When children entered my home, my OCD tendencies really took a beating. I spend a lot of time swallowing the urge to fix messes and straighten toys. I want my children to take ownership of their things, their spaces. I don’t want to constantly be fixing it for them (even though it makes me crazy!) and I want them to be responsible for the things they say are important.
This is a life lesson wrapped in an opportunity for growth and bonding. When children are given the opportunity to create their own space, they are more likely to take pride in and maintain it. Giving them control over the small aspects of life builds trust.
In my home, I had to slowly give them the freedom to create their own space. I wasn’t able to throw my hands in the air and shout, “have at it!”, but that’s ok! Even in small doses, bit by bit, your child is learning responsibility as they tackle the new task. This is an especially good technique if you are worried about your child’s ability to maintain a space.
As silly as it sounds, it started with allowing my children to hang pictures on their walls. There were words misspelled and they used the kind of tape that would peel the paint, but I left them there. It was amazing how excited the children were to show people their bedroom. Why? Because it was suddenly theirs and they were taking ownership.
Allowing children to create their own space doesn’t have to be an extravagant makeover! Allowing children to create their own space simply has to be an openness to their input, their ideas.
Start small by allowing them to hang pictures or choose their comforter and work your way from there to larger furniture and even paint. You can help your child feel secure in their space by trusting them to make some decisions about it.