Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Have a Question

What do you think? Should kids share a room or have their own room?

Now, I know that question has a lot of factors to consider so let me give you some details. I have 2 girls and no boys. I have 2 bedrooms for them. Currently, they are sharing a bedroom and the other room is the playroom. In that past they have had their own rooms. We've gone back and forth.

What are the benefits you have found for sharing/not sharing a room? I have some thoughts of my own, but I want to hear from others.

Give me some parental wisdom here folks!


  1. No profound wisdom to offer. With the size of our brood, no one will be getting their own room anytime soon. Maybe Princess and Sweetie Pie might since the older ones will all probably be married when the littles reach the teen years, LOL!

    Our 4 big girls are divvied up into 2 rooms (2 twin beds in each). Without fail, two of them will choose to sleep on the floor in the other pairs' room so that the four of them can all talk to each other until they go to sleep. I'm still amazed at that because almost every one else we know who has teenage girls says their girls are clamoring for their own space. Go figure!

    I guess it wouldn't hurt for them to have their own rooms if you have the space. Do they care all that much? They probably will when they get older even if they don't now.

  2. Well, our kids enjoy sharing rooms also. When we moved into our house, we re-did one room (kind of a den) into a bedroom so that we would have 4 bedrooms. That way we could have the two girls in one room and then the younger two boys in one and the older two boys in another. Do you know what happened? The boys refused to be separated. Even the older boys did not want to sleep without the younger ones. (: So, mama has an art room and the boy's have a bedroom - the largest one - with two bunk beds; the girls have their own room also and even though there is plenty of room for two beds they sleep together. We don't have tons of toys so there is plenty of room in the bedrooms even though there are lots of kids in them (: and the kids still prefer to have it that way. If at some point the boys need more space, I'll give up my art room - I don't really mind. But I found the situation so funny because in my mind the fact that this was a potential 4 bedroom seemed so important to me- I had been so excited that the boys would not be "forced" to share one bedroom anymore, and it turns out that they really wanted to after all. One year later, they still do! All's well that ends well (: If we ever end up in some remote Alaskan village, maybe it will be a good thing that we love to have close quarters - God has a reason. To me, the benefits are: a closer relationship (Missy reads Chloe to sleep most nights- David sings to the other boys) learning to share space (face it, that is usually a part of life) and learning to do with less (as a mom I have been forced to look at the practical side of the things that we bring into the house. "Do we really need that?" "Where will we store it?" It used to be that I felt that there were many things that a child "needed" to be raised properly, but I have been forced to see our "stuff" in a different light as I continue to manage our home. There truely is far less in the way of "stuff" that any of us need than what the department stores of America would like you to think- I read a previous post of yours, so I know that you feel that way too) Also, as they get older they have to learn to take care of special things (i.e. keeping them out of the reach of little hands) and respecting others belonging even though the space is shared space- all very good lessons.

  3. I just moved my three boys back together. I felt like my oldest was getting a little selfish and would benefit from having to compromise and live with others again. You know what? He really likes it. My kids are rarely in there rooms as all toys are down stairs and they don't have TV's or computers in there either. I think that's why it is no big deal if they share. I like sharing for many of the same reason Annie stated. I love watching them interact and nurture each other, something we all missed when they didn't share.

    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. I think it is best to go with your mom instinct for your own situation.

    Hope that helps,

  4. Well there you go...I think you guys hit the nail on the head.

    I see so many benefits to them sharing a room. When we separate I hear a lot of "Get out of my room!" and such. When they are sharing I don't hear any of the word "MINE" at all. Plus, when they each have their own rooms I have to kind of split the toys between the two rooms and then we get into "this is mine" and "that is yours" and it's a mess! I would rather them think that all the toys are for everyone and the mess in their room is both of their responsibility!

    You all have said it very well. I really like what you said, Julie, about your older son getting selfish. I've heard that from someone else--that their oldest "pulled away" from the family when given their "own" space.
    The world says they need space of their own. But goodness knows my parents never had their own room!

  5. We have two girls and two bedrooms for them. Currently we have one as a playroomand one as a shared bedroom. The sleeping part works well but since there is a five year difference between the two we are starting to notice that there is a territorial probelm going on so we may end up moving them seperate again soon.

  6. I had my own room as a teen. I thought it was great! But what did I know? Now I look back and remember that the greatest benefit of my own room was complete privacy and permission to wallow and whine and cry and pity myself over all manner of selfish and sinful tendencies.

    So now...

    4 bedroom house; 2 parents; 3 girls (13, 8, 6) sharing a 13x13 room. Double bed for the "bookends" and a single for the middle girl (that was arranged based on temperament).

    There are some privacy issues, but Fifi copes well with it. We never say never, but we don't imagine giving any girl her own room without a compelling reason.

    Maybe when Fifi hits college? Won't that be a wonderful "coming of age" benefit to give her if she schools locally?

    Our experience is that a lifestyle of sharing and serving one another builds love and unity.

    All that said, you can't let the kids know you're wavering; by nature most children think they want their own space and they'll buck 'till they get it if you introduce that possibility. Make your decision and present it to them as a matter of fact. We've not had any complaining. Truly!

  7. It depends on what kind of parent you are. If you are fussy that the younger children not see the underwear of the older children etc, it is not fair to put them in the same room and expect the older to be able to take her underwear out of drawers or put it in without the other seeing it occasionally. My MIL is a pill about this and it made her kids miserable...she had a five year old boy in with a fifteen year old girl (when he could have shared with the ten year old boy who had his own room), and then would yell at her if the boy even saw a bra in her drawer because he wasn't supposed to know what they were. If that kind of stuff doesn't bother you, then it's probably able to work out ok.

    Also if they share rooms, be careful to not blame the neat one for the messy one's mess. My sisters used to share a room and the youngest one was always being spanked for the room being a mess when it was my middle sisters fault. They both got spanked even though they knew it wasn't the younger ones mess.

    About sharing...I am actually all for the principle of ownership with belongings, even if you decide to have the children share a room. Basically that means that if a child is given something that is theirs, they ought not to have to share it unless they want to. If you think about it, we don't share our cars, our stereos etc with people. We have our own possessions. It is important, in my opinion, for children to have their own possessions and be responsible for them. I used to hate having to share my things with my sister because she would break them on purpose just to be mean but I would still get into trouble if I didn't share.

    Anyhow sharing a room can work out great, depending upon the parenting.

  8. I like the room sharing idea... whether they go off to college or get married or whatever (even just sharing a cubicle in the workplace), our kids need to learn to share amicably. That's my view anyway.

    Now our kids will have to share rooms... but it is possible that our daughter may be the only girl and won't have to share. At which point, perhaps I'll set up something in her room (a desk? sewing table? something) where it won't be "all" hers... I don't know, we'll see.

    It's funny all the things we have to think through as parents, huh?

  9. I've always said even if we had 5 bedrooms, I'd bunk my kids together. But lately, 2yo Breanna has been tearing apart Brooke's special items in their bedroom. It breaks my heart because it's not Brooke's fault. She keeps things up high, and Breanna crawls up to get them. Right about now I'm thinking it would be nice for Brooke to have her own room. The boys are getting along hunkey-dorey. Of course, boys are much easier relationally, I'm finding.

  10. Yes, when my girls were smaller they had their own rooms. It was easier b/c Little Bit still took naps and Sweetheart didn't have to stay out until naptime was over. They had different bedtimes, and Sweetheart needed to be able to play with her Polly Pockets without Little Bit eating everything!
    So, when Little Bit was a baby it was better to have different rooms. Now, I like them sharing.

  11. Growing up I had my own room. When I got married (first experience living with another human being) it was a SHOCK. We have four children and three kid bedrooms. Our girls share. I often check on them and find them sleeping together in a twin instead of their own beds. Very sweet. They are 7 and 5.

    Our boys do not share. They also are 7 (yes, triplets). One is/was medically needy and had night nursing. We don't need that anymore and I would "like" to have them share, but the logistics scare me a little. The special needs one is unkind to the other and the other doesn't really like the SN one. We are in the process of going back and forth with this decision ourselves.

    But I'm glad we've always had the girls share. They are best friends.

  12. Very funny you should ask. Just last week, my oldest son wanted privacy while changing into his pajamas because his younger sister was in the room. The next morning, he was running around the house in only his underwear.

    Two boys (six and 22mths) and one girl (four) share a bedroom because the only thing they really do in the room is sleep and sometimes play. We have another room that is used as a playroom, which they use quite often. We are going to go for at least one more year sharing bedrooms because it makes sense for our family. Also, they don’t disturb each other while sleeping.

    It is really funny how parents sleep and share a bedroom, but feel compelled to separate their children as soon as they have more room. Let the children enjoy the company of each other. Those late night conversations (even though we want them to sleep) will be cherished moments when they get older.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)