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Siblings Sharing Rooms

In most families, siblings will share rooms for at least a short while in their growing up years.  Some siblings don’t get their own room until they fly the coop for good!  Get ready – this is one of those “audience participation” posts.

I put up a few ideas and then you readers are encouraged to comment on what I’ve posted and especially to add your own suggestions – whatever worked and DIDN’T work.  There are probably as many different ways to help siblings successfully share rooms as there are people who read this blog, so I’m excited.  Ready?

I shared a room with my sister when she was a baby.  I was a little less than completely thrilled, but I was four and I had no say in the matter.  The most glorious day of my young life to that point was the day I got my own room.    I got my dad’s old den with the brown and rust shag carpet.  Before that, can’t comment much on my parents’ methods for helping us get along.  I do remember enduring a few nights when nobody could find the pacifier for my sister.  Those were some long nights.

My daughters have all shared rooms in some form or another until a few months ago.  We moved to a larger home and each now have their own bedrooms.  However, we have had many years finding ways to share and have peace.  They even all three shared a room for about six months while we stripped down two rooms in our old house to create a bedroom for our oldest.  That was something.  A set of bunk beds and a twin, along with three dressers and one tiny closet.  I guess that will prepare them someday for dorm life.

When the girls were smaller, I tried to give equitable space for each kid regarding toys, clothing, closet space, and sleeping/lounging.  The bunk bed made it tough to hang out on the top, so we worked it out so the top bunk kid could have some space on the bottom bunk to sit.  Also, they were both responsible for keeping the common area picked up.

The arrangements were sometimes tough because the rooms were small.  What was even tougher was managing naps and time outs.  I often found other places for the “in trouble kid” to be if their room was being used by its other occupant.  Sometimes this was the main bathroom, a corner of the kitchen, a wall near the front door, or our master bedroom.

I was lucky that our two kids that shared, whoever they were at the time, were usually close enough in age they could have the same bedtime.  That cut down on trying to be super sneaky when one would have been asleep, or worse, trying to get out of bed a lot.  I also tried to keep a sick kid out on the pull-out bed with me if possible.  Usually, that was only necessary the first night or two when I’d be checking on temps, treating a persistent cough, or dealing with the throw-ups.  Thankfully, all my kids were pretty good sleepers once they were asleep for a while into the night.  The occassional disruption from illness or something else wasn’t a big deal.

When we announced that everyone would have their own bedroom, the girls were super excited.  But the younger two were also a little sad.  They were so used to each other being together, they were going to miss each other being close when they went to sleep.  Wisely, we put them in the bedrooms directly across the hall from each other and they get to share a bathroom.  Maybe they won’t miss each other so much as they grow older, but I was glad they had actually found the room sharing to be a good experience.

Alright readers, those are a few of my thoughts on room sharing.  You folks with kids of different genders, teenagers, and various sized houses may have some really unique solutions to the usual dilemmas.  I’m anxious to hear them, and I’m sure some families facing room challenges will appreciate some new ideas, too.

What have you done that has worked well?  What have you done that has bombed?  What would you differently?  How did you handle sharing a room when you were growing up?

Siblings Sharing Rooms


Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.


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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Siblings Sharing Rooms. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/family/2010/01/siblings-sharing-rooms/

 

Last updated: 9 Jan 2010
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.