10 Tips To Help Separated Parents Make Their Homes More Child-Friendly
Creating a home that is equally homely and comfy for children and adults alike takes some thought and planning. For newly separated or divorced parents moving to a new home, building a space that feels familiar and comfortable to your children is important and can help make them feel secure in this space.
When setting up your nome, you need to make sure not only that your space is safe for children but also that it's fun for them. Here we've collected ten tips to help you design a more child-friendly home.
Embrace the fun and quirky
Trying to confine the toys to just one room is to set yourself up for, if not failure, then definitely a more stressful life. Better to embrace your children's cute and fun things and make them part of your home. Clear the lowest parts of your bookshelves and dedicate them to toys, and collect plastic ducks and bathing toys in a basket in the bathroom. The key to avoiding chaos is to have plenty of storage in every room.
Avoid sensitive materials and fragile furniture
Let's face it: children are messy. They're discovering everything for the first time, from crayons to tomato soup, and that is bound to take its toll on furniture and interior design. Instead of getting stressed about it, laugh about it, and adjust your decoration accordingly. Opt for vintage items that are not too pricey, and cover your sofa with a bedspread to protect it. Children need to roam free, so the less fragile their environment is, the happier both you and they will be.
Keep things child-proofed
Small children put everything in their mouths, making the danger of choking a constant worry for parents of small children. Make sure never to leave little things, or things that can be taken apart, within reach of your young children, and keep dangerous items like medicine and chemicals safely locked away.
Children are curious by nature, and if they find a whole, they will try to put something in it. To avoid accidents, it's also crucial to child-proof all your electricity and make sure the children can't get hurt.
Find ways for your child to participate in chores
Children love to see what you're doing and to be a part of it. Even toddlers enjoy being put in the sink and helping out with the dishes, and that urge to feel included and to help is truly something to cherish and encourage. Instead of asking your child to play with their toys when you're cooking, try inviting them to help instead. A children's kitchen and stove next to the real one can also be a safe and fun way to cook together.
Create playing stations
To avoid boredom, even when you have to spend a lot of time at home, it's a good idea to create small playing and activity stations around the house. A small table for crayons in your office, a kid's stove in the kitchen, a toy version of a hospital in the bathroom, and so on. This will keep your kid occupied and entertained for a long time, and when they get bored, they can go to the next place.
Decorate with more carpets
Children spend a lot of time on the floor, especially toddlers and very young children. Introducing plenty of soft carpets, preferably ones that can be thrown in the washing machine, is a great way to make your home more child-friendly.
Build a cabin or a tent
Every kid loves a good hideaway, so why not help them build one! Use a bunk bed, the area under your staircase, or make a tent—it doesn't matter as long as the space is all theirs. Decorating it together with fairy lights, pillows, and blankets is a fun project.
Use washable covers
There will be stains. That's just how it is; when you have young children, there will be stains on everything. Instead of getting stressed every time, you may as well plan for it in advance and cover your furniture with easy-to-wash fabric. A throw or even a sheet works wonders as protection when your kid wants to cuddle up on the sofa with a snack, and if you have an expensive carpet – why not put a blanket on top of it when it's playtime.
Create a cosy corner
A soft and cozy sport where your child can retract and relax on their own is often highly appreciated. All you need is a mattress, a big pile of pillows, some cuddly toys and teddy bears, and perhaps a few children's books. This way, your child can learn how to regulate their energy and downtime on their own, and you can both get some well-earned rest now and then during the day.
Let your children have a say
All of the changes that take place after a divorce or separation can be very stressful for every family member. Letting your children have some degree of say in how your new home is set up can help them gain a sense of control over their environment. You may already have them decorating their bedroom however they see fit, but there are other ways in which children can participate in setting up your new environment. For example, this could include asking for your child's help in choosing colours when painting rooms or when choosing new furniture.
Kristina Marshall is a stay-at-home blogger. After having children, she began sharing some of her tips and tricks with people around her community. Now she writes full articles on lifestyle and parenting to help people all over the internet.