Like kids, renovations are loud, messy, and disruptive. But that doesn’t mean children and renovations mix.
Children thrive on routine and stability. Renovations – which can involve having to move out, switch bedrooms, and see their home being torn to pieces – can be incredibly disruptive and stressful. The irony is, many renovations come about because of children – people need extra bedrooms or more living space as their families grow.
If you’re thinking about a renovation project and you have little ones at home, it’s important to think about how they’ll be affected before you start. The MyHome team have done it all before, so we can help.
Here are our top five strategies to help you minimise stress on your children through your next renovation project:
Give your children plenty of warning
Imagine getting home from school and finding your house half gone or your bed in a whole new room. Not exactly stable and comforting, right?
That’s why it’s a good idea to give your children plenty of warning before the build starts. Explain the reason for the renovation, show them plans and drawings, and use tools like a countdown calendar to help them understand when the project will start – and how long it’s likely to take. Most importantly, be upbeat and excited about the whole thing, and hopefully it will rub off on the kids.
Stick to what you know
As every parent knows, young children feel more secure when they have a consistent routine – that goes for sleep, mealtimes, and almost everything else.
If you’re doing a large renovation project, you won’t be able to avoid every possible disruption, but you can still try to stick to familiar routines as much as possible. For example, if a child has to move out of their bedroom, make sure they’re sleeping in their own bed, with familiar furniture and toys. Keep eating as a family at the same time, even if that means takeaway pizza in the living room. Try to maintain your breakfast and morning routines, even if you have builders tramping through the house at 7am every day.
Get the timing right
The wrong timing can add extra stress to an already disruptive period. Think about the events coming up in your children’s lives before you book your renovation.
With younger children, starting a project while they’re starting at a new school may not be ideal. With older children, think about whether the timing overlaps with exams. School holidays are also an issue – in some ways, building over the summer holidays makes sense, but think about whether you’ll want young children around every day during the project.
When your home becomes a building site, safety is a big concern. Of course, your building team will be on top of health and safety, but you do need to be aware of your children – particularly if they’re young. Check with your builder regularly, so you’re up to date with any changing and hidden dangers – like exposed wiring or unsecured floorboards. It might be good to get the builder to have a chat with the kids to help them understand which areas are safe and which are not.
Get children involved
Kids love to help, and getting involved gives them a sense of ownership which can help them feel more positive about big changes.
Get your children involved with your renovation project from the beginning by showing them plans and asking for their input. If their bedrooms are going to change, get them to choose wall colours and fittings – smaller children will enjoy drawing a picture of their new bedroom, while older kids and teens may want to use an app to select wall colours and curtains. If they’re looking forward to seeing the end result, they’re less likely to be upset about the process.
With a bit of planning, thought (and probably some bribery) you can help your kids cope with your home renovation project – and the MyHome Renovations team will be along beside you to help.
Get in touch with MyHome today for a chat about your renovation needs.
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