Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sharing a Bedroom: Yes or No?

A few days ago I was struck by an idea. I couldn't tell whether it was completely brilliant or completely stupid, so I put it to J to see what he thought: It occurred to me that we could knock down the wall in between our two sons' bedrooms, and make one big bedroom for them. It would mean they'd  share a room, and they'd have a larger space that we could also transform into a play area. Good idea? Bad idea? I don't know. We're still thinking on it.

Growing up, I never shared a bedroom. On the one hand I enjoyed the luxury of my own space where I could disappear to read my books and play with my dolls and toys alone. On the other, I wondered frequently what it would be like to share a room with a sibling. With my brother being ten years older than me, I never had the squabbling, do-everything-together relationship I saw my friends experience with their siblings.

The bedrooms in our current house are quite small. Especially the boys' bedrooms. You can comfortably fit a few pieces of furniture into them - a single bed and a chest of drawers and a bookcase - and not much more. Thankfully the closets are built into the walls to save space. It's partly why we added two more bedrooms downstairs when we renovated our basement two years ago - so that when they're older, the boys can move downstairs into a larger space that's somewhat separated from the rest of the house.

I like the idea of the boys sharing a bedroom while they're still young, knowing they probably won't want to when they're older. I have this imagine of a beautiful large bedroom decorated in shades of blue, brown and green, with bunk beds on one side (think of the fun they'd have), a mural on one wall, an art area with a table and chairs where they could sit and draw and create things, a play area with all their toys, a seating area with bean bags where they could sit and read.

I imagine them giggling together at night with flashlights under their duvets, reading books together in the afternoon, playing quietly in their room while I get some blogging housework done (wishful thinking perhaps?).

It would be so super awesome fun timez!

But... there are certain concerns holding me back: What if they get into a room together and stay up all night thrashing each other will pillows and skipping around their big room because sleep is no longer fun? What if they hate sharing a room and then we've knocked down a wall in our house and we're all stuck with it? What if one keeps the other awake?

As brothers close in age, they get on really, really well. About fifty percent of the time. And as most siblings, they have an I-love-you-give-me-a-hug / I-want-to-rip-your-head-off kind of relationship. So it could go either way.


What's your experience with siblings sharing a room? Is it a good idea or a bad idea?
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25 comments:

Christy said...

Hi! I'm so glad you found my blog thru Kate's so I found yours. I love it. My husband is a british expat - welsh, to be exact, living with me and our family in the States. So there's that.

Re: sharing rooms, I think it would be super fun for your kids. I say go for it! They'll adjust and then LOVE it, I think. :)

Loukia said...

They're so darn cute!!!
Anyway, my opinion on this? Especially since they're boys? NO! If they have two different bedrooms, just keep them as two different bedrooms. I've entertained this thought before, too, since just a wall seperates the two rooms, and I thought it would be fun, but then I see when they fight over certain things, and I also think that it's nice for them to each have their 'own' space, their own place, their own room. Especially as they get older!

Lady Mama said...

Christy - I'm glad to have found yours too! :)

Loukia - I know all about the fighting over things - that's why we just get two of everything now! And I agree about it being nice to have one's own space, although I think at this young age that's maybe not as important... Thanks for your ideas!

Kori said...

I think it's great to share. I believe it brings them much closer. I think you already know, but I'm having a great Spring giveaway that ends tomorrow! Make sure you enter if you haven't already! Have a fantastic day honey! Kori xoxo

http://www.blondeepisodes.com/2011/03/spring-break-giveaway.html

WhisperingWriter said...

I think it's fine to share if they are the same sex. Granted, I like my space but I'm an only child and don't know any better.

Kris said...

ohhh, all the fun we are having with this I thought would be a sure sign to avoid the thought! haha. But to be truthful besides the extra 30min at night to calm the party down some nights, I think they really really like it. An idea would be to not tear the wall down. Put the two beds in one room with nothing else and convert the empty room into the play/art/reading area. If they need a break from one another then one can take the bedroom and the other a chair in the playroom. Really all they need is to sleep in the bedroom. Plus if it all goes to hell you aren't in 100% with the tear down.

Lady Mama said...

Kris (Sara) - that's actually a really good idea, and would also help us figure out whether they got on sleeping together in one room or not without ripping a wall out.

Capital Mom said...

We moved our girl (4) and boy(2) into a room together last spring because she was getting up in the night and not wanting to go back to sleep. I think she was lonely. Moving them in together worked great and every one was sleeping.

In January we moved the boy into his own room because he likes to wake up early and was waking his sister up. We hoped that in their own rooms they would sleep later. Turn out, not really.

We just moved them back in together and they are both so happy. He was wanting it for awhile. With a girl and a boy we know it won't last forever so we are glad they are enjoying it now.

Lady Mama said...

Capital Mom - That's great that they keep each other company. And as you say they won't want that arrangement when they're older so it's nice to make the most of that opportunity now.

Natalie C said...

We have 4 year triplets, boy, boy, girl and we've had every possible combination of bedroom sharing possible in the last four years, from all three in the same bedroom to all three separate and now two sharing and the other on their own. Long story short, the best scenario is sharing. They love it, and feel secure. We've enforced some strict rules around bedtime to precent partying (they get separated and get to fall asleep alone - one goes in the spare bedroom). With them old enough to understand, it's worked like a charm. They chat for a couple minutes and then turn over and fall asleep. I am all for it, I think it brings siblings closer. We need more of that in this world :)

Natalie C said...

Love your blog by the way. Always makes me smile.

Elaine A. said...

I don't think you should go taking out walls before you try it first. My guys share a room mostly because they have to in our current house. But lately they've been have a few issues because the 3 yo apparently doesn't need as much sleep as my older son and he tends to keep the other one up with his talking.

I think it definitely depends on a few things including how well your kids sleep and their personalities. But if you think it's right for your boys then I say go for it. Sometimes I really wish mine had separate rooms though...

Lady Mama said...

Natalie C - Hi and thanks! I agree - whatever works (and whatever helps everyone sleep soundly also!).

Elaine - But I LIKE taking out walls! No but really, I agree it's probably worth doing a trial run first. I guess it works for some and not for others...

LisaDay said...

I was thankful my younger sibling was a boy so I didn't need to share my room. I would hate it. I think kids require their own space. But your dream room sounds lovely so I understand the appeal.

Good luck.

LisaDay

Stephanie Faris said...

I shared a room with my sister when I was really young...then I got older and my mom remarried and he had a young daughter. My sister and his daughter shared a room. I always envied the fun they'd have, but I was older by then. Once you reach pre-adolescence, you want your own room and your own space. It's definitely something to do while they're young!

Captain Dumbass said...

We put our oldest together so the baby could have his own room. So far it's been... "challenging." My two will not stop talking to each other and stay up far too late which then makes for two grumpy boys the next day.It's a great idea in theory, but if I could build an extra bedroom I would. Think it depends on the kids though.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Long term this is not a good idea. My brother and I shared a bedroom until I was about 6. I couldn't wait to get the heck out of dodge. We were less than a year apart and fought all the time. I was extremely happy to get my own room way back then.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Are you kidding? My THREE are all in the same room and it's beyond the point of ridiculous. They practically sleep in a puppy pile.

We do have two bedrooms to split them up in though - so at some point, Eleanor will be sleeping solo.

I think sharing is great for the little guys. I never shared either - but was always kind of jealous/intrigued by those twin beds that my friends with sisters had in their rooms.

It's really when kids go through puberty that privacy becomes an issue. I wouldn't worry about it now.

Mwa said...

I just asked my kids and they say no. :-)

I completely agree with the comment above that you should try it first, with one bedroom and one playroom before knocking the wall down. (Isn't it great when you put something to the internet and you get totally sensible suggestions back?)

I think my kids would sleep worse, but then some kids love it, so by all means try it and let us know! I'd be interested to hear what you decide.

ModernMom said...

Oh they are so so cute! I have a younger sister and we always had our own rooms. All I can say is THANK GOODNESS. Love her to death but needed my space:) Best of luck deciding. I know I am no help!

anymommy said...

All four of mine share a room. We LOVE it. The first week is tough, you have to be willing to go in like Super Nanny and lay them down and tuck them in over and over. Set the rules and keep steady, but now, my four go to bed at 7:00 p.m. and stay there, no fuss. They listen to one music CD and they are usually all out cold by 7:30. Now the morning, that is a different story. They are LOUD, but they are playing and I love it.

Helen@baby shoes said...

I think the results of this would vary wildly depending on the children concerned and, you know yours best. As they get older, I suspect that most people prefer to have their own space.

Bear and Bones Mama said...

My boys are 2 years apart and they share a room. They LOVE it. They have two beds and still choose to sleep in the same bed. They don't keep each other awake - even when one is sick (like, say, Thursday at 2:30 am last week). Or even when one wets the bed (like, say, last week) and we have to do a middle of the night sheet change. Really? I never shared a room and when I see how the boys have so much fun, it makes me wish I had!

Angela said...

Has anyone mentioned re-sale value? If you break apart two bedrooms to make one room, in terms of ease of selling your house,you might have some problems. You may not have any plans to ever sell, but it's always something to keep in mind.

My two cents? I would keep them separate. I have one of each gender, so it's not an issue (plus an absurd # of bedrooms in our house...!) and I grew up with a sister 10 years my junior, so again, we never had to share a bedroom.

Metropolitan Mum said...

I shared with my older brother and I hated it. Would never do it again. Ever. But then, boys and girls are pretty different. So they say.