As you might guess from previous posts, we have always been concerned with our ability to instill the proper character traits in our kids, both as teachers and as parents. Sometimes, we may have been seen as tough, strict, or overprotective. Even though that has probably all been true, we also were loving, supportive, and caring:) Today, I thought I’d share with you one of the things we did with our kids that gave them some freedom and still today has left us with wonderful memories.
When I was pregnant with Chad, before ultrasounds and knowledge of gender, we decided on painting the nursery with bright colors…yellow, orange, and red. F2 painted the dresser yellow with orange and red drawer fronts and painted the crib yellow with orange and red spindles. The room was white, but he hand painted a beautiful artsy rainbow(ish) made of those 3 beautiful colors on one wall over the crib. Throw in a few butterfly decals and Mickey Mouse and we were all set. (I don’t have even one picture of the whole thing, but you can get the idea soon.) When Scott was born 2 1/2 years later, both boys were in that same room…Chad in a twin bed on the floor and Scott in the crib. This is what it looked like then…with a cute coat rack added to the wall:
As the boys got older, we were in charge of what went in their room and how they took care of it. They couldn’t have a TV or video games of any kind in their room, and we expected that they would take good care of that room. I know, I know…I told you we were trying to make responsibility natural to them:) But, we did decide that they could put stickers on that one wall any time they wanted to!! Yow, scary, huh? We reminded them that it might look pretty ugly if they put any ol’ sticker up there, but it was their decision. They actually did think very hard before choosing stickers that meant something to them. Here are a couple of photos over the years:
So today the boys are 32 and 30 and out of the house for quite awhile. The room has been turned into a sort of a den, a mellow room, hardly ever used…but repainted….all except one wall…I LOVE that wall. It has so many memories plastered all over it that I just couldn’t get rid of it. Here it is now:
When we started allowing the guys the freedom to do whatever they wanted with one wall, we didn’t know it would turn out to be a memory for all of us of things that were important in their lives: vacations, toys, space shuttles ( we have stickers from both the challenger and the columbia) , changing likes and interests over the course of many years. Part of the success of that wall was that it was not allowed to venture onto any other wall….so freedom, with boundaries! It worked for us:)
D and C