There are many differing opinions about whether or not it is a good idea for children to share a bedroom. Teachers will comment that, when asking a yawning child in their class why they are so tired, the reply is usually related to disturbed sleep because of a sibling keeping them awake. On the other hand, many parents will comment that their children thrive in a shared bedroom environment. Some families have no choice but to have children sharing a bedroom due to a lack of rooms (or unexpected twins or triplets!). If you’re thinking about whether or not your children need a bedroom of their own, you may wish to know some of the advantages and disadvantages of sharing.
It is also common in some households for there to be children sharing a bedroom with a parent. With a shortage on space in modern houses it is not uncommon to need to share a room and often parents will sacrifice some of their space for their children. Children sharing a bedroom with a parent will experience some of the same pros and cons of those sharing with siblings, but it can also impact the parent in many ways.
A common question comes when children get older, as parent’s feel their children can’t share a bedroom forever and certainly in teenage years children will want more privacy. There is no law about what age children should no longer share a room but it is recommended that children aged 10 and above of different genders don’t share a room and generally once children reach the age of 16 they have their own room.
If you think you’d like to try to have your children share a bedroom, or even if bedroom sharing is the only option in your family, it would be useful to bear the above in mind. Common tips from parents who have tried this, include making sure that there is an optional divider across the children’s bedroom. This could be as simple as a curtain or sheet of fabric on a string that can be drawn across in time of need. Other tips include ensuring that each child has ownership of their side, which is decorated according to their favourite colours, etc. For children sharing a bedroom who wake one another due to different sleep routines or perhaps due to toilet visits or coughing, a handy tip is to have some sort of background noise in the room, such as a fan, if the children are happy with that. Trying to balance all of these things may be tricky but they will pay off in the long run.