Friday, January 18, 2008

Style, With Children

Oh, what to do. Is it worth even trying to keep an elegant house when the children are small? All I can say is that "Magic Eraser" was one of the great discoveries of my life. (A certain small free-lance artist had taken great liberties with our walls.) According to The Washington Post:
Another key to living successfully with kids, pets and fine design is to set ground rules. All the refinishing, recovering, fabric treating and patterned rugs won't help a home stand up to routine abuse. Design pros and child-development experts say that establishing basic guidelines -- such as no eating in the living room, no jumping on the couch -- is good for the furniture and for the children.

A child-centered environment, says William Gormley, co-director of Georgetown University's Center for Research on Children in the United States, "sends the message that children matter and acknowledges that children will be children. It has advantages, but it also has the disadvantage of not beginning to teach children the importance of boundaries. There are other ways to ensure a child-friendly and child-focused environment than to give them free rein in every room of the house."

Another important thing parents and pet owners can do: relax. Accidents will happen when children and animals are involved, no matter how prepared you are, so it's best to accept that reality and move on. (And, Meyer points out, more often than not adults -- not children -- are to blame for the blunders: "Your friend is just as likely to spill a glass of wine on [the furniture] as your kid is to draw on it.")

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1 comment:

julygirl said...

I could not agree more! Many people are not fortunate enough to have a play room where the children’s toys and games can be kept apart from the rest of the house, but some sort of area needs to be designated and adhered to. Recently I was in a home where the father woefully commented , “We live in a playpen!” , because the children were allowed to litter the entire house, including the parents bedroom, with their toys and games. Food consumption should also be kept in an eating area…..this is all part of the socializing process in raising children….learning boundaries and respect for other’s space.