The “between” or ‘tween years are difficult. This age group describes those children between the ages of eight and twelve. These kids are just starting to understand their own independence and grow into their bodies. They are gaining their own opinions and own style.
‘Tweens today have a lot more choices when it comes to decorating their rooms. Older generations were stuck with rooms that remained childlike or stepped too quickly into adulthood. Now marketers are targeting this age group with unique patterns and styles that are just what they wanted.
Pre-teens are no longer interested in “baby” stuff that probably currently fills their room, but they’re not yet ready for stoic designs or floral patterns. ‘Tweens want something that expresses their own attitudes and ages. They want color and bold designs. They want what’s trendy. They want what’s unique to their personality and interests.
Yet remember that a ‘tween’s style is still developing, so don’t overdo it financially on a room that may not appeal to him or her in a few years’ time. Here are a few tips for decorating your ‘tween’s bedroom.
Be Wary of the Themes
Your little girl once wanted everything pink. She loved princesses, unicorns, and baby dolls. Your young son was into choo choo trains and Legos. He wanted a Bob the Builder bed spread and Pilchard blue walls. But now?
Preteens are into their own fads that are entirely their own. Star Wars and sports or Twilight and Justin Bieber. Yet these themes are only fads that will come and go with changes in society and changes in your child, as he or she grows up. Avoid decorating an entire room based on a fad. Instead, try to satisfy your ‘tween with a few posters that can easily be replaced with the next movie, rock star, or interest.
It is a big deal to grow out of Dora and Barbie. New decor is certainly warranted. It might be wise to purchase new, quality furniture – such as a day bed or a double bed – to replace the bunk bed. Buy a new, quality organic mattress, but spend on the cheap for decorations, which may change in the blink of an eye. The idea is to build the base of your teenager’s room while she is still is a pre-teen.
So while it’s definitely time for that race car bed to go, your child may still be fascinated with trains. He probably doesn’t want a Thomas the Train pillowcase and night light, but may still want elements of his childhood throughout his room for a little while longer.
Keep It Their Room
Pre-teens are at the age that they want to make decisions regarding their domain. Give them their space to add fun and colorful patterns and designs via the bedding, the curtains, and even wall decals. You don’t need to re-carpet and repaint just yet, but help them pick out a color palette that reflects their age. Choices that are too sophisticated will make them feel as if they’re living in their parents’ room, not their own.
Help them develop their own tastes and hold off on gifting antique furniture passed down through generations just yet. Be sure to consult your child when redecorating. It’s not your room and she is old enough to make limited choices about her space.
Remove Pint-Sized Furnishings
Sure, that Finding Nemo mini-card table with folding miniature chairs looked great in your child’s room, it’s not exactly fitting for a ‘tween. It’s time to sell or store all of the small pieces that made your kid’s room a kid’s room. He is growing now and needs a bed to accommodate his longer legs and a desk that does the same.
Purchase well-made, classic furniture and add some paint or decals to help make it his. But move the mini-furniture to the basement. No ‘tween wants to feel tiny.
Avoid Permanent Changes
The ‘tween years are a temporary stage, and so is everything she likes during this period. So try appeasing your young one by rearranging furniture, changing bedding, and adding rugs. This is a time of growth, and your ‘tween will be tempted to “grow” her room every few weeks.
Avoid permanent changes like wallpaper or murals, because what your child absolutely adores this week, maybe out next month.
Little to No Storage
Girls, in particular, need plenty of storage space for their clothing. To keep the room neat and organized, make sure that there is plenty of room for her ever-growing wardrobe, or clothing may just end up on the floor. Whether it’s her clothes, CDs, books, magazines, or whatever, make sure that there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.
Invest in space-saving closet organizers, under-bed storage systems, and roomy shelving. While your child’s room may not remain clean as often as you’d like, at least you know that it CAN be cleaned.
Know Your ‘Tween
When redecorating your ‘tween’s room, your best bet is to know your tween and consult him during the process. While you may think that lime green walls are atrocious, your son may think you’re the bomb for letting him paint his room lime. Pick your battles and remember, this stage is only temporary.