clean enough to eat off the floor. Everything had been scrubbed and wiped down. He casually asked me if I’d noticed his room. I asked ( a bit sarcastically) if he’d had a cleaning service in. His room hasn’t been that clean in almost a decade. It was funny, he began to explain how “yucky” his room was feeling and decided to get busy and clean it at 4 AM no less but at least it’s done. He acted like it was a great discovery and marvelled at how the dirt had accumulated and now the room feels so much lighter and fresher. He acted like it was the greatest discovery since sliced bread. LOL!!

    I wanted to ask “Who are you and what did you do with my son?”. Anyhow, I just nodded and smiled and now pray that he learned something and his room will stay that way. Time will tell. I’m sure there are lots of us on this site that have had similar experiences. Just thought I’d share. (((((HUGS))))


    Mary Sue- I enjoyed reading your story. If that is the worst behaviour he has (had!) then that’s great. Keep us up to date on ‘the great room clean up’!



    I have a daughter and a son.
    My daughter, now 25 was always helpful, clean and tidy. A very good student and high achiever. She is finishing her Master’s Degree away from home.

    My son, 20, is very intelligent. He still lives at home. His bedroom is still as you describe – and has been that way for over 5 years. Yes, I tried the nagging a bribing routine. Yes, he spends more time grooming than he does keeping his room neat and tidy … Do I have to endure another 2 years – until he is 22? I just pray he grows out of this phase sooner rather than later.



    Hi Ddep:

    I too, hope that you don’t have to wait another 2 years. There is hope. I just checked my son’s room. It is still in reasonable shape other than a huge pile of laundry waiting to be sorted. So now I’m waiting to see how long it takes for him to put the laundry away or will it remain in a heap in the basket.

    As mentioned my older three moved out at ages 19-21 so their messes went with them. The only thing that seemed to spark an occasional cleanup during their teenage years was if I could muster the energy and go in their rooms and do a major clean up myself. The oldest referred to it as “getting razed”. They didn’t like it and viewed it as an invasion of privacy – I just said “My house, my rules. If you do your own cleanup then I won’t have to”. Whether that prompted the early move out I don’t know. I haven’t done this with my youngest. I simply don’t have the energy, but I may try to find it if his room resorts back to the condemmed state.

    I’d like to get my youngest to move out and take his mess with him. It would do him good with the growing up bit but with Alberta’s economy still in the tank, he hasn’t been able to find full time work and therefore can’t afford to live on his own. So, now that the cleaning bug has struck once, I can only hope that it will strike him again!! LOL!!! (((((HUGS))))

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