Having a house renovated can be stressful for anyone, but it can be especially hard on kids. They may not understand what’s happening or why, and may feel overwhelmed by the changes in the house, the strangers who come and go daily and the disruption to their routine. Here are some ways to help your kids take it all in stride.
Discuss the Renovations Before They Begin
Talk to your kids about the work that will be done on the house. You don’t need to go into every detail, but try to give them a good idea about what to expect so they don’t get caught off guard once the work gets underway. Encourage them to ask questions. Emphasize how the renovations will make the house larger or more comfortable.
Talk about what the renovations will mean for their daily life. Explain if and why you may not be able to use the kitchen, if everyone will have to share a bathroom or if an entire section of the house will be off limits.
Involve your children in the decision-making process to a degree that makes sense. For instance, you can narrow down paint colors to three options, then let your kids make a final decision. Getting them emotionally invested in the renovations can help them cope with disruptions and get excited for the results.
Keep Life as Close to Normal as Possible
Disruptions are inevitable when having your home renovated, but you should stick to your regular routine as much as you can. Be sure to keep mealtimes and bedtimes the same as they have always been.
If you won’t be able to cook in the kitchen, but you’ll still be able to use the refrigerator and freezer, you may want to do some meal prep ahead of time. Then, you’ll be able to heat up food in the microwave and enjoy home-cooked meals as usual.
Another option is to use a slow cooker. You can put ingredients in it in the morning, then enjoy dinner together in the evening. Preparing food in bulk and freezing it or using a slow cooker will be healthier for both your family and your wallet than eating takeout every night.
Consider Staying Elsewhere While Your Home Is Being Renovated
If you’re having major work done on your house, such as having it gutted, your best bet may be to simply go somewhere else in the meantime. You may decide to check into a local hotel, stay with family or friends, or go on vacation while the most disruptive and chaotic parts of the project are going on.
Even if the project isn’t too overwhelming overall, there may be times when things are particularly chaotic or when you sense that your kids are feeling stressed out. Talk to family members and friends ahead of time and ask if they would be willing to let your children spend a few nights with them, if necessary, while the house is being renovated.