Thursday, May 3, 2012

Building an Accent Wall Against Kids' Color Choices

It won't surprise many of you that kids can get really into something.  As in really into something.  I'm not talking about a cabinet or a bag of flour.  I'm talking about how a child will pick one particular toy - in a room of 100 toys - that is just absolutely their favorite and that they can't live without.
Mine aren't old enough to do this with colors yet, but I'm braced for the inevitable "favorite color" barage that is coming from my triplets.

I'm going to try to avoid the mistake this guy made by not letting my daughter and two sons know that the local Home Depot retails about 5,000 shades of color.

But I'm not sure I, or anyone, can avoid the inevitable change of heart that come with being a child.  Which is why I'm already readying my defense: the accent wall.

In my mind it goes this way: At some point the boys will be spun off into their room and Sadie will have the place to herself.  She will inevitably tire of the nursery colors, either on her own or when the boys point out that her room is the nursery and not cool like theirs.  A mass "we want to paint our room" cacophony will ensue.

This is where my plan kicks in.  My wife and I will go to the Depot and pick out fun, kid-friendly color samples that also happen to be parent friendly.  We will then offer these samples as the choices for their room. But here is where the trickiness comes in.  Unlike the article's author, I'm not painting the entire room.  Nope, I'm skipping the part where we paint around door frames and window trim and the whole nine.  My kids get an accent wall.  They can have any color they want - so long as I approve it - on that accent wall.  Blamo - we are both satisfied (I hope): They get their color splash, I get an easy painting job that is super easy to redo or undo when they decide 3 weeks later that they hate Ocean Blue or Princess Pink or what have you.

In addition to a good learning tool regarding the painting of a childe's room, the article also has a couple other interesting points regarding colors.

For instance, did you know that children are more cooperative in schools with one red wall, versus completely white walls?  Not surprisingly, rooms with a plethora of colors (like most childcare and other child-oriented places) can overstimulate children.  Researchers think the single, bold color provides children with a sense of security.

Boys tend to like yellow-based reds while girls prefer blue-based reds.  Both girls and, yes, boys like pink until they are told not to like pink.  Both sexes also dislike orange.  That at least helps them avoid this.

Primarily, color amounts to children trying on personality traits.  That is why kids are constantly changing their minds (in addition to simply being children) - they are taking the color they see their parents wearing or their friends are wearing or from some other aspect of society that is at that moment important to them.  Color also sets them apart from the more boring adult world, where most people wear relatively blah shades of blue, gray and black.

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