Allowing your teen to reinvent their space—a lifelong gift—Part II

***image1***Last week I addressed questions from parents regarding their teen’s rooms and schedules. This week, however, I want to respond to some teens I’ve worked with and talked with over the years and answer their concerns. As parents (I have a teen-age daughter) we want to see our children thrive, and while our frustration is real, the real frustration can often lie within our teen. Read on and see what our kids are concerned about and how we can work with them to truly reinvent their space their way! Consider it that priceless gift for a lifetime of clarity and bliss.

Q. I am a 15-year-old girl. I am very active in school government and sports, and I make good grades. The problem? I feel overwhelmed almost all of the time and my room is a crazy messy! Is there something I can do to not feel so freakin’ stressed!! Kat B.

A. Of course there is! You, as a young teen, already have a step up on the situation. You recognize what is going on. So, how to ‘fix’ it. Your room (if it is only yours) is a place to sleep, dress, study and hang out with friends. However, you can’t do that if you are living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Scenario)! What you need is a ‘makeover’. Take a look around your room. Do you have too much ‘stuff’? I’m talking about books or magazines, CD cases, clothes or those great photo memories. Block out 2 or 3 hours on a weekend and go through your closet and dresser drawers. Pull out anything that doesn’t fit or you know you’ll never wear. Clean out your desk and toss anything school-related that doesn’t apply to this school year. Do this quickly and don’t think too much about it. Once you’ve culled through all your things, give yourself some time to see if you were too ruthless or if those ‘tossed’ items deserve to be in that pile, remembering that you did initially toss them. Create a Memory Box if you want to hold on to photos, notes or school/family times. Store it under your bed and revisit it once in awhile to see if you want to add or cull. As for the mountain of mass excesses? Donate your castaway clothes, books and even music to Hurricane Relief. Or, if you feel comfortable, offer a friend or cousin the option of taking them. Then, take a look at your schedule and set up a daily, weekly and monthly plan for yourself. Schedule breaks and fun and go to sleep at night knowing you are on top of your life and time. Just be realistic when you ‘makeover’ your space. Your parents will be impressed and you will feel in control. Having this kind of power in your life is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Good luck, future Madame President!

Q. I share a bathroom with my two sisters. The problem is that we all use different products and it is driving me crazy trying to keep ‘my stuff’ separate from theirs! Mom says we have to figure it out together. I need HELP! Give me some ideas so we can keep our stuff separate! Thank you, Amanda

A. Honey, I feel your pain! As one of four sisters, this was a common phenomenon in our home. One thing we did (way back in the day!) was to have our own ‘bathroom bags’, which held our makeup, hair stuff, lotion, shampoos, etc. We created our own bags, which made it personal. Another option is to re-invent the shoe bag rack. Take an over the door hanging shoe holder and designate certain rows to each sister. With either option, the crucial thing to remember is that EVERYTHING is put back in its place. This is a mantra I learned early on from my dear Dad that is: "If you take it out to use it, you put it back when you are finished." This lifelong message is a strong answer to many aspects of our life. Now getting your sisters to agree will be a testimony to your strength as a family member who seeks the positive. Good luck, you’ll be fine!!

After all is said and done? The best way to stay on top of your busy world is to become more organized. By clearing your room—and even locker—of clutter, you are taking control. As you continue with your high school education, you’ll find you have more time to pursue your choices. The power of knowing where things are, why you have them and simply taking charge will be a quality that will truly ‘bliss your life’ forever!

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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