Dear American Girl,
My parents are getting divorced. If there weren't already enough changes going on in my life, I also have to get used to living in two different places. When I go to my dad's house, it doesn't really feel like home. What can I do to turn my bedroom into a comfortable place where I can feel like myself?
-Lots of changes
Here's your advice:
First, check with your dad to see what you can do to your room. Can you paint your walls? Get a colorful comforter? Display a cool lamp? Find things that express your style.
-Samantha, age 9, Ohio
It's a big change when parents get divorced. If you want to feel at home at your dad's house, use colors and patterns that you have in your other bedroom. This could make both rooms feel the same, even though they aren't exactly alike.
-Cierra, age 12, Michigan
Create a soft, comforting atmosphere in your bedroom. Bring a favorite stuffed animal from your other house and cuddle with it at night. Or create a cozy reading corner with a beanbag chair and a couple of pillows.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, England
Hang pictures of family members, friends, and pets in your new room. Maybe if you see a few familiar faces, you'll feel a lot better.
-Skyler, age 13, Maine
Decorate your room with things that represent your personality. Put up a poster of your favorite athlete or singer. Cut pictures of pretty places from old magazines and attach them to a bulletin board. Make crafts with friends and display them on a shelf. Make your room truly yours!
-Tyffany, age 11, New York
My parents are divorced, too. When I had to start living in two houses, I picked a favorite theme from my bedroom and used that to decorate my room at my dad's house. I love penguins, so I have a bunch of stuffed penguins in both of my rooms.
-Connie, age 13, Montana
Living in two places might feel weird at first, but after a while, both houses could start to feel like home. In the meantime, when you go to your dad's house, bring a favorite stuffed animal or game. Leave that item at your dad's house so that you have something to look forward to—besides seeing your dad, of course!
-Pam, age 12, New Jersey
What are your hobbies? If you love making crafts, put your art supplies on a table in your new bedroom. Do you play sports? Display your trophies or ribbons on a shelf or on the wall. You could be feeling like yourself in no time.
-Gracie, age 10, California
Even though you might feel down, don't let your room show it. Make your room cheerful with colorful touches, such as bright pillows on your bed. Put positive, encouraging posters on your walls. Make sure your room is a place that puts a smile on your face, no matter how tough things get.
-Anya, age 11, Virginia
Look around your bedroom and make a pile of the things you like the most: one half you'll keep in your room at your mom's, and the other half is for your bedroom at your dad's house. Just ask permission before taking any items from your room.
-Megan, age 10, Florida
Fill your room with things you love. If you like flowers, try a garden theme in your room. Or if you're an animal lover, cover your walls with cute animal posters. Do whatever works for you!
-Mary, age 11, California
Is there a scent that reminds you of your mom's house? Maybe it's an air freshener that smells nice or a room spray that makes you feel calm. Sometimes scents can transport you to a place. Bring that scent along to your new bedroom, and you might be feeling right at home in no time.
-Grace, age 13, New York
When my parents got divorced, my mom bought a bulletin board for me. Now I can display all of my favorite pictures and memories. It really has made my new bedroom feel warm and comfortable.
-Heather, age 12, Illinois
In your new bedroom, include an item, such as a chair or a jewelry box, that instantly makes you think of your other bedroom. It might make your room feel less unfamiliar.
-Ella, age 9, Ohio
Ask your dad to help you redecorate your room. It'll give you some quality time together, and you'll end up having a nicer room, too. Also, do things that make you happy, such as watching a funny movie or making dinner with your dad. With permission, explore your dad's new neighborhood. Life can be full of changes, but what matters is how you handle them.
-Ria, age 11, California