Your babies are born utterly dependant on you. If they could talk, they might voice an opinion but usually they’re pretty agreeable and go with the flow.
Certainly, once they hit their teen years, they reject everything you like, want and stand for! This is a normal part of growing up… asserting independence, testing boundaries set for them, and discovering who they are as people.
A logical place for self expression is your teenager’s bedroom. This is the one place in your house they can call their own, yet it is, in most cases, still firmly attached to your house as well as your budget. Frills, hot pink and orange paint, when you like cool, calm pale blues and greens? LA Lakers blue and yellow and you like sleek architectural white? Eggplant purple? Hey, that’s a pretty hot color now, anyway.
If you’re lucky, it’s only paint… redecorating your teenager’s room is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time doing something together. Make it constructive and fun, not adversarial.
I found a fabulous article, from The Denver Post, by Douglas Brown. “Let teenagers rock their room décor—within limits” published online on June 12, 2010. The following helpful tips are inspired by this article:
-- Be brave, but be strong and compromise. Black can look great, maybe on one wall, and on bedding and accessories, for example. Stripes are a great way of working in colors that you’re not sure of.
-- Shop with your teenager. Set up a budget and work with him or her to prioritize. Since it’s your money, and your house, you still have a say in what goes on.
--Think about everything they do in their room: sleep, study, visit with friends… and consider the necessary furniture. The desk they’ve used since first grade probably isn’t big enough. Jettison the lumpy hand-me-down twin size bed, buy a quality full or queen size mattress and new bedding to improve their much-needed sleep.
--Plan for LOTS of electronics from computers, phones, cameras, etc., but consider locating the charging station far from the bed so your child isn’t tempted to text in the middle of the night. It’s OK to set some rules about this.
-- Accommodate childhood treasures such as trophies and cherished stuffed animals that your teenager values but doesn’t use often. High shelves and “treasure” displays within bookcases are good ideas. Frame photos and postcards or create collages.
--Have your teen do some independent research online, or by pulling images from magazines. Mark Montano’s books are fun, fabulous, youthful, irreverent and inspirational! Your teen might like his stuff... pretend you hate it. (Click here to shop.)
Most of all, embrace their interest and have fun, and, remember, you can always paint over it later!
Until next time!