Tossing up whether to have your kids bunk in together or give them their own space? What works for one family doesn’t always work for the next, and you’ll find that some families with enough space to give each child their own bedroom still might choose to have them share.
Is this because it’s easier to sweep just one room for dirty laundry and abandoned school lunches? Maybe.
We take a look at shared vs. separate bedrooms for kids, so you can weigh up the options and decide what’s best for your family.
Sharing a Bedroom
Some kids resent sharing a bedroom with their sibling, while others can’t think of a more fun memory from their childhood. Sharing a space can help kids learn important values, but it can also raise issues such as privacy and ‘who on earth wiped boogers on the wall?’
- Allows you to use the spare room as a playroom
- Teaches kids to share, compromise and be tolerant of others
- Encourages siblings to bond and create special memories
- Can strengthen the sibling relationship for the long-run.
- Kids aren’t as able to express themselves as individuals
- Tensions can worsen if kids don’t get along
- Kids may want more privacy as they get older
- Quality of sleep may be affected.
Tips for Parents with Kids Sharing a Bedroom
- Set some ground rules: Giving your kids boundaries will help protect their privacy and avoid arguments. Keep their stuff separated by allocating them their own side of the room, and make sure they always ask permission before touching something that doesn’t belong to them. Sharing should be encouraged, but they should respect each other’s right to keep some special or personal items to themselves.
- Stay neutral: Don’t take sides when your kids have a run-in. Let them work it out between themselves and learn that it’s more fun when they’re getting along.
Having Separate Bedrooms
A lot of kids dream of having a bedroom all to themselves. But while having separate bedrooms can offer its perks, being apart from their brother or sister can also have its disadvantages.
- The room can be altered to meet individual needs (e.g. lighting and temperature preferences)
- More privacy
- Ability to express their individual personality
- They may feel more comfortable inviting friends over with their own bedroom to play in.
- Less chance for sibling bonding and interaction
- Less chance to learn about sharing and compromising
- Less chance to develop communication and social skills
- Can increase chance of developing a sense of entitlement.
Tips for Parents with Kids in Separate Bedrooms
- Encourage sleepovers: Separate bedrooms shouldn’t be the end of fun sibling sleepovers. Allow them to sleep in each other’s room or camp out in the backyard from time to time.
- Give them some alone time: Get your kids away from mum and dad and on their own to encourage communication and a stronger relationship. Whether you send them off to their grandma’s for the night or together on a camp, they’ll likely grow closer from the experience.
Every family is different, and it’s important to get input from your kids to discuss what suits everyone best. Factors to consider might be their age, gender and temperament, but at the end of the day, if you don’t want to give up your sewing room to give your kids separate bedrooms, why should you?