By Sonya Naudé

We know you want to, but next time you walk past your child’s room, hold back that urge to demand they “tidy up or else”, and rather close the door and move on

There’s a difference between messy and dirty, so take a deep breath and reach that happy medium to keep some peace in your home.

Here are 3 good reasons why:

Save the shouting match for when it really matters

Ask yourself if all the shouting and nagging is even worth the effort in the bigger scheme of things, especially in these crazy times when everyone in the family has been forced to live together under one roof for almost 24/7. By not flying off the handle every time you see how your child turned his room into a battle zone, you’ll save yourself a lot of undue stress. Sure, if his room has become a health hazard (there’s mould growing from the dishes hidden under his bed) or you’re worried about his safety (he’s turned his room into a jungle gym), by all means. But if it’s just clutter, or the bed hasn’t been made, it’s not going to cause any real harm, right?

You don’t need to control everything

Step back a moment and consider why it’s so important for your child’s room to be clean and tidy. Is it because you have a need to put some order into your life (we can all relate to the chaos right now)? Ask yourself if your insistence to keep the room spick and span is in your child’s best interest?

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Kids need a space they can call their own

Experts agree that it’s important for every child to have a little foxhole he can call his own, and if he’s lucky to have his own room, this should be treated as his sanctuary. But that said, do agree to some ground rules – teach him responsibility. So, for example, if he has been drinking juice or had his snack in his room, he has to put his dishes in the kitchen when he’s finished. Any trash (like sweet papers) has to be put in his bin – not hidden under his mattress, or shoved in a drawer, and dirty clothes have to be put in the washing basket before bedtime, not kicked back in the cupboard!