We recently downsized and went from living in a house to living in an apartment. This meant the kids would now have to share one room. At first, this scenario made me so nervous! I wondered how to create the perfect bedroom siblings can share. Luckily, I got some great tips from today’s guest author. Read on to hear what she had to say on the topic.
* This is a guest post by Patricia Filikov *
How to Create the Perfect Bedroom Siblings Can Share
Siblings sharing a bedroom is usually a wonderful step in their development – it increases their bonding, builds mutual respect, and teaches them about privacy, sharing, and respect, which are lessons that will shape their future. It will teach them how to cooperate and support each other through life, so don’t be afraid to push for it. To minimize any possible problems and friction, we’ve come up with some valuable tips to help you create the perfect and most peaceful bedroom for siblings to share.
The Sooner The Better
The younger your children are when they start sharing a bedroom, the better. They will adapt to the change more quickly and be much less likely to wake each other up during the night. It’s often found that children that share a room since a young age will sleep through each other’s cries and the older child is able to go to bed later without disturbing the younger one.
Have Them Help You
Include your children in the design of the room from the start, and it’s more likely you’ll avoid complaints and whining later on. Have them pick out the wall art, where the beds should be placed, what colors the room will have and help them make best decisions. Even the youngest children should have some ideas of what they want in their rooms, so just steer them in the right direction when choosing colors and patterns.
As they get older, the bedroom should be a reflection of their personalities, so let each of them have their own choices, even though they are sharing the bedroom as a whole. Let each child choose the color for their side of the room, the artwork used, the duvet colors and give each one a section of the room to decorate. By “marking the territory” with their own picks and individual choices, you’ll avoid fights in the future.
No matter how small the room is, each child should have some private space and have their things separate from their sibling. You can accomplish this with individual desks, separate bookshelves, toy boxes, separate drawers and compartments for their special and personal things, etc. This way, each child have their own things and personal space, avoiding friction and arguments.
Set a Few Ground Rules
No matter how old they are and how much time they’d been sharing a bedroom, siblings are bound to argue. So, to keep the fights and discussions to a minimum, establish some ground rules. Help your kids learn to respect each other’s privacy and possessions. Teach them to knock before entering if the door is closed, to ask for permission before using anything that doesn’t belong to them, and other few rules that will help keep the relationship at peace. Involve the kids when making up the rules so they can understand better and follow them. You can also write these rules together and put them up on the wall, so it will be there to remind them for as long as they need it.
Free Some Floor Space
Floor space is precious: that’s where the greatest adventures are created and where most imaginative and fun games are played. So, why don’t you consider bunk beds? The youngest recommended age for a top bunk is six, so if you have at least one child that meets the minimum age, you can free up some floor space with bunk beds. If your children are older, let them choose which bunk they prefer and if they can’t find an agreement, you can make a schedule in which they switch beds every week – a wonderful lesson in compromise – and get to be where they prefer. If you’re planning to move or extend the house in the near future, you can search for bunks that can later be separated into two single beds.
Everyone needs time on their own every now and then. So make sure your kids have a small escape to go when they want. A small playhouse, teepee, or even a homemade fort created from bed sheets are perfect for it. It just needs to be a small place where your children can enjoy their own company for when they crave more privacy.
Protecting The Older Child’s Possessions
Babies, toddlers, and younger children are inquisitive and extremely curious about everything. They will naturally want to inspect, play, and maybe even unintentionally ruin or destroy their older sibling’s books and toys. So create a special place where only the older brother or sister can reach to keep his or her precious belongings out of harm’s way. A few high shelves or wall-hung storage buckets should do the trick.
Everything In Its Place
Children are usually messy, especially when you have two or more in the same room playing different games. It’s very easy for the space to become chaotic. To avoid a messy room and to teach your children to be tidy, everything should have its own place: books, toys, even little favors and smaller objects. Design a place for everything they own using clever storage, bins, shelves, baskets, and buckets, so they know where their things are and they can tidy the space by themselves after playing.
By sharing a room, your children will learn important lessons and values that they will carry throughout their whole lives. They will also learn to value their sibling and how important they are, having a special someone with whom they will share their most amazing adventures and create everlasting bonds.
Thanks to today’s guest author for sharing her great tips on How to Create the Perfect Bedroom Siblings Can Share!
This article is written by Patricia Filikov, also a writer for homeyou.com, where you can find ideas for decor and remodeling, and professional contractors for any home improvement project.