If you have siblings, you probably shared a room growing up and may have some fond memories of that time. Somewhere along the line as families started shrinking and suburbia took over with its McMansions, sharing a room became a sign of not having enough space. But the truth is that separate bedrooms for siblings aren’t necessary: Most children actually benefit from sharing a room and enjoy the feeling of togetherness.
Young Kids Don’t Need Privacy
As adults, we love having our own space and just assume that children want this as well but, in fact, “Sharing a room teaches kids how to share and respect private space. Those are related issues, but different,” explains Russell Hyken, an educational diagnostician, psychotherapist and creator of Educational+Psychotherapy Services, LLC. “You need those skills in life. They’re good to learn at an early age with natural consequences.”
While young kids don’t need privacy in the same way that adults do, they do still need their own personal space, so be sure to designate an area of the room for each child as their special place. This can easily be accomplished with a bed and shelves or drawers for them to store the things that are just theirs and not to share. If you are merging two kids into one room, consider redecorating (as simple as a new coat of paint and linens) it so it feels like a new space that belongs to both children.
Even if your children have different bedtimes, sharing a room can still work well. Just put the child to bed who has the earlier bedtime first, enjoy some one-on-one time with the other child until that child is ready to go sleep and send the child quietly into the shared room.
You may have to get creative with naptimes to keep your children from staying up and playing the whole time. Perhaps you can set up a cot in your own bedroom or living room for one child while the lighter sleeper gets the bedroom for naptime. Child care facilities regularly have 20 children taking naps in the same room, so we promise you can make this work for your kids at home.
About Bryn Huntpalmer
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas, where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize and nurtures her HGTV obsession. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Decor and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker, Scary Mommy, About.com and on her personal blog Her Own Wings.
Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.
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