A few days ago, my friend Becca over at Home Is Where My Story Begins told me about an amusing conversation she had had with her 6 year old daughter.
It seems her daughter wanted to know why they didn’t have a play room like at Diane’s house. Becca explained that, in order to have a play room, my daughters share a bedroom and that they would have to do the same at their house: her daughter would have to share a room with her 4th grade brother. Her kindergartener, of course, had no problem with this idea at first. After a more thorough conversation of what that might entail and the discovery that she’d probably have to give up some of her dolls and toys to make room for her brother, her daughter decided that wasn’t quite so appealing. She then declared, “You always want everything to be perfect. You always want to clean, clean, clean. Our house isn’t kid-friendly like Diane’s…”
(Apparently, this is what she wants…)
It was at this point that I almost fell on the floor laughing and, if I hadn’t been standing on a concrete sidewalk – in public, I would have done just that! You see, I have never been to a house that is MORE kid-friendly than Becca’s. The woman is a kindergarten teacher! She has an art center right next to her kitchen table because that’s where the kids like to do art. She bakes, and bakes…and bakes. She throws Halloween and Christmas parties for her kids’ friends and she even invited all the kids in their classes over for a movie night! *I* would like to be a kid at Becca’s house.
This leads me to only one conclusion: Kids don’t know what the heck it is they want and they (like the rest of us) don’t appreciate what they have. But, I can tell you some of what I think they need:
- They need parents who are around and who love them
- They need an outlet for their creative endeavors
- They need to run around outside and make up silly plays that their parents dutifully clap for
- They need cinnamon rolls
- And maybe, sometimes, they need to make a giant mess…but they also need to learn how to clean that mess right back up
So Becca, I’m here to say that you don’t need a play room to make your house kid-friendly. You’ve already got that in spades. And hey, if the little one still feels the need for the play room, I’ll trade places with her. Think of the decorating possibilities!