For most dads, it’s pretty standard to think DIY projects and kids don’t mix. If you’ve suddenly got the urge to decorate your abode while in lockdown, you’re not the only one. Plenty of other dads are rolling up their sleeves and creating the space they always dreamed of. DIY lessons can be a great bonding experience to share with your kids and giving them valuable skills for their future. And after all, it’s always nice to have a helping hand.
The reality is, the work will take longer with everybody housebound. So, here’s how to get stuck into some family decorating without wishing you hadn’t.
- Set Expectations and Remain Positive
- Create a Safe Room
- Engage Your Kids in the Process
- Give Them the Tools to Help Out
Set Expectations and Remain Positive
It’s important to set expectations for everyone involved. Renovations will be disruptive and even a little dirty - things won’t be put back exactly the same each day which can be difficult for children to process.
You’ll spend a lot of time telling your kids where they can’t walk, touch or go. So, designate an area just for them. Maybe it’s a beanbag in the corner of the living room where they keep a few toys and their favorite comforter.
Make sure to explain the process to your kids. Tell them what to expect at the beginning of the process so they know how they’ll be affected. Show them pictures of how amazing it will look so they’re invested in the changes.
Create a Safe Room
Usually, you aim to execute a home renovation at the least disruptive time possible so the kids aren’t overhauled with change. Since our world has already been turned upside down because of the pandemic, there’s no better time than the present to moonlight as daddy the interior designer.
A safe room is a place in your house that’s not impacted by any of the building works. Nothing will be much different in these rooms apart from the dust levels. These sanctuaries will offer an escape from the chaos. Even though they’re messy and untidy, they’re the one area of the house where you feel you can get a bit of breathing space.
Your safe room might switch depending on where you’re renovating. Tackle one room at a time and keep a positive attitude; it counts for a lot when surviving the process with your sanity (and family) intact.
Engage Your Kids in the Process
Keep your kids engaged and make sure they’re aware of the exciting changes. This will affect them positively, so help them understand the strategy and the outcome. Your teens will love being able to pick out their bedroom colors and style.
Including them will help them feel like they have an important role in the exciting new home - and they’ll be less likely to kick up a fuss that they have to share with their siblings for a little while when they’re invested.
Hand your kids a bunch of crayons and tell them they can color all over the walls that’ll be demolished. If you’re doing some serious renovating, big kids can even take a (supervised) whack at a wall with the hammer.
For the little ones, have them draw “plans” for the renovation and get them toy tools so they can play builder. Acting out what’s going on around them will help them process that their environment as they know it is being, well, torn apart.
Give Them the Tools to Help Out
For home renovations to carpentry builds, the golden rule is to measure twice and cut once. If your kids are looking to lend a hand during the renovation, measuring is a relatively easy job they can undertake.
Teach them how to hold a tape measure and have them write down their findings around the house. This can be really beneficial for younger children and you can put their math lessons into practice.
Having a few extra pairs of very small hands most certainly doesn't make light work! Just be patient as decorating your pad will take longer given the circumstances. It’s not like you can get the kids to stay at grandma’s for a night or two.
Between you and your partner, you’ve got this under control. As the reno comes to an end, don’t expect an HGTV-style unveiling where everything is perfect and your family cries with happiness. There will still be loose ends and things for you to do, but that’s the joy of decorating with your loved ones.
Have you decided to undergo a gutting of your home during lockdown? Let us know how you and your family are getting on. We’d love to hear from you and see some before and after photos too.