24 Jun How to win a new bedroom… the extension allocation game?
Did you have siblings when you were growing up? The constant one-upmanship, competing for everything, including your parent’s attention, always feeling that your brother or sister got preferential treatment and the cry of ‘it’s not fair’ as one of you stamped up the stairs to a forced early bedtime. It must have driven your parents mad. Maybe you’ve got kids now and you’re laughing because that’s your daily challenge, acting as parent and referee with a non-stop wrestling match going on at home where everything, absolutely everything, is a reason for an argument.
So, if you were lucky enough to have a loft conversion built for your home, how would you deal with the tricky question of who would to get the new room(s)? We’ve a few top tips for helping you to decide. We can’t guarantee there won’t be tears and tantrums, but we’ve a few suggestions on how to be seen to be fair and, therefore, minimise the inevitable sibling carnage.
1. Go with a classic
There are lots of classic options you could go for, but our favourites are: Rock, Paper, Scissors; picking straws (the longest one wins); and a coin toss (or best of five).
2. The marble draw
Every household with kids in it will have marbles somewhere in a cupboard gathering dust. Marbles come in different colours; choose a unique one as the winning draw (if they’re all the same then use a Sharpie pen to mark one of them to make it stand out). Put the marbles in a bag that can’t be seen through and have every child put their hand in the bag and choose one in turn until the winning one is drawn. If you don’t have marbles, this could work with Lego bricks as they come in different colours (just pick a winning one by colour not by size or shape) and the kids can select from these in a bag. One final option could be dominos in a bag and the first one to draw a double six wins.
3. Think of a number
If all this ‘bags, marbles, sticks and coins’ business is a little too sophisticated, you could compete with nothing more than a pen and paper. Ask each of the children to think of a number between one and one hundred and to write that number down on a piece of paper. You do the same. Now reveal what you’ve written all at the same time and the child with the number closest to yours wins. If there’s a tie, run the challenge again until there is a clear winner.
4. The practical physical challenge
Think of a task that needs doing around the house – mow the lawn, weed the flowerbeds, make the actual beds, hoover the floors, clean the bathrooms, hang out the washing – and set the kids to work. You can get them doing an equal proportion of the same task or separate but equally time-consuming tasks, and the one who finishes first wins. For your own sake, add an extra condition to the competition, that the task has to be completed to a parent’s satisfaction. This one is likely to attract the most controversy and calls for a recount, but on the plus side you’ll get those tasks completed that you’ve been wanting to get done for some time.
5. The parent’s prerogative
Of course, you are the one paying for the loft conversion, you’ve worked hard to afford it, you’ve been the one in on the design decisions and you’ve had to put up with the constant attention-demanding competition going on between your kids, so why give it away… surely it’s yours by rights? If you took the bedroom and bathroom up there you’d have a whole floor to yourself. The kids can run riot below and the extra soundproof insulation you cleverly installed could muffle the cries… oh, it’d be heaven. Yes, keep it for yourself. But, it may be worth considering the physical challenge needed to keep them busy as a distraction while you’re moving your belongings upstairs.
If you would like to discuss how we could turn your dusty, underused loft into a haven away from the kids, just give us a call on 0203 021 2140 or email – we’re here to help.