Many siblings can end up sharing a room (I was one of them), either out of necessity or by choice. Most of them are quite comfortable with this arrangement, and parents find there are a number of reasons why it is a good idea. A couple of the most popular are:
Comfort – It is very important for a child to feel safe in their home environment. Many younger children wake up during the night, and when they are sleeping with a sibling they are comforted by the loved one’s presence. This makes it easier for them to go back to sleep, and can even stop them from getting up in the first place.
Bonding – Sleeping together helps siblings create an unusually close bond, and can actually decrease rivalry. They are more likely to share their things because it becomes the norm. They are also better able to appreciate each other’s space, as well as their personality differences.
Whenever there is an option of having siblings share a room, it is best to give them the choice. Many parents are actually surprised at how many children prefer to share with their brother/sister, instead of having their own.
Like anything else, however, sharing does have its disadvantages. These are usually caused by separate bedtimes, and differences in taste and personality. Simple solutions can be used to keep the arrangement ideal. Ways in which this can be done are:
Personalise both halves of the room – Encourage the children to use their side of the room to express their personality and, if space permits, get two different sets of bedroom furniture. This way they will be able to share the room, while maintaining their individuality.
Keep the bedroom for sleeping – Wherever possible, the bedroom should be reserved for sleeping and relaxing. Playing, as well as school work and other activities, can be done in another room. The children will start to respect each other’s sleeping schedule, and know the difference between playtime and bedtime.
Stick to age appropriate bedtimes and routines – Most children’s bedtimes are set based on their ages, and even though siblings might be sharing a room, they can still stick to one which suits them the best. The child that is going to be up longer can do their night-time activities in another room of the house, to allow the first one to go to sleep peacefully.
Do your children share a room? Let us know any advantages or disadvantages you have found with this arrangement, as well as any ways you use to make it easier. We are looking forward to hearing your experiences.