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Dear Nadine,
Any ideas for our spirited kids’ spring bedroom make-over? — Blended Family, Fridley

Make hay with a little Feng Shui this April as you fling open those kids’ bedroom windows and doors, usher in the warm weather, clear out clutter and make-over those bedrooms just in time for summer.

The Chinese art of Feng Shui is a study of Qi — the energy from the earth, moon and sun. Master Chunyi Lin (Springforest Qigong) notes, “Feng Shui says that different parts of a building have different energy and each object has its own magnetic field and energy frequency that positively or adversely influences our body’s energy. We can adjust for this for example, by arranging furniture in an optimal location and direction so that the frequency of the energy from objects meets the frequencies of our body’s energy.”

Ensuring our kids’ bedrooms are Feng Shui harmonious begins by setting the intention. Minneapolis based Feng Shui consultant Hinda Abrahamson says, “A child’s bedroom is the only place in the home that is uniquely her own, where your child can play and learn as well as relax and rejuvenate. Creating a space that is conducive to the energy of peace, calm and safety is what every parent should aim for when revamping a kid’s room.”

So, where should we begin? Twin Cities Feng Shui specialist Peg Ganey recommends we start by clearing clutter and tossing trash. Peg says, “Having too many unloved and useless items stagnates the Chi. It’s akin to a room having a cold. It can’t breathe and neither can you!”

Encourage your kid to sort through every drawer, cupboard and over-stuffed closet. Have them pair those socks and designate every t-shirt, sweater or pair of pants that they have not, nor will ever wear, to Goodwill. As for toys, books and electronics that are outgrown and dusty from disuse, pass them on to a neighbor, donate them, or ready them for that garage sale you’ve planned for next month.

Finally, sit with your kid and sort through the myriad of artifacts they’ve saved since first grade. Find a way to display a few meaningful items. For example, frame hand-drawn pictures of the family and hang them on the wall as a way to enhance your kid’s sense of identity and connection to family. Ensure that you store key mementos and recycle the rest. By ousting the old and unimportant, organizing the up-to-date and regularly used and putting everything in an organized place (though preferably not under the bed since stored energy can inhibit sleeping), your child’s bedroom will feel lighter and brighter — and so will your kid!

Once you cleaned and cleared, paint! Feng Shui principles teach the importance of balancing the Yin or feminine energy (soft, slow, relaxed, diffused, passive and silent) with the Yang or masculine energy (think strong, vibrant, bright, active and loud) in an environment. Paint provides an effective tool to create that Yin-Yang harmony.

To promote relaxation and recuperation, kids’ bedrooms should ideally be decorated in Yin colors like soft blues, greens and yellows. Yang colors — bright orange, red or primary blue — promote activity, creativity and learning. They should be used to accessorize, especially in areas like the desk or art center.

Of course, if your spirited kid comes extra-caffeine-wired, you may want to take the Yin a few steps further and decorate the entire room in soft, gentle colors. As Katrina Z. Jones writes in The Ideal Feng Shui Kids’ Room, “If your child is hyperactive…avoid reds and primary colors in the bedroom, as they keep a kid active and disrupt sleep.”

Middle grader Yasmin says, “I do lots of extracurricular activities, I work hard on homework and because I have a lot going on, I sometimes feel anxious. When my parents painted my room in soft, gentle yellow and light lavender, the atmosphere changed. I have no bright colors at all and my room feels like sanctuary. When I sit up there in the evening, I relax, unwind and recharge. By morning, I’m ready to face the day.”

When you’re done painting, consider reorienting your child’s bedroom furniture (if it’s possible) to achieve maximum Feng Shui flow! Hinda Ambrahamson says, “The positioning of furniture in any room effects the flow of Chi energy. Ideally, a child’s bedroom should create feelings of comfort and safety — a womb-like experience. To achieve this, the bed should be positioned in the “command” position, so that the child can see the door from the bed and know who is entering the room.”

Like most Feng Shui experts, Hinda doesn’t favor bunk beds. “Though bunk beds save space,” she says, “they don’t help the Chi. In terms of Feng Shui, the child on the top bunk is not grounded and the child on the lower bunk may experience an almost oppressive energy from having a bed above them. Neither child, therefore, is set up for a Feng Shui fabulous night’s sleep.”

If bunk beds are an absolute necessity (and your child wouldn’t lose them for the world) then ensure that they come with a wooden head and footboard. Feng Shui principles embrace wood as grounding and the head and footboard are considered accessories that cement feelings of stability, which in turn promotes sleep.

Lastly, whatever the age of your child, promote Feng Shui calm by banning the television (watching TV can keep kids up too late, for an over-tired and cranky kid come morning), reduce access to electronics and encourage ambient lighting, soft music, happy photos of family and positive pictures with life-affirming messages. As Peg Ganey says, “Basically, your children’s bedrooms should be their own peaceful retreat from the hectic everyday living.”

So, have fun with Feng Shui in your kid’s room today — and help make your child’s bedroom, if not a palace, then a place of rest! Namasté!

Resources

Feng Shui Tips for Kids’ Bedrooms

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Nadine Penny attained her M.A. from the University of Denver in Counseling Psychology. Nadine lives in Minnetonka where she works as a medium, life issues reader and Reiki master. Contact her at nadine.penny@gmail.com and visit www.nadinepenny.com.

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