Fathering | Help your children create personal space

For the CDTJuly 13, 2013 

My 16-year-old daughter recently decided to remodel her bedroom. She chose to rearrange the furniture and purchase various wall decorations, all on a budget. Children like to know their bedroom is a haven of security, a place where they can be relaxed, and can work or play or just feel completely comfortable.

One of the easiest ways to create such an atmosphere is to assist them with “designing” their own space. Parents can be instrumental in allowing their child to have some “creative license” in planning their bedroom to have a comfortable atmosphere, and one that reflects their personality.

Action ideas:

Allow your child to develop her plan and to explain the reasons behind it and how she intends to accomplish it. Ownership Leads to Care. When your kids really like their rooms, when they really feel as if their rooms are “theirs,” they are more likely to treat that room with care. Avoid dictating too much about the design so as not to squash their imagination.

Inform your child about the limitations in the decorating process. Tell him what his budget is and allow him to choose decorative items within that budget. If possible, ask him to contribute his own money to the project so he feels a greater sense of ownership.

Encourage them to find inexpensive items at garage sales, in their basements and ones they create on their own.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides biweekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact David Eggebeen at e5x@psu.edu, Mick Trombley at mick@micktrombley.com, Robert Orndorff at rmo104@psu.edu, Chris Dufour at chrisdufour19@gmail.com, or Marc McCann at marc.mccann@arrow.com.

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