Monday, January 28, 2013

Giving Our Children Private Spaces ~ Big Family Idea Bonanza Series {List of Ten}

In a family full of introverts, private time and space is important. We very much enjoy being together, but sometimes a quiet retreat is necessary to recharge.

Keeping stuff private ~

Wall pockets. For Christmas a few years ago, we gave the two oldest girls their own American Girl Crafts Creative Room Pockets Kit. Not only did they have fun putting them together and decorating them, but now they hold their personal possession up off the floor. Another option is over the door magazine storage pockets.

Bed space. In our home, the children’s beds are sacred spaces. The house rule is that you don’t go onto another child’s bed without their express permission.

Storage tub in an under-bed storage drawer or a cube organizer with fabric drawers. Each child has a fabric drawer to call their own. It's off-limits to everyone else.
Lockers or school cubbies. The Duggars have a few lockers that the older children use. I’ve also seen dressed-up school lockers on decorating sites that look terrific. If I could ever find lockers that someone was willing to give away….



Private time ~

Time alone in the shared room. We’re not fans of closed doors. But if everyone else is busy elsewhere, the child in the room has time to himself.

Bed caves. Remember the bunk beds? Hang a blanket in front and give them a flashlight. Instant privacy.

Quiet bubbles around the house. We have a section of sofa in the den that really only seats one person comfortably. There is also a huge pillow on the floor in the corner by the bookshelves. The den is not a high traffic area, so curling up in one of these spaces with a book puts up an instant bubble that the other children know not to pop.

Private dressing ~


A walk-in-closet. I never shared a room as a child since I only had one brother, but I still dressed in my walk-in-closet. It just felt more private.

Take turns in the bedroom. This encourages common courtesy as they ask from the other side of the door, “Are you done?” However, our children love to be together so much that sometimes I have to refrain the littlest boys from pounding on the door of the girls’ room. Then it becomes a game ~ “Can you see my fingers under the door?” Well, we’re still in training. J
The bathroom. This seems like a natural at bath or shower time. My oldest takes her pajamas in the bathroom with her when she bathes at night.

Private space can be carved out in any home. I guess it’s my theme for this series ~ get creative!








Would any of these ideas work for your family? What suggestions can you share?

Other posts in this series ~

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25 comments:

  1. I'm loving this series. I just mad emy oldest son a locker from a old cardboard box. We covered it with silver duct tape and made a door from the flaps not to find a lock for now it is a zip tie until the lock is found. I love the idea about the wall pockets I need to do this.

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    1. Very clever and resourceful, Jenifer, making your own locker. For a girl, cover it with the pink camo duct tape. I've even seen pink duct tape with purple flowers on it. :) Thanks for the suggestion!

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  2. Oh yes, it's definitely important that they have their own space and opportunity for quiet time. Our house seemed pretty big and roomy until we grew to a family of 11! It can be tricky but, in addition to the ideas you mentioned, other quiet places could include: mom and dad's bed for a reading spot, a tree or other corner of the yard, the front porch, even the van on a warm day! 6+ aged kids' rooms, they each have a stereo that they like to play sometimes to drown out the noise from the rest of the house. That helps them feel like they are alone as well. By the way, can we do a post on how to get private space for MOMMY??? Ha!! :)

    Have a great day! I'm hosting a Homemaking Linkup and would love to have you join, if you're interested.

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

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    1. I hadn't thought about the van. And now that you mention all those outside spots, I do remember climbing a tree with a good book when I was in grade school! Thanks for all the suggestions, Sarah!

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  3. These are some great ideas to help in household filled to the brim. Thanks for sharing them.

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  4. I was going to ask about private space for mama, too! My children are actually all EXTREMELY sociable. We're more likely to hear complaints that no one is available to play with/someone's lonely (we are only expecting #4, thus far), than that so-and-so won't leave them alone or they can't get space.

    But that means that they are right on top of ME all the time. Right. on. top. I don't usually mind *company*, but they seem to not have grasped the cultural concept of "personal space." How do I keep from going crazy from sensory overload?

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    1. I thought I had the series completely planned out, but your topic has been on my mind already, and then I received an email with essentially the same question. I'll think about some options and add one more post to the series. Thanks for the question, Rachel.

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  5. Our family is only 3 and yet this post hits home! It's so important to have quiet time to recharge.

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    1. Yes, for children and mom! Thanks for commenting, Leslie.

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  6. I have 3 boys and a little girl and no one here seems to want much private time. In fact, we have a bedroom that is little more than a toy storage room because the boys would rather sleep in one big pile in the other room! But I suspect as we approach the teenage years that this will change a bit.

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    1. They must be great friends. Even with all girls in one room and all boys in another room, our children are always wanting "sleepovers" with each other. Thanks for commenting!

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  7. How my Mom ever managed with 12 children, I'll never know. She was so creative and fun, but she probably could have used some of these ideas!

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    1. Thank you for that compliment, Esther, but I'm sure she had plenty of her own ideas that could be shared here! Many blessings to you!

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  8. Great ideas!!! I'll probably need some of these as my boys grow since they will be sharing a room. :)

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    1. I'm glad it's helpful, Rosilind. And I'm so glad to see your blog up and going again after your break!

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  9. This is great! I love the pouches! Thank you for sharing on Photo Friday! Have a great weekend!

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  10. Another great post that takes me back to when my children were younger!! I still gleaned some ideas because in many ways we lack the storage in the house we live in now, but not in the bedrooms. I "Pinned" this post to share and keep as ideas in the future.

    Thanks for sharing this over at WholeHearted Home. Have a wonderful day, Meghan!!

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    1. Judith, how wonderful would it be to sit down over a cup of coffee or tea together and share ideas. It's always wonderful when you visit!

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  11. We only have 3 children but we follow alot of the same routines you do. We are big on modesty and privacy, the 2 boys(11 and 7) share a room but each has his on bed and there is no reason for one to to be on the other's bed. However they do have a small tv in their room that we allow them to watch videos on and they let their baby sister climb in their beds to watch a movie. Being they are 4 and 8 years older than she is they baby her quite a bit and at times fight over who gets to "have" her during the movie, they are all very close. They also take their clothes to the bathroom when they shower/bath. In the mornings usually one boy is getting ready in the bathroom and the other is in the bedroom so they each have their privacy there as well. Our daughter who is 3 is in her own room and since mom is still in charge of her bath time I normally wrap a towel around her and carry her into my room to dress her since its easier on the old back than being bent over or stooped down for a long time :) We've been a one income family since I was put on bedrest at 7 months with our oldest who will be 12 in October. It takes some doing but it is possible to make it work. Coupons, scratch cooking, gardening, canning, hand me downs, sewing/patching, just making do it all adds up.

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    1. Sounds like a great arrangement, Dana. And thanks for your suggestions on frugality. So glad you stopped in today!

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  12. Thank you for the great ideas. Our only daughter has her own room/ space, but it is more difficult for our three boys that all share a room. I love all your ideas. I may have to keep my eye out for old lockers, I love that idea! - Rachel

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    1. I'm glad it was helpful, Rachel. Thanks for visiting!

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  13. Great minds think alike. We don't get on other people's beds either. We have 1 fabric cube thing per girl. THe boys have and extra chest of drawers, where each has his own private stuff in a drawer. They each have a school desk, which is also off limits to others.
    We also do not allow doors to be closed unless changing clothes. All boys take turns showering, but are getting dressed, etc. in the same area. Then the girls shower. So the girls "see" the other girls, and the boys "see" the other boys. BUT, our age difference is only 28 months for all 6 kids, oldest one is 10. We firmly believe in modest dress, but I don't want the kids to be overly modest in front of their same sex siblings. The 6 of them are special needs, and will need to help each other out. I do not want them to be embarrassed about being naked if--say the blind girl needs help getting her shirt on right.
    Our 2 big kids are boy/girl, so they did all of that stuff separately.

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