March 27, 2017

To Share or Not to Share a Bedroom? (Lessons from 18 years + Decor ideas)

Oct28

Great Ideas and suggestions for siblings sharing a room.

Traditional Home


I sat across from my dear friend as she worried, “We must get a new house before the baby comes. They each need their own room.”

Speaking candidly, as only good friends can do, I reminded her, “You know that you don’t NEED a new house, right? Your kids don’t NEED their own room. Your home is gorgeous and the kids will not know the difference for years.”

“OK, OK, well, I want a new house. They shouldn’t have to share their room.”

As those words slipped from her mouth, my heart sank a little and my mind shifted to the state of our culture. I have no issue with desiring a new home within your budget or even wanting your kids to have their own room, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

It’s the sentiment that kids are ENTITLED to their own room and that if siblings have to share, it’s somehow a less than desirous situation.

With that, I take issue.

Suggestions and Decor Ideas for Siblings that Share a Bedroom

So, To Share or Not to Share a Bedroom?

There is absolutely no right or wrong answer to this question. Each family is so different with many factors to consider, primarily age gap, but for OUR family, it’s not even a question.

For those of you feeling that comparison pull or that slight wondering if somehow your children will resent you for not giving them an option, know that for the last eighteen years, our children have shared a room by our choice and I don’t have one regret.

We actually have one more bedroom that could be converted, but they’ve share a room because my husband and I decided years ago that this was our preference.

Yes, our choice, our preference, our desire to build that into our family culture and we weren’t flippant in the decision making process.

It took over ten years for one of our children to even voice, “I want my own room, Mom.” When they were younger, they adored sharing a room. It was a constant party waiting to happen, and quite frankly, they knew they had no choice.

Our first three sons, born within 3 1/2 years of each other, have always shared a room. When our daughter came along, I assumed she would need her own space.  I didn’t even consider putting her in with the boys, since we had additional bedrooms. A funny thing occurred when it was time for her to move into her big girl bed at two. She was SO excited about it that first night, but when we woke up, that sweet little thing was snuggled right next to her two brothers in their bunk bed. Yep, three in a twin bed (and one empty twin bed. What’s with that?)

The same thing happened the next night and the next. Guess what?  All four of them ended up “sharing” that room by default for the next four years, even though she had her own space.

She didn’t want to miss out on the sibling bonding. The most precious giggles, silly conversations, and yes, bodily noises came from that room full of blessings and life each and every evening.

(I wish I could find the source because these are amazing)

Benefits of Siblings Sharing a Bedroom

Team Building

A family phrase we reference is “Team D,” an acronym for each child’s initial. In the midst of building solid family relationships, we are also creating a sense of team unity and sharing bedrooms assisted in that family culture. We want to avoid a sense of competition within the home and this is a  step towards that desire.

Siblings as Best Friends

We often get asked how our kids are so close and one of my number one indicators points back to them sharing a room. Since they’ve been little, we’ve instilled in them that their sibling are their best friends. Their siblings are the ones to turn to when life gets hard. Family will always be there for you, but friends come and go. It’s about elevating the covenant of family relationships no matter what happens.

Learning to Share

Somewhere along the line, parents have bought into the lie that kids must all have their own, cool things, and that we must load them up on gifts and more stuff to line their closets. Not true! When sharing a room, you learn to share nearly everything. It’s up to us as parents to train out of them the “Me first” mentality and there’s no quicker way than making them share a room.

When they were little, they all had 1-2 special toys or items that were there own, but the rest of the toys were for the family. Most gifts were “For the Boys, or “For the Girls.”

Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution

Sharing a room offers plenty of opportunity to learn to work together, solve problems and resolve conflict. Now trust me, this has both enormous benefits, as well as stressful moments. Life is not always, “oh sure, I’ll pick up that shirt because it’s mine.” As they got older, there were war zone moments, but we are committed to conflict resolution and understanding the power of an apology. Letting the sun set on your anger is not an option in our family and talking it through was a critical priority.

Suggestions and Decor Ideas for Siblings that Share a Bedroom

Southern Accents

Suggestions and Decor Ideas for Siblings that Share a Bedroom

Cottage Living

Downfalls of Sharing a Bedroom (and how we dealt with it)

Opposite Personalities

That would be our girls. At fourteen and ten, this is the most challenging time we’ve had with room sharing. Our eldest  is a Type A, very orderly and organized young lady, where as our youngest is carefree and creative. Order is not her first priority, but with a sister that bosses you into submission, you can bet that she has learned to pick up her things. As a mom, it’s a blessing in disguise and while I need to train our 14 year old into approaching her sister with more grace and asking politely, instead of ordering, she’s developing discipline based on the role model of her oldest sister and that is a joy!

Great Ideas and suggestions for siblings that share a room.

They Need Their Own Space

Again, our girls. It’s very important that each girl have their own personal space, (where as our boys did not care, so each situation is different.) We’ve identified areas for them to do this by giving each their own closet, dresser and “creative” space. They also have a wall to decorate. I step back from this “creative” process and while there are times, I try to steer our ten year old in a certain direction, she pretty much reminds me, “Mom, you said I could do this how every I want.” Zing! Yep, I did.

Three of the pictures above, I snapped this morning. This is as messy as it gets. It never ceases to amaze me and Praise Jesus for our 14 year old who keeps it all in line. (Check out my Kids Deep Cleaning Bedroom Checklist post, that we use periodically.)

Age Gap

The biggest age gap we have is between the two girls and that just under four years. As one is a teen, that’s a challenge and I can understand how a large age gap might not work in one room.

Even though our boys are close in age, a downfall we did have in their teen years began when one child became more defiant towards me and made some poor choices. The older children should be modeling and helping the younger ones grow in maturity, so when that is the precedent, it truly affects everyone in the house, especially those with which he’s sharing a room.

Pig Pen

Our guys room is a perpetual pigpen. When they were little, I set specific goals and chores that they had to take care of before they could play. It stayed slightly picked up, but that was one war I stopped battling during their teen years. The fingers always pointed at each other and it was always someone else’s fault. Unfortunately, instead of rising to the level of our neatest son, he lowered his standard out of frustration. Now, I let it go until I finally blow and announce, ” I don’t care whose clothes, books, junk etc. this is, no one is leaving until it’s done.”  The state of their room is not one of my finer mentor mom moments. 🙂

Great Ideas and suggestions for siblings sharing a room.

Let’s all channel sweet Mr. Rodgers right now and sing, “One of these rooms is not like the other.”

Honestly, I am kind of giggling right now and I just wanted you all to take a deep sigh of relief to show you our very average, maybe even below average boy’s room.

I have NEVER fixed this room up. No shock there. It’s been their posters, their awards, their plaques, their space.

We began with one set of wood bunk beds that I found used through the newspaper. I was SO thrilled and over the moon to purchase that first set for our two toddlers who shared the bottom and our eldest who had the privilege of the top (because when they are young, they LOVE the top. Not anymore.)

When it was time to get their own beds, what a gift it was to find nearly the same style at a yard sale and then a year later, we added on a matching dresser from a yard sale. See that couch? It’s a perfect twin size bed and has housed hundreds of kids confortably. We’ve had as many as EIGHT high school boys in that room at one time (and I’ll never forgot that smell in the morning.)

Suggestions and Decor Ideas for Siblings that Share a Bedroom

Life Your Way

Miscellaneous Concerns

Deciding to have siblings share a room may take a month or two adjustment.

With younger children, the fear that they awaken due to sibling’s noise is always an issue, but we have the best sleepers. They sleep through anything and have since they were little.  I firmly believe it’s due to learning to sleep with life swirling around beside them.  They get used to noise, but using a fan or sound machine for some white noise  is always helpful too.

If there are varying bed times, use this as a positive to have some special quality time with the older child. There are benefits to being older and this is always one of them.

I’m sure there are other concerns, but I think you get the point.

Sharing a room is a great option and it’s been the best choice for our family,  but it’s not for everyone.

No one understands your family dynamics better than you,  and there may be circumstances that don’t lend itself towards sharing a room.

That is your decision to make, but never, ever, feel that by not giving your child their own room, you are somehow short changing them. You are giving them a gift and while they might not see it now, they will have fond memories later on of slumber parties that never stopped and stories to share for generations to come.

Suggestions and Decor Ideas for Siblings that Share a Bedroom

Bedroom from The Ivey League

via Design Dazzle

Do Your Kids Share a Room?

What pros and cons do you see by their set up?

 

31 Days with a Mentor Mom @beautyandbedlam It All Flew Out the Window

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Comments

  1. Ana Maria Saba says:

    All 3 of my kids share a room. They have for years. Although we are getting closer to when my boys will continue to share a room but my daughter will get her own. 🙂

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  2. Stephanie Garcia says:

    I am just about to put my two girls together in a tiny room. My two oldest cannot share just because of different sleeping needs but I know someday we will need a bigger house. The girls room is 9×9 and will be too small in a couple of years. Hoping things work out.

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  3. Great post, Jen! Although we had a third bedroom free, I moved my oldest into the larger bedroom with her little sister several years ago. I felt like it would be good for them to share a space (who wants that culture shock the first week of college?) and hoped it would help them bond as they grow. They do pretty well together…bunk beds, American Girl toys, shared closet. Their soon-to-be-here little brother will occupy that other bedroom, so I guess it’s a good thing we switched them out awhile back! 🙂

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    Jen Reply:

    YAY for your new blessing. I knew you were expecting soon, but didn’t know it was a little boy. SO thrilled for you, Amanda. 🙂

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  4. Our oldest two, boy and girl, share a room, our next younger two daughters share, and the baby has her crib/changing table/dresser in my husband & my room. It works well so far. We have reorganized many times, moved once, and I’m sure we’ll reorganize again, but I like changing stuff up. The kids seem to enjoy the changes now and then too.

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  5. We have two teens: a boy and a girl! They came to live with us when they were 8 and 12 and the State insisted they have their own bedrooms. I think the government has other ideas when it comes to how to house kids. Thank goodness we had the room. But I don’t think I would put a boy and girl together after about age 6. That’s just me though. Sounds like you have it all worked out! Good for you

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    Jen Reply:

    Yes, kids of opposite sex sharing room is an entirely different matter and once they start being more aware of their body, then it’s a different situation. I would be ok past six, but I’d definitely have to thin, what age would be appropriate, for sure.

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  6. The way our house is laid out dictated how the rooms would be split up. Three rooms upstairs for my husband and I, my 4 year old boy, and my 14 year old boy. The basement is a great sized space that is perfect for my 7, 10, and 12 year old girls to share. There are defiantly pros and cons with having them share a room, but for us it is a necessity. The chit-chat seems to continue well past bedtime, which depending how you look at it could be a pro or a con. The “disaster” (aka their room) is ALWAYS blamed on the youngest (let’s be fair, it’s true).

    This summer I found a queen sized futon to add to the other side of the girls room. I wished I had found it a couple years ago because it works out great for sleepovers! The boys LOVE to hang out with their sisters, so occasionally we set up the projector and a sheet and they all have a sleepover downstairs.

    Oh, that 10 year age gap is the only reason my boys don’t share a room, even though I would LOVE to have that space for my craft room! But I guess that would be a little selfish… 😉

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    Jen Reply:

    I feel you on the craft room, but yes, I am thinking of my girls at just a four year gap and definitely know ten years would not work. haha

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  7. I am so glad that I saw this today. We are looking to move in the near future to be in bigger house and it is awful tempting to feel like we need a room for each kid, but it is a nice reminder that the kids will survive sharing a room.

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  8. Two of my boys shared rooms for a very long time. At first it was because we were in a 3 bedroom apartment and my mother-in-law lived with us. So naturally she got her own room. When we all moved into a 4 bedroom house they still shared a room because we ran a construction business and need the extra room for a office. Once my mother-in-law moved out we turned that room into a playroom and they continued to share . It wasn’t until they begin Jr high that they got their own rooms. The only reason we decided to separate them was their personalitys were so opposite that it starting causing them to much strife and their relationship was breaking down. When my youngest (at the time) turned ten we had another child. He is now 5 and has never had to share a room. Even though he has his own room the only time he is in it is to sleep. If it wasn’t for the age gap I would put him with one of the other boys. Sharing rooms I think helps prepare them for so many things!

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  9. My oldest and youngest shared a room for many years. At the age of 11, my oldest started bullying. Most of this was verbal. How hard I worked to end this! one night I looked at my youngest. His face had this look of defeat and resignation with being picked on. I
    Separated the two that day. Later I learned my oldest likely has Aspergers. He functions far better as do the rest of us if he is given his own space. His little brother no longer feels like a victim. My oldest is very hard to be around sometimes but now I understand. I insist he share a computer we have no tv. This keeps them around each other by day! Space is tough! We have a teen daughter who sleeps in a closetless room that is very tiny but with a lovely view. I like everyone on one floor. For now we have a temporary solution that works thanks to a cot I found at walmart! We have no plans to buy a bigger house:) in the summer the coolest room is my husband’s and my room. We set up sleeping bags and airmatresses all in our room. It is like camping in house. Works for us:)

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  10. My two older girls share a room out of necessity (age 15 and 17) and there have been issues with bedtimes, messy floors and who’s turn is it to choose the type of music to listen to! But it has taught them to compromise, be considerate of others and realize that life has challenges that need to be worked out. My fondest memory is of them listening to hours and hours of Adventures in Odyssey while laying around or puttering in their room together. And thanks for the awesome deep cleaning post! Last weekend I typed up a very specific list…including dusting everything and vacuuming under the bed…and they had from Thursday after school to Sunday dinner to complete it. They managed to just squeak by the deadline and were amazed at all the junk and papers they accumulated. Now we are good for at least six months! 🙂

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  11. We currently live in an 1100 sq ft 3 bed house with our four little ones (4 in 5.5 years, same age spacing as Jen I believe). Our older 3 are in a room together with a full/twin bunk with a trundle. We tried having the girls share the full but that was a disaster (our 2 year old has a mind of her own) so we just pull the trundle out far enough for her to sleep on and still be able to open the door. Silly girl usually ends up in the hall way though. I actually feel kind of bad for the kids that have their own room, at least when they are little. I know mine do not like to be alone at all. The greatest punishment for them is sending them to their room away from the rest of the family. It has it’s frustrations, when they sing and play instead of sleep, but I know that it is what memories are made of. The 3rd room currently stores their clothes and toys, but eventually maybe we’ll have a boy room and a girl room. The rooms are only 10×10 with awkwardly spaced windows and doors so we can’t fit anymore bed space in the current sleeping room past a toddler bed. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

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  12. Thanks for this post. The wife and I just announced a third bundle coming into our lives next spring and after the congrats, we got always get the ‘so when are you going to move’ question. Made us feel a little better with the idea of 3 kids sharing two rooms and it even gave life to the idea that we could keep all three in one room and save the other bedroom for toys and activites.

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    Jen Reply:

    So glad!! Honestly, the three kids in a room and leave an extra one for activities was one of the best things we did. If it can work for you, if even for a few years, it’s wonderful. My brother actually has six boys. They put three sets of bunk beds in one room and set up the other two as play room and study room. They loved that.

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  13. Love this post! We have 3 boys in a 3 bedroom house. We had all 3 of them in 1 room (per their request) for a few years but our oldest now has his own room and the younger 2 share. Funny thing is that he ends up sleeping with the youngest on the weekends and then the middle one doesn’t want to be left out so he climbs in that bed too…a twin bed!! They still fight and get on each other’s nerves but that’s just part of brotherly love 😉
    Smiles~Beth

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  14. We have an 8yo boy, 6yo girl, and 4yo boy. They each have their own rooms, something my only-child hubby thought was necessary when we bought our home. However, for over a year they’ve insisted on sleeping in the same room, which for awhile meant someone slept on the floor. We were so blessed when a family gave us their futon/twin bunk bed!

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    Jen Reply:

    Isn’t it so fun how they end up congregating together? Those early years when our four were together are such sweet memories. 🙂

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  15. We have 4 kids the oldest being a boy age 9 then 3 girls following ages 7,6,and 3… Although we do get fighting and a messy room all the time, they ALL share one room right now its because that’s all we have for them but as soon as we can we will be moving the boy to his own room and the 3 girls will still share.I grew up sharing a room with my 2 sisters and we loved it… Hopefully my kids will grow up remembering the love and closeness they have with each other!

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  16. I grew up with my own room until I was 16 and then we moved and I had to share with my sister. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it was HARD. I think if I had shared a room when I was younger it would have made it easier.

    My husband and I don’t really have any rules as to whether kids share or not. It really depends on the kids personalities. Currently we have our 1 yo in the bedroom across the hall from us, and then the other 6 kids are downstairs. Our 13 yo was sharing with his 10 yo brother but we recently switched him to his own room because of the problems his 10 yo brother was having with sharing plus the 10 yo is autistic and we realized he needed his own space. Our 2 yo boy has his own room for now but will be joining his 13 yo brother within the next 6-9 months. our 11 and 8 yo girls share a room and our 4 yo girl has a bed in the room with her sisters but she never uses it. She prefers to switch rooms and sleep with whichever sibling she is best friends with that day. It works for us and her so far. She will probably end up sharing a room with her 11 yo sister and we will move the 8 yo to her own room at the same time we move the 2 yo in with our 13 yo.

    I think it is important to have kids share rooms at some point. There is no need to force them to share a room though if it isn’t working and you have the room the change things. We do what needs done for our sanity and theirs.

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    Jen Reply:

    So true – our sanity is paramount. 🙂

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  17. Our 2 boys/ 2 girls are paired up, and always have been, even though we live in a 4 bedroom house. We keep the extra room for guests/grandparents, and I wouldn’t hesitate a second to add a third child to each room should we have more. I think sharing helps them feel brave, it’s extremely rare that a child ever wakes up scared of the dark, or a dream, they always have a friend and companion with them, and cleaning time is cut in half, they tidy up so quickly together- when spring cleaning rolls around, I only have 2 rooms to get down and dirty with.

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  18. LOVE this Jen. My boys have always shared too and they consider it the ultimate punishment if I ever separate them. And most nights Zoe is in there for cuddles and giggles too before it’s lights out. Love these posts.

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  19. Stephanie Lance says:

    I saw this and grinned!Thank you for your encouragement today! (it’s nice to know that I am not the only one with a boys room that I’m scared to enter!
    My husband and I have five kids and we live in a mere 1600 sq. ft. house. Three bedrooms oddly shaped and to be honest I had to forgo a larger kitchen so that my boys could have a liveable room. But they share, and they always will.
    When my girls were young and my first son a baby, I had a visit with an older mom (I was 29, she had college age boys) and we actually got onto the topic of children sharing rooms. Naively, I thought my kids should have separate rooms; that’s when she shared why her boys shared a room even with them being in high school and college and they had plenty of room for them not to share. She explained that when our children leave home to go off to college or out in to the world they will more than likely end up with a room-mate ( I only know of a few who have not) and if they have not had to share while they were young, doing so for the first time right out of high school would be extremely difficult. As you mentioned, no experience with arguments and conflict solving. She also went onto state that if your child does move out on their own, or lives in the dorm without roommate that when/if they get married this is also a HUGE adjustment. Now you have a permanent roommate who may or may not agree with your home keeping skills or personal quirks. Once again back to conflict management. They’ve been sharing ever since!
    Now, I have had all of my children at one time or another ask for their own room. In fact, when we purchased our current home, my eldest son asked if we might turn a large walk in storage closet into his room. His father quickly shot that down, reminding him again of why we share!
    Through the years, I have watched as my children have become each others best friends, watched as they overcame struggles with the help of their siblings, have encouraged one another to reach higher goals.
    Now, I know that this can happen without them sharing a room. I have seen it with families who have not had their children share. I just hoped to share my experience. Thank you for sharing yours.

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  20. Right now we only have one and so he’s not sharing. lol

    I was the only girl so I had my own room from the age of 6 or 7…I really feel like I missed out on late-night giggles with sisters and stuff. But, I was very close with one of my brothers, and he would “tuck me in” (ok, sounds weird, but in reality, we would just goof off and talk for hours)–we did this until *I* left for college (he was already in college but we would still hang out when he was home on breaks). Those were some of my best memories with him and we are still pretty close.

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  21. I’d love to bunk my kids in the same room and I think they would love it, too, but I do NOT have good sleepers, and I wonder… How is it when someone is sick? Coughing all night? Gawd forbid a top bunker getting a tummy bug… That’s like my worst nightmare!

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    Jen Reply:

    Umm – yes, that has happened, but we have trained them well now. Bucket in bed. haha

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  22. Great article! My kids all share rooms. We decided when they were little to keep them in rooms together. When my first four were little they shared a room until my fifth was born and we moved into a different house. Then we put the girls in one room and the boys in another. Right now we have 3 boys in one room and 6 girls in another. There are plenty of cons, but we feel the pros outweigh them for sure. I had my own room growing up and I can’t see that it benefited me in any way.

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  23. I believe culture defines and shapes how we think. I am Italian, and I grew up in a 3 bedroom apt, 1 bath. There were 3 children in my family, and we all shared the bathroom. My younger brother and I shared a bedroom. I was 9 when he was born. I then left for College 10 years later. I never thought it was weird. That’s how most people live in the rest of the world. That said, I am not opposed to children having their own room, but it’s not a necessity. I grew up just fine sharing a room with a younger sibling of the opposite sex. That’s what “normal” is for many, many people.

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  24. I only have one child now 11 months and one on the way. They will be close in age and we have a 1400 sq foot condo with 3 bedrooms. I think it will be room sharing for us too! I have enjoyed reading the post and all the comments for the advice. I do have one question. Where do you put all of thier clothes! Especially when they are in different sizes. Right now we keep what my son fits into currently on the right side of the closet and what his next size is on the left side.Out grown stuff and stuff that is way bigger yet is stored in containers in the basement. Any clothing storage suggestions would be helpful!

    Thank you!

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  25. I just found this blog link through Pinterest and the title caught my eye. I’m glad that I checked out your post. I agree with most all of what you’ve written. I’m one of 10 children and while we did, eventually, live in a larger house, there was never a time when someone wasn’t sharing a bedroom. Yes, it can drive you nuts but it absolutely brought us closer together and provided me with memories that can’t be beat (such as my older brother and I “racing” to jump from one top bunk to the other… probably giving my mom a heart attack when she caught us one nap time!). I enjoyed reading parts of this out loud to my husband and telling him some of my own experiences that I’d forgotten about. Thanks for sharing and giving me a good excuse to reminisce 🙂

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    Jen Reply:

    Jenny – so glad you found us here. Glad to help in the reminiscing process. My post for today is “What do you buy a family with eleven children” (my brother), so I know you can appreciate all those nuances. 🙂

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  26. My 3 girls share a room, and since we can’t fit the dressers in, we have a separate “dressing room”. My sons crib couldn’t fit in, and I wouldn’t try because the girls wouldn’t leave him alone-lol. They giggle and argue and tell funny stories and don’t come down (as much) after lights out since we have combined them. I think it is a great thing. Large farm families used to pile a crazy number of kids into one bed, forget one room. They usually were all the better for it. I agree with everything you said and I’m excited someone else feels the same. I think they are more secure and work things out better. They have voiced that they want to stay together. I hope forever!

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    Jen Reply:

    yes, my brother’s family has a separate dressing room too. It’s a great idea. 🙂 Our 3 boys have been together for their whole lives, so I am sure your girls will be too. 🙂

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  27. I really wish you were my mom or my dad. I have three siling and i’m the oldest of 4 since i was a little kid i shared with my sister and then we moved in to a bigger house with 6 bedrooms and each of us have our own bedroom, i dont really like sleeping alone i feel like really alone. So our bedroms are in the upstairs and my parents and guest’s bedrooms are downstairs, when we moved in my brother wasnt born so my youngest sister didnt sleep alone because she was still 5 and my brother was born and he slept with my parents and me and my other sister slept upstairs, we didnt really sleep seperately because we would just sleep together sometimes in my room or in my sister’s room, it happened until my brother was about 3/4 and my dad bought him a bed and a closet so he slept upstairs and there wasnt a problem until one night was really frightening for me (sorry i cant tell) and i was very trauma so we all slept downstairs and until now. I dont like my room, its so dark at night and its in the upstairs…so now i know that sharing room is needed and i will do that to my children one day. My dad says that we nees to sleep seperately and i disagree with that 🙁 can u please help me? Btw im a 16 year old girl

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    Jen Reply:

    OH Nisa – I am so sorry that this is something that makes you sad. I am sure your mom and dad are doing what they think is best for you. Since I don’t really know your family, I would just encourage you to talk openly with them. Have you tried to talk with your parents about this? Have you shared that you are scared and given them some reason why you’d like to share a room?
    Just so you know, I will be praying for you that what ever it is that brings fear to your heart, those fears would be calmed.

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  28. Thanks for your insights. We have an almost 4 year old boy and moving into our new flat so these tips are certainly helpful since we are thinking of additions to our family. I grew up sharing a bedroom with 3 other siblings and while it was nice, i do wish for some personal space of my own most times (since i was the eldest girl). Because of this this, I’ve always wanted my children to have their own space too but my husband who incidentally grew up having his own space, wants them to share. hmmm we are still deciding what to do…

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    Jen Reply:

    Every family is different and I know you will navigate the decision well. There’s no perfect way at all. 🙂 Maybe the eldest daughter shares the room, but can use the extra room for her “quiet study area” or something?

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  29. Beth @ Turn2theSimple says:

    Right now we have two kids (6 year old girl and 3.5 year old boy) in the same room. Soon their 1.5 year old sister will move in with them…then we get our room back! (Until another baby comes along 🙂 ) It is a small room (10×10) but is working well so far. We build “lofts” for their beds (waist height) and their “dressers” are under their beds, along with bins of out of season and next size up clothes. One small (3 ft) closet holds hanging “church” clothes. Someday, we will move them into a girl’s room and a boy’s room. We plan to always have our kids share a room.

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    Jen Reply:

    Congrats on your house full of fun ages. I am sure they keep you hopping, but I love all the memories you are creating right now. 🙂

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  30. Tanya Isaak says:

    This is something I struggle with. I have three kids, girl 8, boy 6, girl 4, and currently they all share a room. We have a 3 bedroom condo on the 2nd floor. Like other people said, they prefer it, possibly because I use sending them to the back bedroom as punishment if one is being noisy. And they are pretty close and play well together. I also encourage the sharing of toys. And there are nights when one child keeps the others up because of crying. Eventually, though, I imagine my son will get his own room. As long as we live, though, I will wait and let my kids tell me when they are ready for that step. But I struggle because even though we have enough room and I’m fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom, I really want a house with a backyard. I want a little more room to stretch out. I don’t want to feel like I’m drowning in stuff because it’s always messy. But I also worry that with a big house and more rooms everyone can retreat to their own corner and hide, losing the closeness we have. But this post has been a help and i’ve enjoyed reading all the cooments.

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  31. My sister and I have shared a room for most of our lives. She is 18 months younger than I am and they had us share a room when she was a baby so I would feel responsible for her and she wouldn’t be lonely. When we purchased a new house, we were four and five and we received our own rooms but often ended up “having a sleepover” in one another’s room. When our family grew, we shared a room again and didn’t mind. When our baby sister was a few months old (13 years younger than me) she refused to sleep alone so she had to move into our room. That was a challenge but I now think I have a small idea of how it will be when I have little ones of my own. 🙂
    When I started college (I do it online) I needed my own space so I have my own room while the other two share (I’m 20 so I appreciate having my own space). With a 19 year old and a 7 year old sharing a room, they often have disagreements, but it helps that their styles are very similar. My three brothers are 14, 13, and 9 and they share a room so they sometimes fight. We don’t have any space to separate them but I am not sure the youngest two would want that if we did.
    Anyway, I am totally an advocate of having siblings share rooms since it helps bring them closer and combat some of the selfishness present in our so society. I have never regretted sharing a room with my siblings! 🙂

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  32. Melissa says:

    My husband and I are currently debating this topic. We have 2 boys ages 3 and 10. He thinks because of the 7 year gap, they shouldn’t share. The 10 year old says he is game as along as he has some space that is just his. I home school, so these boys a together a lot! We are stilling thinking and praying about it… very nice to read your take on it! I’ll share it with my hubby and see if you sway him at all. 😉

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  33. I am the oldest of 4, and I have my own room since I am living at home while in college. I have a 10 year old sister (who has a sensory disorder related to autism, she functions normally until something doesn’t go her way in the family. She is completely normal at school) and 8 year old sister and a 3 year old brother. The two sisters fight constantly and so does the 10 year old and 3 year old. Right now the two girls are sharing a room, but this weekend we are moving my youngest sister and brother together because they get along so well. Once I finish college and move out they will each have their own room, since my bother and sister cannot share for much longer since she is getting older. I really wish that the girls got along and would share a room because I always wanted a sister close to my age to share a room and be friends with. Plus I know my parents would love to move our office space out of the living room and into a bedroom. Different personalities have caused havoc between my 10 year old sister and the younger ones. Has anyone else had this issue and been able to resolve it?

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  34. Mackenzie Minimi says:

    I love your blog. I have a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old daughter. They both have their won room but they always tend to find each other and sleep in my sons bed. I have been thinking of putting them in the same room and the spare as a play room, or family room. How long before, or what age is it ok for them to share a room?

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  35. Christy O says:

    We have B/G twins that shared a nursery until we bought a new house when they were 4. We gave them each a room yet they ended up together 90% of the time. They’re 12 now and still sleep in her room occasionally. We’ve since had triplets as well, and with 6 kids total, there have been many bedroom shufflings! There is 7 yr age gap with the two boys that share a room so it’s sometimes a struggle and older boy often lands in the tv/playroom (futon) or living room.
    I can tell you that oldest daughter had her own room her whole life and since going to college 2 years ago has had real issues with roommates and living with people.

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  36. Thank you SO much for posting this! My niece (3) and my nephew (10) just moved in with us and our 4 year old son. We’re moving into our soon to be finished house soon and my sister in law and I had decided the kids could all share one bedroom, leaving the spare as a guest room and toy room. My hubby let me know the other day that he really wanted Carter (our son) to have his own space. Weren’t we sharing enough with them already, he insisted. I didn’t agree. I told him they would be fine and would all adjust. That is after all, why we bought this twin over full bunk bed! The oldest will get the top and the two younger kids can sleep on the bottom. I figured that would keep the two younger kids out of mommy and daddy’s bedroom since they’d have each other to sleep with. 🙂 Yesterday I was talking to my sister about it, letting her know I was on pinterest looking for decorating ideas for a gender neutral shared room. She (though she doesn’t have any kids of her own) freely offered up her thoughts on the matter and how she believed they all needed their own space. I was feeling a bit discouraged. This article helped me see that my sister in law and I were on the right track! I sent my husband and my dear sister your article letting them know this would hopefully ease their fears. Praying my hubby comes around! <3

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    Jen Reply:

    Paige – you are so welcome. I hope it helped, if only for a bit. Our kids have never once had a time where they were really upset about having had to share. NOt that they didn’t mention it when they were younger, but it wasn’t a big deal. They definitely would see their siblings as best friends how and I think this is a bit part of it.

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  37. My three boys shared a room for years, until last year when I took pity on my eldest. He is neat and the other two are NOT. That is why, even though my second is only a year younger, he has to share with his brother who is 4 years younger than him. They all share a bathroom, though, and… oi. We won’t go there.

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  38. i always shared a room with my sister. In fact the only time I haven’t shared a room, was in my first year at Uni, at the end of that year I got married= sharing again. I have 3 kids. Two boys and a girl. The eldest it 15 and the youngest 12. At times they have all shared, the boys shared for a long time, but due to personalities, we decided that for a while they needed their own space. Just this week, the boys have asked about sharing a room again. Something to think about!

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  39. Rebecca says:

    Our six oldest children have all shared rooms. There have been various combinations when sharing but until very recently all have always shared. Now that there is another brother leaving mom and dad’s room our almost 7 year old and 2 year old will be bunking together. Our oldest son is 21 and our next son is 7. When they were 16 and 2 they roomed together. Because he had been the only boy for so many years our oldest son hadn’t ever shared a room before. It was amazing how many of the positive character attributes our daughters possess were developed in the sharing of bedrooms through the years. After seeing this I wish we had put all of the children together in one room until they were older. It would have benefitted our oldest son’s character tremendously. I can clearly see how selfish of a person I am simply because as the only girl in my family growning up I never had to share. Neither did my brother. I am a HUGE supporter of children sharing rooms and would love to put my kiddos all together in one large sleeping area. When we were constructing our own home I almost did that. Time and time again I wish I had.

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  40. thank you for writing this. I had the exact conversation that you had with your friend, but with my husband & I realised I’ve been nervous about my girls sharing a room for all the wrong reasons. When little one turns 1 I’ll definitely be moving them in together & hopefully the room makeover will be exciting for our older daughter & won’t make her resentful of the drastic change.

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  41. I have always shared a room with one of my siblings. I was the youngest for a time and shared a room for about 4 years with my brother who is 2 years older than me and my sister who is 8 years older than me. We were young and loved it so much. We then moved and my brother got his own room while me and my older sister shared. We fought like crazy but were really close because we understood each other and knew pretty much everything about one one another. Year later we moved again and I again shared a room with my older sister while my brother got his own. The year before my older sister moved out we got a surprise! A new sibling! There are 11 years between my younger sister and I. So after my older sister moved out my younger one moved in. Just this past year my brother moved out and my little sister moved into his old room. So we now have our own rooms. She loved getting to choose how to decorate her own room and having her own space but for the first two weeks I woke up every night to her crawling in bed with me. She now sleeps in her own bed but I find her in my (our old room) all the time. I leave for college soon and ever since she found out I am going to be leaving she has attached herself to me. She sleeps in bed with me every night now and starts talking about how much she is going to miss me.

    I compare my relationship with my siblings to other sibling relationships all the time… I have seen first hand how some siblings barley talk or know each other. When they see each other they seem more like acquaintances than family. When I compare I wonder about what was different in there growing up to cause that kind of outcome. I’m not saying it’s for everyone but keep siblings close to each other really gets them to form a stronger connection. My brother is my best friend and I know the age closeness helped but I also use to go to his room and crash on the couch a lot. We would have video game all nighters in the living room. If I had a problem or needed someone to talk to I went to my brother always. Two of my girl cousins share a room and they are each other’s best friend. I like having my own room now but I would never have taken it over the bond I have with all my siblings. So coming from someone who has shared a room all their life (-1 year) I think it’s one of the best decision to make for your children.

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  42. I think this is really interesting! I was the youngest and the only girl, so I always had my own room. My brothers always shared a room and were best friends, even going to the same college and being room-mates in college, too. I think it made it easier for them since they were so used to being together. I had a really hard time adjusting to college room-mates, and even marriage, often being told I was too selfish or too messy. I can see where I really could have benefitted from having to share and adjust to a sister! Maybe those calling me a spoiled brat were right! lol

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  43. Enjoyed this post and the comments. My boys are 15 and 10 and have shared for the past 7 years. They don’t mind sharing – no major bedtime bonding as they go to bed and wake up at vastly different times and they don’t super hang out in their room. However on the flip side of creating a bond – my 10 year old has become very dependent on having his brother there – so am considering giving them their own room to help my tween to not be so codependent. Plus – would like to give my oldest his own space for a couple years before he leaves the nest and goes back to sharing. 😉

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Trackbacks

  1. […] as possible. I read a very nice article on the subject over at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam (click here for the article) – and I cannot agree more. Room sharing is not for everyone, but it seems to be […]

  2. […] as possible. I read a very nice article on the subject over at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam (click here for the article). I cannot agree more. Room sharing is not for everyone, but it seems to be working […]

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