When we first have children, we make a lot of changes to our home. We make things safer and decorate differently to make our homes more child-friendly. But as our children get older, we don’t need these changes any more. In fact, we have to make different adjustments for older kids. If your kids are getting older, here are a few modifications you may need to make to your home in order to keep up.
Different Forms of Child Protection
Younger children need a lot of protection around the home. We place covers over the wall sockets, put foam on the sharp corners of our furniture, and make sure there is nothing small lying around that they might accidentally swallow. As your children get older, they don’t need the same kind of protection – but they do need some protection.
You’ll want to avoid keeping things like household cleaners on the lower shelves, as children who are old enough to open the cabinets might get into them. Even older kids will start to use the Internet, where you’ll want to monitor the websites they have access to and who they communicate with. Look up how to install parental controls on all electronic devices, including laptops, tablets, cell phones and televisions.
Change Their Bedroom Decorations
The place that’s likely to need the most changing is their bedroom. Kids aren’t going to be happy if they have to sleep and spend their time in a room that looks like it’s built for a toddler. Help them to pick out some new decorations, and furniture that is meant for older kids. Get rid of their old toys and Christmas gifts by putting them into storage. You’ll probably have to go through this process multiple times over the years as your kids go through different phases, so get used to it. However, when you’re buying furniture, make sure you get stuff that your kids will be able to use for a long time without growing out of.
Get Yourself Nicer Furniture
While you’re out shopping for new kids’ furniture, consider getting yourself some new stuff too. You probably avoided nicer furniture when your kids were young, out of fear that they would ruin it by mistake. With your kids older, and a little more responsible, now is the time to get the furniture you’ve always wanted.
Once you get it, be sure to have a talk with your kids. Let them know the importance of being careful around that new piece of furniture. If you set up some rules, you should be able to keep your new piece in good condition for a while to come. So, go ahead and get that new couch you’ve been wanting, but were worried about staining – you earned it.
Give Your Kids a Space to Hang Out
As your kids get older, they’ll want a space they can spend time in with their friends. A great thing you can do is provide this space for them and fix it up a bit. Basements are perfect, as they allow your kids some privacy and give you some quiet when their friends are over.
If you don’t have a basement space available, look for other options. Maybe you could fix up the attic or turn a spare bedroom into a sort of den. Add a new coat of paint, a few couches and a television and your kids will be more than happy. If all else fails, look for ways to rearrange their bedroom so that they can entertain some of their friends in there.
Find Space for Another Car
Finally, once your kids get old enough, they’ll want their own car. This means one more car that you’ll have to find space for outside your home. If your driveway is wide enough, or if you’re able to park on the street, you don’t have to do much. For others, you may want to look at expanding your driveway to fit more vehicles. Another option is to build or extend your garage. You could even build a custom 3 car garage if you wanted. Adding some extra parking space will be great when your kid gets a new car, or even just when you’re having company over, so it’s not a bad thing to consider even if your kid is a few years off from getting their license.
Plan for the Long Term
The key to modifying your home as your kids age is to plan for the long term. You’ll need to make changes every few years, but if you can anticipate them, the changes will be smaller. So when you’re making any modifications, think about not only what your kids need now, but what they’ll need in the future.