More and more parents are choosing to have their children share rooms. According to the Chicago Tribune, almost two-thirds of families with children under 18 years of age choose to have their kids share a room—even though the median size of a new home is around 2,500 square feet.
Why are so many families opting to split a small portion of the home among their little ones? Probably for the same reasons I plan to with my own tots!
Yep, that’s right. Consider this my official coming out announcement. My massive case of morning-noon-and-night sickness tells me that my second pregnancy is probably safe to announce at this point. Phew, I feel better already! ?
And with a new little bundle of joy on the way comes a shift in family dynamics that has me exhilarated, thrilled, and only a little scared out of my wits.
There’s no time like the present to start planning how I want these new dynamics to play out at home, and I think one of the biggest ways I can promote a harmonious home (especially between my two little ones) is to have them share a room when they are both ready.
The plan is to co-sleep with my newborn until around 6 months and then transition my little sprouts into sharing a room.
Life usually seems to have a few surprises up its sleeve, so I know to be flexible if this arrangement doesn’t seem like a good fit for my gang, but after a little research, having my babes share a room seems like a good way to go for now.
Here are 5 reasons why sharing a room can be good for the kiddos—and the rest of the family.
Sharing is caring.
When siblings share a space, they must learn quickly the concept of sharing. Not everything belongs to them. Indeed, some of the most important things in their lives are communal, from toys to a bathroom, and maybe even their bed.
If children can learn to share among themselves early in toddlerhood, developing strong pro-social skills among other peers may be easier later in childhood.
Born to bond.
Living in close quarters, children connect through shared activities, play, and daily (and nightly) communication. They learn about each other’s biggest fears and their inner thoughts.
Plus, research suggests that children may develop a stronger ability to understand the thought processes of others when they have more opportunities to interact with siblings.
One of the biggest advantages (and maybe challenges) of having children share a room is the comfort (and chit chat) they provide each other at bedtime.
There’s nothing quite like waking up from a bad dream and knowing someone you love and trust is nearby. (And the dark is so much less daunting when there’s someone in the room to keep you company.)
Whether your little ones are sharing a bed or sleeping on separate sides of the room, there is likely to be some communication going on at bedtime—and that’s okay!
Consider this brief time for communication as one last opportunity for your children to provide comfort and companionship to each other before the day ends. If your goal is to have one or both of your children asleep by a certain time, allow a few extra minutes before that for them to get their giggles out.
A place to play.
Talk about the perfect way to free up another room in the house! A dedicated playroom for your tots may be the perfect way to utilize that extra space.
This strategy may keep their bedroom (a bit) cleaner and less distracting when it’s time for sleep. Plus, at the end of a busy day, you don’t need to feel obligated to clean the playroom to the same extent as your children’s bedroom. Just close the door and call it a day!
Alternatively, extra rooms can be used for guests, office space, or even as a theater for family movie night. Bring on the popcorn, mama!
Along with teaching your children cooperation, communication skills, and pro-social behaviors, sharing a space can teach your children respect for others’ personal space and belongings.
Even when sharing a room,children need a private space to call their own. Learning about their own needs for privacy and quiet time may also help them grasp their sibling’s needs for the same courtesies as well.
Some families swear by the power of sharing rooms for creating a close-knit family. For others, sharing a room may not work due to sibling rivalry, bedtime woes, or, shall we say, creative differences among children.
The good news is, there is plenty of time to experiment to see which rooming arrangement is right for your crew. If room-sharing doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world, mama. After all, there’s always the old sitcom solution of drawing a line down the center of the floor for equitable division of the room’s assets. ?