Home renovation, while exciting, can mostly be stressful for everyone in the household. This is especially true for families with young children. The simple compromises you planned stop being so simple when the young ones don’t cooperate as well as you expected. It’s not like anyone can blame them, right? Even kids can feel upset with the thought of losing their personal space, even just for a couple of days.
You can take comfort in the fact that your renovation journey will inevitably end in a more pleasing living space. Right now, however, you’ll need to find ways to make sure that you and your children survive your short-term skirmishes with as little hair pulling as possible.
Image by Daniela Dimitrova
Welcome Their Participation
Giving your children something to look forward to in this renovation project is an excellent means to ward off tantrums. It piques a reward-system mentality, which will motivate them to cooperate as well as they can because there’s personal merit in it. This strategy is particularly useful if the entire project will take months to accomplish.
Give them the liberty to decide on certain aspects of their new bedrooms. What color should the wall be? Do you carpet the floors or replace them with hardwood? What kind of lighting would they like to have?
To keep this process from turning into a nightmare, narrow their options. Prepare pictures they can choose from, and refrain from forcing your preferences on them further. This activity is a great way for you to get to know your children better, build their confidence, and let them have their share of fun in improving your house.
Keep Them Busy
There’s nothing like a busy schedule to keep children from taking too much notice of your ongoing renovation. Draft a new routine for everyone to give them a sense of normalcy, and fill huge chunks of idle time in their schedule with fun things to do.
Take them to Rocky Mountain National Park for a breath of fresh air, or enroll them for kids’ piano lessons. Colorado never lacks in interesting and meaningful activities for families. Signing them up for lessons is a great way to keep them away from the noise and grit whenever you have to monitor the renovation. Who knows? This might be how you discover that you have a musical genius in your family.
The trick to making your new routine successful is to seal it with their permission. Ask them if they’re interested in piano lessons or if they’d rather learn another instrument. Perhaps hiking isn’t their preferred family bonding. Some kids prefer to watch movies and eat out instead. Whatever it is, get their approval to prevent any hard feelings from forming.
Prepare a Backup Plan
Sometimes, big renovations involve huge machinery and plenty of debris. The noise and dust involved put everyone’s risk at health, especially that of younger children. Prepare a back-up plan in case you’re anticipating a huge construction somewhere down the renovation journey.
Settling in with your in-laws or at your friend’s house for a couple of days will give you a much-needed reprieve. You can talk to them beforehand to make arrangements so that when you’re left with no choice but to move out for a while, you know exactly where to go. The uncertainties of these events stress children out more than they do adults. They might not understand exactly what’s happening, and that can be scary for them.
Have a back-up plan for every phase of the renovation to ensure your family’s health and happiness.
Things Won’t Always Go Right
Even when you make elaborate plans and take extra precautions, things will not always go according to plan. When that happens, communicate with your children. It might surprise you how understanding they can be when you’re honest, even-tempered, and welcoming of their opinions.