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Monday, November 26, 2012

Do or Don't: Kids sharing a bedroom


While househunting in Brooklyn, we've been seeing both two- and three-bedroom places. Needless to say, the two-bedroom spots are much more affordable. But since we're hoping to have two children, if we get a two-bedroom apartment, they'd have to share a room.

What do you think? My sister and I shared a room for a while, and I liked it; but Alex shared a room with his much older brother for a decade and was always dying for his own space. Should each child have a room to call their own, or is it fun to share? Did you share a room growing up? I'd be so grateful for any advice...

P.S. Smart way to divide a room, and nursery in a closet.

(Photo by Meghan McEwan)

307 comments:

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meet emily said...

my sister and i shared a room until i was 16 and she 17. we were not always getting along. we did not have similar personalities. but in the big picture, we are the best of friends. and we mostly were then, too, looking back on it. i would have hated being alone all the time. i mean what a bummer to go home and be alone, when you could have someone to bug or talk to (you know, depending on your mood). my kids are definitely sharing if they're the same gender. opposite sexes make it a bit more difficult, maybe. i'm not sure yet.

ChalsieN said...

I shared a room with my sister, for about 8 years off and on. My brothers also shared a room off and on as well. My Momma tried putting my brother and sister in the same room (3 year age difference), but they never got along, they were too different in personality.
At first I didn't enjoy sharing with my sister (9 year age difference), and it did seem difficult for most of it, as my little sister took over the room ( I had the top bunk, and a shelf).
Now we are still really close though, even though we fought a lot sharing such close quarters. It was hard at times to distinguish who's stuff was which.
As long as each has their separate 'space' in the room, I think it's fine though. My brothers are closer in age and got along better.
I think the time when they really need space won't be until they are about 12-14. Up until then, they should be able to enjoy sharing at night, even if they may not be always the best of times during the day.
The only situation that could be difficult, or hard to design for is a boy/girl situation. Past the kindergarten, preschool age, I don't know if they would get along very well.
My two cents.
Best of luck.

Sarah said...

My 6 month old son and my almost 3 year old daughter are sharing a room. We just purchased a 2/convertible 3 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. We will eventually convert that room to my son's room; but for now, the two are in the same room. It is really helping to teach my daughter to share her space and be more aware of the needs of others around her. We have had a couple of successful "teamwork" naps (as she calls them), and every night they go to bed at the same time. She's learned to stay quiet because the baby needs his sleep too. And if she really needs to make noise, she gets up quietly and comes to tell us that. It doesn't happen often, and when it does we can usually get her back down pretty quickly and easily. We did have a long talk with her about keeping the baby safe and not throwing her toys in the crib, etc. It's given her a real sense of responsibility that she is very proud of.

Roseann said...

My brother and I shared a room until I was seven and he was ten. By then I was very ready to have my own girly space, and moved into the spare room and painted the walls "fairy princess," a purply-pink color. It was a great coming of age experience (that and getting my ears pierced the same year). I can't imagine having to share a room past then, his room was always messy and mine was always clean. My husband I are looking to buy our first home and even though we are years away from having kids, I'm thinking we should definitely look for a 3 bedroom. As always, thanks for the thought provoking topic, Joanna!

Melanie said...

My 3 1/2 year old and my two year old share a room and I'll admit that it's tough. Things are getting better now, but they used to wake each other up all the time. One day we will buy a bigger house, but for a while they will have to share. My husband and I have thought about what it will be like when we separate them. Sometimes I worry they'll be lonely...

Good luck! If Toby has to share a room with his sibling, he'll be fine. Kids adapt to change so much easier than we do!

saltlakelovely said...

up until age 5-7 I think kids would like it but after that it'll just feel stifling so if you are ok with moving again eventually or even planning on it then I'd go for a 2 bedroom

monica said...

my kids - 4 and 14 - are currently sharing a room. as awful as that sounds, they have become really close and my teenage daughter actually LIKES me reading stories at bedtime. this is temporary though, we will move to a larger house in the spring. but it has been really fun to watch their relationship evolve despite a 10 year age gap. (she is just so awesome... it took 10 years before i even thought of another. he's amazing too.)

good luck!

Mariana said...

My sister and I shared a room for a while (before I was 12 or 13) and before that I shared a room with my 10 years older brother for a few years, too and I liked it (both). I remember so much great stuff that happened while we were sharing bedroom.
I say DO IT! :)

alumpofsugar said...

Same here! LOL I am trying to stifle my laughter in the office.

Cien Pájaros Volando said...

I shared a room with my little brother (3 years younger) for some years and it was completely ok. Of course we had some fights for the space, specially when playing, but I think that's normal. I believe sharing your room teaches you to share your things and that's a great lesson to learn when you are a child. Moreover, I'd always remember my dad telling us stories before going to bed.

I am totally in favor of sharing rooms even if you have plenty of space. Specially during the first years.

monica said...

I shared a room with my sister for 16 years! And she was 10 years older than me! It was freaking awesome! And then she got married and left with half the closet =(

Polly Rowan said...

My sister and I shared a room until we were 7 and 9 and we liked it I think. It's nice sharing when you're young. However I think you definitely need your own space when you're a teenager! I can't imagine having to share a room when we were 15 and 17!

Polly Rowan said...

Also I think it depends whether you have two different genders because that makes it more awkward. They definitely need their own space from the age of 10 then.

Annie Green said...

I don't think small children mind at all. My two shared from a very early age, one boy, one girl. They enjoyed having the company, would chat and sing together and my daughter seemed to love having her bigger brother nattering away and playing in the morning. It gave me a bit of time as well. They didn't often disturb each other (got used to it) and only got their own rooms when we moved to a bigger house. They still shared on holidays until they were about 10 and 12. But a third room would be a great playroom. Happy hunting.

lizziedoesit said...

my kids have always shared a room. they're only four and two but they don't mind yet. thats just how things are. i do plan on moving into a three-four bedroom in the future... but i feel i still have years for that. i feel they can share a room until my son is eight or nine? its just expensive when you're renting. specially in new york or even l.a., where we live. i do try to keep it unisex in their room, no cartoon characters of any kind. no pinks or blues, there's kid art in the room and vintage alphabet on the room. good luck! i'd love to see how you decorate a shared room :)

Muddling Along said...

Definitely share - but bunk beds so they have a bit of privacy (we're about to make some toile curtains for the lower bunk to give her a little den in there)

Robyn said...

At one time or another, all of our 3 kids have shared rooms. Right now, our daughter (middle child) has her own room and my two boys (3 and 9) share a room. Sometimes we rearrange to give my daughter the "opportunity" to have her little brother in her room with her - and give my oldest a break. We try to make up for the things our oldest misses like staying up late reading in bed by occasionally treating him to late nights reading in our bed, for example. Our kids are learning valuable lessons from sharing their space - patience, tolerance, flexibility, sharing... They are very close and enjoy each other's company, in part because they have no choice!

isabel said...

i love that wall paper!

i didn't share a room with my sister. but if i had to i wouldn't have mind, i guess..

www.mamajulesbrussels.blogspot.com

MamaD4 said...

We are a military family and move frequently. So far, we've had one place (and it was military-provided) that had enough bedrooms for our three kids. We live in a higher-end neighborhood for the time being (for the school), so we went with a three-bedroom. The boys are sharing (ages 3 and 8-1/2), but I know that wherever the Navy sends us next he absolutely must have his own room. I feel like 10 is the magic age. It's already getting difficult because he likes to stay up and read and it keeps the little one up (headlamp or no), which makes the little one cranky the next day. Our oldest doesn't complain about annoying little brothers, so they genuinely like being together, but the next house will have a bedroom for him. He's getting older and needs privacy. If you can swing it, I think three bedrooms is better. If you end up having two boys who love to share, you have a guest room or a great playroom space. Right? We're talking about super-cheap NYC real estate here!! ; )

milicacello said...

Oh I loved sharing a room with my older sister!At some point we had separate rooms,but eventually we decided to share again,we missed our "bed time" so much.It required some good parenting once in awhile ,but definitely made us closer.Good luck!

Maria Lundell-Frandsen said...

I have a girl of 7 and a boy near 6 (14 mnths apart) sharing bedroom and it works great! I don't think them being of different sexes matters at all, they come up with the best ideas all the time, playing with Cars and Pet Shops and a garage and little ponies in a mix! They're inseparable, playing all the time and seriously - how much time to they spend in their room anyway? They spread out their stuff and toys all over the apartment so I feel that they live all over the place anyway! :-)
Plan is to give them separate spaces around 9, 10 something.
Good luck!!! :-)

ottoyannablog said...

Who will jump over the two?

Jenny Rosenthal said...

Hi Joanna,

We're sort of in a similar situation. Right now we live in Manhattan, in a two bedroom. My husband has two sons from a previous marriage who stay with us on the weekends, and we have a baby boy who should be arriving in the next few weeks. Most of the time, it will be ok, since it's only the weekend, and their all boys...but still, we want the kids to have a bit more of their own space. Also, we really are hoping to have another one, so we will need lots of space. We are just now starting to look at places in Brooklyn for the same reasons you guys are (more space for the money).

Anyway, we are actually looking at brownstones. It seems that for nearly the same price as a 3-room doorman building, you can get a brownstone (with 6 or more rooms...and realistically we need at least 4).

Have you thought about that as an option? We were thinking we could rent one floor out and still have lots of extra space.

We are also thinking that when we move, it'll be permanent, so we really want the space to grow.

Just my two cents. :-)

Happy apartment hunting!!

Ms. Magpie said...

I love the idea of siblings sharing a room, but what if Baby #2 is a girl? I don't think she'll appreciate it when she gets older and wants her own space!

Brooklynbee said...

You could probably resolve this issue by moving somewhere other than Brooklyn! I'm not knocking Brooklyn, I lived there for 10 years, but it's very expensive.

splashduck said...

Hi Joanna, I just found your blog and enjoyed my visit. Found you on Pinterest too and borrowed some of your cool pins. Rob G:)

Jimmy said...

I don't know about whether kids "should" get their own room. It might be nice, but I don't think it is a reasonable expectation considering the cost of space (unless they are paying for it).

I shared a room with at least one or two siblings at all times growing up. I loved it. But I was also the youngest in the room, so every night was an exciting sleepover with my big brothers, who might not have shared my eagerness of the situation. That said, I only know of a few people who grew up sharing a room and dont look back on the time with fond memories. It is a great time to bond with siblings and to learn to share your "own" space. It's also very comforting for the little ones.

We're sharing a one bedroom with out two kids. The solution so far has been to create "mini rooms" for each of them. http://www.thebookofjimmy.com/bedroom-build-out-drafting/

joana said...

i shared a room with my little sister until i was about 13 or 14. it makes sense to me, and i think it's good for kids, to share your bedroom, for so many reasons: to learn how to share, how to be sensitive to another person's habits, and also to encourage a close relationship between siblings. but i also think that from a certain age on it's important to have your own space. for studying, for writing, for gazing at the ceiling, for crying... learn about yourself, decorate the way you want... i think my parents were very smart and practical :) the moment they felt i was changing, when i stopped playing with dolls (yes, i stopped playing with dolls when i was 14!), they realized it made no sense to have a play room and one bedroom for the both of us. and we are the closest people in the world today :)

Ecotruism said...

Go for the 3 Bedroom, if you plan to be in your house for a long time - you could always use it as an office if you decided to have your kids share - it gives you flexibility!

Abby said...

My older sisters are twins, so for some reason my parents made them share, and gave me a room all to myself! I was the youngest by 7 years and scared to be in my room alone so for much of my childhood would sneak into bed with one of my sisters at night. I don't think it's a big deal to share a room but maybe more of an issue if your next kiddo's a girl!

Ellen said...

I adored sharing a room with my sister who is two years older than me. Although we had our rough patches, I think we both learned such valuable lessons and now look back on that time fondly. The success of it may have to do with age difference and gender considerations. I can't imagine if my older sibling were a boy I would have been as happy. Also, if there is too much age difference that may be tough for all involved. Happy hunting!

Liesel said...

Do. My sister and I shared and I truly think it had a hand in making us as close as we are today. She's four years older and always included me in everything, even when she was a teenager. We viewed each other as accomplices, best friends, built in companions. We had to share everything and get along while doing it. I think it's in how the parents handle it also. Later, we had our own rooms but those formative years, wow. I have to think they had a big impact. I have a home with plenty of room but my kids will share, at least when they are small.

Barbara said...

My 3 nieces (ages 9, 8 and 6 1/2) share a room, even though their house has enough bedrooms for each girl to get her own room. They love it.

plch said...

plenty of siblings of the opposite sex share rooms withoutnegative effects, I don't think it's so important.

Nina said...

My sister and I shared a room for awhile. She is 4 years older than I. Even when we had our own rooms, we still slept together a lot - she was scared of spiders and I was scared of robbers.

angela said...

I shared a room with my brother until i was seven and my much older sister went to college, and I have nothing but fond memories of building forts, staying close when it stormed, and those types of things. i think that we were closest when we shared that room than at any other point in our childhood. Now, my boys share a room, and I wouldn't have it any other way. They are (ages 2 & 4) the best of friends. Since we don't have a playroom and they have similar interests, there is no fighting over what toys stay in each room- They share everything! It also helps them feel secure at night to be together which is really sweet!

newyorknonsense said...

New York kids sharing a room is so much more common place and accepted. I did it my whole life with my 5-years younger sister (no closet!) and although at times it was tough, we made it work. You just gotta do what you gotta do to make it in New York when you don't have an unlimited budget. They'll eventually be so busy with school and after-school activities that the room will just become a place to sleep as opposed to hanging out.

Bruna Alves said...

I shared a room with my younger brother. It was ok when we were young, but as I got older, around 11 or 12, I began to need my own space! We have a 5 year age difference so as I matured he became an obnoxious annoying brother. I liked my things neat, and well, he is a boy, so his things were a mess and I also had always wanted to have my own things and decorate my room, along with other things that started to bug me. Than my parents separated us,(happiest day of my life)!
Maybe if I had a sister it would have been different. I think that you should take that into consideration. If Toby has a sister, in my opinion, it would be better for them to have separate rooms, at least after they have grown and have different interests, but if its a little brother, it would be nice for them to share. :)

ps.: I absolutely love your blog

Emily said...

I think it depends on whether your second child is a boy or a girl and how long you plan to live in the new house. I'm one of four kids and grew up in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house, so my two older brothers shared a room, and my younger brother and I shared a room. Privacy simply didn't exist, so sharing a bedroom was no big deal. We definitely had an invisible line down the middle of the room when it came to decor (me: Little Mermaid poster, him: Power Rangers), but I have fond memories. That being said we moved to a bigger house when I was 10 so I could have my own room - I was about to hit puberty and it was getting a little weird.

The Mickelsens said...

My children 2 & $ feel the same way...They have been sharing since the second was first born. When we moved to a bigger house they didn't understand why they should be apart when we offered them their own rooms. They are opposite sexes, but share a bunk bed. I have another baby on the way and they want the baby to be in their room too, so we have the crib in their too now. With all the beds there's not much space, but they love it. I love it too, especially in the mornings when I can hear them waking up and giggling to one another. Now we just have a third bedroom that no one sleeps in permanetnly, but has been nice to make into a guest/sewing/storage room! It will most likely change when they become older, but I love how much they love being with each other.

Rachel S said...

We currently live in a 2 bedroom and are expecting baby #2. We're looking to move to a 3 bedroom soon after the baby is born. I just can't see how it could work for us to have a baby and toddler sharing a room. I have no problem with older kids sharing a room (maybe after age 3 or 4??) but the thought of trying to keep two so young asleep in the same room just seems like a nightmare. I know people do it, but I don't know how. I can just imagine the baby waking the toddler and the toddler disturbing the baby and none of us getting a good sleep. We'll keep our newborn in our bedroom with us until we move.

Amanda said...

I shared a room with my younger sister until I was 12. I never really minded it, because it never occurred to me it could be any other way. We definitely had our fights, but it was also nice to fall asleep in the same room... it was hard to fall asleep for the first few weeks when we finally got our own rooms. My parents did divide our room using bunk beds once I was 10 or so. A bunkbed in the middle of the room with particle board "walls" on opposite sides (so each of us could only get into our bed from one side of the room). Hard to explain, but genius for giving me a little more privacy with my friends.

Mad Max and Family said...

I only have one younger sister (5 years apart)...and we always had our own rooms. I couldn't imagine sharing a room with her since our age difference was a lot (for kids). It would be easy to share a room with her as adults! We are kind of in the same place. We have a 2 Bedroom townhome, and now we have a little boy (22 months) and a newborn. They'll be sharing the room for about 2 more years, but after that we are moving to a 3 bedroom. A boy and girl could share a room while they are young, but it becomes problematic when they are older (of the opposite sex). Also our 2nd bedroom is very small, so it doesn't work for bigger kids.

Good luck! Love Brooklyn!

-Tara

http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com

cutandsewblog said...

I shared room with my sisters, as I am in the middle, first with the older and then with the younger. granted it was a pretty big room (and we grew up in a big flat, so there was always space) but I think its fun and good to share. It was nice not being alone even though we of course argued at times as well.

Kinda surprises me that people wouldn't put kids in the same room if they were of opposite sexes, can someone tell me why? I

Antoinette Marie said...

I shared a room with my sister for many years until we moved into the country and out of our close-to-city home. It was amazing. We still talk about our matching bedspreads and bouncing around with each other. I think it's a safe bet until about age 10. best of luck!

Jo Meszoly said...

If you can swing 3 rooms, get it but consider bunking the kids together. We have a spare bedroom but stuff all three kids (7 yr old boy, and 5 and 2 yr old girls) in one room. It's always been that way. They've learned to sleep through anything and work out their differences. They seem to like it, but frankly... they don't know there's an option... they assume the spare room is for guests!

iyouandme said...

I shared a room growing up. My sister and I shared a room and my two brothers shared a room, despite having enough rooms in the house for each of us to have our own. And I do remember wanting my own space especially as I got older. But looking back on it, I also appreciated that my parents had us share rooms because I feel like my sister and I have a really close relationship because of it.

I also lived in Japan for a little bit in elementary school. Then my youngest brother was still a baby so he would sleep in a crib in my parents' room. Again, we had enough rooms back then for each of us to have our own but since we were younger, my parents had us share. We had 2 rooms for the kids. One was the bedroom/playroom. The other was our study. So the three of us would share 2 rooms. It was really nice because when one of us needed to do homework, we still had our own quiet space while the others played in the bedroom. When I have kids, I think I would love to do what my parents did in Japan, at least while my kids are still young. One room will be the playroom/bedroom. And the other would be a study.

SidwellA said...

My brother and I shared a room when we were young. My parents later moved to a larger house with the intention of us having our own rooms. We ended up in the same bunkbeds for the next 4 years (until I got to about 11 and wanted to have girly sleepovers!) I'm not sure whether this has anything to with us being as close as we are now, but I think it must have helped someway!

SidwellA said...

I shared a room with my brother as a young child. My parents later moved to a new house with the intention of us having our own rooms. We couldn't quite get over not having bunk beds though and ended up sharing the same room anyway until I got to about 11 and wanted girly sleepovers every weekend! We're so close now, and I can only think that sharing bed time stories & waking up with each other every Christmas to secretly open presents had something to do with it!!

Charlotte Maytham-Klassen said...

My sister and I asked to share rooms. We used my room for a playroom. It worked really well until the teen years.

Is that wallpaper in the picture? I love it!

Bethany said...

I shared a room with my sister who is 18 months younger than me. We went in wavs of fighting and loving it. But it made us closer. Even after we had our own rooms we often snuck back into the same room in the middle of the night and slept in one bed. I think it's a great bonding experience and unless one child has radically different sleeping patterns that keep the other one awake (this happened with my nieces) I think sharing a room is great. I think once you hit the tween/teen years you need your own space but until then it's nice to share.

Reader said...

My babes share a room and they both sleep like champs and they are best friends. They are a girl 2.5 years and a boy 1 year. They have shared from the first week we brought my son home from the hospital and they were both in cribs. We had to "separate" them by placing a toy/book shelf down the center of the room so they wouldn't egg each other on, and now they generally don't wake each other. They go to sleep only 1 hour apart, and they wake at the same time. Now that my girl is in a big kid bed, she still does not climb out and harass her brother, because sharing a room and sleeping together is normal and all she has ever remembered. I hope to keep them together until my daughter starts to hit the tweens, at which point separating them will probably be the right thing to do. So I say share, and even if Toby has a sister, you have another decade to worry about moving to a place with a 3rd bedroom.

Kristen Huntington said...

We have a 5-bedroom house and 3 kids (boys: 7 & 4, and a girl 2). The boys have always shared a room (their choice) with our daughter in her own room, but recently they've been insisting on all sleeping in the same room. They LOVE it-and bizarrly, it seems to work.

On a side-note, I grew up sharing a room with my brother (until I was about 11) and have fond memories of chatting back and forth as we fell asleep, each from our own bed. I credit our closeness as adults, in part, to our having shared a room as children.

Slayla said...

I think if possible, it is good for children to have their own rooms. Privacy and the power of choice are also character-building.

michelle said...

I have three small children and they all share a room. My two oldest are girls and share a bunk bed (ages 5 and 3) and my son sleeps in a crib (he's 1.5). I'm pregnant with our fourth (and final!) child and my plan is for all FOUR to share a room.

At first, the baby will be with us in our bedroom for night feedings and then I'll move him/her into the crib and my husband will build a trundle bed that will go under the bunk bed for my son.

I know all four can't share a room forever, we have a three bedroom house and I prefer to have all the toys/books in one small room and to have their beds/clothing in another room. It makes it easier for our family.

As far as concern with sleep habits with small children: yes, it is tough when you first bring a baby into the nursery. The baby cries at night sometimes and it takes time. Until the baby was used to the crib, we had our older children sleep in their sleeping bags in another room. Our older children loved it. Then once the baby was sleeping comfortably (usually took a week), we had the older kids move back to their beds. Now our older children sleep through the baby's cries and because the "baby" is now a few months from turning two, they all are used to each other's sounds.

Eventually, my plan is to have my older two girls share a room and my younger two share a room. I shared a room my entire life, as did my husband. I think it's great.

Natasha Leigh said...

I shared a room with my two siblings until I was about 12 and continued to share until I was 15 or so. It was a squeeze, but it helped us to get along and everything.

HannahT said...

I was one of three girls and we lived in a three bedroom house. We would rotate once or twice a year so each of us had our own room for a little. My three boy cousins also rotated like this -- while their only sister always had her own room because she was THE GIRL... and I bet changing the pink room decor every few months would have been a headache...

Mama Smith said...

I have been thinking so much about this! We are in a two bedroom and cant afford to upgrade, so when we have a second child they will have to share. I think it's really important and creates a special relationship between the kids, but I am really worried about establishing a good sleep schedule for #2 and really need to do some reading on it.

If you discover any good resources or tips please share them!

xox Lilly

Alexandra said...

I'm the middle daughter of three, so I almost always shared a room with one sister or another when I was a kid. I loved it, honestly! I think that it really taught us how to get along with each other - even the hard parts, the hard times - and by extension with other people. We had to be considerate of each other's space and stuff (the "rules" varied depending on how old we were and what we considered important in our little kid-world), honestly even creating those "rules" and boundaries was a very good experience, just needing to organically create a little social contract even without realizing it.

Now, my fiance's two boys (3 and 6) share a bedroom at his house but not at their mother's house. They always tell me that the shared room is "cooler" and more fun, haha. It does make bedtime a bit harder because they are just kind of two different bedtime ages and yet they're not far enough apart that you can really stagger them, so someone is always going to bed earlier or later than is ideal but oh well.

Really, every kid having their own room is a fairly recent phenomenon and I think it's kind of an unrealistic expectation for most families. I think that people give up a lot of things - time, money, experiences - chasing a "standard" that is not actually often attainable or sustainable.

Grover said...

My daughters shared a room (and still do when my oldest comes home from college) and I feel it was good for them and good for kids in general. It teaches them to respect other people's space and belongings, it taught them how to work together to solve space issues and come to compromises or unique solutions. When my oldest went to college, living in her small dorm room with her roommate was easier for her than other students who grew up in their own room.

lewis said...

It really depends on the individual children. Extroverted children probably love sharing rooms. They recharge by being around people. But an introverted child needs his or her own space. They need to be alone to recharge. So even if your children end up sharing a room, if one or both are introverts, make sure that they have a space that is just for them. Even if it's a closet. Or a curtain or bookshelf separating a room. And maybe sound-canceling headphones.

I highly recommend reading The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney ( http://www.amazon.com/Introvert-Advantage-Thrive-Extrovert-World/dp/0761123695 ). Even if your children aren't introverts. It will help you learn how to interact with all of the introverts in your life (maybe you are, too?) and help you teach your children how to as well.

Seriously. It's changed my life.

KR said...

We have 3 little boys and 1 baby boy. The 3 littles share a room with bunk beds and they love it! The baby boy has his own nursery now but will move in with his big brothers once he's in a bed. As long as they are enjoying it then we will keep it that way - however we do have the space so that they can all have their own bedrooms when they get older and need privacy. My sister and I shared a room as little girls but got our own rooms once we reached pre-teen years. That was perfect.

Sarah M. said...

I shared a room with my sister from the day she was born until I was almost 26. We are 20 months apart. I think that while we were little it was fun because we played together. As we got older, it was tough. I think at a certain point you need privacy and alone time that only having your own room can offer. We always seemed to be in each others way and fought A LOT! I think it's fine while kids are young. But preteen years, I think kids need to have their own space.

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

My two sisters and I each had our own rooms but we always ended up sleeping together!

Trish said...

When my school aged boys had to share a room, I was actually told by a professional that "if I couldn't afford them, I should give them up". Yes, for no other reason than the room sharing!! Although for generations past, and in foreign countries currently, children shared rooms. To this day, my blood pressure goes up anytime I hear about room-sharing. Sorry. I only mention this to tell you the attitude you may run into; it's certainly not my opinion.

eKim said...

My sister and I are a year and a half apart and liked sharing a room with her up until middle school. At that point I wanted my own space. I wanted to shut the door w/out having anyone barging in, I wanted my own closet and even have the ability to hang up posters w/out having to consult with anyone else.

kimsukie said...

I shared my room with my (2.5 year older) brother for a few years when really little, then we had our own rooms when we were 6 and 8. I'm currently trying to get my 6 month old and 3 year old in the same room and every night one ends up with me. I think it's nice, but it's handy to have extra space when getting a little one to sleep through the night because mine is a total disaster.

Charisse said...

My boys (3 & 5yo) share a room. They are very close, thick-as-thieves I like to say. I figured that for most people, if you're lucky, you'll share a room with someone for most of your life: sibling when you're young, then husband/wife when you are an adult. Sharing is a life skill. Maybe it's easier for my boys because they are so close in age though...

Ev'alapêche said...

We're four children, 2 girls,2 boys. I shared a room with my sister for ages...and it never works. I think we are too much different...and we both wanted to have our own room, especially when we became teenagers and now young adult.My mother accepted and now it's much better.We spent more times together,watching movies or talking until 2am because we now, if we "feed up of each other" we can retire to our own room.
In fact I think it really depend of the how are the kids.Maybe the best is to have a try, to see if the kids are ok with sharing a room...

Sammi said...

Bare in mind you could have a little girl the second time around. I can see that becoming complicated in teen years if they were sharing a room! X

Ms. Shypoke said...

My brother and I shared a bedroom until I was about 12 years old.. and he was about 10. I remember in most of our homes.. we had a bedroom where we would sleep.. and there was a "guest/playroom".. so we both could be in separate spaces. Me being a girl and him being a boy never seemed to be a problem at those earlier ages... After age 12 I would think you would want separate rooms... no matter what.

Apettifor said...

We have 3 bedrooms but just moved our 2 year old in with our 6 year old to simplify bedtime! We put them in a bunkbed and they seems to like it-- so far. My daughter (who is 6) still thinks the room is hers and is good at kicking her younger brother out of the room. I am guessing at some point in the future we will move them back into their own rooms (nice to have that option I guess) but for now I think having to share is good for them (I shared with my younger brother until I was about 8). It also has made bedtime so much easier- before we were running up and down the hall between the 2 bedrooms almost doing 2 different bedtime routines. Now we have one and they are consolidated in one place ;) Makes life easier- especially when you are doing bedtime by yourself (I travel a lot for work so it helps!).

Rita Teles said...

I shared a bedroom with my two sisters for years, first with just one, than with both in another house we moved in. It's terrible. I have beautiful memories with my sisters, we used to throw secret "midnight parties" where each one would read a book, read something she wrote and bring a snack to bed, among other delightful things like telling stories and playing games before sleeping. But all of this still would have been done if each of us had our own room. I know this because while on our country vacations house, we had our own rooms and all the sharing was still there. Children and teenagers, as adults, have their own personality and even when it's similar they don't want everything at the same time. Habits, games, music are so different between brothers and sisters that at some times there is no "learn to share and dialogue" experience just a sense (a literal one) that you don't have your own space in the world. And although some people when adults don't realize, children also need their own space, to be let alone, and when sharing a bedroom this will not be possible. There's a lot of lovely stories about brothers and sisters growing up in the same room, but this has to do with the relationship between them, not the sharing room, I believe. I think sharing rooms should be only when parents can't really afford anything else (that was our case) or when is a short-term decision. (I'm sorry if I'm made any English mistakes, it's not my native language!). Oh, and good luck looking for a new home, it's so exciting!

Rita Teles said...

I find so strange when people say to their children "you shouldn't want or have this because not everyone can have it". People, children or adults, should have what they need, not more, not less. For some children space is an essential need, one thing is if you can't afford it other is if you won't give it just because some don't have.

LaurenBNYC said...

I was a nanny for a wonderful family in NYC for 2.5 years. The family had 3 kids in a 2-bdrm UWS apartment. I always thought it was great that, despite being a wealthy family, the parents never overly-spoiled their children and most of their possessions (including their apartment) were quite modest. The one thing I could never get over though was the children sharing one bedroom. Especially because the oldest sibling was a girl and the two younger were boys. By the last year that I was their nanny the girl had turned 13. Eeek! I think about myself as a 13 year old and how awkward and uncomfortable I was with my own body at the time. I can't imagine not having ANY private space to call my own, and especially to have to share it with 2 pesky little brothers. Now that's tough! I always wondered if the parents had a plan to find a new apartment or to renovate and create even a small private room for the daughter, but I don't think they do. To my knowledge they still have not moved and the daughter is now 15. However, growing up as a child in NYC is probably different than anywhere else and I would have to imagine that she is probably not as aware of her lack of space as someone like me who grew up in the suburbs and always had my own room and bathroom! But that's just my opinion ;)

Anna Culp said...

I shared a room with my sister 2 years younger than me for all but 2 years (after she was born) until I moved out, and my brothers (5 years apart from each other) shared a room until the older of them moved out. From age 10-16 we didn't like it, but other than that it was fine or better. I think having consistent cleaning routines would've helped us fight less about who was "messing up" the room more than the other, haha. I don't think that a boy and a girl sharing matters at all, until maybe age 10, when pre-puberty concerns (training bras, dressing...?) would call for privacy. I'm planning on having my 3-in-May and due-in-June children share at least until they're 10. Good luck on the continuing house hunt. :)

Sarah_Marie said...

I shared a room with my sister for almost 20 years, the whole time i lived in my parents appartment. Their appartment has got only 2 bedrooms and I never lost a thought about whether I like it or not, because there was no chance to get my own room. Of course my sister and I argued a lot when we were younger, but I think we learned a lot of things that a important for life. For example to compromise or to accept someone else`s spleen. So I would say, save a lot of money and give your kids the chance to build up a very special relationship and buy a house with 2 bedrooms!

Sarah_Marie said...

I shared a room with my sister for almost 20 years, the whole time i lived in my parents appartment. Their appartment has got only 2 bedrooms and I never lost a thought about whether I like it or not, because there was no chance to get my own room. Of course my sister and I argued a lot when we were younger, but I think we learned a lot of things that a important for life. For example to compromise or to accept someone else`s spleen. So I would say, save a lot of money and give your kids the chance to build up a very special relationship and buy a house with 2 bedrooms!

Sarah_Marie said...

I shared a room with my sister for almost 20 years, the whole time i lived in my parents appartment. Their appartment has got only 2 bedrooms and I never lost a thought about whether I like it or not, because there was no chance to get my own room. Of course my sister and I argued a lot when we were younger, but I think we learned a lot of things that a important for life. For example to compromise or to accept someone else`s spleen. So I would say, save a lot of money and give your kids the chance to build up a very special relationship and buy a house with 2 bedrooms!

Natalie Hannah said...

Share! :) my sister and I are best friends now:) we shared a room for 10 years from the time I was born until the time she moved out. we fought a lot, but in the end we got along. It made us better and love each other more.

midwest transplant said...

I shared a room with my twin sister until we were ten, and then shared again for a year in high school when we had a foreign exchange student in my room. When we were young we used to crawl into each other's beds and share secrets late at night. We fought all the time, but I never remember fighting about anything related to our shared room.

Sharing again in high school was a much smaller change then we had worried about and I think it helped prepare me for a college roommate. Learning to fall asleep while the other one was still awake studying is a great skill! I wouldn't stress about it too much.

Merv said...

I liked the way my parents did it. Even though we had a spare room, the kids still shared. But it was nice that when we grew up, there was space available.

Annika said...

Growing up in tight quarters in Montana, my fiance said his father divided a room for him and his brother using their bunk bed. The work was done rudimentarily, but in theory could be great- the top bunk had a partition dividing one side of the room from one side of the bed to the ceiling and the bottom bunk had a partition using the opposite side of the bed to the floor so they each had a corner of the room to themselves. If done well, I think it's pretty clever for close quarters- think boat style.

cerealjoe said...

I shared a room with my older sister up until she left for a uni further away when I was around 18, and it was just fine! Sure it was annoying at times but when my family bought a new home when I was around 14, we had the choice of each having a room or sharing a room and having an office room/reading room and we decided to share. It even surprised my parents because ever since I was a baby I've always been a rather private person, a prude, etc. but my sister was just an extension of myself (but a healthy version of that, when she left I did not start miserably failing at life, thank goodness). Of course we had fights, etc. but I think that sharing a space created bonds we wouldn't have otherwise.

Anne said...

Without getting into the question of whether or not have your kids share a room, I would consider this: you're going to buy a new house, that's a huge step. I'd want to have that extra room. Sharing a room will be a matter of choice then, which is so much nicer. So if you're able to afford that third bedroom, go for it!

Mafer Vargas said...

I shared a room with my sister, she is 3 years older than me, for almost 20 years!!! I loved it when we were younger, but when both of us grew up, we needed our own room, because when I wanted to study she wanted to sleep, or when I wanted to sleep she wanted to watch TV. It's really difficult when you are older than when you are a kid. :)

Lesterhead said...

Wow, I am really surprised at how many people are pro-sharing! I'm an only child and as a result have always wanted/appreciated my own space, even if tiny, that can be just mine.

nicole said...

My sister and I both had our own rooms but I felt lonely in my room and wanted to be with her so we could talk and be together (I'm 5 yrs older!) so growing up, I slept in her trundle bed until I left for college. Only then, when I came home during breaks, did I sleep in my own room. :)

Sarah said...

My sister and I shared a room for a bit - then we each got our own room. At one point, we actually moved our furniture around so we had a "sleeping room" and a "changing room" because we liked sleeping in the same room!

I think the issue becomes, what if your next child is a girl? A boy and girl sharing a room is probably less desirable that sisters or brothers.

Carolin H. said...

I shared a room with my older sister when I was younger. We loved it and even though our parents said we could have our own rooms we didn't want them.
At some point though (I'd say it was when I got into first grade) we got our own rooms. I believe it's ok while kids are still young but at some point it gets unavoidable to have separate rooms. Especially a girl-boy combination probably won't work out forever.
So I'd say it depends a great deal on the length of time you are planning on having your new home. I'd guess you are going for living in your new home for a longer period of time, since once you have a beautiful home in the city where you want to spend the rest of your life, you probably won't want to move out that fast. Plus, moving can be a pain.. not to mention that you'd have to move with two little kids.
I hope I was helpful. Have a beautiful day and don't worry too much.. it will all fall together just fine. I wish you the best of luck so you find the perfect (&affordable!) place for your family :)

Dee said...

I always had my own room (probably because I'm the only girl in a family of 4 kids). I think sharing is okay if the kids are the same sex. It's okay for opposite sex siblings to share when they are really young, but at a certain age, I think they should have their own rooms. But if its two boys or two girls -- totally fine in my opinion. It will make them closer! Good luck!

Unknown said...

Share! I have the best memories of late nights gabbing with my two sisters and pouncing on them to wake them up first thing in the morning. We would stay up and watch the lightning in the summers and peek out and see the fresh snow on an early winter morning. Even later when we had our own rooms I would always try to sleep in their room on the trundle bed. We are still very close and I think sharing a room really initiated that bond.

Victoria said...

I vote seperate rooms but that's only because I had my own room (even though it was the tiny 3rd bedroom!)

It's nice to have your own space, but then sometimes I would sleep on a spare bed in my Sister's room to stay up late chatting which was nice. Not sure I'd have liked it all the time though!

Kate said...

Oh, man. For the parents, I think it's easier to have separate bedrooms when they are young. I've woken to a serious 5am "Wild Rumpus" one too many times. That having been said, my boys adore sharing a room. They proudly show off their space to anyone who walks through our door. The one thing we made sure to do was give them their own private area within the room. For example, the closet is divided in two. They each have their own things on their own side. They each have a basket. They each have a shelf. I find that to be super important.

At the end of the day, they are building a bond that is already apparent. Go for it!

Gracie said...

I shared with one of my sisters and I must admit it was hard in our teens but we are so so close, the absolute best of friends and I definitely attribute that to our time in that room! Fights and all!

scottybecca said...

So refreshing to see this response. I always shared a room with my sister and while there were plenty of times I wanted my own room, it taught me so much about getting along with other people. Life isn't all about getting what we want and having our "own space". Even as an introvert I can appreciate that not being able to retreat into my own world was very formative to the person I am today. It drives me crazy when people move out of houses that are perfectly adequate because they think their children are all entitled to their own rooms...this mentality wastes so many resources. Plus, I feel like I was a lot more prepared for having college roommates and marriage than my classmates and friends who had always had their own rooms.

Tina said...

I haven't read all of the comments, but for me it depends on the kids, and also the age difference. My boys are two years apart, so they were able to start sharing a room at 3 and 5 yrs old. I think they are definitely closer because of it. But our friends have an 8 yr old, and a 3 yr old, and at this point the 8 yr old isn't interested in sharing a room with his little brother because the age difference makes it hard for them to really talk at this point. So it just depends on the situation, and the personality of the kids!

diane said...

My sister and I shared a room from when I was 7, she was 9 for about 5 years. I have fond memories of when we first shared a room- decorating our walls for every season/holiday, doing crafts together, reading together...

But then as we got a bit older- I would say when I was 10, she 12, it became very difficult because we had such different personalities...she wouldn't want any of my friends to go in "her" room, if we got in an argument she would take it out on my things.

I remember feeling so relieved when my mom decided to split our finished basement into two rooms- one for each of us.

rebekah tatlow photography said...

I had my own room until my sister Grace was born when I was four. I remember my first room, when my sister was old enough to sleep in a cot, our parents moved us into the BIG room at the front of the house. It was a three bedroom house that my mum had grown up in, my parents bought it off my grandparents when they married. My first room, which then became my parents room was the middle size wise (small room was my uncles, who didn't need his own room but it was always kept as Michaels room and had his stuff in it from when he left for the RAF). I loved my first room but I loved sharing more, many a night when Grace was a toddler we escaped, me pushing my little red chair up to the baby gate climbing over and lifting it for her to crawl under. We used to sit at the top of the stairs giggling until are parents moved us back. They then adapted the gate and escaping wasn't as fun without my little sister. When we moved on Grace's 8th birthday we were excited at the thought of having our own room but in reality it was a hard transition and for weeks we'd sleep in each others rooms and months still talking through the wall. By the time privacy was preferred we had our own space. :)

Sorry for ramble, was nice to think of it again!

Johanna said...

As a little kid, I loved sharing a room with my sister. Um, duh, BUNK BEDS! It was comforting having her there, and having someone to talk to when you trail off to sleep. Once we got in high school, we were a little more interested in our own rooms, but I think it's totally awesome to share a room, maybe even crucial, for younger kids.

I am one of five children, and growing up, the girls had a room and the boys had a room. There was also a spare bedroom downstairs with a king sized bed. When we were young (ages 3-9), we'd all eventually migrate to the big bed downstairs! It was fun to all be together, like a sleepover. At first it was just a fun thing to do while watching movies, but soon we started to prefer it, and no one slept in their bedrooms. My Mom didn't want us all sleeping in a pile like puppies, so she eventually moved down one of the bunk beds. She just went with it. It was a phase that lasted about a year... Looking back, it seems a little weird, but I love those memories.

Christi said...

I shared a room with my brother for 5 or 6 years. I have fond memories and I like the poster above who said that it helps kids learn to sort out differences themselves. Lots of kids don't know how to share a room when they go to college now! I don't think there is a problem having a boy and a girl share a room until puberty hits and they will want some privacy.

Christi said...

I agree with plch. A room of your own was a luxury when I was a kid in the 70s and 80s. I shared a room with my younger brother for 5 or 6 years. No negative effects. We were lucky to get our own rooms later on. But almost everyone I knew shared a room with somebody unless he/she was an only child or had a much much older sibling (8-10 years difference.)

GingerLand said...

I remember the first moment I realized I had never shared a room with anyone -- I was a grown woman, newly married and annoyed that there were another persons shoes in "my" bedroom.

I somehow managed to make it my entire life (childhood, college -- went to a school with the fancy new individual dorms, young adulthood -- lived by myself). It was quite the shock to realize I'd now have to share a bedroom for the rest of my life.

I think it's great for siblings to share bedrooms. That being said, that does become problematic after a certain age with the boy/girl privacy thing.

Just something to consider -- raising children is not only about giving them a comfortable first 18 years. It's also about raising a productive adult. Every child needs private space, but you may do your child an adult favor by making them learn early that there are others in the world.

cat catcar said...

Shared a room 4 my whole life- hated it, was an annoying lack of space

Virginia d'Alanno said...

I have twins and we just bought a new house so they can have a room each. I think its important for kids to have their own private space and individuality (and thats coming from someone who has co slept for 29 months). If they choose to share later on I wont have a problem with it, nor if they continue to want to cosleep, but it will be their choice.

Kitty Newell said...

I shared a room with my younger sister (2.5 years difference) from when she was born until I was about 7 - we bickered constantly, woke each other up, etc. I ended up sleeping in the study instead, which eventually became my bedroom.

Now, I'm 15 and she's 12 and we share a room again - and get on great! We love chatting, sharing each others hair stuff, etc. - the only annoying thing is when one of us wants a friend round for a sleepover then there's a bit of negotiation (and generally someone sleeping in the living room)

Asep Suryana said...

Hi there. I really appreciate the points you made. I don't think I've actually thought about it in that way. I can really appreciate how you approached the subject matter and what you said really gave me a new perspective. Thanks for taking the time to write this all out.
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