Ringing in 2017 might make it hard to relax when your home is in disarray. When you have teenagers, their bedrooms can be a nagging irritant. Sometimes it feels easier to just do the chores for them. Resist the urge! This post is the first in a two-week series on Parenthetical that will talk about ways to work with your teen to create a smart bedroom space. Check back next week for the follow up post that will talk about specific items to include in your teen’s bedroom design that are unique and functional.
Organization and cleanliness are important life skills that your teen needs to learn. Knowing how to take care of their space can help to teach them responsibility. It can prevent them from major struggles after they leave home, such as being the roommate who doesn’t know how to do laundry, not waking up on time or constantly pulling “all nighters” because they lack organizational or time management skills. Work with your child now to help them gain the tools that they’ll need to be successful in young adulthood and beyond.
Your child’s bedroom is a great place to start. It provides a great opportunity to practice for their dorm room or first apartment. Allowing your teen to choose their room décor lets them practice decision-making and self-discovery by allowing them to express their personal preferences. Stepping in when they choose something that you really can’t support also teaches them the importance of compromise, a skill they will have to master and use with roommates or coworkers later in life. It is important to remember that teens are in a state of self-discovery and identity formation. A bedroom is often a personal and sacred space for teens as they have less authority in other parts of their life. Decorating and managing this space is an important aspect of their developing independence. When approached sensitively, parents can also use this opportunity to help teens think about routines and organizational systems that will make time management easier and more successful. For example, if remembering to finish school assignments on time is a challenge, having a calendar with due dates above their desk may be helpful. Or consider creating separate spaces for assignments that need to be started, are in process or are completed..
Work together to come up with a design
Sooner or later your child will need to learn how to share a space with someone who may have nothing in common with them. They will either need to learn to compromise or really like plain white walls. Practice this skill when choosing colors for the walls, bedding, furniture, and artwork. If your child is obsessed with a gothic motif you don’t care for, seek common ground such as a deep purple color scheme. You will need to let go a bit and maintain focus on the significant issues. Parents definitely have veto power, but the teen needs to be the primary decision maker. Knocking down a wall for a new en suite bathroom probably doesn’t make sense, but painting over deep purple walls, after your child leaves home, will only cost you a little extra paint and some elbow grease. If teens are trusted to make their own decorating decisions, it will not only help them build confidence but also increase the likelihood that they will take care of their room.
How to design together- using your teen’s language:
Your child’s exposure to interior design is probably limited to what they have seen in your home and their friends’ homes, so spend some time on Pinterest, looking at furniture catalogs or watching HGTV together. We suggest these sites or Pinterest boards for ideas:
Allowing your teen the time to practice these important life skills while you’re still there to help and guide them will ultimately help them to become independent, confident young adults. It won’t make their departure any easier, but hopefully they won’t be bringing a mountain of laundry home for you on weekends!
For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.
Article by Danielle Hegedus
Danielle Hegedus currently resides in Atlanta, GA where she nurtures her HGTV obsession by writing about all things home decor for Modernize.com.