My boys have predominately shared a bedroom since the youngest was 18 months old. They are now 8 and 10.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, particularly as they have gotten older. However, for the brief period that they had separate bedrooms, my boys often chose to bunk in together anyway!! Their 3 year old sister is very jealous she doesn’t have a roommate and often asks to sleep in the boys’ room too.
Now my eldest is on the cusp of being a teenager I’ve had a number of people (including him!) point out that he needs his own room.
But I’m not convinced.
Of course, everyone needs their own space and privacy at times. However, there are so many benefits to siblings sharing a room, I wonder if the pros outweigh the cons. Let’s face it large families have been doing it for centuries. My grandad tells me stories of not only having to share a room but also a bed with his numerous brothers!
Here are the definite pros of room sharing for us:
Saving Space: This is a no brainer. For us this means I can use the spare bedroom as an office and guest bedroom.
Containment: Having Boyland all in one room rather than spread over two is much more bearable.
They Sleep Better: When they were in separate rooms, it was much more of a drama to get my guys to go to sleep. Now they go to bed and *usually* quietly chat, comforted by the presence of each other. Sometimes they are a bit rowdy or silly but when they are in that sort of mood that would happen across rooms when they were separated anyway!
They Have a Great Bond: When they are having those bedtime chats, they are strengthening that brotherly bond. I love the close relationship they have and it is wonderful that they have each other to confide in.
It Teaches Them To Share: They each have their special spaces where their personal items and treasures are kept but for the most part, they are now really good at sharing their things.
It Teaches Patience and Tolerance: With two very different personalities in one room they learn quickly that other people think, feel and act differently from themselves. And that’s ok!
Of course there are some cons too:
It Can Be Messy: There often are arguments about who made what mess and who should clean up what. My eldest likes to be tidy and organised and often gets frustrated by his brother’s haphazard toy placement and floor wardrobe (I know how he feels).
There are Turf Wars: The above is predominately the issue here but it isn’t limited to just the bedroom so I’m sure it would happen even if they didn’t share! Thankfully, the arguments over toys are becoming less frequent as they get older.
Lack of Privacy: This can be tricky, particularly with a moody pre-teen in the house but communication and sending one outside and one to their room usually works fine. It will possibly become a bigger issue for us once there is a fully-fledged teenager in the house and he has mates over or just wants to hibernate in his room.
Despite the cons, for us room sharing has worked well for the boys in many ways. In particular, it has fostered their close relationship and helped them understand each other better.
I’m lucky that they do get along so well. Since they have shared since they were little, its hard to say if this is because of room sharing or that it has just helped the arrangement work. I’m sure if you tried to room two kids who didn’t get along, things wouldn’t go so smoothly.
So for now, my boys will continue to share until the cons outweigh the pros.
Do your kids share a room? Does it work well?