Hoard­ers’ kids

West Hawaii Today - - Sports - Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ators. com.

Dear An­nie: I read the col­umn about “Jenna,” who is a hoarder, and how ter­ri­ble the con­di­tions of her house have be­come. At first, I had noth­ing but sym­pa­thy for that sit­u­a­tion, but I thought about how the let­ter men­tioned that this woman has two nearly grown kids, one go­ing to be a sopho­more, the other a se­nior. It is dif­fi­cult for me to fathom how these teenage chil­dren, de­spite their mother’s prob­lems, haven’t learned how to clear the ta­ble, wash the dishes, clean the lit­ter box, put out some pest poi­son, do the laun­dry or sweep out the fe­ces. They could not learn this on their own? This is what I have a prob­lem with. If they could not learn to do these things, then what have they learned at all? I learned how to do chores when I was 7 years old, in­clud­ing wash­ing dishes and house­clean­ing. On my own, I learned to help my mother do things when she was too busy do­ing other things. I’m sorry I am not more sym­pa­thetic, but for these con­di­tions to ex­ist even with teenage chil­dren, I just don’t un­der­stand it. — James

Dear James: You can­not ex­pect chil­dren who grow up in a hoarder home to de­velop good house­keep­ing skills. Ad­di­tion­ally, hoard­ers tend to hold tightly to a sense of con­trol over their sur­round­ings. (Never mind how out of con­trol the sit­u­a­tion looks to ev­ery­one else.) It’s very pos­si­ble that these chil­dren have tried clean­ing up their home but were met with Mom’s re­sis­tance. So though I com­mend you for help­ing out around the house as a child, I wouldn’t be so quick to judge these kids.

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