Growing up, I couldn’t wait to have my own room. Having my own room meant that I would be the queen of my own space. I would paint it my favorite color (blue) and put whatever posters I wanted up on the wall (New Kids on the Block, of course). It would be well organized and perfect. All my own. Well, I finally got my wish when I went to college and was assigned a single room as a freshman. Our entire dorm was made up of singles, so I wasn’t the only one. But my living single dream was quickly shattered when I realized that I was missing out on all of the things I loved about sharing my bedroom with my sister at home. When I started a family of my own, I always knew that I wanted my kids to share a room, and here’s why:
Only one bedtime routine: No need to divide and conquer here. My boys brush teeth together, read books together, hop in their beds in the same room and it’s lights out. No need to move on to the next child in the next room. Or do a routine together and then try to separate them after.
A brotherly bond: The boys stay up laughing with each other, talking and sharing stories about their days at school. They make each other feel safe when one is scared. They are forming the deepest bond that brothers have – that special connection that makes them understand one another better than anyone else.
We have a guest room! What a nice thing to have a space where my in-laws can stay when they come to visit. An extra room with a full bed for my husband to sleep in when he snores too loud. An extra closet for all of those sexy shoes I used to wear before having kids and am too stubborn to give up.
Conflict resolution skills: The boys are learning where their personal boundaries are. I remember the days when my sister and I would literally take tape and mark off which areas were hers, mine and shared. It seemed like we were fighting, but in reality we were just learning negotiation and compromise skills! My kids are already starting to do the same. They decide which stuffed animals they will sleep with, who gets “the moon” on their side of the ceiling when the stars and moon turtle projector goes on at night, and, when they wake up before the other, they have learned to sneak out quietly as to not wake each other up.
Small spaces, big living: Sharing a room makes the kids think about what they need, versus what they want. Only so many toys can fit in the ONE basket that is between the beds. Only so many books can be brought up from the bookshelf in the playroom to the bedroom. Clothes need to be in the dresser or in the hamper. They learn that when they have a small space, they need to keep it tidy in order to use it effectively.
Luckily for me, sharing a room has been great for my kids. I am hopeful that as they grow up they will have memorable experiences of playing together in that room and laughing with each other as they drift off to sleep. Maybe one day they will each have their own rooms, but I have a feeling that they will always be up for a sleepover!
What about your kids – do they share a bedroom? How does it work for your family?