Many families choose to have their children share a room, whilst for others it is not an option but something that they must do. Either way it can be an excellent idea to have your children share a bedroom. It can make siblings to feel emotionally closer as they grow up and teach them to share their things. Most children would love to share at a young age and it can encourage more collaborative play as they get older.
If your children have never shared a room before, you may be wondering how the new sleeping arrangements are going to affect their sleep patterns and routine. It can be a difficult transition to make to begin with but here are 5 tips to make it as smooth as possible.
1. Create personal space for each child
One of the toughest things about having your children share a room is that all privacy and personal space disappears. This is not a problem for younger children but can bother older kids a lot. It is not recommended that children of the opposite sex over the age of 10 share a room. Consider giving both children their own personal space or sides of the bedroom. You could even buy two of everything so that they have their own dressers etc or designate shelves to each of them.
2. Different sleep schedule should still be honoured
If your children are different ages, you shouldn’t force the older child to go to bed at the same time as her younger sibling. Otherwise, older children will become resentful. On the other hand, if your children have the same bedtimes, it might be a good idea to make them different. Shared bedtimes can make the children want to stay up and play instead of sleeping. The older child, for example, could be read to or bathed whilst the younger one is put to bed.
3. Allow your children to create boundaries
Although your children will learn to share their things, it is a good idea to allow your children to create their own boundaries within reason. For instance, if you have an older child sharing with a younger one, it is a good idea to build shelves up high where the baby can’t reach, or offer the child space in another room to store his more treasurable things.
4. Make sure they always ask permission
It may be a big adjustment for your children to suddenly be sharing a room and they may not enjoy sharing their things as an extension of that at first. It is a good idea to teach them to always ask permission of the other one before they borrow their stuff. If the other child is not there, they should be taught to ask their parents on behalf of their sibling instead.
5. Don’t panic
Try to stay calm. Remember room-sharing gets easier with time and your children need to get used to it.