A new school year can both frighten and thrill children. Help them cope with changes out of their control by involving them in a change they can control: decorating their bedroom.
Treat your child’s room with as much care as you gave their nursery. And now that they’ve left the crib, let them help decide how “their space” will look. Give them design books and magazines. Look at paint chips, wallpaper and fabrics together. Pay attention to their interests – they may inspire accents and decorations. Old records can become decals on the wall; sports equipment can become places to hang uniforms. Have fun together. Sure, you may send them to their room later for punishment, but that doesn’t mean re-decorating has to be a chore.
It may be their room, but it is still your house. Do your own research, and not just about budgets. A new coat of paint provides the most economic decorating change. Stick to two or three colors and avoid paints with volatile organic compounds. Pick colors that will encourage learning and relaxation – while black walls may be a teenager’s dream and a parent’s nightmare, some decorators consider it classy. Give your children space to play and be kids. Consider banning, or at least limiting, electronic devices. If your child has special needs, ask an educator or therapist about what play equipment is best for them.
Finally, relax. Your child needs a good home more than a room – and that begins with you!