Whether we like it or not our kids will become teenagers and many of your reading this will have already had to process that and are now the proud “owners” of one or more headstrong teens. The thing about being a teen is that you feel you know it all and you feel like you wish to be totally independent and completely different from everyone else but in reality, it is only a kind of “lite” version that is actually being sought. Whilst living alone may sound brilliant to most young people the reality would be awful and they do still love and need their parents. So catering for this semi-Independence is hard. One of the really good ways of doing it is to offer them a place that is their own and by this, I am creating a bedroom space that is comfortable, individual and also (whether they realise it) as conducive to study as it is to rebellion.
OK so you may think your somewhat untidy teen doesn’t care about furniture but they certainly care about comfort and actually many of them will care about having something cool. Companies like www.cheekychars.com offer some very unique and very cool chairs that will bring some serious individuality. They are not cheap but surprisingly teens are able to respect things that cost a lot of they are their own….maybe not so much when they are yours. Sofa beds are also a huge win for sleepovers but can be costly. Upcycling an older sofa with some really cool material can be a better bet.
If there is room a desk is critical but it is not perhaps something that feels very rebellious. Sadly it is quite a hard thing to present as anything other than a workspace but give them the choice. A quick search shows a lot of options – https://www.wayfair.co.uk/keyword.php?keyword=teenagers+desks. It is worth remembering that it will soon be covered in work so it is better to focus on other areas of the room and just get the desk in!
OK, let’s face it, when we were younger our wallpaper was irrelevant and posters were everything. They still are important so don’t get to hung up on the wall covering…but make sure old terrible wallpaper is removed. Give your teen a bit of choice here and don’t force them to live in a room you created for them when they were 10. Wall colour is easy to change and feature walls can really allow some expression. Work with them to suggest a manageable colour for 3 of the walls and then let them go wild with the feature wall! It will give them some identity and “shock” value without creating something awful.
Offer your teen picture frames. It may seem silly but when you are in that passionate age treasuring things is commonplace. Give them the chance to give certain pictures pride of place by framing them. They may change them every week but it allows them to express their interests more deeply than just sticking a poster up.
There is absolutely no doubt wooden floor seems like a great idea initially and then the reality bites. While spillages are common and they are easier to clean up on the engineered wooden floor the scratches from shoes, chairs and all the other odd things they get up to will destroy it. Things of all those times their friends might be sitting around on the floor chatting with jeans and those little studs just digging into the floor. The best bet is actually some stain resistant carpet like this – https://www.carpetright.co.uk/carpets-polypropylene . What this does is not only deal with the stains but also prevent noise from walking about in the middle of the night! If you have teen girls the shoes alone mean carpet is best. In terms of offering independence….well its really just carpet and choice is limited so agree on something plain and head to the rug section for something a little more personal to them.
Go with the Flow But Take a Paddle
By this I mean let them make some silly choices, or what seem silly to you but it is important they make them on their own. By giving them free reign on some items like features walls, pictures and even the sofa covering or chair choice you can then add in functional items like a usable desk and decent carpet that won’t stain. Do not expect too much compromise from a teenager; it is down to you to engineer the situation so they feel liberated and you feel happy.