From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Your Child's Bedroom
When babies are born, we decorate their nurseries. As children grow, their bedrooms
become a reflection of their identity and of all that they cherish. If you truly want to
get to know a child or adolescent, ask them for a "tour" of their room. To make
the most of this experience, consider these guidelines.
- A Child's bedroom is their private domain. Exercise the same rules of courtesy that you
would for adults. When we knock and ask permission to enter a child's room, we are
modelling polite behavior. This indicates respect for their privacy.
- Ignore the mess. Kids are naturally messy, and commenting on this feature of the room,
is usually taken as harsh criticism. It means that you are ignoring the better features of
the room and focussing on your own agenda. If you want to help your child organize their
room, you can offer to help, but remember... it is their living space.
- Appreciate the collage of their interests. Children are natural collectors. Whether they
collect music, baseball cards, dolls, pillows, photographs, or magazines, they take pride
in their possessions. More than one of any item starts a collection and indicates their
current interests. If you notice these collections, your child will share their enthusiasm
with you, and you will begin to see the uniqueness of their personality.
- Be respectful of their property. Just as kids may not see the value in their parent's
possessions, we are often guilty of the same. Unwittingly, we may disgard something of
importance to them. If kids and adults are to co-exist with mutual respect, we must treat
their possessions as we do our own. "Ask" before you throw it away, and they
will be more likely "not to throw the ball in the house" when you ask for this
- Make your visit one of quality time. When visiting your child in their room, understand
that this is their territory. You can speak frankly and seriously about matters, but try
not to act like a terrorist. Children usually seek solace in their own rooms, and this
aids in their personal growth. But if your visits are threatening to them, their room will
become a place of escape and avoidance. Like adults, children need their privacy and a
place of freedom.
Bedtimes for young children are cozy storytimes and times to be assured of safety. As
our children grow, they may outgrow the need for fictional stories, but profit from real
stories about life experiences... your and theirs. Bedtime can be a wonderful time to
review the day, confide worries, share experiences and generally, communicate closely. As
children grow and mature, they may outgrow the need to be tucked in, but they never
outgrow the need to be close with their parents.
ęCopyright, 1992, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,