Tips for Compromising on Color with Kids

Back to school paint colors

My daughter recently wanted to paint her room lime green, and that can be a tricky color to choose, especially with conflicting mother/daughter opinions! So in order to keep the peace, we went together to the store to look at samples. She had plenty of ideas on what color was “the one,” which didn’t jive with mine, of course. But what I realized is that if I stick with my “parental principles” for choosing color, we can usually make everyone happy.

  • Match the bedding: If we have agreed on bedding, that is the best place to start choosing a wall color. Holding color samples up to a pillowcase or sham can be very helpful, as opposed to just choosing a color that looks good to a child in the store.
  • Ask an associate: There is nothing like a professional to give an objective opinion and take the pressure off mom or dad. They also can act as a middle man, since most often, if it’s someone else’s idea, it’s fine (as long as it’s not the parent’s, right?). And likely, the associate will read between the lines and help steer the child in the direction of a good color choice!
  • Try it out! It never hurts to get a trial size quart to go and put the child’s dream color on the wall. In the natural light of their room, even they will quickly see if it is not going to work out. And maybe you will realize that even if it’s not your top choice you can live with it…
bright green wall
It’s bright. But is it right? We can both live with it — for a while, anyway.

Remember: It’s not your room! When decorating a room with a child involved, it’s important to pick your battles wisely. Perhaps you can convince your child to select the bedding you like more, or the furniture that will last a lifetime, and for the moment compromise on the wall color – knowing that in a few years they will grow tired of it. And you don’t have to sleep there anyway!

Wall color can always be changed…but letting your child have some say in their own space can change your child forever. Compromise can be a life lesson – for all of us.

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