Over the summer, we redecorated my preschooler’s room. It was a fun project. And as I shared with friends the results I had one tell me, “I think it is so cool you let her choose. My mom never let me decorate my own room.”
Personally, I can’t think of a single reason NOT to allow my child to decorate her room. There is so much in her world she has no control over. So many situations daily where she cannot choose.
She wants to be independent. She pushes for it every moment of every day. Her bedroom should be her special space. Her sanctuary. The place she can’t wait to escape to after a long day. We all need that.
It was a successful project. Here are some tips I gleaned from our experience:
- Choose a theme – Redecorating a room is a lot easier when you have a focus. Choosing a theme can help you find and select the items you need. The theme could be your child’s favorite color, animal, place, TV/movie character, or sport for example. The possibilities are endless. Narrowing it down gives you direction and helps things come together.
- Set a budget – It’s never too early to teach your child about budgeting and spending money wisely. Set a budget for the room redesign and tell your child what it is. As you work together to locate items for the room, help your child understand how the expense for each contributes to the overall cost of the project.
- Let go of control – This is your child’s opportunity to create her own space. It isn’t about your tastes or style. It is likely you have had the opportunity to make your imprint on every room in your home, including your child’s when she was younger. This is her turn. That said…
- Don’t budge on boundaries – While your child is creating her space, it is still your house. If you have rules about no TVs in bedrooms, for example, stick to them. If there are materials your child chooses you feel do not reflect the standards of your family, put your foot down and explain why. Use it as an opportunity to discuss what matters to you. Help her find something different. You can set limits without completely stifling your child’s ability to express herself.
- Get creative – You don’t have to go big in order to create a great new space for your child. A few small, personalized accents can make a significant difference. My rules were: no painting and no new furniture. So we got wall decals and new bedding. Accessories like lighting and artwork were great fun to select and also helped transform the space.
Lastly, the project should be fun. For both of you. Enjoy watching your child express herself. My daughter was thrilled to have the ability to design her own space. And she proudly shows it off to anyone who comes to our home.
I can’t give her all the independence she wants. Not yet. But this was one easy way I could help her feel in control and demonstrate she matters.