A teenager’s room is like their whole house, squished into a much smaller space.  This is where the teenager does pretty much everything – sleep, work, socialize.

Given how present the room is in a teenager’s life, it is important to let the teenager have ownership of the room.  This often means redecorating – maybe several times over the teen years because of the swiftness with which teenagers develop and evolve.  It’s good to let this happen, within your family’s financial and physical boundaries.

A friend wanted to paint his room an extremely deep purple as a teenager.  His dad said no, but let him put in a very, very purple carpet.

A teenage friend wanted to paint his room black.  Yes, black.  He and his mom agreed to paint it gray to look like a stone wall and putting up a few gargoyles.

These were both good compromises because the teenager was involved.  Another adult friend came home one day as a teenager to find that her parents had completely remodeled her room.  They had done it out of kindness, and she was able to admit years later that she actually preferred the room to her previous one, but at the time she felt like a visitor, a guest in her own room.

Teenagers have ownership of so few spaces – they need to feel ownership in their own room.  It is, in many emotional and physical ways, their cocoon and their sanctuary.  Let them fully own it while they’re living in it!  You’ll get it back eventually.