It’s that time of year again, caps and gowns are being spotted around town and parents are beaming with pride, with the occasional happy tear slipping out.
Your child may be a long way from high school graduation, but there are many milestones to celebrate along the way. Are they moving from kindergarten into grade school? Are they taking that big step into middle school or transitioning into high school?
Graduating from one phase of life to another is significant in your child’s development. Your first-grade child isn’t a “baby” anymore. A student in middle school isn’t a “little kid.” And a high school scholar would disdain being called a “tween.” Their needs change during this time as well, which makes these periods of transition the perfect time to update their room.
The older your child gets the more privacy they need. She requires time for quiet contemplation to allow her mind to absorb all the knowledge she soaks in during class and to calm some of the stress she probably copes with on a daily basis. Think about putting in comfortable seating for one, or maybe a small group in your teen’s room. Consider a bed that is larger, not only to support her growing size but also as a place where she can retreat to relax, isolated temporarily.
Junior high students (grades 6-8) want to personalize their space, so plan for that. Choose a desk with a built-in cork board so they can constantly change their work area without putting holes in the wall. If you’re buying furniture for your child, ASK THEIR OPINION. It isn’t a good idea to hire a designer to do just what you want or to “surprise” your child with a room makeover. Ask your child what size bed they want. Ask him what color he wants on the wall. Let him help choose the bedding. You may have to be a little patient and it may not be the room you had envisioned, but it’s worth it for your child to create a space that represents themselves.
Younger grade school students (grades 1-5) want independence. Make sure you choose furniture with safety features so constant supervision is not required. Attach their dressers to the wall because they will climb up that dresser to get to the shorts that they want, which are not the ones you put out for them. Organize their dresser from the bottom up, putting their most used items in the lowest drawers so that they are within easy reach.
Watching your child grow is exciting, satisfying, and terrifying all at the same time! Help them by supporting their needs at whichever stage they are at and mark their growth by helping them graduate to the next step in their development. Everyone will benefit.