ADVICE: I have three sons and I’m sick of cleaning up after them. No matter how much I threaten or beg, none of the boys seem to notice their mess. How can I train them so they don’t become untidy men? I’m sick of picking up dirty socks and undies.
Guys seem to shed their undies and old socks the way cicadas shed their skins. And like cicadas, guys seem unaware a layer is being cast-off. The trouble with socks and undies is they take far longer to break down.
I used to get upset too, about underwear strewn over bedroom and bathroom floors. (I’d like to add wet togs and towels to that tally of annoying castoffs — I couldn’t bear damp bathroom towels left lying on my sons’ beds).
Over the years I vacillated between the ‘clean it up’ or ‘shut the bedroom door’ advice from the experts. I tried to save my energy for other clashes, but I couldn’t stand the mess and I usually caved and cleaned it up myself or created a fight by insisting my sons do it.
It sounds as if the mess is driving you mad, so it’s best to devise a plan now that saves you from that slippery slope. Have your discussion and strategising at a time when you’re not ready to throttle one of your boys….