If you love decorating your house and you have small kids, then this post is for you! Keep reading for some exciting tips that will help you keep your house exactly the way you love. And also allow you to enjoy going to someone else’s house without having to worry of your child breaking everything in sight.
You guys know how much I love decorating my house (if you follow me on instagram) I make every corner of my house speak volumes of us.
A lot of my friends who visited me would move every single thing in reach of their kids. And I don’t mind accommodating their needs as a Mom to feel comfortable. They might be doing their best. Every parenting style is different. But I knew it wasn’t for me. It was definitely something I never wanted to do at anyone else’s house as a mom. When I was pregnant, a lot of people who came to my house would tell me how I will have to remove every single piece of decor from my house very soon. It hurt me a little when they assumed that my child will destroy everything around him.
My main worry is not having a bare home. My main worries are my baby getting hurt and/or making me pick everything at someone else’s home.
I know how unpredictable kids are and the possibility of these people saying the truth was very high. And I knew that one day, I might have to actually move everything. But that’s the thing, we do things when we face them. We do things for our children, for our family. We make and remake our house to accommodate a new member. Remember how I said I make every corner speak of us? So it would also reflect a child in our dwelling. But I did not like hearing it from others because that sounded like a challenge, like a warning, like an assumption, like a ‘let’s see what you will be doing about it’ contest and sometimes like a taunt.
However, I was thinking ahead of them. I told my sister about how one of my friends had to pull all the window blinds up because her baby would pull and break them. My sister suggested that we need to let the blinds the way they are supposed to be because kids watch and learn. Soon they realize that it is something that cannot be twisted or it will break. And if they feel like experimenting, it is better to do so at our own home than at someone else’s. Because that becomes painful not just to them but also to the Mom. I loved this principle! How brilliant it is to train your kids at home so you get a better behavior outside home!
Here’s how I still do the decor and train my now 17 months old:
The principle to this approach is to make your kid so used to seeing decorative things around them that they aren’t eye catchers anymore. It will teach your kid to care for those things. And eventually they will accept it as a part of home not supposed to be ‘toyed’ with.
And there could be a few broken pieces before they understand the consequences and learn from their mistakes. Kids are human beings bound to make mistakes but the idea is to have them learn from these experiences.
I have replaced every single breakable decor item with an elegant unbreakable piece. It is about tying the colors and the look together. And I achieve exactly that without having to worry of my baby getting hurt.
When I see him curious of any decor piece, I take him to it, let him touch it, feel it, in my presence, while I repeatedly tell him how beautiful it looks. I tell him that if we pick it, push it, throw it, it will break or look sad, even though it is an unbreakable. Remember the point here is also to train them to not touch things at someone else’s.
When I buy a new item, I involve him in the process of picking something nice, for example, telling him how beautiful it would look in our house (We make a sound of ‘Aha!’). Not sure how much he understands, but I sure know he is reading my lit up face and catching my expressions.
I involve him in decorating. I ask him to bring the basket to me, so Mama can make the table look nice. Again, I know he is reading me.
Show appreciation loud and clear when they do something nice. It encourages them to do more of ‘nice’. When he does something nice, like help me, or listen to me when I tell him not to touch it, I clap, I tell him what a good baby he is, sometimes there are lot of kisses blown each way. And now he knows what is appreciative of him, so he claps even before I do. So there, he knows right from wrong.
Don’t say no or get angry if you don’t see danger. If they are going for a friendly touch, let them. These things eventually get old for them too. Like toys. Soon it becomes very common to their sight. And so does the idea that there are going to be things around the house our’s or other’s.
Set standard and easy to follow rules. If you tell them touching one thing is right but other one is wrong, it will confuse them. Let them know that any decorative thing around the house is not supposed to be played with and stick to that rule.
Practice what you preach. If you tell your child not to touch something, make sure you don’t either. Or at least in their presence. Because doing so would tell them that it is okay for you to do it but not for him. It will ring alarm bells in his curious toddler land and the next thing up, he will put up a good fight to argue that.
These are a few parenting tricks I have been using on my little one since the very beginning and it has worked well. And that is why I thought of sharing them with you.
When I began applying this theory, I did not know if it would work. But it doesn’t hurt trying. Every child responds to different learning techniques differently too. All we can do is try our best, and leave the rest!