I like to watch HGTV. I especially love the shows where people are renovating their current house and/or looking for a new one. I am fascinated by what people are looking for in a home, maybe even more so because we just went through this process!

As I’ve watched these shows recently, something has bothered me:

Many parents on these shows are complaining about their children’s things being in their living room or kitchen or other main living areas.

Now, The Hubby and I like a very neat and orderly house as much or more than the next family {he has rubbed off on me in this area quite a bit}, but what I’m hearing and seeing in these parents has made me think about our children’s place – and space – in our home.

We cannot expect our children to “live” in one or two rooms of the house. Restricting children and their “stuff” from main living areas does not promote a strong sense of family in any way!

Play rooms are great! Storing toys in the kids’ room is wonderful!

I’m not advocating for children to have toys and books and art supplies strewn about the house, but sharing life involves sharing space. And playing with your children just won’t happen as much if that “play” is limited to a play room only!

Give them permission to play throughout the house! Teach them to put everything back in its place when they are done, but let them build a huge Lego city in the living room every once in a while! Let them color at the dining room table while you clean up the dishes after dinner!

For the record, we definitely do send the boys off to play in their room! Parents and children need some space. And a few rooms should be off-limits to the kids for the most part, such as the master bedroom and bathroom.

But if our kids are ALWAYS being sent to another room to do their thing, I feel like we miss out on the joy of watching them just play and be kids!

Let’s make sure relationship and time with our children is more important than keeping toys out of the living room!


Family Tie #24: What is the “play policy” in your house? Do you restrict play in certain areas of your home just to keep them clean? Make sure your children don’t feel like they can only “be kids” in one part of the house! At least once this week, let them do some fun or unexpected play in a different room of the house than normal!


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