This week we will be looking into the subject of mess! Many parents of traumatised children become exasperated at the amount of mess the children seem to cause. This is on a different scale to the usual untidiness associated with childhood.
In the below blog post, Sarah Naish shares how it was for her as parent…
I actually cannot believe the amount of mess that one child can make! Well, of course, it’s not actually one child – It’s five children – but even so, I can see the individual messes created by each of them.
I think William and Sophie are the worst offenders – they just leave this trail of devastation in their wake and don’t see to realise what’s happening. One of the social workers suggested they might dyspraxia (a neurological condition which affects co-ordination and perception); but as we’ve got about 17 diagnoses, I don’t really take too much notice, to be honest. I did look up “dyspraxia” and I can see it’s also about not being able to be organised and having memory issues, but of course that applies to all children.
When I go into their bedrooms – even if an hour ago I tidied everything up, made the beds, removed dirty washing, etc. - I can find that it looks like a small army of terrorists has marched through destroying everything in its path. I don’t know how they do it. The mess is soul-destroying and so debilitating. It’s a tsunami of mess. It never ends.
When I talk to people about this, they say ridiculous things like, “Oh yes, all children make a mess.” This is in a different league! The rotting food in their schoolbags, the squalor in their rooms, the detritus that surrounds where they sit on the sofa and even all the debris in the space they occupy in the car! Little its of chewed sweets taken out of their mouths and pressed into different patterns in the car seat are a daily occurrence.
The scenario is definitely like painting the “Forth Road Bridge” (work on this massive bridge can never be completed, because as soon as they get to the end, the beginning needs repainting). I have realised that the house can never be tidy, so now I just limit myself to certain areas which I can keep habitable and then every Saturday we have a big purge on their bedrooms, just before pocket money time. This works OK, and the rest of the time I have to be strong and just shut the bedroom doors. If I just left them to it, I think the chaos in their rooms would resemble how it must’ve been when they lived with their birth family.
I thought they would appreciate everything being clean and structured – just another thing I got wrong!
Want more information on dealing with messy bedrooms, why not book on to our live webinar (with the option to watch it later) on Thursday 13th May – Mess Everywhere Webinar!