ASK anyone to describe a typical teenager’s bedroom and the word they will most commonly use is “messy.”

Teenagers are renowned for the state of their rooms, the mugs of cold coffee, three-week old half-eaten pizzas and clothing strewn across the floor.

Sky News presenter Jacquie Beltrao made headlines this month for claiming her teen son has the world’s messiest room.

She shamed him by posting a photo of his bedroom on Twitter, while jokily asking if anyone could compete with it.

Of course, others came forward, including newspaper columnist Sarah Vine, saying her daughter’s ‘pit’ makes warthogs look house-proud. Needless to say, photos of the teenager’s bedroom appeared online for the world to see.

I feel sorry for teenagers: it is as though they are expected to have messy rooms as a badge of honour. Yet many don’t. My eldest daughter, now at university, had an immaculate room with everything in its place.

Her younger sister, I admit was messy, and yes I did find all manner of stuff, including the remains of days-old meals - lurking in corners. But, however messy she was, she could not compete with an even messier individual - her mother.

I am messy parent. I leave mess everywhere, from table tops to sofas to floors. Give me a tidy room and I will manage to mess it up.

I want to be neat but somehow I can’t achieve it. I move piles of stuff to clear spaces, but simply end up putting it somewhere else. I don’t have a home for so many things, from newspapers, which I am always picking up and flicking through, to unironed laundry… what I would give for a utility room.

There are certainly, other messy parents out there. I remember as a child, some of my friends’ parents keeping very dishevelled homes. In one, I was always appalled that the beds were never made and dirty pots sat in the kitchen.

A report in the magazine Psychology Today states that the messy room is emblematic of the adolescent age.

It usually begins in early adolescence, it says, due to ‘personal disorganisation’ brought on by growth changes resulting in a state of ‘internal confusion and external disarray that quickly attracts perents’ attention.’

In my family the tables are turned. I am by far the most disorganised person in the house. ‘Internal confusion and external disarray’ accurately sums me up and must go some way towards explaining the way I live.

It is my messiness that attracts attention from my children. “If I bring a friend home will you tidy up, Mum?” they will ask. Ironically, in her late teens, my messy daughter would not invite friends round because, she said, she was ashamed of the mess.

I’m not going to present pictures of my cluttered bedroom - that would be too personal and I do feel for these teens whose parents reveal their rooms to the world - but I can offer up my dining table as it looks at the time of my writing.

I genuinely don’t want to be messy. I would love my home to be neat and tidy - a scene of domestic order. Were this the case I am sure I would feel calmer and more organised.

But at present I can’t see it happening. As the Psychology Today report points out, ‘the messy room represents personal freedom to live on his or her own terms.’

Quite. Just like many teenagers, for now, I am unable to live without mess. I publicly apologise to my daughters for being a messy parent.