Your Kid’s Bedroom Matters

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All people remember their childhood bedroom. Our environments stay with us, and when we have the chance to define a space as our own, we become attached to that space in important ways. And, in fact, our connections to such spaces might be even more important than we realized.

That’s why your child’s bedroom really matters. It’s not just a place for your child to sleep at night. Their room is their safe space, a place away from the sometimes confusing and scary world of adults, school, and even friends. A child’s room is the place to show their personality. It’s where children learn to keep spaces clean and to use spaces to their fullest potential. And we, as parents, are responsible for helping our children define, use, and maintain their rooms in ways that are healthy and good for their development.

The psychology of a child’s room

Our environments matter, experts agree. Studies show that interior design choices are linked to our mental health. Big companies, stores, and governments already know that something as simple as the color of paint on the walls of a room can make people feel more or less productive, happy, and calm.

A child’s room is important in all of these ways and more. Children need their own space. Studies show that children who share beds may have mental health troubles. This doesn’t mean kids can’t share their bedrooms (with separate beds), but it does mean that kids should be able to define their own spaces and have areas to call their own within their homes.

And, of course, a bedroom is where a person sleeps. For children, good sleep is extremely important. Getting the proper amount of sleep can help your child enjoy better physical health, better mental health, improved performance in school, and other benefits. And a great bedroom with a comfortable bed is key to proper sleep.

Decorating a child’s room — with their input

As parents, how can we help to ensure that our children have bedrooms that are good for them? Simple: we need to loop them into our decorating decisions.

Kids don’t necessarily need to help choose every little thing in their rooms, but they’ll feel more in control of their space if they can help choose the wall hangings, bedding, and other essentials. These things can be fun for kids: pillows aren’t toys, of course, but kids pillows can feel fun because of their designs or their association with a child’s favorite sport, superhero, or game.

Bedding, in particular, is a great place to get a child’s input. Getting kids to go to sleep can be pretty tough, but when their favorite characters are on the comforter, things might be just a little bit easier each night. And, of course, that soft bedding and those great pillows and mattresses will help the sleep that your child does get be of a higher quality. Great REM sleep is key to proper rest, and proper rest is key to your child’s mental health and mood. You’ll have a more cheerful household, and your child will have a brighter future if you are smart about bedding!

Letting go of control while setting limits

We’ve worked hard to earn the money that pays our rent or mortgage, so it’s natural for us to want our spaces to look how we want. But when we bring a child into the world, we have to give up some control: our kids have minds of their own, and preferences of their own, too!

You don’t have to agree with everything your child thinks will look good in the room. Let it go! But do know where to set smart limits. It’s your role as a parent to decide if a television or video game system is something your child can choose to put in the room. And you’ll be the one who decides how clean a room should be. With the freedom to claim their own space, your children should also gain the responsibility to keep it clean.

Each child’s room is incredibly important to his or her development. Let your child be creative with space while setting sensible limits as a parent, and you’ll give an incredible gift.

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