When my Dad was growing up, he shared a small bedroom with his two brothers. Their room was approximately 10 x 10 and the closet the three boys shared was not much bigger than the closet that I store my vacuum cleaner in today.
In today’s day and age, while it isn’t quite as common as it used to be for children to share bedrooms, it isn’t unheard of. The size of an average bedroom may have increased, but houses with more than three bedrooms aren’t always easy to locate or afford. For many families, especially larger families, siblings sharing a room isn’t just an option, it is a necessity.
Challenges and Considerations
Sharing space is always about compromise, of course, but sharing space between siblings comes with its own set of challenges and considerations:
- age differences
- sleeping patterns – late sleepers vs. early risers
- division of chores
- individual temperaments
But there are lots of benefits to kids sharing a room, too. It teaches compromise and life lessons about respecting other people (and their property). And, while there are some kids who really don’t like sharing a bedroom with their siblings, there are others who really enjoy it and sharing a room with their brother or sister is a highlight of their childhood.
As a parent, it can be a challenge to create shared bedrooms that are both functional and fun for the kids – a space that meets everyone’s needs. My two daughters share a small bedroom and we face storage shortage issues: how to keep my oldest daughter’s books accessible to her, for example, and not to her toddler sister.
Older siblings may have two different tastes or styles, which can make decorating a shared bedroom difficult. And a bedroom shared by a neater child with a child with tends to be more, shall we say “relaxed” with his cleaning habits can be a cause for strife.
So, Let’s Talk
If your kids share a bedroom, I’d love to hear what you have to say! What are some simple strategies you would recommend about sharing bedrooms? What challenges are you facing? What practical solutions have you found?
- How is the space set up?
- Have you used any type of room divider for privacy, such a curtain or creative placement of a bookcase?
- How do you handle storage issues?
- What about decorating with different interests? For children of different ages?
- How do you handle dividing the chores of caring for the space?
- What do your kids think about sharing a room?
What works for you?
The comments are open for discussion.