|Pottery Barn Kids|
When we find out we're expecting that first baby our minds go to the fabulous nursery we will create for him or her, sparing no expense obviously. We register for the best of everything & if we're lucky we get some of it. Everything matches - the bedding, the walls, the rug, the window treatments - everything. Sometimes we make a compromise when we get a crib handed down from family - it might be brown instead of white but it's a family heirloom for our precious babe. Weeks before the birth we have the room ready for our new bundle. Baby comes home to the glorious - just for her - room. The place we rock and feed our little one. The months and year pass, toys get added into the mix - lots of toys and that precious room changes just a wee bit.....
What's a mom to do? Each child has their own personality and a bedroom is the place to let that show. But their rooms are still a part of the home that you take pride in looking nice. Here are a few of my tips to let your children make some of their own choices without risking a segment on the next Hoarders episode:
- Set some boundaries - Make beds everyday. No food in bedrooms. Put dirty clothes in hamper. Pick up toys after playing with them or before going to bed. Make it work for you and your kids and keep in mind the ages of your kids. Little ones just can't do as much as a 6th grader.
- Make it easy - Using just a fitted sheet with a quilt or duvet makes it super easy for a little one to make their bed - no flat sheet to deal with (although I do love a good hospital corner but there's time to learn that later). Don't put beds against the wall if possible - it's just harder to make a bed that way. Keep a hamper in the closet or next to a dresser so it's easy (in theory) to toss dirty clothes in the hamper and not on the floor. Have a toy box for all the toys and use it.
- Let the kids have input - If you're painting give your child the choice of a couple of colors - don't give them too many options since it's just hard for them to pick if they have 15 colors they can choose from. Ask them where they'd like their bed. Again, these choices are easier for older kids but if they feel like the room is theirs they may be more likely to want to keep it clean (again, in theory).
I will always remember something that Randy Pausch said in his Last Lecture:
“Anybody out there who is a parent, if your kids want to paint their bedrooms,as a favor to me, let them do it. It'll be OK.”
He said when he was younger he wanted to paint his room, his parents let him, and he always remembered it. At the time of his lecture the walls of his room hadn't been changed. When LM wants to hang something on her wall that I might not choose, or put it in a spot that isn't 'right', I remember Randy's words and let it go. Those are the things that make her room her room, even if it means breaking the design rules.