If you are a parent, there is no doubt that you want your child to be happy and healthy.
While encouraging a healthy diet and instilling good habits are important, the environment your child is in plays a major role in their upbringing.
One of the best things you can do for your child is to create a child-friendly living space for them, both physically and socially.
Amongst plenty of other home essentials, here are some tips on how to create a living environment that's perfect for your little one.
1) Give your child their own space
Every child needs a place to call their own where they can feel safe and secure.
Consider setting up a play area in your child's bedroom or in another room that can be easily accessed by them.
If your child sleeps in the parents' room, make sure to create a designated spot for them to play and relax in. A rug or mat on the floor can be a great way to separate their space from the rest of the room.
Additionally, some cushions and stuffed toys can help your child feel extra cozy in their space. If your child prefers books or dolls, add them too! Always keep their preferences in mind while designing their room.
2) Make the space comfortable
In addition to being functional, your child's living space should also be comfortable.
You can do this by adding soft furnishings, such as rugs and cushions, and by choosing the right furniture in your home.
Whether you’re staying in your old home or moving to a new one, it's also important to keep the temperature of your space in mind. This way, they won't get too cold in winter or too hot in summer.
Lastly, it's important to remove any potential hazards from the room, such as sharp corners or loose cords. If your child is under two years of age, let them play in a safe, enclosed area like a playpen.
3) Give them choice in the design process
If your child is old enough to give verbal feedback, let them choose some elements of the design for their living space.
This could include picking out a favorite paint color, choosing a few pieces of furniture or decorating their walls with artwork.
This will help them feel more ownership over the space and make them more likely to want to spend time in it. Plus, if this is your first home, allowing your child to have input in the design process is a very rewarding experience.
But more importantly, this technique falls in line with the Reggio Emilia approach, where the children are active participants instead of mere observers in a task. Find out more about the benefits of this psychological approach here.
At the end of the day, your child is the primary occupant of the room and their input should definitely be considered!
4) Don't be a pessimist
Children are like sponges, especially during their younger years. With how easy they can take in information, it's important to model yourself appropriately in front of your child. This includes maintaining a good attitude as parents.
You may think that your child is too young to notice your moods, but they're definitely picking up on them. If you practice harmful parenting techniques, you may be unknowingly stunting the development of your child. This may lead to them having lowered self-esteem or anxiety disorders when they're older.
So if you want to create a child-friendly living environment, it's important to encourage and provide positive messaging to them whenever they do something good.
5) Positively articulate your rebuttals
Saying "Because I'm your parent." or "No buts" can feel like easy ways to instill discipline in your child, but it doesn't solve anything in the long run.
This is especially true for younger children who still don't have a full understanding of social cues.
Instead, try to provide a rationale for your decision making. For example, if your child is asking to eat candy before dinner, you could say "I know you're hungry now, but chocolate can wait after dinner".
Level with them so that they know that you understand their feelings, but also explain why you made that decision. They'll respect you and harbor a deeper sense of appreciation for your honesty.
6) Be affectionate
Physical affection is a great way to show your child that you love them.
Hugging, kissing and stroking your child's hair are all great ways to bond with them and show that you care. Simple acts of kindness can also help you connect with them on an emotional level, which is critical for their healthy emotional development.
With how critical early experiences are for a child's development, it's important to make sure that your home is a safe and welcoming place for them.
Giving your children the means to a bright future is one of the best markers of outstanding parenting, so don’t settle for anything less than excellent parenting!