21 July 2017

Top Tips on Making a Better Home for the Kids

There is no rule book on being a parent. There’s medical advice for mothers, and there are opinions from other mothers as to what worked best for their children. However, for two parents looking to create a perfect home in which to raise their children, there is no definitive answer as to how best to do so. At the end of the day, you need to trust your gut instincts, as you probably know your children better than anyone; as they grow up, the things they need will become clearer and clearer (unless they’re already moody teenagers who won’t talk to you). Whatever the case, these top tips will give you inspiration as to ways in which you could improve your home for the kids, at the very least.

Identify safety hazards.
This is probably the most pressing issue on your mind. You’re constantly worrying about sharp edges on tables, dodgy steps on the staircase, or whether cupboards containing medicines or sharp objects are out of reach of your children’s little hands. Your kids might be able enough to be safe and responsible around the house by now, of course, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still things you can do to secure your family home and make sure everybody is looked after. Bolts on doors and burglar alarms, for example, will keep all of you safe; those are safety features that you should install anyway. They have no ideal age demographic.

Still, it’s important that you know when it’s time to move on. If your house is becoming too cramped for everyone living in it then it’s probably time to upgrade. A lack of space may not be a life-threatening safety hazard, but it will hamper the quality of life your kids have in their house. As they approach their teenage years, your children will definitely want their own breathing space and won’t want to feel “boxed in”. You could even look for a rental house at first if money is stretched. You could then consider the possibility of buying that house in the future when you’re sure that it’s the right decision and you’re all ready to commit to that certain property or simply a certain location because it makes your children, and the family as a whole, happy.

Declutter the home.
Continuing from the previous point, decluttering is partly a matter of safety but also a matter of satisfaction for everybody living in your family home. Nobody wants a messy home, and your kids might find they respect your rules far more if you declutter the place and create a perfectly clean environment in which you can all live. Tell them that, if they want the place to stay that way, they have to be more careful with regards to putting toys back in their homes and not making a mess with food or other such things around the house.

Get a pet.
You’re not giving in to your child, even though they’ll likely see it that way. Yes, they’ve been moaning at you to get a pet for the house for years, but there are actually far more positive reasons to do so than their simple point that “dogs are cute”. That’s true, of course, but dogs are also expensive, so you obviously need more of an incentive before you go ahead and buy one. Something you might not know is that pets such as dogs are actually of great benefit to young children in terms of health. They can help prevent asthma and respiratory problems by building up the immune system of your children.

Of course, alongside this, it’s hard to deny the mental health benefits of having a pet such as a dog (this whole “dog” idea is being pushed hard, but you really shouldn’t dismiss it as a first pet). Having a furry companion can be wonderful for a child and even the adults in the family as he or she can provide love and affection no matter what day you’re all having. Dogs are certainly always trying to make their owners happy because they’re loyal and kind. Your kid might be having trouble at school or falling out with friends (as children often do), but they can always come home to their barking buddy who’ll cheer them up, no matter what.

Start family DIY projects.
One of the greatest ways in which you can make a better home for the kids is to get the kids involved with making it a better home. We’re not talking about slave labor here; make it very clear that this isn’t a “boring chore” you’re forcing your child to do. Think of fun ways in which you can improve the house and get your children involved because you might be surprised to find that they’d actually love to take part in fixing up the house by repainting the walls, for example. That might lead to reorganizing furnishings in the room or deciding that the freshly-painted walls are bright and vivid but need a little character, so then you could put up some shelves (obviously, any sawing or nail-hammering should be left to the adult in the room). The point is that your kids will love their home even more if they can look at it and see all the ways in which they helped to build it.

Turn the garage into a play zone.
You might’ve been putting off tidying up the garage for years, but if you ever needed incentive to do so then just think about the potential to turn this space into a play zone. You’re forever tidying up toys littering the lounge or your child’s room, and it’s exhausting. You want to keep the “public” areas of the house tidy, at least, in case the adults of the house want to sit down and relax to watch some TV without accidentally sitting on some plastic toy and breaking it.

Turning your garage into a play zone for your children (and make sure it has elements for all of them so there are no arguments) could be the perfect answer. They can play and mess around in there without ruining the lounge area in the main house, and you probably don’t even have to tidy up after them as often; you can leave them to their devices as long as the garage is safe and there are no hazard objects left lying around for them to trip on. Everybody wins.

Make a lovely garden area.
When it comes to creating a child-friendly garden area, safety is very important, yet again. You want your garden to be as child-friendly and secure as your home, so you should definitely ensure your garden is fenced off. It most likely is, as it’s very rare for a garden to be wide open, but you should certainly think about warding off intruders. If you have a small fence already then you might still want to think about making improvements to deter people from climbing over and entering your garden.

A large hedge right behind the fence is always a good deterrent if you’d rather go to the effort of growing that than fitting a larger fence. Both methods are good, however. It’s all to do with the extent to which you’d like to go. Whatever you decide, you just need to ensure your garden feels like a colorful, vibrant, and fun place for your child to be. You moan about them not going outside enough, but perhaps you just need to give them an incentive to do so. Make playing outdoors sound like fun rather than a boring chore they do to keep mom and dad happy.

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.

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