Let’s Talk: Kids Sharing Bedrooms

[really_simple_share]

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
  • privacy

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 kidsa 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.

[really_simple_share]
About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

Comments

  1. As you say, there are several considerations but if the kids are similar ages then sharing a bedroom can have great benefits including teaching compromise. When I grew up my older sister & I shared a room and it taught us to share and compromise. Going off to college and sharing a small dorm room wasn’t traumatic for me because I was used to sharing my living space.
    As I parented my kids, there were times when they shared a bedroom but it was rare. Since there are 6 yrs between my girls’ there were too many developmental differences to make living in the same room compatable.

  2. One thing we did when our boys shared a room was to put their dressers in the closet which gave more floor space. We color coded storage so that it was obvious whose toys were whose etc. I think it would be more difficult now that they are older so thankfully they each have their own room now ;)
    .-= Melissa Multitasking Mama´s last blog ..Perspective =-.

  3. My girls are 3 and 5 and don’t share a room – but often talk about getting bunk beds. I can’t decide if its more about the ‘cool bed’ and whether its worth it. For the ost part, they get along and play nicely – but maybe part of that is because they are free to have their own space too…

  4. Our girls share a room, all of them, and we’re about to add another because of need. They are 8,5,1 and due in June. For the most part their rooms are for sleeping, and storing clothes. They do have some toys stored in the closet and a tv/dvd player but they tend to play outside, in the garage, in the living room, make ‘doll houses’ on the stairs etc. Since we homeschool, all their books are out here in the main living area for easy access. We have had them in a bigger house, with separate rooms and they were forever just hanging out in one room, and asking to sleep together. We have bunk beds (with a double on the bottom) and the two big girls sleep on the bottom. Baby is still with us most of the night .
    .-= TaderDoodles (Lisa B)´s last blog ..Help a Pregnant Homeschool Mommy Out… =-.

  5. How about different genders sharing rooms? How old is that ok til? We need to put 2 of our kids together as youngest son, 15 months, is ready to go out of our room, but other oldest 2 are a boy, 2 1/2 and a girl, 4 1/2 yrs. Is that ok yet? They have the most similar sleeping patterns, while the 15 month still wakes up at night. Not sure what to do yet…

    • Betsy Negley says:

      My brother and I shared a room until I was nearly 8 years old. I dont think it’s such a big deal until they are old enough to noticed the biological differences.

      • I have brother & sister friends who shared a room until the oldest got married and moved into a house of her own. Once they were old enough to need more privacy, their parents secured several bookcases down the center of the room. They shared what traditionally would have been the master bedroom, so they each had a small closet. The parents even installed a light fixture/fan on each side with seperate controls.

    • My children are similar ages, I have a girl, 5, boy, 3 and another boy, 13 months. They will all be sharing a room starting this week. We’ve been in the process of moving the 13 month old into their room, they’ve been camping with us while he adjusts to sleeping through the night and in their room. My two older kids have been sharing a room since my oldest son was 9 months. They LOVE it. Yes, they have their days and times of fighting but overall they are great friends.
      .-= Sam´s last blog ..My short absence =-.

    • I shared a room with my younger brother up unitl I was about 8 or 9. We were very close and still are today. I think sharing a room with diff genders is fine until one of the kids hits puberty or starts to become concerned about privacy.

  6. My sister and I shared a room (out of necessity – 2 bedroom apartments) for all of our childhood. I can’t always say it was wonderful (tape on the floor, dressers dividing the room, our share of fights) but we are best friends now and both agree sharing a room all that time is the reason. We are just over 2 years apart in age (same as my girls). We have three bedrooms so right now the girls are in seperate rooms, but they want to share (OK the 4yr old wants to share the 18m old doesn’t have a clue). I go back and forth, but think at least when they are little sharing a bedroom isn’t the horrible thing some make it out to be.

    To be fair, my kids rooms are for sleeping and getting dressed mostly. They spend their awake time playing in the playroom or outside.

  7. We are working on getting our youngest into my oldest’s room. Our biggest issue is that our six year old loves to listen to quiet music at night, and the slightest noise wakes up our littlest. We’re not sure what we are going to do about that. We only have two bedrooms and the baby can’t sleep in our room forever. Any suggestions? or can you get a kid to be a sounder sleeper ;-) ?
    .-= Amanda G.´s last blog ..Home Management Notebooks =-.

    • susanintexas says:

      My eldest 10 yr old listens to french songs before falling asleep and shares a room with her 5 year old sister. She uses earphones and mostly takes them off before falling asleep. I make sure it’s not too loud for her.

    • My six year old has a “music pillow” which is just a pillow with speakers in it that you can plug an mp3 player into. We got it at Bed Bath and Beyond. She can turn the music down really low and listen until she falls asleep. I go in and turn off the mp3 player before I go to bed so the battery doesn’t run out. Something like that would work great for a shared room.

  8. My children have always shared rooms out of necessity – first my son and oldest daughter (until she was 7, he was 4), and now my two daughters (now 8 and 2). We have always used a bunk bed. With two different genders, we used a castle motif so that she could be a princess and he could be a knight and decorating was fine for both genders. This helped them feel like it was a cool special room, and they didn’t mind sharing. Now with two girls, decorating is much easier. :) As far as storage, we put one dresser in the closet (to allow for more floor space) and clear bins under the bottom bunk for the younger child’s clothes. That also allowed the youngest to be able to put away their own things away. We hung over-the-door pocket organizers on the bedroom door as well as the closet door, to allow my oldest daughter to keep her things out of the little one’s reach. We also took the ladder off of the bunk bed, to prevent the little one from climbing up – my oldest was able to climb up safely w/o. And high shelves are also a must. Sleeping has never been a problem, as they are all sound sleepers – or have at least become sound sleepers. My kids are very close, and I think sharing rooms has helped them become that way. They have never minded. Though I hope someday to give them each their own room (mostly so that I can decorate it!!!), I will never regret these years they’ve spent together. P.S. One downside to sharing a room w/ bunks is that top bunk is REALLY hard to make each day – so much tucking…. :)

  9. Not the most conventional idea coming out here but: My children will always share a room… I want them to be citizens of the world and if you look at houses and homes around the world most people have to share their space at home. It is only a couple of cultures where people choose to live in separate rooms with separate lives. I never buy two of anything, all their toys and books are shared except for a very small drawer or box of their own special stuff from birthdays and special friends. Ultimately they will most likely share an office or workspace with others and they will have learnt how to “find the own space” while surrounded by others. I think there are important life lessons, about living alongside others, to learn that can be learnt at home amongst the people they love the most than out there when they are in a dorm room at college and sharing for the first time. And for all the ups and downs of sharing my kids seem to have a lot of fun with it and they seem to enjoy having a buddy or two to share their lives very closely. So even if I had a mansion I would find other uses for all the rooms – an art room, a play room, a school room and a dorm room… I really think it is important to share.
    .-= se7en´s last blog ..The Week That Was – 2.42 =-.

    • Love this, and I completely agree!
      .-= Mandi @ Organizing Your Way´s last blog ..Battling the Urge to “Keep Up With The Joneses” =-.

    • Well said! :)

    • I feel the same way as well. My kids don’t really have any personal ownership of any toys. When they get something new (for bday or xmas) they can claim it as “theirs” for a few days, but after that it reverts to common ownership. It has always been this way so they take it for granted.

      We have a small house (about 900 square feet) with two bedrooms and my 7yo son and5yo daughter share a room. This horrifies a surprising number of people. I can only figure that it is an assumption that if a boy and girl share a room with each other, there will be some kind of “naughty” contact at some point. But if this were going to happen, I don’t see why it couldn’t happen in the myriads of other places my kids are alone – in the barn, down by the creek, under the pine tree, etc.

      • I think you’re completely right about the possibilities. People seem to think that such things are more likely in a bedroom, but I’d have to disagree and say it’s probably more likely outside of the house anyway. My parents separated when I was in high school, and we spent our time 50/50. In the house we had separate rooms, but at my mother’s my younger brother and I had to share a room of necessity. At first I hated the idea, but I think it made us a tad closer and better friends. I found that in the smaller apartment we spent more time as a family and had a better understanding of private space than in the house where we actually had physical private spaces.
        We have three bedrooms and only one kiddo, and our room is definately large enough to move the office into, but honestly, if we had another child, they would probably share the second room. In fact, it’s only used as a playroom and storage now, because our daughter still sleeps in our room, and that’s the way we like it.

    • I COMPLETELY agree!!! This is exactly how we run our home too. At the moment they are sharing rooms out of necessity, but we will soon be moving to a 6 bedroom house, but I still want them sharing rooms. It’s just so important to me.

      I also agree about the common toys, etc. They even share halloween candy and such. We just have a bowl that it all gets dumped into. They all know that we are a sharing family and they will rarely ever complain.

      • I definitely agree.

        We have two boys (12 & 9) and they share a small room. Each has their own closet and three drawers each in a shared dresser. The older one has his own nightstand (which he requested for Christmas, LOL). They share all the toys & books. And of course they fight about stuff.

        We have a mostly unused guest room across the hall, and my 12 year old would love to have it as his room. The younger brother would miss him terribly. I don’t want him closed off as he approaches his teen years. And I would have to get hear “get out of my room!” all the time…

        No, they will remain together until one of them moves out on his own.

  10. I have a 7yo girl, 5yo boy & 2yo boy. The older 2 started sharing a room when they were 4/2 – by choice, not by necessity. Then it became a necessity when I found out I was pregnant with #3. At that point – I decorated my daughters room in bright, fun colors. We had 2 twin beds set up in an “L” shape at the corner of one room (they slept with their heads close to each other). The beds were a trundle set – so we were able to put 4 large bins under one bed for toy storage. They also had a fairly large closet. Eventually, we converted another room into a bedroom for the middle child & put in bunk beds for the 2 boys to share down the road. When my middle child moved into his own room – my daughter moved right in with him, lol. She’s just now started sleeping in her room again – mainly because the 2 yo just ditched the crib & will be moving into the “boys’ room” soon. All-in-all I feel very lucky because my kids get along (mostly) very well. They have a tight bond – and I think some of that stems from sharing a room for much of their early years!

  11. Oh, my boys WANT to share a room. They do not want to be sleeping all alone in a room. So after a few ways of arranging and re-arranging rooms to get it to work for us, we ended up putting them in the Master Bedroom. I mean, grownups don’t have as much stuff (or shouldn’t), or hang out in their bedroom as much as kids do. And, it is a great room for kids – they get to have the bathroom right there which is SUPER wonderful for the late night potty breaks and it makes for easier bathtime. With the nice big space we have a full and a twin bed with a nightstand, and then they have a wall unit with storage bins for their stuff. Sometimes they have a LEGO table or small work table in there too (although they like having those in the living room more). My guys are 5 & 7, and they don’t really mess things up – they always put their stuff away when done playing so it doesn’t get stepped on or broken. Usually, the only time when it is a big mess is when they have kids over to play, and then the disaster area is cleaned up by all of us after the guests leave.

    We don’t need dividers or anything. They are best friends and brothers, and 20 months apart. They love being together, want to be together, and there is not any conflict at all! They did see a really nice bunkbed they want…maybe this summer! :)
    .-= denise´s last blog ..glorious spring. =-.

  12. My two oldest share a very large bedroom and our plan is to eventually build built-in bunks like these (http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/beds-mattresses/vacation-inspiration-builtin-bunk-beds-091200, especially #10) for all four girls to share the room. We want to do a version that has a curtain to allow them a private, quiet space if they’d like along with shelves and lighting in their bunk.

    For now, they don’t really keep anything in their room. They pick a toy to take with them at nap (but they all nap in different rooms) and then we clean up before bed. My 4-year-old is going through a book-destroying stage, so she’s banned from books at nap time. Beds, blankets, a few special stuffed animals each — that’s it.

  13. My kids don’t share a bedroom, but I saw a great storage solution on Wasted Spaced. The used the space between a couple studs in the wall to create a little cubbie – perfect for alarm clock, books, etc. It was especially cool for the bunk bed since the upper bunk can’t have a side table. It’s some thing I’m sure C could do.

    In our house, the previous owners actually created a built-in book case by cutting in to the closet in the adjoining room. It’s really cool. So, there might be a possibility of borrowing space from a closet in another room.
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..He’s Getting It =-.

  14. Right now my children don’t share because my 18 month old is in our room, but after we move they will share. Not out of necessity, as we will be moving to a 3BR house, but because, as another poster said, I think it will teach them some important life lessons. People make too big of a deal out of kids “having their own space,” which is something that is really an invention of this past century. Kids having their own rooms, aside from the very affluent, was unheard of before. And when, besides childhood and possibly post college/early adulthood (until married) do we really get a room to ourselves? In college we have a roommate, in marriage we have a spouse, at work we have office mates and other coworkers. Learning to cooperate and share space is far too important a skill for me to NOT teach my kids at this age.

    Also, I think it is TOTALLY appropriate for a boy and a girl to share a room until they are tweens (depending on the child, around age 10). I shared a room with my brother for quite a while, and my son and daughter will share probably until we move again (about 5 years, when DD is 8). We mostly will use their bedroom for clothing storage and sleeping, as this new house will have a playroom, so storage won’t be a challenge. And I’ve told them from the time my DS was mobile that none of the toys are “theirs,” (with the exception of their blankies), any toy belongs to the person who is touching it. So fights over things are rare here (so far). I think the biggest challenge has been coming up with a decor scheme that is GN. But I brainstormed with my DD, who originally wanted pink everything, and we decided they would have a dragon room (she’s been obsessed with dragons for a while, what can I say?). I’m sure, as we’re making the transition, other practical problems will arrise, but I am also sure it will be an invaluable experience for both of them. Regardless of what my Mother-in-law thinks:)

  15. My 6 yo boy and 4 1/2 yo girl share a room out of necessity. Their beds are in an L shape with their heads away from each other. They are really close and for now it’s working out. I can see needing to make a change in the next couple of years, though. Right now, her side is painted pink, has girly pink accessories and white furniture. His side is beige with a brown comforter, truck decals and dark brown furniture. It’s a pretty good sized room.

  16. We just moved to a large home (5 big bedrooms), yet I plan to have my girls share a room at least for awhile. The girls are 20mths apart, “bestest friends,” and we’ve been telling them since the youngest’s birth that eventually they would share a big girl room. I feel it is important for them to share to help build their relationship and learn to live with someone. We have been waiting for the baby to consistently start sleeping through the night, but are think the move will probably occur this summer at ages 2 and 4. We’re fortunate that the room they will share is large with two closets. We don’t anticipate space issues. One thing we have done is hung a cabinent out of reach for each girl that anything breakable could go in. If my oldest is concerned about a special craft being rough handled by her sister than into the cabinent it goes. But all in all, the girls are very good at sharing and are required to.

  17. My daughters who are 10 and 5 share a room – and so far we have had no real issues with it. We have done this out of necessity, but even with a choice, we would probably keep them together. They get along fabulously, and for us, we see a huge difference in my oldest daughter in how she plays and interacts with others. The 10 year old still plays polly pockets, barbies or webkinz – and it has enabled her to continue just being a “kid” in a world that seems to transport 10 year olds into teenagers all too quickly. My 5 year old has learned respect and sharing, and in all honesty we don’t see this as an issue. We know that we have about a 18 month window in which this arrangement may not work any more, but as for now, it does.
    As for sleeping – three nights a week my youngest goes to bed at 7:30 and the other four nights they are both in bed by 8:30. It works for us!

  18. My three boys share a room. We live in a three bedroom house so it was necessary to double up. So we put the three boys in one room and made the other into a play room. Their bedroom has the bigger of the two closets so it works out. The only furniture in their room is a bunk bed, a twin bed and three matching dressers. The walls are navy blue and each boy picked out his sheet set. Robots, aliens and blue/orange stripe.

    Right now they are 6, 4 and 2. The older boys have shared a room since the 4 year old was around 6 months old. They are best buddies and love talking for a little while after lights out. We added in the littlest when he was a year and a half. He’s often left out of their games but he seems to really enjoy sharing a room with “the big boys”.

    Because their room is mainly for sleeping right now we don’t have much of an issue with messes. The older boys make their beds in the morning, help keep dirty clothes picked up and any toys go back into the playroom.

    We do have a game room that could be converted into a bedroom should they decide they want to be split up when they are older. For now, this is working great for us.

  19. My boys are 8.5 and 10 years old and they have always shared room. Originially, it was out of necessity, but then when we had more space it was out of desire.

    They love sharing a room because they don’t know any different. We used to have bunk beds, but now they are separated as two single beds. They share one nightstand in the middle which has two shelves – one for each boy. They share a desk and book shelf, with each child having his alloted spaces and they even share the walk-in closet -one side for each.

    Their toys, games etc are in the family room which is a space for everyone and the outside toys are stored in the shed. I think it works simply because it’s never been any other way, and because we don’t have a lot of stuff. There are designated wall spaces and cork boards that can be used for personal expression so they can feel like they can have their own space.

    All in all it works really well and I think they have the close relationship that they do, because of it.

  20. I only have one child, but my sister and I shared a bedroom until I was in my teens. For a variety of reasons, I did not like sharing a room, but my parents did do certain things that made it more bearable:
    1. They always gave me and my sister the biggest bedroom. That usually allowed us each to have one area of the room to call her own. If the room was too small for that, we at least had a dresser between our beds, a designated space for each girl’s clothes, and separate “me” spaces to decorate on the wall or a shelf.
    2. They didn’t make us have everything matching. Our bedspreads were different, as were our toy boxes, jewelry/keepsake boxes, doll cradles, and child-size chairs.
    3. When we reached a point where my sister was still a little girl but I wasn’t anymore, my parents made an effort to give me a few “grown-up” things like my own small vanity table. They also allowed me to have a certain amount of time each day when I could kick my sister out of the room so I could have private time with a girlfriend, talk on the phone, or do my homework.

  21. Our kids will share a room when the baby gets bigger. Glad to hear of other families with successful boy/girl sharing. We have a friend who has done the kids in the master bedroom switch (similar to a poster above). I’ve been very tempted!
    .-= nopinkhere´s last blog ..Veer Right =-.

  22. Stephanie Parkinson says:

    My boys, 9 and 6 years old, shared until Christmas. It was at this point with a new influx of toys that the room became unbearably messy. One boy would tidy while the youngest sat and watched, much to the annoyance of his older brother. After they stopped getting along and I could see there friendship was suffering as a result I separated them.
    This summer we are due to move to a smaller place so they will have to share again, I am not fortunate enough to have a playroom, as that’s where Grandma sleeps!! I would appreciate any ideas on how I can get this working so that boys stay the bestest of friends while sharing a limited space.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Betsy Negley says:

      I have this issue with my girls (they share a room). One thing I have done is to cut out a LOT of their toys. They have one basket with board games, bingo, etc. and one small toy chest. What doesnt fit in either of those two places, finds a home at someone else’s house. As far as cleaning time, I try to give each child specific things to do. One picks up dirty clothes, while the other puts shoes away. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt. When the bickering gets too bad, I wade in and start pitching stuff out. The fighting stops pretty quick then.

      • i love this idea of finding homes for the excess toys – we have four kids – the girls will be sharing a room, again, in our new home this summer. the boys will be sharing also. we found sleeping arrangements have been topsy turvy in our latest set up: baby boy and girl #2 in one room, boy #1 in his own, and girl #1 in her own room. the boys are always in our bed during the night. the girls are often woken up by the baby. so that is why we moved girl #2 in with #1. does this all make sense? sorry about that.
        & i am currently trying to figure out what toys to keep and what not to, and should we make it a functioning bedroom? rather then a kid-catch-all – ie toys could be in a playroom etc./or we limit the toys and do rotations. i love the idea of each child having a chest to put their toys in and anything that doesn’t fit is given away. i am so desperate to teach the kids how to take care of their things and to be responsible for their belongings – i know that it would be a lot easier for them if they had only a few special things to keep track of.

  23. We have 3 kids. 3 y.o. boy, 2 y.o. girl, 9 m.o. boy. Their room is a cracker jack box. We have a bunk bed for the two older kids – they sleep on the bottom bunk for now, but when we get the missing parts for the rest of the bunk then it’ll be set up for the eldest to sleep on top (when he turns 4). Our youngest was on a crib mattress in our room, but now we’ve moved him into the office (so he and I can sleep through the night) into a pack n play. When I get around to decorating the kids’ room it’ll be red white and blue because I can make it both feminine and masculine. Eventually I’ll move the baby into the older kids’ room, probably around his 1st birthday. During naptime our eldest boy sleeps on our bed, our daughter on her bed, and the baby in his bed in the office. If we didn’t do that they’d never take a nap. True, my upstairs is a disaster zone because I can rarely clean it, but my mental health is doing much better since it’s not 3 hours of doing everything I can to get the kids to go to sleep. At night we’ve tried putting one kid to bed earlier than the other, but that doesn’t work. If we put our daughter down first she takes hours to fall asleep, so that’s not good. If we put our son down he’ll fall asleep right away only to woken up by our daughter when she’s put to bed. So they go to bed at the same time, sometimes they go to bed easily, and other times they’re jumping off their bed, ripping clothes out of dresser/hangers, taking sheets, mattress etc off bed and destroying everything in their room and not falling asleep until 4 hours later. I don’t have the answers (clearly), but we make it work. When we have a house, the kids will still share, but we’ll keep gender with gender or try to match sleeping personalities. Make sense? Both our boys are great sleepers. Our daughter just wants to go go go and tries so hard to be a grownup

  24. My two kids share a room. They are an almost 5yr old boy and a just 3yr old girl. They love it. In the past I have considered separating them, mainly when we are dealing with sleep issues, but it always works itself out and the times I hear him singing her songs at night are just priceless! A few times I’ve even gone in to check on them and found them sleeping together. Melts my heart! We have a three bedroom house but we use one for office/play/storage. The kids’ bedroom is just for sleeping and clothes, we keep very few toys in there. It’s still decorated like a nursery, with a few “big kid” additions such as my son’s train poster. So far neither of them have asked for anything fancier and I think I’ll hold off redecorating until they do.

    We are expecting another baby in the fall and I was talking to the kids about possible room rearrangements. Hubby and I would move into the office (which is downstairs and technically the master bedroom) and I was asking the kids if they wanted to stay together or split up, and if they wanted to stay in their room or move to ours, which is bigger. They both looked very confused and asked why baby couldn’t just sleep in their room with them. I said, “where?” and my son proposed a reasonable rearrangement that would fit a crib. Now I’m thinking we may just keep all three of them together until they want to be split. With the mixed genders I’m sure it will happen sooner or later! Until then, I love the closeness the shared bedroom brings.
    .-= Tessa´s last blog ..School vacation, off to a not-so-great start =-.

  25. We have three kids in the same room at present. Our son, nearly 3, goes to bed first before his sisters. Ideally, we try to stagger the bedtime routine and put one kid to sleep at a time, starting with the youngest. Most nights my daughters go to bed about the same time and end up talking for a while though (the girls share a large bed). Eventually we hope to have more bedrooms, but this arrangement is okay for the next couple of years. I agree that it’s not a big deal for genders to share a room until the tween years.
    .-= Aiming4Simple´s last blog ..Hanging Out Day and Why I Love to Line Dry (Re-post) =-.

  26. We have three boys, aged 10, 5 and 3. When the youngest was still a baby, they all had separate rooms. Then our oldest and middle started talking about sharing a room, so we bunked them together and they did great. The 5 year old learned not to keep his older brother up with talking, and they only got out of bed in the morning when the clock said it was time to get up.

    When our youngest was nearly 3, he was still getting me up at least twice a night with bad dreams or something, because he’d be moaning or upset and hard to settle. Finally my husband said, “let’s put him in with the older boys.” I resisted, because I was worried he’d wake them up with his bad sleep patterns, but my husband said we should try it. So we did, and guess what? No more getting up at night (unless he’s sick). They all sleep together like a dream, pun intended.

    I think our rules regarding bedrooms helped. 1) No toys in the bedroom. Stuffed animals for comfort, a nightstand, a lamp, a CD player (they like to listen to poetry while they fall asleep). There are no toys to get into, very few things on the walls to tear off. The bedroom is for resting and sleeping, period. We even keep their nighttime books in our room, and read bedtime stories in the big bed. 2) No bunk beds. I fell out of a bunk bed in college and broke my back, so this is an easy one for me. I didn’t want my boys climbing around when they were supposed to be sleeping. 3) Lights out=no talking.

    It works for us. They love their shared bedroom and call it the “barracks”. We keep their bureaus in the spare bedroom across the hall, and they get dressed in there.

  27. My oldest 2 (girl, 4 & boy, 2) share a room. It works great! I was worried at first, but it hasn’t been a problem at all. My daughter sleeps on a daybed. It has a twin sized trundle that slides out. My son sleeps on the trundle. In the morning, we slide the trundle back under the daybed so they have floor space to play, although to be perfectly honest, they much prefer to play in the living room. The baby has a nursery nook (part of our very long laundry room). When he gets too big for his crib we’ll have to do some rearranging. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. But for now, this is what works great for us.

  28. I am loving all of the ideas here. My 5 1/2 year old daughter and 2 1/2 year old son are beginning to share a room. We bought a bunk bed at IKEA that is low and has a canopy on top. The bottom bed mattress sits on the floor. We have told our daughter that the top bunk is her “special space”. She keeps a basket with small boxes at the end of the bed with her “jewels” and other treasures. Her brother doesn’t even try to go up there because we never allowed it. I just bought a wire memo board with bugs and butterfly clips made out of wire that we are going to put on the wall near the head of her bed to put some of her special creations on.

    As far as the difficulty making a top bunk bed goes I solved that by buying quality fitted sheets and a duvet with a soft cover. All I have to do is straighten the duvet. No top sheets or blankets to mess with.

    As far as a theme goes, I wouldn’t really say that their room has a theme but possibly a garden/natural world theme which seems pretty GN yet nurturing.

  29. Because of our small house (less than 1000 sq. feet total) and our inability to move right now, we have 3 children, soon to be four, sharing a room. They are young enough that they still love it and haven’t known anything else. They do have the big bedroom which is larger than a lot of bedrooms. We painted the ceiling sky blue and painted clouds on it. One wall is painted like a green sloping hillside with chalkboard paint, so it’s ok for them to write on that wall! We got bright colors for the curtains and limited decorations–fuschia, lime green, orange. It’s cheery and kid-like and good for girls and boys. The closet belongs to my oldest daughter for her “special stuff” that she doesn’t want little brothers to get into. As far as sleeping, we have a set of bunk beds and a crib. Eventually, we will move up to two bunk beds.

    My kids have always been good sleepers, so that’s not much of an issue. They usually go to bed all at once, we go through the nighttime routine together, then lights out. If the baby needs to go to bed earlier, we just put him to bed and put the others to bed after he’s asleep.

    It works fine for us–the kids sleep and play in their room. However, I did move most of their clothes to a chest of drawers in my room so they have privacy for dressing and their room isn’t cluttered with clothes.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Taking Time To Focus =-.

  30. Rachel B says:

    My kids share rooms. 2 girls in one room & 2 boys in the other room. My 2 girls are 7 & 5 yrs old. So far they have been great about sharing space, their clothes sizes are similar and toy interests are similar. Although they do have some toys that are “theirs” only…we keep those on separate shelves & they are in charge of those shelves. But for cleaning assignments…we need help on this. When it is time to clean their room, the older one knows that she can’t come out till its clean & the younger knows that the older one will clean much faster than her & so she lets her. So thus the battle begins…”she’s not cleaning,” “she’s being bossy..” blah blah blah. Oh I need help on that.

    I loved sharing a room with my sister, although we fought often. But I really helps them to become closer friends & to learn to work together on sharing space & toys & also being respectful of others things & space.

    I still need help on cleaning assignments…any ideas?

    rachel

  31. My girls (3 & 4) share and room and I LOVE it. They love it too. In fact, my oldest often enjoys having someone with her and loves knowing that her sister is in the room. They have bunk beds and we have switched top and bottom to accommodate which one is learning to go potty in the middle of the night.

    It’s a small room so we have bunk beds, a wooden kitchen, book shelf, and a cube storage unit with fabric baskets. I limit toys and go through them often. I also chose not to have a dresser and put and organizer in the closet. All their clothes are in fabric baskets on shelves and dresses hanging. Their laundry basket is in their too.

    They both are required to clean up the room at night regardless of whose mess it is. If we know that one person has created more of the mess, then that person will clean the room while the other cleans up the living room of toys.

    I know there will be fights in the future, but I know that the lessons they’ll learn from having to share a space will be invaluable.

    great post!

  32. My 6 year old twin girls share a bedroom… despite their Aunt claiming that it will ‘scar them for life’ LOL. I think it’s some what easier since they are the same age and being ID twins are very very similar in personality and likes etc. We do have issues with them staying up and talking too late but on he whole it is working really well for everyone.

    Our 2 year old (almost three) was set to move into the girl’s room too, but we changed out mind when the girls were having problems getting to sleep in the months before they started school. Knowing they’d be extra tired with school we decided adding their brother with his slightly different timetable to their room wouldn’t work… so he still shares with us… and we’ll add a new baby to our room too in a few weeks too.

    So far for us sharing a room has been both a necessity and a choice… and it’s worked great
    .-= katepickle´s last blog ..Things No One Ever Tells You About Pregnancy. =-.

  33. Our kids love sharing, though our eldest (almost 8) has mentioned a few times now that she might feel ready to have her own room. We’re in a two bedroom home with three kids. The youngest, an 11month old girl, is still in with us and will be for a while yet. Our middle (4yo boy) and eldest (7yo girl) share and have their entire lives. She’s up on a bunkbed and also has a few tall shelves that he can’t get to. Under the bunk is a desk which she got for first grade, but I’m not convinced I like it. They each have a dresser, and the boy just got upgraded to a bed (as opposed to a mattress on the floor) so now he keeps his “treasures” in old dresser drawers underneath. The closet functions mostly as our linen closet, with a few other items stored in there as well.

    The hardest part is that the boy gets into EVERYTHING and so it’s been hard for the older sister to feel like her stuff is getting any respect. Heck, that’s hard on the whole family. The room is mostly for sleeping, dressing, and stories, but we also have a rest hour each day and one of them is in their room for that. When our eldest has friends over they’ll also often play in the bedroom, though we have a “doors open” rule. Occasionally she’ll go in there and do homework when the rest of the house is too loud for her to focus.

    We’re considering putting all three kids in the master and us moving to the smaller room. Or remodeling our large finished attic which is currently a tv/play room, and office. We’d lose a lot of playing space which would have to be replaced somewhere though.

  34. Talia Miller says:

    We have all 3 of our children in one room 2 boys ages 2 and 5 and a baby girl 9 months. They seem to love it! The boys have a bunk bed and baby is still in her crib. We gave them the master bedroom in our condo. This has helped tremendously with space. Also we have their dressers in the closet, and toys are organized into different bins, which creates easy access for each age. Baby toys on the bottom shelf…etc. When our daughter gets a little older we will definitely need another room but for now it is working just fine!

    • Is your 9month old sleeping through the night? I have a 2 yr old and a 6 month old and am at a loss at what to do! Well we have a 9 yr old too, but he’s in his own room. Right now the baby is still in our room. The 2 yr.old is sleeping great, but he’s still in a crib. How did you transition your kiddos to the same room? I have no idea what to do? Do I just put them together and see what happens? I’m worried that the baby will wreak havoc on the 2 yr olds sleep. Any suggestions??
      .-= Kristin Kneupper´s last blog ..Thank goodness for Curious George! =-.

      • Talia Miller says:

        Hi Kristin!
        Yes my 9 month old is sleeping thru the night, and started {8hrs} at 4 weeks old, she now sleeps about 12 hrs, per reading the book On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. Very highly reccomend this read. The boys both went out of our room at about a month old and she stayed in our room 3 months, but sharing a room is all they have known. Your younger baby may cry and wake up your older, but you could try to prerare your 2 yr old by telling him the baby may cry and not to worry, that he’ll fall back asleep. It may be a rough transition at first but I think eventually with your consistency they will learn to sleep when it’s time to sleep, even if they are together. You may want to do one transition at a time as far as your 2 yr old moving into a bed though, it may be too much for the little guy, and you to do both :) Good luck!
        Talia

        • Talia Miller says:

          PS I just read your blog entry, Thank goodness for curious george! What a sweet sweet blessing God has given your family!

          • Oh thanks Talia! We are very blessed for sure!
            Thanks so much for your reply to the sleeping question! I totally am going to read that book!! I feel like there’s actually hope for these two little ones to sleep together ! We were really thinking that the baby just might be in our room forever!! I think we’ll first start trying to transition Kouper to a toddler bed! Thanks again for your help, you have NO IDEA how much I appreciate it!!
            Kristin
            .-= Kristin Kneupper´s last blog ..Thank goodness for Curious George! =-.

  35. I want my girls to share a room but my hang up is not with the sharing the space but getting them to go to bed at a decent hour at night. We go up and down our stairs at night trying to get them to settle down but it’s 10:30 or 11:00 at night before they finally sleep. PLUS they still get up at 7 or 8 am like they would if they had gone to bed earlier. My oldest (4) instructs my younger one (2) to jump on the bed or hang from the closet. Then we have to get on to both of them. We aren’t sure what method of discipline is most appropriate (we are not opposed to spanking but don’t want to feel like all we are doing is spanking). We can’t seem to find anything that works. Anyone have suggestions?
    .-= April Emery´s last blog ..Celebrate Earth Day April 22, 2010 =-.

  36. It has been a learning curve for me. I’ve never shared a room growing up and really missed it when I did have to share. I think the boys love it although we have the new situation of boy3 moving out of crib into a bed but the bunk is full. Who will go where now? 3 in a room? one in one out? The choices we have to make.
    .-= Melitsa´s last blog ..Raising Playful Tots show #21 Tessy and Tab + Screen free week =-.

  37. In January, we bought loft beds for our girls (ages 7 and 5), and it was like they got a whole new room! Now each of them has their own area under their beds (complete with desks, shelving, play space) and no one fights over the top bunk :) I shopped around and found the best deal on metal loft beds at Wal-Mart for about $150 each – ordered them online and did in-store pick-up (somehow we managed to squeeze our family of five and two gigantic boxes into our minivan!). Another advantage to these specific beds is that the ladder is built in to the end, rather than sticking out on the side, which wouldn’t have worked, considering there’s only about a two foot aisle between their beds. I’ll try to post pictures to my blog soon (I’m just getting it up and running).
    .-= Elle M.´s last blog ..Our Homeschool Story =-.

  38. We have girls that are twins age 7 and a son age 3. We move a lot and last summer while in a temporary house, our son wanted to sleep with our girls. Everyone was happy with this arrangement and it worked so well for us that when we got our next house (which has no closets) we made one bedroom a dressing room with everyone’s clothes and put the kids in together. We bought a very simple wooden bunk bed (Ikea) and with minor adustments, he made the bottom to fit queen size mattress. For decorating, we use plain wood (shelving, castle, bed), a few off white kid sized sofas and a canvas book holder. There is a white rug and matisse bedcovers, all very neutral. We went with a castle theme and I have great pillows that have a medieval look to them that are tan/brown. All the books in the book holder are about the middle ages, knights, castles and princesses. We have a few neutral pale yellow buckets with castle items in them (crowns, princess hats, swords, figures for the castle-all soft and natural colors). The castle theme is a great gender neutral theme since all kids seem to adore castles and knights and princesses go so well together! For storage each child has 1 basket on the shelves to keep a few favorite items in. How long will this last? I’m not sure but we hope some day to sail around the world and quarters will be tight, I imagine we will try to do this until then so they will be used to living in a smaller space. Thanks for this post, it’s wonderful!

  39. HanaJean says:

    Our boys share a room and have since my youngest started crawling out of his crib at 15 months. They are 2 and 5 years old. We have 4 bedrooms but decided that the downstairs bedroom, which should be the master, was better utilized as a play room until we no longer have little people crawling into our bed at night. So my husband and I set up in the largest of the 3 upstairs bedrooms. The smallest is the nursery which is were the crib, that our newest baby due this fall will not be sleeping in, will be located. Right now it is a guest room/sick room. The boys have the second biggest bedroom, I think it is 10×12. They each have a twin bed, but we have talked about two bunk beds, this would provide room for more potential children of ours or for sleep over accomodations. We have a plan for them each have underbed storage, eventually, for clothing, whichever they prefer and will eliminate a large piece of furniture from the room. Their room is mainly used for sleeping. They can play in there if they wish, but we do not store toys in their bedroom. I have noticed if their bedroom is a wreck with toys they often spill out into the hall and the stairs. Bedtime becomes a difficulty and so does walking through without sore feet. So the toys stay, for the most part, in the play room, which is what a play room is for. They have a large basket of books that they share in their room. And currently storage it taken care of with a LARGE 3 drawer dresser. One drawer for each boy and the top drawer holds linens for their beds. They also have a 2x6x8 closet, it has two bars, one low enough for the 2 year old to reach his own clothing and the top bar is low enough for the 5 year old to reach but high enough to be out of the reach of the 2 year old. The plan is to put a shelf above each bar for more storage and personal space, but for now it isn’t needed. They keep all their stuffed animals in their room, most are in a small stuffed animal hammock but they can each keep as many on their beds as they like. It works very well for us, so far. We will adapt the room to the children and their needs as they grow.
    Decorating has been very simple. We use rainbow colors in the nursery and kids room. Not RAINBOWS, rainbow colors, we use primary and secondary colors for the curtains and bedspreads. I make the curtains and spreads by quilting brightly colored fabrics of my and the children’s choosing. Right now they have very childlike patterns, but as they grow they can pick more modern or mature patterns and shades. Two walls will be yellow, as the 5 year old has asked for yellow walls, and the 2 year old has yet to chime in on a color preference for his two walls. This, I think will give them some control over their own individual part of this shared space.

  40. I always shared a room growing up. My kids (3.5 and 2 – both girls) share a room too . They love it so far.
    I pay a lot of emphasis on sharing – but I will be sensitive as they grow up – if there is a real reason for them to have space I will let them have their own rooms. As I got older, I felt I needed my own room just so that I could express my personality more.

  41. my two kids — daughter, age 6; and son, age 2.5 — share a room, and for us it had worked out beautifully.
    we have a small three bedroom house. the kids’ bedroom is *tiny* though, so we’ve got some awesome bunk beds (with desk, drawers, and shelves built in) there, and that’s about it. just the beds, and their clothes, which are in the shared closet (two rods — one upper, one lower — for hanging) and the drawers in the bed.

    almost all of their toys, books, dress-up things, etc are in the shared playroom.

    the bedroom is mostly just for sleeping, so even though it is small, it works just fine! the kids enjoy sharing a room, and their sleep schedules are similar so that isn’t an issue.
    we definitely encourage sharing of most of the toys, besides a few special items.

    as they get older, we will probably choose to give them each their own space, but continue to have a shared playroom/family room (once we finish the basement!)

    i’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments!

  42. My 2 boys (3.5 & 1) share a 10 x 10 room. I took the doors off the closet, which makes accessing everything easier. There’s a small dresser in the closet & a large dresser in the room. One wall has the single bed, the other wall has the crib. The only toys they keep in there is a bin of stuffed animals & whatever animals are on their beds. I store the next size up clothing in a tub under the crib for now, just for easy access. I have 3 IKEA shelves that store about 5 books each. I’ve got a few things hung on the wall for decoration but that’s it. Simple. There’s enough open floor space for them to play around in there, but I’ve yet to see them bring toys from the living room into their bedroom.

    Once they’re older, I’m not sure if I’ll do the bunk bed or just 2 twin beds. Not thrilled about the idea of changing sheets on a top bunk & what if neither of them likes sleeping up there?

    Sleep is our biggest challenge, by far. My older son finally sleeps through the night while the baby doesn’t. He’s up all the time. The older boy doesn’t wake up but I can tell he doesn’t get “good” sleep either.

    Great post!

  43. My almost 12 and almost 16 year old have shared a room for a long time. The problem is, they have outgrown everything. The room is really only big enough for twin beds, their dressers are small, the closet is small. They dont have a lot of clothes or shoes. The only “toy” they have in the room is my youngests’ LEGOS – and he has stopped playing with them because he has no room. I dont really know what to do about it all. It worked great when they were little – even when one got big and the other was little, it worked! Any advice

  44. Krystal Moriset says:

    My children are 8 and 6 almost 7. The eldest is a girl and the youngest is a boy. Right now, they have their own rooms, but they have shared in the past multiple times. We are currently pregnant with a 3rd, a boy, expected due date June 22nd. We plan to have the baby sleep in the office/guest room for the first 2 years or so. After that we thought about putting him in with the older boy. That would make the combination 9 years old and 2 years old. Any one have any suggestions weather this would be a good or bad idea? And how to make it work.

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