largeWelcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!

Hey Eve: 

I have asked my teen over and over and over and over again to stop leaving dishes and empty bottles in his room. He will be good for about a month and then it starts all over again. It’s disgusting and I am sick of washing moldy ice cream bowls and dumping out bottles of coke. what do I do? 

Pack his bags. Leave them at the front door. Call a locksmith. Or, move.

Teenagers are dumb. They have the attention span of a gnat. If you tell them something that doesn’t involve food or video games or giving them money they forget roughly three seconds later. If you have been through cleaning up his room and lecturing him numerous times and he just goes back to using his bedroom as a makeshift dishwasher/garbage can then it’s time to pull out the big guns. When he is at school or out with friends, take every bowl and plate and empty soda bottle and cover his entire bed with it. When he freaks out simply say “I also had no idea where to put these things. Can you show me where the dishwasher is?” Batt your eyelashes a lot. Make him clean it up and if you haven’t already, teach him how to use the washing machine in case anything leaked on his sheets. One day he will hopefully grow up and meet someone he is fond of and mayhaps move in with this person. You owe it to this future person to not raise a slob. If he does it again, next time stack everything in his laundry hamper. You could start a rule with no food or drinks in his bedroom, but if he is anything like my kid he will be doing homework after you have gone to bed and decide that calculus goes better with a snack. Teens are all sneaky like that, and I can’t think of any teenager who strictly adheres to the “No food or drinks in bedrooms rule.” That doesn’t mean he can be a slob about it though.  He is too old to be pulling this, and you are too old to be anyone else’s maid.

My boys are so gross they leave skid marks all over their underwear and don’t wipe and my daughter is nowhere near as dirty as they are. I hate washing there underwear and it’s even worse when they leave them in piles on the floor how do I get them to be cleaner? 

Pack their bags. Leave them at the front door. Call a locksmith. Or, move.

You didn’t specify how old the boys are but if they are old enough to toddle they are old enough to toss their creepy underwear in a hamper. Which you will make them do. Sit them down and explain to them that they have to get better about cleaning themselves because they are not babies and they could get rashes and also, smell terrible if they aren’t taking care of business downtown. You can buy them those “flushable” wipes (which are SO AWESOME for removing eye makeup!) but those can clog your toilets and stuff, so I would suggest if you go this route you make sure you have a garbage bag lined trash can in your bathroom.  If they are still under ten then tell them if they aren’t clean they can come to you and you can help them start the shower. And enlist your husband or partner if you have one to help with this, because as a dude he can explain dude hygiene better and why should you have to be the one dealing with personal dude bathroom issues? Since you also have a girl, you will have to be schooling her when her Mr. Monthly starts so your husband can give the boys a lecture on how to properly wipe themselves.If they aren’t old enough to do their own laundry they are old enough to put their own skanky boy panties in the wash so you don’t have to deal with it.  I am so glad my sons are older and I don’t have to deal with this. Yay me for having older kids!

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