When I think of a whiteboard, I usually think of a classroom. Or an office. Which is why, when my kids first said they wanted whiteboards in their rooms, I wasn’t thrilled. I have to admit, I’m big on things matching, and I liked the cloth bulletin boards filled with cute pictures they already had above their beds (the only place on their walls a big whiteboard would fit).
I didn’t think whiteboards would quite “go with the décor.” But, remembering how much fun I had drawing and coloring on them growing up, I got over it and bought them for my kids.
It was one of the best things I ever did. Because, over the last year, I’ve seen what an awesome parenting tool these things can be …
1. Whiteboards encourage teamwork and interaction. It’s great to see my kids sitting together, drawing pictures, and playing games. And it sure beats TV.
2. Whiteboards help communication. Some things are hard to say, but not as hard to write. There have been times that our kids have wanted to tell us something, but instead of saying it—maybe because it’s embarrassing or uncomfortable—they’ve asked if they can write it. How awesome that they have this alternative right next to their bed, which is where most of these conversations take place. And my daughter, who tends to get stubborn (can’t imagine where she gets that from), and who has a hard time saying sorry (can’t imagine where she gets that from either), has used the whiteboard for this very reason. If ever we have a rough night, when I go to her room to check on her later, I often find her sound asleep with a sorry note written on her board.
3. Whiteboards are awesome for teaching. My husband uses the whiteboard to show the kids soccer plays and math problems, and I use it to practice things like spelling. When we’re sitting on the bed with the kids, relaxed and talking, teaching somehow becomes an easy thing.
4. Whiteboards can provide a window into kids’ hearts. How neat to go into my kids’ rooms and find pictures, sayings, or little songs and prayers that they’ve written.
5. Whiteboards help parents communicate, too. Every night, I write a new note to my kids on their boards. Sometimes, it’s as simple as “I love you” or “You’re the best.” But sometimes, it’s more like “I’m sorry for losing my patience today.” Or “Congratulations!” for a soccer goal scored, or a spelling test aced. Because, in the middle of our busy days, I might forget to tell them these things. And when I go into their rooms at night, and see their sweet faces as they sleep, I’m overwhelmed with the love I have for them. And that’s something I want them to know. That’s something I want them to wake up to.
So if it takes a big ol’ white board smack in the middle of their wall to help me remind them, I’m all for it.
Whether it goes with the décor or not.