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Parents and teens rarely agree on anything, much less home décor. Teens usually don't want to hang on to the cutesy stuff they had in their rooms during early childhood and that often creates tension. Lots of teenagers want to paint their walls with loud colors or plaster them with provocative posters while mom and dad want to keep things relatively tame. Of course, it doesn't help things when kids that don't bother to clean their rooms suddenly seem obsessed with its appearance.
Decorating a teen's room doesn't have to be a nightmare. Try to strike a balance that everyone can live with. Looking through catalogs or websites together facilitates discussion and avoids a potentially embarrassing incident in a store. Give the child a chance to show some examples of what he or she had in mind and keep negative opinions to a minimum. Teens like to get a reaction, so don't play into their hands by being melodramatic. Stay positive and focus on the things that are acceptable to find some common ground. When something seems really out there, explain what's objectionable about it in a respectful way. Steer them away from ultra trendy furniture because they'll want to get rid of it as soon as it goes out of style. Instead, give them freedom to pick fashionable accessories, such as lamps or a bean bag chair.
Expressing independence is part of growing up. Remember, kids need space to call their own. Teens usually leave their doors shut anyway and guests will rarely see their rooms unless it's a friend of theirs. If all else fails, think back to the teen years and the importance of self-expression during a difficult time. At some point, parents have to trust their kids to make the right decisions and learn from mistakes. Besides, an ugly bedspread can always be replaced and musical tastes change on a whim. Chances are whatever's there won't last very long.