Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

Remodeling a home is hard on everyone, but for children it can be especially difficult.  Their routines are messed up, there are strange people around, and there are all sorts of cool things that look so interesting but they are not supposed to touch.  If they are frightened of loud noises the issue becomes even more difficult, but a few simple preparations and adjustments can make the time easier on everyone.  The most important thing to remember during a remodel is that it will not last forever, and when it is over the results will be well worth it.

Scheduling

The best way to avoid problems with the kids during a remodel is to schedule wisely.  If it is going to be a short job, maybe a week or so, then sending them to the grandparents is an excellent idea if they are not yet in school or out for the summer.  If it is a longer job, scheduling during a time of the year when they can play outside, go to summer camp, or be out of the house in other ways can really help.  Starting a remodel during the school year when daily routines and schedules are much less flexible should be avoided if possible.


Preparation

If the children are going to be around during the project, make sure they know what is going to happen. Younger children will need the idea of noisy strangers being around the house explained in simple but firm terms.  They need to know that they do not have to be afraid, but that they need to stay out of the workers’ way.  One great deterrent is to purchase an age appropriate tool set so that younger ones can play as if they are doing their own project at the same time.

Their Room

If the remodel involves the child’s bedroom, it is wise to just go ahead and remove everything that child could possible want from their room for the duration of the project.  Toys, clothes, and anything else that would tempt them to enter that room should be moved.  Also, make the idea of sleeping somewhere else for a while sound like great fun – and make it enjoyable.  Call it a camp out, a sleepover, or whatever it takes to make them excited about the adventure, and keep reminding them of how wonderful their new room will be when it is all over.