When Siblings Have to Share a Room

Lisa and I shared a bedroom for the first 10 years of our life. We had bunk beds (I was on the bottom, she was on the top) and matching white book shelves. I don’t remember having an issue with sharing a room. Then again, I was only 10. I bet the preteen years wouldn’t have been so cordial. Heck, I sometimes have a hard time sharing a room with my husband!

I recently read that there’s lots of benefits to sharing a room with a sibling. For starters, you learn to share space…early on. Nothing forces the art of communication and compromise like a shared room does.

What are the pros and cons of a shared bedroom? What can you do to increase the odds of sibling harmony? There are a few tricks!

Siblings may share a bedroom because of space considerations or comfort. And they may learn skills that help out later in life — such as how to share a dorm room, office space or a marital bedroom, according to the article Siblings Sharing Bedrooms Tips: Ideas to Help Create Peace, Privacy & a Sense of Individuality.”

Sharing a room can also be economical and provide companionship for your children.  On the hand (there’s always another hand) According to the site, Kaboose.com,  the biggest drawback to sharing a room with a brother or sister relates to issues of privacy. Older children care about having time alone as well as space to themselves. Loss of privacy when friends are over can be another source of conflict.

What can you?

The first step is to have a private conversation with each child to discuss their likes, dislikes, needs, problems and desires such as color preferences.

Bunk beds can help maximize space and keep arguments to a minimum because each child has a cool place he can call his own, according to “Siblings Sharing Bedrooms Tips.”

Try to arrange the room in three distinct zones — a zone for each sibling’s activities and belongings and a third zone to be shared, said “Siblings Sharing Bedrooms Tips.”

“Siblings Sharing Bedrooms Tips” said parents can consider giving each child a box that locks to store small treasures; giving each child a shelf close to the each bed if there is not enough room for bedside tables; and giving each child an under-the-bed storage bin on wheels to maximize space.

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