Are you considering having your children share a bedroom? Maybe your current place or new home you’re looking at doesn’t have a lot of room, or maybe you want to save space for other purposes. Like with most decisions, there are both pros and cons for you to weigh:
More Space Options: Having kids bunk together could free up space to use as a playroom, office or guest room. If you plan on having another child within the next year or so, you could also turn the extra room into a nursery when the time comes.
Sharing: All parents try to teach their children about sharing, and when kids live in the same room, they are encouraged to not only learn how to share a space, but also how to share each other’s toys and other items. The experience could also help prepare children to share space when they have roommates at summer camp or later in college.
Bonding: Living in the same room could inspire siblings to spend more time together and become a team. If your children are young, you might walk in to find them reading a book together. If they’re older, they might confide in their sibling or console each other when something bad happens, thus building a stronger bond.
Sleep: Young children tend to sleep better and feel more secure knowing there’s a sibling next to them in the room, especially if one of your kids is afraid of the dark. This could mean fewer late nights getting up to check closets for the Boogeyman or sleeping in a crowded bed with your child. Also, older children might go to bed–or at least quiet down–quicker if their sibling is an early sleeper.
Sickness: It’s difficult enough to keep everyone in the family from catching a member’s cold or flu, but it is nearly impossible to prevent siblings who share a room from getting each other sick.
Privacy Issues: Children have little to no privacy when sharing a room, which could lead to frustration and feelings of rejection. Even if siblings enjoy spending time together, that doesn’t mean they’ll want to include each other when it comes to having playdates or sleepovers with friends. Many older children, especially teenagers, also crave privacy and independence.
Clutter: A messy room is bound to be twice as bad when you’ve got two kids throwing clothes and other items around. If your home doesn’t have a separate playroom, a shared bedroom can get cluttered with toys fast. Furthermore, kids’ piles of stuff and necessary furniture tend to get bigger as they get older; the room, however, stays the same size.
Fights: Siblings naturally fight from time to time, but living in a confined space together might intensify or spur more arguments, especially if the kids’ personalities are polar opposites. When sharing a room, children won’t have their own rooms to escape to and cool off.
Some people believe it’s beneficial for siblings to room together, while some claim it only works when the kids are of the same sex or similar in age. Conversely, others suggest it’s best to give siblings their own rooms whenever possible.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your family and circumstances.