Your house is your pride. You decorate every inch of it with personal attention – ah it looks so beautiful! Then it strikes you – will it hold up to the demands and ‘traffic’ of everyday life or will your precious crystal centerpiece be smashed to smithereens by indoor football or cricket? Are there members in the family who leave things strewn around and never bother to clean up? The fact is that you should design and decorate keeping the children and pets in mind.
The first step would be to involve the child in decorating – when they see pretty objects around the house and are taught to be responsible for them, they grow up with more respect and admiration for the things around the home. Take them shopping with you or getting them to be with you when selecting stuff off online sites, is a cool and easy way to give them ownership of the items being bought.
The high traffic areas like the living room must have a separate space for the kids to do what they like – being part of a family means enjoying together time even while doing things you like doing. I do not understand how children’s play areas can be put into the secluded basement or elders telling the children to ‘go play in your room’ – isn’t home and family about welcoming the little ones and the stuff they bring along?
Keep separate spaces – for the young one who likes to curl up with a book and for the rambunctious one who would rather cartwheel around the house.
Let there be enough stuff in these common areas that the kids know they can use and touch – this takes their attention away from stuff that they just should not lay hands on.
Consider the size of your home – please don’t buy a large breed dog for your small apartment. Not only will they find it difficult to adjust, they would be knocking stuff down all the time and driving you ‘up the wall’. Take into consideration the size of your home, the age of your child and the needs of the pet before planning the décor and furnishing of your home.
It is important to accessorize your home, but when the children are young and there are pets in the home, it would be sensible and safe to keep these artifacts and curios out of their reach. Also sharp tools, equipment and cutlery must be kept away from their inquisitive hands and paws. Pets have a way of negotiating cupboards and drawers and hence cupboards that store cleaning products, pesticides and other potentially harmful materials must be latched and locked.
Teach the children to use baskets and other smaller storage containers to put their play things away after use – they or you could trip on these harmless looking toys. Remember to teach your child the importance of keeping the lid of the toilet bowl down when not in use – this reduces the risk of the kids or pets falling in to the bowl. Also the bathroom door should remain shut.
Another aspect that needs to be remedied, are the sharp corners in the house, on the tables, and in the kitchen. Use corner protectors for a smooth and round edge that will save your precious ones from getting a nasty bump on their head. Block stair access with a small gate with a lock, especially for families with toddlers beginning to crawl around – this is a very curious age but their curiosity could get them injured.
Anyone with kids and pets would know that you can never be too careful – accidents do happen. The safest thing to do is always be prepared and keep a first aid box handy at all times.
Remember not to take your kids messiness too seriously – laugh about it with them since you know you would much rather your kids and pets were safe and happy than sad and gloomy. Protect your children and pets from these potentially risky situations and keep them cheery and playful as they are meant to be.
(Image Courtesy: speakingofpraxia.com