Sharing a room with a sibling can be a blessing and a curse. Like everything else in life, it has its pros and cons and often depends on a case-to-case basis. If you’re still undecided but seriously considering having your kids bunk up together, this article is for you. We’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages and share tips on how to make it work.
Ideally, shared bedrooms work best for siblings of the same gender or young age because it’s more likely that they still have similar interests, unlike teenagers who need personal space and demand more privacy.
- It’s a great way to establish independence and boost self-confidence in children.
- They will learn to share and make the most of their minimal space.
- They’ll learn to set and respect each other’s boundaries — or at least there will be opportunities for teachable moments to guide them and create a positive relationship with your kids.
- They will be more empathetic, patient, and understanding of each other.
- They’ll get to know each other better and be closer as they grow up.
- They might be less scared and wake up less in the middle of the night, knowing they have someone there for them.
- There’s more space to keep the family happier at home. This can be particularly useful if you need extra room to work from home or want to create a separate play, craft, or hobby area for the family.
Having siblings share the same bedroom isn’t for everybody. Sometimes, it can be a source of conflict at home and make things difficult for you and your children, especially for those with a stark contrast in personality, a huge age gap, or different special needs.
- There’s the possibility of sleep issues if they have different sleeping habits or behaviors. Does one struggle to go to bed or the other an early riser?
- It can be messy since two kids will be fitting toys and stuff, so you must work twice harder cleaning the bedroom to ensure a good night’s sleep.
- They can get into arguments and quarrels more often.
- This may only be a short-term or temporary setup as it may not be as feasible as they grow older.
Tips to Make it Work
- Carve out a personal space for each child.
Having their own space to recharge is essential for everyone, especially for introverted children. Get separate beds or a bunk bed if space is limited. Install shelf dividers, curtains, or bed canopies to give them a sense of privacy.
- Let them make their own set of house rules.
Encourage your kids to write their likes and dislikes, or dos and don’ts, on a piece of paper, which you can post on the back of their door or wall later. It’s an excellent strategy to teach them about compromise and creating and communicating personal boundaries.
- Make the room a strict quiet area only.
Minimize conflicts by dedicating the bedroom as a space for sleeping, studying, and reading. Playing with toys, watching television, playdates, or hanging out with friends should be done in common living spaces.
- Be patient, especially during the transition phase.
Manage your expectations and give at least three to six weeks before the kids can adjust to the new setup.