Helping Your Child Gain Autonomy Over Their Space

There are may lessons parents need to teach their children as they grow. How to share, how to control their temper, how to be patient, and sometimes, how to eat without dropping food on the floor or staining their clothes. It’s all part of growing as a brand new person.

That said, sometimes lessons can be more abstract as we grow up. For instance, life lessons, such as learning sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do in order to manage ourselves day to day (like the boredom of doing laundry), we have to accept.

It’s good to consider the kind of values you wish to teach your child in this way, and the foundational lessons that will sustain them over time. We believe that helping them gain a sense of dominion and autonomy over their own space can be fruitful in this way. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of that, and how to achieve it:

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Make Them Responsible

It’s good to give them a few tasks to work on, such as asking them to clean their bedroom space each week. By “cleaning” you might ask them to push the vacuum cleaner around, dust their shelves, and perhaps make their bed each morning. You might leave the harder tasks, like checking for dampness, making sure the room is well-ventilated and folding laundry until they’re a little older. However, this growing of responsibility that shows them how to take care of their space will help them feel ownership of it, and that should translate into caring for the space again.

Give Them Some Decorative Authority

You might offer them the chance to have some decorative authority in their bedroom, from the suitable posters they put up to how they arrange their possessions underneath the high sleeper loft beds you implement to save space and make the room look neater. You might also allow them to select the color they have their walls painted (within reason of course), or where they place possessions like their television and games consoles as they get older. A little personalisation like this can make the space feel more familiar in the best possible way.

Provide Some Privacy

It’s good to allow your child some privacy, especially as they enter their teen years, with care of course. You might not allow for a lock on their door, but you might not search through their drawers or you might trust them to care for their wardrobe and only check on that every other month or so. A little care and trust, while still ensuring that parental eye and being observant, can help them feel a little more like their space is theirs. Allow them to take care of their space and really make it their own without interfering unless absolutely necessary. They may want to hang posters or decorate their room with things such as LED lighting, or personalised photo mementoes that remind them of their friends and family. Allowing them to make their room their own, safe space can be helpful for their development, and will no doubt encourage them to care for that space properly.

With this advice, you’re sure to help your child gain autonomy over their space in the best possible way. While your particular situation may require slightly different methods, we’re sure the broader goal remains the same.

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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