Is living in a dirty house bad for children?
January 20, 2008 10:01 PM Subscribe
Sibling and sibling's spouse are living in squalor, and I think it's bad for their kids. Should I intervene?
posted by red_lotus to Human Relations (43 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Sibling and sibling's spouse have always been messy. The past year or so their home has declined into a littered, unclean hovel. Food is left on plates for days, and there is a strong permanent odor of sour milk. They don't dust or vacuum. Floors are brown with dirt, sinks are disgusting. Rooms are piled hip-deep with papers, blankets, clothing, boxes, toys, books, and school detritus. I won't enter their home anymore because of the dust and odor.
The three children are happy, clean, fed, and their clothes are washed. They are smart, well mannered and friendly. But they are living in a fire hazard. Friends aren't allowed over. They have no concept of cleaning up or putting stuff away; when they finish eating they just walk away from the plate. However, they don't seem to mind the mess at all.
Sibling does not like to throw things away, is extremely sensitive, cries easily. Sibling's spouse is just lazy. Previous attempts by other relatives to clean have been met with refusal.
I wouldn't care about their hovel if they were childless. It's the children's safety I think about.
1) Am I correct to worry about the children?
2) Should I pursue the matter with the risk of angering them or just butt out and mind my own business?