For many of us, we can recall sharing a room as a child. I did not, but only because my sibling was a brother five years younger than me. Still, I always secretly wished for a sister close in age to me. My childhood best friend shared a room with her sister, and I envied their dynamic—even in those times when they weren’t exactly getting along. For a child, clearly they aren’t paying the mortgage so the parent must dictate the living situation in the home. For myself, I love having a guest room, which also serves as my office. I need a quiet place in my home where I can write, and it’s convenient to have a place for company to stay that you’re not scrambling to clean when you have visitors.
When my second daughter was born, I did not have her share a room with my then fourteen-month-old because that didn’t seem very practical at the time. Once the younger daughter reached 18 months, I started entertaining the idea of having my girls share a room in my mind. It seemed logical, and a good way to help reduce the competition between the two of them. I wanted the girls to develop a strong bond, and to establish more of a “we” feel in my home, versus a “mine” to toys, items, etc.
Obviously no two children are ever going to be identical, not that we would ever want them to be. For my girls, having them share a room has allowed them to appreciate each other for their differences. And another thing that helps, is it eliminates the “I’m scared all by myself” excuse that small children can give to Mommy and Daddy whenever they are aching to be with the parents at bedtime. I’ve done co-sleeping with my children in very small increments, and I don’t encourage this behavior because breaking the habit is very difficult to prove.
Another major improvement with sharing a room with two children close in age of the same sex is the considerable decrease in disagreements. Once my girls realized that they needed to learn to tolerate each other consistently in the space in which they share, it did wonders for their relationship. Having shared a room now for almost 2 years, my girls get along like they are best friends, do everything together, and share in the responsibilities of keeping their room in order. It’s good for both the parents and the children that siblings get along, and sometimes sharing a room is the best way to build that lifelong foundation.
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