The pre-teen years are fraught with both physical and emotional changes, which often makes it difficult for parents to keep up. What’s more, they’re constantly changing and discovering new things about both the world and themselves.
Given how frequently their tastes and opinions evolve, it can be tough to know whether a stylistic choice they make will turn out to be merely a phase or a true indicator of personal aesthetic. So when it comes time to update your tween’s bedroom, you might be at a loss as to which design decisions will have long-term appeal.
Whether you’re accustomed to staging luxury homes to sell or simply want to perform a desirable room makeover that will put a smile on your child’s face for many years to come, here are three ways to improve the look and feel of your tween’s room while making sure it reflects her unique style.
Create areas for wellness, beauty, or entertainment
Tweens don’t want to be treated like little kids, so their bedrooms shouldn’t look like they belong to elementary school children. Believe it or not, tweens’ tastes are maturing. They’re more connected to trends than ever before, which often results in behaviors that make them seem far beyond their years.
One recent consumer research report found that the percentage of girls ages from eight to 12 who used makeup like mascara and eyeliner nearly doubled between 2007 and 2009. Plus, the percentage of tween girls who used lipstick on a regular basis increased by 5 percent during that same period. What’s more, a 2015 report from Common Sense Media showed that tweens spent an average of six hours per day consuming media.
This isn’t to say that all parents like the thought of their tweens embracing these historically grown-up routines. But if your tween already has an interest in cosmetics, self-care, exercise, or social activities, you can make sure she’s able to explore those areas at home in a more controlled way. By establishing a fun area where your tween can fix her hair in the morning, or watch TV and listen to music with friends, she’ll be more inclined to like her bedroom space more as the years go by.
Give her workspace some sparkle
For many adolescents, the bedroom serves as a place of refuge and solitude. Your tween needs a practical spot where she can complete her homework and study in peace. In fact, much of the time your child spends at home is likely devoted to completing schoolwork. Although the National PTA and the National Education Association say that students should be doing only about ten minutes of homework per night per grade level, polls have shown that teens may spend three hours per night on their studies.
To reach high levels of academic achievement, your tween needs a spot where she can focus and complete her work uninterrupted. Your tween’s desk should have a large space where she can do her work without feeling cramped and can adequately organize her files, writing utensils, and all her other necessities.
Invest in an ergonomically sound desk chair to ensure your tween is comfortable while at her desk. While you’re at it, make sure that both her desk and her chair are at the correct height and that she can read, work on her computer, and write without physical strain. If you’re able to position this workspace in an area with good natural light, all the better. If not, make sure that the artificial lighting you provide is adequate.
Consider having a chalkboard wall or large bulletin board that allows your tween to keep track of her schedule, as well as some inspirational art or personal photos that can help her to stay motivated and positive. Top it all off with a plant or some fresh-cut flowers.
Make her bed cozy and calm
Of course, your tween needs a comfortable bed so she can get a restful night’s sleep. Unfortunately, adolescents rarely get enough shut-eye. While most teens actually need between nine and 9.5 hours of sleep per night, most teenagers get around six or seven hours in dreamland during the average evening.
Since many middle schools and high schools have extremely early start times and students often have extracurricular activities or classwork obligations that keep them active later, it’s no wonder that many tweens are perpetually tired.
But you may be able to help. By ensuring that your tween’s bed is a cozy place where she can completely relax without any distractions, you can aid her in getting the valuable sleep she needs to succeed in school. First, position the bed so that it’s a good distance away from your tween’s study and media areas. Scrolling through her phone at night or doing work close to (or in) the bed can disrupt to sleep patterns.
A cushy mattress with a foam topper can make your tween feel like she’s sleeping on a cloud. Make sure to get some high-quality bed linens (jersey knit is often a good choice) and a down comforter, too. Of course, a pretty printed quilt is a nice alternative. Just make sure that the color scheme you use is both calming and versatile, so it feels relaxing and relevant as your tween grows.
Cover the bed in soft kids pillows and place a bedside table with books, an alarm clock, a lamp, and other essentials next to the bed. A covered headboard can ensure nothing disturbs your tween’s slumber.