In December, the school curriculum revolved around markers, scissors, and glitter. When we finally convinced the kids it was time to take down their “work”, the valentines cards came home and HAD to be put on display. Now there are plastic eggs everywhere, cotton-puff rabbits that need to be taken out of their misery, and you keep finding fake grass in your bed. Bah humbunny.
Embrace the balance beam.
There are a few ways to resolve the décor dilemma. You could declare that all child-related decorations belong in their rooms and their rooms only. Sure, your house would look picture-perfect, but how would you feel if they reversed that rule on you? So instead, you could give them free rein and close your eyes. We’re guessing that would backfire too. How long before you totally lose it and cancel all holidays just to avoid the mess?
If you read our last post, you know where we’re going with this. Yup: moderation. Both of those options are extreme but it’s easy to fall into either resentment-harbouring trap. Anyone feel like avoiding yet another power struggle?
Compromise is the name of the game. Choose the path of least resistance by deciding together how to dress your house. Buy a few kid-friendly decorations or let them choose while shopping with you. But don’t spend a fortune – kids love making Junk Art out of recyclables and it’s a bonus if you create with them. When our eldest was three, our Christmas tree was only half-decorated (as high as he could reach) and his favourite “decorations” were the spare extension cords he wrapped around it like a string of lights. He was so proud of his self-expression, which was worth far more to us than a House & Home Christmas. That being said, we are talking mutual respect here, so not everything has to be made in China. It’s okay to choose a few items of your own to YHL it up.
This Fix can be applied to their art as well. Those scribbles were definitely priceless when their pudgy little fingers first grasped a crayon but, well, times have changed. Choose a common area in your home and display the pieces you both love there. Then let them decide what to do with the leftovers: keep in their room, turn into a party invitation or thank you card, mail to a grandparent with a note on the back, or take a picture before recycling. They won’t be as reluctant to let things go if you’ve set an example. We have two exhibit areas: the fridge is more temporary but the bathroom is the true gallery, where beautiful art is framed or hung on a wire that spans one wall. They’re always delighted to give new friends a tour.
Your kids will be too cool to hang out with you or show enthusiasm for anything other than friends and phones sooner than you think. With only a small amount of effort, holidays, and childhood, can be truly magical. For them too.
Email any questions and let us know how this worked for you!