One of my children--he shall go nameless--was a mess as an adolescent: a mess in the sense that his clothes (clean and dirty) littered the floor; his school papers (due and past due) lay in disarray on his desk [this was the pre-computer era] and his organizational skills were low to none.
None of that is true today. Was it something we the parents did? Not to hear Carl Pickhardt, the psychologist who specializes in adolescence, tell it. "It never ceases to amaze parents, who have long since given up urging adolescent reform, to see that young person go through a positive growth reversal, often in young adulthood, and suddenly give up bad habits or correct wayward ways," he writes in a blog post, "Positive Adolescent Growth Reversals in Young Adulthood."
So the good news for us as our children come through the Emerging Adult stage is that much of the adolescence annoyances will fade and be replaced by their opposite: careless to careful, messy to neat, disorganized to orderly, scattered to focused, and--my favorite on Pickhardt's list--aimless to directed.