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“Go to your room” we yell, thinking that this will be a great punishment. The child sulks, maybe even cries as they run up the stairs to their bedroom. 

Within minutes we realise it is quiet and we wonder ‘what’s up?’

We are still upset with their behaviour and are just glad for the break so we don’t tempt fate and decide to leave well enough alone.

After a time we realise it has been way longer than we said the time out needed to be so we tell them they can come down. They say “ok” but stay in their rooms.  Why?

We sneak up the stairs and creep over to their door and stand there to hear what is going on. Then it hits us. Sending them to their room was not a punishment but rather a reward as they are playing with their toys that are now all over the floor again.

Here is where we have to stop and remind ourselves why we had a family.

Our job is to love, teach and raise children to be all that they were meant to be. We need to stop and understand what a bedroom is for and not allow it to become a retreat from a nagging parent.

If we allow toys, televisions, video games all to be in a space that is meant for sleeping instead of having those items to be in the living space where ‘family’ should be together, we have taken away our opportunities:

  •   To learn how to interact and be with others face to face
  •   To learn how to handle social media appropriately
  •   To learn how to settle fights that might occur between siblings
  •   To learn how to spend quality time with family
  •   To learn how to share
  •   To learn how to work together to accomplish a common goal such as dinner time

I guess the thing we should be asking ourselves is why have we allowed them to turn their bedroom into their own private little haven? The simple answer is: because it’s easier.

After working all day, then coming home to housework and dinner it is easier for us to just allow them to be in their rooms and out of our way. If they are quiet and in their rooms we don’t have to hear them fighting with their siblings either that’s the last thing we want to hear.

Although it might be the quick and easy answer this line of thinking has caused a generation of people who do not spend time with family, a generation of people who feel entitled.

They can lock themselves away in their own room, play video games, talk to their friends, maybe do home work, or check out their social media accounts undistributed without any responsibilities to you, their siblings or the family unit.

When they do come out it’s usually to ask when dinner will be ready, if their laundry is done or if they can go out with friends.

It is not to come play a game with a sibling, or to have a talk with their parents or to help with dinner.  And the only reason why is because they have never done any of that before because they had a wonderful cozy bedroom that they didn’t have to come out of.

It happens slowly by allowing first the toys, then a computer, than food into their bedrooms and before you know it you haven’t seen your child except to run in and out of the home.  Don’t let bedrooms become something they shouldn’t be.

If you have a family, you did so because you wanted ‘a family’, not some strangers that live in their own private world called the bedroom.

What do you have in your kids bedrooms, does it work for your family, can you relate to this? Please share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  • Bedrooms should be for sleeping and perhaps reading. Punishment should be a corner in the lounge room or kitchen where you are still supervising that they are being punished by not having any toys, gadgets or devices.

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  • My daughter uses her room to sleep and read. I think everyone needs a quiet place to read.

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  • My kids have a TV and VCR and their usual toys clothes etc. I think their bedroom is also their sanctuary, a place to escape the world when needed

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  • My kids get sent to their bedroom to sleep or when they have been doing something wrong. I tell them to sit on their bed & think about what they have done. When they can come out and explain to me why they did whatever it was, then they can stay out & play. This works for me. I’m not sure if it works for other parents.

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  • At the moment, my sons room is just for sleeping. And storage! Sometimes he doesn’t even want to sleep in his own room… Then it’s just storage.

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  • definitely something to think about, i think as parents we also need to set an example to what we have in our bedroom and how much time we spend in it too. i’m guilty of watching tv in my room and sometimes even bringing the kids to the room to play so i can watch tv as well.

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  • It is not always possible to have a separate room for toys/ computer etc. We live in a two bedroom house and we don’t have a “play room” as such.

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  • My kids rooms are for sleeping in mainly they may want time by themselves a bit and bring a books or something like that in there but the play room is where their toys are.

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  • I get scared at entering Mr 16’s bedroom. I had no choice the other day and the smell almost knocked me over. When he got home from school, he was told he had 24 hours to removal all the unclean stuff from all their hidden areas, open the window and air the room out. I still feel sick about how many dirty underwear and socks came out of there. Now I know where all our socks go.

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  • Bedrooms are for quiet study and sleeping, no games or TV, play area’s where always in adult vision, i played super nintendo with my kids when they were little, we enjoyed games together.

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  • we have a playroom for playing in, lounge room/family room to watch tv together. Bedrooms have a bookshelf with books and beds, no toys are allowed in there(except at bedtime, they can take one toy to bed with them). this works for us. great article. well written…thanks for sharing

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  • sounds awesome and looks great

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  • Our bedrooms are mainly for sleeping. Occasionally they play in there but most often in the living areas so I can see what they are up to.

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  • great article. maybe i am old fashioned but i keep their rooms strictly for bed and homework

    Reply

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