How To Help Siblings Share a Bedroom
How To Help Siblings Share a Bedroom
Sharing a room with a sibling can be an “aww”-inspiring time of bonding… or it can be a disaster if personalities clash. We checked in with parents in the Naturepedic family to get tips and tricks about how to help your kids share a room so everyone can co-exist peacefully (mostly).
Benefits of Siblings Sharing a Room
We won’t say it goes off without a hitch, but room sharing between siblings usually works out if their personalities align. Our readers chimed in with some of the benefits they’ve seen from room sharing.
“We just moved our toddler into his sister’s room. She’s happy - it was her idea! He doesn’t have to sleep alone, so he’s happy; though he still makes it back into our bed some nights.” -Cat G.
“My five and six year olds share a room, and they have since they were three and four. Sharing a room frees up another room for a home gym! We keep clothes, dress up, stuffed animals, etc. in their room, and other toys in the playroom. They show no sign of wanting to stop anytime soon, and it makes bedtime a breeze.” -Nicole S.
“I don’t like being alone. I shared a room with my sister and loved having someone in the room with me, especially while sleeping. Also, kids will theoretically learn to compromise and how to live with someone easier.” -Misty W.
“I love having both my babies full of love in the same place, they both get to hear the same bedtime stories, and my oldest loves having her sister in her room so she doesn’t feel alone.” -Pippa Y.
"In our family we have had our children from ages (2,5, & 11 until 4, 7, 12) share a trailer bunkhouse when we traveled the country for two years. It has allowed them to respect boundaries with one another. They are attentive with each others needs and can figure out solutions if they get on each others nerves. The bond they have and continue to create as the two youngest share space still, is priceless!" -Denise M..
Challenges of Siblings Sharing a Room
Of course, sharing a room isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Having two or more children occupy the same space can cause some trials and tribulations.
“Kids are, by nature, territorial creatures. There is a reason why ‘Mine!’ is one of the first full sentences a toddler masters.” -Meg R.
“There are good days and bad days. I would say one of the biggest cons is when everyone is misbehaving and needs their own space. You can’t send them all to their room, because it doesn’t solve the problem.” Michelle H.
“Major con: when someone doesn’t sleep through the night… none of them sleep through the night. Therefore, mom doesn’t sleep through the night.” -Chastity N.
“My girls want to share, but it would end in late playtime and my youngest isn’t out of a crib yet. I’ll be experimenting eventually because baby #3 is on the way.” -Andrea H.
Kids Need Their Own Space
Even when they share a room, it is of utmost importance that each child has a space to call their own. They need an area that is off-limits to the other sibling(s) and is a place they can go to calm down or do an activity where they feel safe and secure. This area could be a play tent, a special area rug, or even each child’s own bed. When you spend a lot of time with one person in a space, tensions can run high if there’s no outlet for private venting and alone time - the same is true for children!
“Separate space is important. As a kid sharing a room with my sister, I never felt like I had a space that was only mine. So even if it's one corner of the room or one chair a child can call their own, they need that. To cut down on fights between us, mom came up with a genius idea: tattletale books. She gave us both a journal and told us to write down anything that didn't involve someone getting hurt, and she'd read it later. This way we could vent about our fights privately and move on.” -Misty W.
“If you have to room-share, it is super important that each kid have their own space. Curtains, rugs, colors - give them a spot that is theirs.” -Meg R.
“Out of necessity, we have two older girls and our toddler boy in a room together. We’ve divided the room and given them the master since it’s a feat to fit them all in one space. Our boy has a loft bed with dressers, so he has his own space. The girls share a bunk bed on the opposite side of the room and they share a dresser.” -Lydia R.
“As a kid I didn’t have a room or any space of my own, so it’s really important for each child to have a space that is 100% all theirs. I felt like I didn’t deserve a room or anything that was just mine, and that has affected me as an adult.” -Totiania R.
"Let each child have a section of the room to claim as theirs, to help with feeling settled and having ownership." -Rebecca M.
How Age and Gender Affect Sharing Rooms
The short version is… they don’t necessarily affect how well a room sharing situation works out. It’s much more about personality and how well the siblings get along. If the children feel good about sharing a space with their sibling, it’s usually okay to have the kids share a room even if there is a bigger age gap or different genders.
“My brother and sister chose to share a room until she was in junior high and he was about nine. He even had his own room but refused to sleep there, because they both liked having someone close and someone to talk to.” -Maggie M.
“The decision to room share depends on the child’s personality. For smaller kids, gender isn’t a relevant factor in deciding who shares what room - personality is far more important. This is why our teen daughter, who is more nurturing, almost always shares a room with our eight year old son, who needs to be nurtured, when she visits. In contrast, our teen son is a loner and hates sharing personal space.” -Meg R.
Do Your Kids Share a Room?
We’re eager to hear about your experiences with siblings sharing a room. Tell us the good, the bad, and the ugly.