Feng Shui Your Child’s Bedroom for More Peaceful Living
Attention Magazine Summer 2017
Sometimes we hear about approaches to managing ADHD that are not research-driven, yet might be of interest to some of our readers. That is the case with this article on feng shui. Will it help? Does it help for the reasons some believe are central to feng shui? We can’t answer those questions. However, it’s not harmful; so, if you’re so inclined, you might want to try the author’s suggestions to bring more calm to your household.
PARENTS WITH CHILDREN who have ADHD, I invite you to take a deep, cleansing breath in . . . calming drum roll, please. . . feng shui may improve your domestic chaos. Though feng shui cannot be considered a cure or even a treatment for ADHD, when implemented properly, it could help to bring more calm and clarity to your child and to you, allowing your family to lead a more peaceful life. Feng shui thus may complement and support your child’s medical treatment.
Feng shui, the ancient classical Chinese term meaning “wind and water,” is a practice that has been used for more than 4,000 years. By creating a flow in one’s space, through the arrangement of furniture and balance of elements and energies, one composes the most advantageous, harmonious feeling in the space, thus supporting family members to maximize their potential in life.
Feng shui regards the bedroom as one of the most important spaces in one’s home, because it is where we spend the most time, while sleeping. The bedroom is a place for rest. The bedroom is not a place for studying. It is also not the ideal place for playing with stimulating toys and activities.
So, if there is a room (or portion of a room) in your home that can be designated as a playroom or play area, remove those toys and activities from your child’s bedroom. Put them in the newly designated play area. This may mean streamlining the number of items, depending on the number your child has. It may mean rotating or parting with some toys, depending on how much they are used and loved–or not–by your child.
Similarly, if there is a space that your child can use as a work space, please set it up accordingly, even if it is the dining room table or kitchen table–with a special cubby, shelf or folder nearby for necessary project or homework items. Now that toys, activities, and desks have been removed from your child’s bedroom, we can focus on furniture arrangement.
The most important feature of your child’s bedroom is the bed. In feng shui, the “command position” dictates that the bed face toward the door, but it should not be in line with the door. If one’s bed is in line with the door, in what feng shui calls the “coffin position,” it is believed that many difficulties can befall the person who sleeps in it. Feng shui teaches that a child’s challenges would be exacerbated if the child were to sleep in this stressful position.
Arrange the positioning of your child’s bed so that you see the bed as you enter the bedroom, with the support of the solid wall behind the headboard–and the bed is not in line with the doorway. If your child does not yet have a headboard, a solid wooden headboard (without any X marks on it) with rounded posts (not pointed ones, as those will add overstimulating qualities to the room) will provide him or her with added support. Always keep the area below the bed clear; no storage should be kept underneath the bed.
If the arrangement of the bed means that it must have a window near or partially behind it, install shades and hang a heavy curtain to create a calming effect before bedtime. Shades and blackout curtains offer children a more restful space without light interfering with their circadian rhythms. Choose a soothing color similar to the wall color for the curtains; beige, if that is your paint color, for example, to create the illusion of a solid wall. If you wish, you can instead choose a different solid color for curtains–such as blue, periwinkle blue, navy blue, or purple–as these colors tend to have a calming effect. Buy a few options and keep the one your child responds to best. If you and your child prefer a curtain with a print, select something that is fun but soothing, and not busy. It is important to reduce the amount of “information” or “input” from busy patterns and loud, bold colors like red, orange, or yellow. Focus instead on cool tones, so your child can relax.
Balance, symmetry, and grace
Does your child have a balanced bedroom? In addition to having a supportive wall and headboard behind the bed in the command position, bedside tables and lamps are helpful for bringing symmetry to the room. Symmetry adds peace. Having a balance of calm lighting, versus overhead lighting, will help your daughter or son cool down and focus on decompressing with a book that is relaxing or silly (enough to elicit laughs but not overstimulate) before bedtime.
In terms of bedroom furniture, opt for pieces that are closable–such as cabinets versus cubbies and shelves–to reduce the stimulating effects that all of the items would have on your child. Additionally, move bureaus or cabinets away from the bed, so as not to give your child the feeling that such tall items may be “caving in” on him or her. Feng shui considers such angular items to have a “poison arrow” effect if corners are pointing toward the person’s bed. The idea is to provide a flowing, light, calm chi (energy) in your child’s bedroom, as opposed to fast, direct, heavy, or cutting chi.
Beds, shelves, bureaus, windows, walls, and floors are typically rectangular, angular shapes. To provide balance, whenever possible, consider softening your child’s bedroom with additional shapes that are graceful and curved. Examples include a round or oval-shaped decorative pillow, or one that is a soothing-toned butterfly-shape (combining symmetry and grace, as well as the symbolism of happiness). See how your child responds to some of these changes.
Speaking of walls, in feng shui we wonder what is behind the wall supporting your child’s bed, and what is under your child’s bed, if the bedroom is on the second floor. It is troublesome if your child’s bed shares a wall (or ceiling or floor) with a bathroom, especially the toilet– or if there is a fireplace behind or underneath the bed. These are considered depleting and hazardous energies, respectively.
Our environmental surroundings can certainly impact our physical and mental health and overall wellness. According to feng shui, when we are feeling stuck, chances our there is something in our home environment that needs to be unblocked, removed, or shifted to a different location. Bedrooms should provide a yin (calm) sanctuary. This would be especially true for a sensitive child or one who needs help unwinding from exhausting ADHD symptoms.
In feng shui, a living space such as a house is divided into nine sectors (or “corners” or “palaces”). Each has its own meaning, beginning with the front-facing direction (typically one’s front door) and continuing clockwise throughout the home:
● the west is symbolic of children and creativity (as well as the youngest daughter)
● the northwest is symbolic of travel, technology, helping people, networking (as well as the patriarch, man of the house)
● the north is symbolic of career, opportunity, and paychecks which are day-to-day, week-to-week, or month-to-month (as well as the middle son)
● the northeast is symbolic of clear thinking, decision-making abilities, wisdom and spirituality (as well as the youngest son)
● the east is symbolic of friends and family relationships, health, and growth (as well as the eldest son)
● the southeast is symbolic of accumulated growth, wealth and prosperity over time (as well as the eldest daughter)
● the south is symbolic of fame, recognition, friends, social status (as well as the middle daughter)
● the southwest is symbolic of love, romance, relationships, marriage (as well as the matriarch, mother of the house).
● the center of one’s home is symbolic of overall general health and wellness.
For the deepest feng shui, you would take your compass (not the one on your cellphone) and stand in front of your front door facing your front lawn (or street or whatever is in front of your home) to determine exactly which direction your home faces. From there, you would determine which sector your child’s bedroom is located in, to keep in mind the symbolism of that room (as discussed above), as well as the energy in that room for that year (for example, this is the year of the rooster). According to feng shui, the arrangement of various elements of the bedroom could enhance your child’s success. A classical Chinese feng shui consultant would focus on doing this for you in your specific home.
Certified as a Classical Chinese Feng Shui Master, Megan Pogash holds her MSEd and bachelor’s degree in psychology. She conducts in-person as well as remote feng shui consultations. Pogash understands first-hand the “beautiful chaos” of ADHD and she strives to accentuate the bright, beautiful, creative, thoughtful, soulful strengths of those with ADHD symptoms with each calm feng shui plan that she creates, one room at a time. Visit her website, YourFengShuiGuru.com, for more information
Other Articles in this Edition
Find Your Own Way to Practice Mindfulness
Put Strategies into Action: Teach Executive Function by Simulating the Experience
Was Grandma Right About Manners?
Feng Shui Your Child’s Bedroom for More Peaceful Living
Decisions, Dating, and Job Interviews
The Co-Occurrence of Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders and ADHD
Brain Stuctures, Autism, and ADHD