酷兔英语


Eighteen-year-old Kayla Perkins explains the organizational system she uses in her bedroom: 'I throw something on the ground and I know right where it is.'


18岁的凯拉•帕金斯(Kayla Perkins)这样解释自己房间的组织结构:我把东西扔在地上,而且东西在哪儿我一清二楚。



Funny, her parents, Steve and Deborah Perkins of McKinney, Texas, haven't caught on. They see only mountains of clothing on the floor, empty snack bowls under the bed and soda cups littering the tabletops. Even Kayla acknowledges that, at its worst, her room is 'a mess.'


有趣的是,她的父母史蒂夫和黛博拉•帕金斯夫妇理解不了。他们住在德州的麦金尼。他们只看到地上堆成山的衣服,床底下空的零食碗,还有乱扔在桌上的饮料杯。就连凯拉自己也承认,最差的时候房间就是"一团糟"。



The Battle of the Bedroom: Many parents can relate to this picture. Most families at some point have at least one teen or pre-teen whose room resembles a landfill. The mess can disrupt the whole household. Dirty clothes pile up, triggering early morning crises when there is nothing to wear. Soiled dishes get lost in the mess, smell bad and attract critters. Homework is lost, and valuables are ruined.


卧室之战:很多家长都能对这样的画面产生共鸣。大多数家庭在某段时间至少会有一个青春期或青春期前的孩子房间像个垃圾场。乱糟糟的房间会影响到整个家。脏衣服成堆,一大早因为没衣服穿引发危机。脏盘子不知丢到何处,发出难闻的气味,招来小动物。家庭作业找不着了,贵重物品被毁坏。



Some parents let it go, reasoning that a bedroom is private space for children to manage as they wish. Others lecture their children, offer rewards for cleaning or impose consequences when they don't. What doesn't work, parenting experts say, is relentless nagging, hollow threats or getting very angry.


有些家长听之任之,理由是卧室是私人空间,孩子们愿意怎么打理就怎么打理。有些家长则劝导孩子,提出孩子打扫房间就有奖励,或者不打扫就进行惩罚。子女教育专家说,不断的责骂、空洞的威胁或勃然大怒都是行不通的。



Mess is a stubborn problem for teens. They are old enough that parents expect them to exercise good hygiene habits and take responsibility for daily routines. But teens' brains are still developing some of the cognitive skills needed to stick to a clean-up routine, such as controlling impulsivity, seeing others' perspectives and understanding how current actions have future consequences.


对十几岁的孩子来说,房间乱是一个棘手的问题。他们已经长大,家长希望他们能有良好的卫生习惯,并承担起日常生活的责任。但孩子们的大脑还在逐渐形成坚持日常打扫活动所需的认知技能,比如抑制冲动、站在他人角度看问题、理解现在的行为会有何种影响等。



Jim Fay, co-founder of the Love and Logic Institute, a Golden, Colo., provider of parenting training and resources, recommends that parents first ask kids 'in a nice way' to clean up and agree on a reasonable time limit. Kids often behave better if you treat them like you would want to be treated by your boss at work, with respect and high expectations.


科罗拉多州育儿培训及资源提供商Love and Logic Institute联合创始人吉姆•费(Jim Fay)建议,家长应该先"好声好气地"要求孩子收拾房间,并达成合理的时间期限。如果你对待孩子就像你工作中希望老板对待你一样,带着尊重和很高的期望,那么孩子通常会表现得更好。



But when messes get out of hand, hardball tactics may be needed. If the child fails to meet a deadline to clean up, Mr. Fay recommends saying, 'I'll take care of it.' Then, get the job done in some way that satisfies you but 'creates problems for the kid,' Mr. Fay says. 'Maybe you hire a neighbor kid to clean up.'


但是当房间乱到失控时,可能就要用强硬战术了。费建议,如果孩子没能在期限前收拾完,家长应该说"我来处理",然后用某种让你自己满足但"为孩子制造问题"的方式完成打扫工作,比如可以雇佣邻居的孩子来打扫。



Deborah Perkins says she tried everything over the years to prod Kayla to pick up. She posted chore charts with specified tasks. She offered to pay her for completing certain jobs. About four years ago, she and Kayla agreed on a four-day deadline -- which came and went with no change.


黛博拉•帕金斯说,这么多年她试了各种办法让凯拉收拾房间。她贴上了标明具体任务的家务表。她答应如果完成某些工作就给钱。大约四年前,她和凯拉达成了四天之内收拾完的协议,结果也不了了之。



So the parents took action: They picked up all the clothes on Kayla's floor, stuffed them in two garbage bags and hid them in the attic. When Kayla arrived home from school to a bare bedroom, 'it was scorched earth,' Ms. Perkins says. 'There was screaming, there was shouting, 'How can I live without my clothes?' '


于是凯拉的父母采取了行动:他们把凯拉房间地板上的所有衣服都捡起来,塞进两个垃圾袋,然后藏在阁楼里。凯拉放学回来看到的是空空的房间,帕金斯说,这是种"焦土政策",凯拉大喊大叫道"没有衣服我怎么活?"。



'I didn't handle it well,' Kayla says. Ms. Perkins required Kayla to earn her clothes back by doing chores, such as polishing the silver or cleaning her dad's home office.


凯拉说,当时我有点接受不了。帕金斯要求凯拉用做家务赚回自己的衣服,比如擦拭银器或打扫父亲的家庭办公室。



These days, she keeps her room picked up. When it does get messy, Kayla says, she takes clean-up requests more seriously.


那些天她一直保持自己的房间整洁。凯拉说,在不打扫会造成麻烦的时候,她会更认真地对待打扫的要求。



Kayla says her mother sets reasonable expectations. She, for example, eases up on room-cleaning rules when Kayla, who acts in community and school musical-theater productions, has a heavy rehearsal schedule.


凯拉说母亲设置了合理的预期。比如,由于凯拉要参加社区和学校的音乐剧演出,在她排练时间很紧的时候,母亲就会放松收拾房间的规定。



Her parents gave her 'a wake-up call, that 'Oh, I am under their roof. If they ask me to do something, I need to do it, or it will be gone,' ' Kayla says.


凯拉说,父母给了她一个警告:我生活在他们的屋檐下,如果他们让我做什么事,我就必须做,否则就没机会了。



Humor can help, too. One family sought help from Douglas Riley, a Newport News, Va., clinical psychologist, in getting their 14-year-old daughter to clean up her bedroom. Dr. Riley, who has worked with families for 30 years, suggested that since she wasn't bothered by the dirty clothes all over her floor, perhaps the whole family could start using her room as a laundry hamper.


幽默也有用。道格拉斯•莱利(Douglas Riley)是弗吉尼亚州的一名临床心理医生。有一家人向他求助,咨询如何才能让14岁的女儿收拾自己的卧室。拥有30年家庭问题咨询经验的莱利建议,既然她不介意满地都是脏衣服,那么全家或许可以开始把她的房间当洗衣篮来用。



Her attitude changed after her parents and younger brother started tossing dirty laundry into her room, including a few soaked and smelly T-shirts and socks worn by her 275-pound father after working outdoors on his construction job. By the time the teen gave in and cleaned up her room a few days later, even she was laughing, says Dr. Riley, author of 'Dr. Riley's Box of Tricks,' a new book on parenting.


父母和弟弟开始把脏衣服扔到她的房间,体重275磅的父亲从工地工作回来后把好几件湿透并有味儿的T恤和几双袜子扔到她的房间,后来她的态度变了。莱利说,这个孩子认输了,在收拾自己的房间几天后,就连她自己都笑了。莱利是育儿教育新书Dr. Riley's Box of Tricks的作者。



'If you've tried reason, and talk and logic, and all the coercive stuff -- the time outs, the punishments, the take-aways, the bribes and the screaming -- if you've tried all of that and it's not working,' then suggesting a solution so unusual or extreme that it's funny can startle teens into cooperating, Dr. Riley says. Such methods should be used only with healthy kids, not those who are anxious, depressed or defiant, Dr. Riley adds.


莱利说,如果你试过跟孩子理论、谈话和讲道理,还有那些强制手段,比如面壁思过、惩罚、拿走零用钱、贿赂和大喊大叫,如果这些你都试过了但都不管用,那就用不常见或极端的办法,不按套路出牌,让孩子大吃一惊,乖乖配合。莱利说,这种方法只能对心理健康的孩子使用,焦虑、抑郁或叛逆的孩子不能用。



To get her 16-year-old daughter Jessica to clean up, says Kathleen Jerrils of Newport News, Va., 'I tried asking her, 'What will your friends think when they see your room?' The friends didn't care.' She offered to repaint Jessica's blue bedroom black, Jessica's preference. But Jessica was reluctant to move out long enough to get the painting done. Ms. Jerrils offered to buy Jessica the pet rat she wanted. That motivated Jessica to try to clean up, but she says the task was so overwhelming that she became distracted, thinking, 'This is going to take forever.' She still hasn't gotten the rat.


弗吉尼亚州的凯瑟琳•杰瑞尔斯(Kathleen Jerrils)说,为了让16岁的女儿杰西卡(Jessica)收拾房间,我试过问她"你的朋友看见你的房间会怎么想?"她的回答是"我的朋友不在乎。"她提出把杰西卡的蓝色卧室刷成黑色,杰西卡比较喜欢黑色。但杰西卡不愿意搬出来那么长时间粉刷。杰瑞尔斯提出给杰西卡买她想要的那只宠物老鼠。这激励了杰西卡尝试开始收拾房间,但她说,由于活儿太多了,她开始分心,老是想着"这些活儿永远都干不完了。"她至今还没得到那只老鼠。



Jessica says the mess annoys her, too, especially when she is rushing to get ready for school and can only find one of the shoes she wants to wear. But she has other priorities. School often consumes 10 hours a day, followed by several hours of homework. She devotes hours more to extracurricular activities including academic, debate and speech competitions; school plays; and charity fund-raisers. After all that, 'I don't rank cleaning my room as something that I really need to get done,' she says.


杰西卡说乱糟糟的房间也让她觉得烦,尤其是她急着准备去学校、但想穿的袜子只能找到一只的时候。但她有其他更重要的事要做。在学校的时间通常是每天10小时,接着要做几个小时的家庭作业。更多的时间要花在课外活动上,包括学业、辩论和演讲比赛,校园剧,还有筹集善款。她说,有这么多事要做,我就不把收拾房间列为真正必须要完成的事项了。



Jessica read Dr. Riley's book, and one of his techniques -- casting a messy teen as 'a victim of capitalism' with too much stuff to manage -- is starting to work, Ms. Jerrils says. She talked with Jessica about how living in an affluent society with a parent who 'tries to give her not only what she needed, but everything she wanted, has overwhelmed her to the point' where she has too many belongings, Ms. Jerrils says.


杰尔瑞斯说杰西卡读了莱利的书,他的一个技巧开始奏效了,即让房间乱糟糟的孩子成为有太多东西要管理的"资本主义的受害者"。杰尔瑞斯说,她跟杰西卡谈话,让她知道自己生活在一个富足的社会,父母不仅尽力满足她的所需,还给了她所有想要的东西,让她觉得"自己东西太多了"。



Jessica agrees she has too much stuff and is working with her mom to clear out her room. She recently gave a half-dozen bags of clothes, books and games to charity. That's a purpose worth cleaning for, she says. 'I always like to feel like I'm helping people.'


杰西卡最后认为自己的东西太多了,并和母亲一起清扫房间。最近她向慈善机构捐了六袋衣服、书和游戏。她说,这是值得让我打扫的一个目的,我一直喜欢帮助别人的那种感觉。



Sue Shellenbarger