Okay, Kids – Express Yourself!

img-0136A couple of months ago, we rearranged almost all of the rooms in our house, changing two of our upstairs rooms into bedrooms. My husband no longer has a study (he’s okay with that — he doesn’t bring much work home with him), and each child now has their own room to clean, maintain, and house their treasures.

As soon as she moved in, my 9-year-old, Lillie, loved her new room, and she had some big plans. The room (my husband’s former study) was a neutral beige color with white trim. “Can we paint some shapes on the walls?”

We looked up some ideas online, and we decided large geometric shapes would look really good on those walls. Plus, I wouldn’t have to paint the entire wall again. “Okay,” I said, “but we’ll have to wait until we have a free day.” After spending a couple of weeks on the house, I had a lot of catching up to do on other things.

“Can I do it?” she asked. I thought for a moment. Why not? After all, it would save me some time. We’ve painted enough together that she knew just what to do. And it was just paint — we could repaint the walls again whenever she was ready.

“Sure,” I said. “Use the craft acrylics, and clean up when you’re done.”

Later that day, she called me upstairs to see her masterpiece. But instead of the large geometric shapes I had envisioned, the walls were covered in red, green, yellow, blue, and purple 1″-3″ polka dots. And Lillie couldn’t have been more proud.

“There are a couple of hidden shapes,” she said. “Can you find them? A purple triangle, a green triangle, a blue square…” Her bedroom walls were not only much more lively, but they were a puzzle she could share with friends as well.

As we raise our kids, we’ll probably question a lot of our decisions (I do!). But letting Lillie paint her own room is one I’m glad I made — the results have only been positive. She has a room she enjoys, and she built up her self-confidence in the process. What’s more, she inspired her younger brother who also moved into his own room — now his walls showcase stick figures having adventures! 🙂

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