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Kids Sharing a Room – How To Keep it Civilized

27/08/2013 | Beds, Bedtime, Child Health, Parent Health, Room to Grow | by Catherine Godiva

Ideally, each child would have their own bedroom, a private space that is their own special place in the house.  However, the ideal is not always the norm and many kids the length and breadth of the UK have to share a bedroom with a sibling because there’s just not enough space for each to have their own room.  This can lead to arguments, bickering and all sorts of unpleasantness, to say nothing of stifling the child’s personality.  However, sharing is good and we all need to learn to share, so sharing a bedroom can be a great learning opportunity for both parents and children.

Making it Work for Your Kids

If you have kids that are sharing a bedroom, there are ways of making it work so that everybody is happy most of the time (we all know the old adage about pleasing some of the people, etc).  Family harmony really can depend on family flexibility and finding ways of sharing that work will be great for your kids’ social and emotional development if you handle it right.

Personal Choices

Personal space is important and it’s vital to remember that although your kids are siblings, it’s important that they develop as individuals as well as developing as family members.  Developing as an individual means letting kids develop their own tastes and preferences.  This means that it’s essential to divide the room in some way that honours each child’s personal space. 

One way of doing this is to divide the room in half equally (literally) and allowing each child to choose the décor for that side of the room.  Okay, it’s highly unlikely to end up looking like something out of an Ideal Homes magazine, it may even be a bit of an eyesore when viewed as a whole, but it could end up saving hours of arguing and bickering which is what you’re aiming for here.

Mix and Match in More Ways than One

Another way of dividing a room is to get the children to collaborate on choosing the basic décor of the room (something neutral that all of you can live with) and then choosing different furniture and fabrics for each child.  If you have a boy and a girl, then you can buy beds, wardrobes and dressing tables for each in a particular colour or style that suits each child.  If you look for kids’ bedroom furniture online, you may even find the same styles of furniture in a variety of colours – that would look really cool in a shared room.  Fabrics and bedding could be bought to match and your kids could end up with a really cool two tone shared bedroom.

Respect

Whichever way you decide to divvy up the room, it’s essential that each child is taught to respect their sibling’s possessions so that the two can live in harmony, sharing a bedroom.  Try and make sure that there is plenty of space for personal toys/possessions in both sides of the room.  If arguments do occur, it’s important to mediate carefully between the kids so that they each see the other’s point of view.  Practice makes perfect and this is just as true of sharing as it is of anything else.

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