GETTING THROUGH HOME RENOVATIONS WITH CHILDREN
Home renovations create a lot of mess and dangerous rubble. If you have children in the house, it can make the work even more stressful. Renovations are tough enough on adults, but if you’re worrying about keeping kids away from debris, power tools and exposed electrics, it can make the whole process harder.
Find Them Somewhere To Stay
If you’re not going to move out during the home renovation, try and find somewhere else for the kids to stay, at least for part of the week or when particularly dangerous or messy jobs are being done. Could they go and stay with their grandparents, or another relative like a favorite aunt? Accept any invites for sleepovers from the kids’ friends and pack the kids off for a stay somewhere else wherever you can.
Having to be extra careful at home during the works is no fun for young children, so sending them off gives them a break. It also means you’ll be worrying less, if you’re not worried about what the kids are up to.
Create a Safe Space To Play
Even if you’re not renovating much of the house, having building work done can easily seem to take over the whole house Whether other rooms are full of things you’ve had to move out of the way, or there’s builders’ equipment, clouds of dust and debris everywhere, a building site isn’t a safe place for kids.
Set aside a room that is just for them, that you keep free of anything renovation related. This means the children always have a safe place in the house to play, and you don’t have to worry about where they are. A renovation playroom can go a long way to keep them out of mischief and ticking one worry off your list.
Allow Some Extra Treats
Renovations are stressful for everyone, and a house full of strange people coming in and out and making all sorts of loud noises can be upsetting for younger children. Shyer kids might find the whole process pretty distressing.
Help them out by explaining what’s happening, making sure they understand what’s going on and sneak in some extra treats as rewards for good behavior, like keeping out of the way of the builders. Keep them in the safe room by offering extra hours of TV or video game time, or a new toy to keep them busy. A usually banned unhealthy snack is a great thank you for sitting quietly while you spent an hour choosing a new kitchen worktop. Little treats can help kids feel better about the upheaval.
Let Them Feel Involved
Remember that it’s your kids’ home too, so why not find a way to help them feel more involved in the process? If you’re renovating a space that the whole family will use, they might like to feel like they’re being listened to when you make a choice. Depending on the ages of your children, you can show them samples of things like paint colors, tiles or fabrics and ask which they like. You don’t have to stick with their choice, as long as they feel that you took their input on board.
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