Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Holding a Bedroom Open House (no, it’s not what you think!)

My oldest daughter has her own room. My husband (who, as the third child, is more comfortable allotting privileges to his eldest daughter than his oldest-child wife is) decided this about a year ago and so far, so good. It gives her a sense of independence and ownership that is a good thing. The downside is that she can be downright possessive and nasty regarding her personal space (a bit trying in a child who still barges into adult rooms’ unannounced and leaves her things lying around regularly).  If an errant sibling finds his way into her room and, say, decides to jump on her bed, the Wrath will be swiftly inflicted upon him (or, more likely, her). 

What to do? I’ve tried my usual punishing, cajoling, “try to put yourself in his shoes” discussions…Plus threats to take away the bedroom. (But of course, that would be a big hassle for me, too.)

So—burst of insight—I am trying a new technique. I have instituted the “Open House.” I asked my eldest to make invitations to her siblings inviting them to her room. During one hour, on Sundays, said  daughter invites her siblings into her room. She provides refreshments for them (usually not allowed in carpeted personal spaces in our home) and allows them to be comfortable in her space, inviting them to recline on her bed and peruse her books if they like (!!!). The thinking behind this is that if she learns (even for just an hour a week) to welcome her sisters and brother into her room, that some of those good vibration will rub off on them and that she’ll also get more comfortable welcoming them than banning them from the premises.

The verdict is still out on the success of this technique but I’m hopeful. The first one went off well, and all seemed to enjoy it...I'm hoping it's a sign of good things to come.Will the polar ice cap truly melt or is this just a temporary warming? To be continued!

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