As a Mum, I am often concerned about my child's development, and even though I have little influence on what is happening day to day at school, there are some things that I do have a say in, and that is the home environment.
One of my dearest friend's has three grown children, and she recently said to me recently that the only thing that she thought she was able to teach her children was manners. Yes, she is English as well, and any of you who know us Brits know that manners are really important to us. Unless of course you are watching a soccer match or rioting!
I have a 3-year-old son, and as the author of four books on happiness, one of them being How Happy is Your Home? 50 Great Tips to Bring More Health, Wealth & Joy into Your Home, I like to feel that I also have a little bit of an influence on the décor in my child's room. At least while he's still young. My goal is to make his environment as happy and healthy as possible. Happiness as many of you may know is my specialist subject, after all. So here are three questions that many of my clients and readers ask and the answers. I think these will also help you to make your child's room a happy and healthy place.
1. What kind of bed should my child use or not use?
It may seem obvious, but do make sure that your child actually fits in his bed. You don't want to have his legs hanging out the end, as this can stunt his emotional and physical growth. He needs space. And just as you want him to have space at either end, make sure he has space all around.
If your child is in a bunk bed, I would like to apologize to all of you in advance, because I am not a huge fan. I know that they save space and your kid probably loves climbing on the top, but they really are not brilliant for your child's mental health. A lot of very important brain development and integration occurs at night and bunk beds limit the space in which the energy can circulate above your kid's head while he sleeps. The child that is on the top bunk may start to feel ungrounded and perhaps insecure over time, and the one underneath could feel stifled. The best cure for bunk beds is really to get rid of them. And if you really cannot get rid of your bunk beds at the present moment, then let your child sleep in it for a short amount of time and keep an eye on his behavior. Then when you are ready get a proper bed, do so. If you really do not in any way have the space for any other set up, then over time switch who is on the top and who is on the bottom. That my dears, is the very, very, very, last resort though. (Note the three 'very's!) Also whatever bed your child has, make sure that your child's bed has a headboard so that they feel supported.
2. How should I decorate my child's walls?
The best color for a child's bedroom is white. I know that might sound dull, but white is clear and clean. You can also use some light pastel colors like blue and green as these colors enhance growth, a sense of calm and can help your child sleep. Whatever you do, do not paint the room with bold colors, because it can promote hyperactivity.
At the same time, you want to make sure that if she has any artwork on the wall that it is positive and happy. It's quite nice to have a photo of the whole family together in the room, so that your child feels that she is part of something special when she goes to sleep and when she wakes up. I make particularly sure of this, as Jude is my only child and we live in Santa Monica, California, while the rest of the family is in England and Chile, so the photos in Jude's room make him feel that his family is close to him, even though they are all around the world.
3. How do I keep the room tidy?
Make sure that all your child's toys and clothes can be put away and has good storage space. So that at the end of the day the room is clear and your child can look around a clean room when he is about to fall asleep and when he wakes up. If you have a bed that has storage underneath, then use that particular space for extra bedding or seasonal clothes. You want to avoid storing toys or books under there, as he will either have problems getting to sleep, have restless nights or always be tired. emember that all objects give off energy and some energies are more disquieting than others! Also make sure that you keep clearing out the old clothes and toys, so there is no sense of hoarding in the room. You can always rotate toys. We keep toys in the garage that we think Jude is finished with and if he misses them we bring them back up. If not, we give them away.
For more tips on how to organize your home and feng shui your child's bedroom see my bestselling book How Happy is Your Home? 50 Great Tips To Bring More Health, Wealth & Joy into your home. It makes a great gift. For more tips and information on the How Happy is books and brand, including How Happy is Your Health? How Happy is Your Marriage? How Happy is Your Love Life? Go to www.howhappyis.com. You can chat with Sophie, discuss how happy you are and get daily happiness tips on Facebook
Follow Sophie Keller on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sophie_Keller