Your child’s bedroom is a relaxing haven for them to play, read and relax, surrounded by the toys and books they both love and play with all the time. And when play is over and it’s time to tidy away the toys, calm order is restored as all the toys are easily put away.
Except this is not often the case. Children’s bedrooms are crammed with too many toys, the floor is littered, drawers and cupboards are overflowing with toys and games that are either broken, missing parts, too young for the child, too old for the child or simply toys they no longer play with.
Children find a cluttered room stressful. Now couple that with no space to actually find and play with the toys they do actually love. Their bedrooms are not the haven’s they should be.
It is thought that children with fewer toys and an ordered room become more creative, develop a longer attention span, establish better social skills, and learn to take better care of things – to take ownership of their toys, to become more resourceful, more independent and to argue less with their siblings.
Typically how I work…
At the Initial Consultation, it is important for me to meet the child. Mummy and Daddy must understand this is the ‘child’s space’, and it should reflect their personality and how they play. The objective is for them to take ‘ownership’ of ‘their space’, and to look after their toys, so mummy and daddy must remain quiet and allow the child to voice their own thoughts and not second guess them.
I ask the child to show me their bedroom, and we talk about ‘What they like about their bedroom?’ ‘Which are the toys they love to play with most?’ this helps me determine whether I need to consider ‘Zones’ in the configuration of their room. Finally. ‘What they don’t like about their room?’ This helps me understand how aware they are with their surroundings, most children struggle to answer this question, because ‘this is what they know’, so I tease the answers out of them, by asking questions; “Do you like not being able to find your toys?”, “Do you like your clothes all over the floor?” “Do you like not having any space to play?”
The answers to these questions will be, “No”, this is an important realisation for the child. When the time comes to decide what toys they want to bring back into their bedroom and what to ‘let go’ – I remind them of the things they didn’t like about their room, which helps them make healthy decisions.
On the actually day it is important for all children to be out of the house, until it is time for the child to be shown their bedroom.
1. All the toys are removed from the room and moved to a neutral space
2. All the furniture is moved so the room can be thoroughly cleaned and if appropriate repositioned to maximise space
3. ‘Zones’ are identified, such as ‘Reading Corner’, ‘Lego Zone, ‘Dressing-up Zone’, which are worked into the design of the space
4. Then all the clothes are sorted, removing items that no longer fit the child, or are past their best, then correctly folded and put back
5. Fresh linen is put on the bed
6. At this point the child is shown their room (a moment of pure joy x)
7. In consultation, usually the following day, I work directly with the child to decide what they want to keep and what they would like to ‘let go’
8. Appropriate storage solutions are sought for the toys to be returned to the child’s bedroom
Having been a professional nanny, I know how to talk with children and I know how to listen. I do not tell the child what they can keep and what they should let go, it is entirely their decision – they will learn through my gentle questions, and observations, ‘how to let go’.
For the time I am with you, your little one will feel very special, I will create for that child a haven that they will want spend time in; and take pride in keeping it tidy.
Spend time with your little ones…