Dr Adaeze Ifezulike

Dr Adaeze Ifezulike

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The Disturbing Trend of Filth Normalisation in Teenagers and Its Devastating Ripple Effect on Future Generations

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"In a world where disorder is mistakenly accepted as a normal teenage attribute, we are unknowingly laying the groundwork for future chaos. This is the moment to break this dangerous cycle and re-emphasise the critical role of basic life skills in parenting."

Recently, a concerning pattern has emerged among our younger generation, which poses significant implications for their future and future generations. This pattern is the normalisation of filth and untidiness among teenagers, a trend often overlooked or dismissed as a mere phase of growing up. However, this mindset carries far-reaching consequences, not only for the individuals involved but also for the society at large.

The issue is not about pointing fingers at our youth or shaming them for their habits. Rather, it is about identifying and breaking a vicious cycle that, if left unaddressed, can perpetuate through generations. The core of the problem lies not in the teenagers themselves but in the environment and upbringing that shape their habits and attitudes towards cleanliness and organisation.

I recently had the opportunity to visit a teenager who was unwell. What I encountered in her room was a reflection of her physical health and a stark representation of a broader issue. The room was in disarray – clothes strewn about, dirty plates scattered, and a general neglect. This scene is not uncommon in many households, yet it speaks volumes about the underlying issues in our approach to parenting and life skills education.

The problem here is not about the mental capability of our teenagers to understand cleanliness. It is about the ingrained habit of untidiness that, if not corrected early on, can lead to a cycle of disorganisation and neglect. Without proper guidance and intervention, this untidy teenager is likely to grow into an untidy adult, potentially passing on these habits to their children.

A significant portion of the blame can be attributed to the lack of emphasis on essential home economics in our parenting approaches. In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, basic life skills such as maintaining cleanliness and organisation are often sidelined. This oversight can lead to a generational gap in these fundamental skills, impacting not only individual well-being but also societal norms and expectations.

It is high time we stopped accepting filth and disorganisation as a default teenage trait and started prioritising the teaching of fundamental life skills. These skills are not merely about keeping a tidy space but about instilling respect for oneself, one’s surroundings, and the broader environment. Cleanliness and organisation are not just habits to be enforced; they reflect our values and respect for the world we inhabit.

Emphasising cleanliness and organisation in our upbringing and education system is not just about creating tidier rooms or homes. It is about laying the foundation for a healthier, more organised, and respectful society. It is about preparing our future generations for a life that values their own well-being and that of the world they share. Let us take this challenge head-on and work towards a future where cleanliness and respect for our environment are not exceptions but the norm.

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