Opening the Door to a Teenage Room

When you think of a teenager’s room, images from one of many coming of age movies come to mind; dark, dirty, dusty, and dank. An unmade bed, stinky socks, rotting food, and all kinds of things you don’t even want to know about! Thankfully, at least for now, there has yet to be a time when I have actually been revolted by my teenage daughter’s room. Sure, her room can be an unkempt mess of dirty laundry, shoes, make-up, school books and papers, but even in its worst state, there are plenty of things about my daughter’s room that I really truly love.

Intrigued by the Do Not Enter Diaries, an online video series where teens share a glimpse into their rooms while in turn sharing even more about themselves (I’m hoping my daughter will share one with them one day), I decided to take a closer look at her bedroom and what it communicates about her. I will say that through this perspective, I have found it not only easier to look past the mess, I’ve found even more things about my daughter to be proud of and thankful for.

  • Trinkets 1 of 9
    She has a small collection of origami birds that one of her best friends made for her. It reminds me how much she appreciates and values the kindness of others.
  • Mantras 2 of 9
    For as long as I can remember she has decorated her room with positive and affirming words and phrases. It makes me feel so grateful that she chooses to speak such kind words to herself.
  • Accolades 3 of 9
    She takes the time to frame and display some of her most valued accomplishments. With each award or accolade, she celebrates her own personal successes.
  • Pictures 4 of 9
    Ever since the first grade she has had her Star of the Week poster framed and hung. And all around it are small birthday signs and other notes I have made for her over the years. I am so touched that snippets of her childhood past are still things that make her feel really good.
  • Plants 5 of 9
    The only thing she asked for this past Christmas were these hanging terrariums. She got a collection of three which she covets. They are colorful and hip (just like her) and she takes such good care of the air plants. I love how well she takes care of something she wanted so much. And that she can keep plants alive!
  • Collections 6 of 9
    She's a huge Musical Theater fan. Because she goes to so many shows, she started collecting playbills. She has a display shelf where they are all fanned out and on display. It's something that means so much to her and it reminds me of how she has found her own individual and unique interests as she's grown up. I love that.
  • Reminders 7 of 9
    The past few years she has chosen calendars to hang that have images of far off places. She hangs the calendar where she can see it when she goes to bed and when she wakes up because she says it reminds of all the places she plans on traveling to throughout her life. Such a bold and brave girl!
  • Messes 8 of 9
    Although I can't pretend to love her room when it's a mess, I will admit that on a good day, when I can come from gratitude, I know that the mess will eventually be all picked up, put away and moved out. It won't be long before she'll be off to college and then I will really miss the mess all over the floor.
  • Memories 9 of 9
    Perhaps the thing that brings me the most joy is that she still has (and treasures) her stuffed bunny. She has loved it since she was just a baby and although it's ratty, tattered and dirty, it reminds me that my big girl still has my little girl somewhere inside her and I will always cherish every part of her.


For more about Tracey and how she elevates the everyday, visit her at

For the story about how she and her teen got here, take a peek at their first post at Reframed.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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