Thursday, October 11, 2012

Organizing Coach Doesn't Know MY Kids

Organizing Coach Doesn't Know MY Kids

Recently I laughed through a magazine article entitled “Coaching, Not Nagging, Motivates Teens,” written by a revered “organizing coach.”  Since nagging is my full-time job, I perused it while trying to guess who’s gonna get tossed off Redneck Island, which is my other full-time job.

The author reflected on the teenage stage with rosy nostalgia.  Studies actually show that ten out of ten moms agree raising teenagers feels like getting your eyes pecked out by a chicken.  Her kids may have been responsive to her “coaching,” or they were frightened to death of her, which in that case, gives me a new, profound respect for her.  

Her suggestions would never work in my house.  For example,

#1:  Clearly communicate to your teen what you expect.  

Oh wow.  Never thought of that.  If they don’t understand my expectations the first time I scream it, then they need to get the headphones out of their ears.

#2:  Teen won’t get up in the morning?  Put an annoying alarm clock as far from the bed as possible.   

Tried that.  He can’t even hear the fire alarm, but tinkling his car keys beside his ear and whispering, “Goodbye little Kia” usually works.  I’ll have to send that one to the “organizing coach.”

#3:  Place a laundry basket in the bedroom closet, cautioning your teen not to put damp items inside.  

For funsies, let’s assume my teen puts clothes in a hamper.  And I’m not sure anyone would even notice a mildew smell over the noxious soccer bag in the closet.  Or the hamster I suspect died in there.  At least he shouldn’t smell like mildew.

#4:  Keep bathroom time to a minimum.  Set a timer by the mirror.  

Um... really?  I would suggest doing a Facebook run into their bathroom at 7:15 every morning before school with a camera, shouting excitedly, “New profile pic!”   That could backfire though.  Their expertise in hi-tech treachery triumphs over age every time.

#5:  Help them clean out their clothes closet.  Make two piles: keep or donate.  

We need a lot more piles than that, like “friends’ clothes I am keeping,” “friends’ clothes I may give back after I try on,” “friends’ clothes I can’t wear around them because they don’t know I have them,” and “clothes I can only wear if parents leave the house before I do.”

#6:  Give encouragement by recognizing ways in which your teen is already organized.  

What???  Ok, let’s see.  

“Hon, I love the way you organize your argument when you’re trying to persuade me to buy you another shirt from Allotamoney & Fitch.”  Case in point:

Teen logic:  (Premise #1):  “You always give us kids money to buy
                                                    presents for each other at Christmas.”
                   (Premise #2):  “I remembered Sis didn’t get me anything
                                                for Christmas.”  
                              (Action):  “So I bought this cute shirt for myself 
                                                 with my own money."  
                      (Conclusion):  “You owe me $35.”
My kids effortlessly ignore my nagging, but I rather enjoy it.  It perpetuates my fantasy that I’m actually someone’s boss.  You know, I bet I’d be the first one to get voted off Redneck Island.  


  1. I am, but don't tweet that much. I'm @thefrazzledmom. I LOVE the name of your blog!

  2. Thanks! I visited your blog and followed you. Haven't watched Calliou bc I have teenagers, but can't wait to check it out!