By Vicki Little
Sharing a room with your sibling is one of those things that you don’t really appreciate until you are much older. You can look back and realize how much closer you became with your sibling, and how much fun you had giggling after lights-out. But at the time, sharing a room can seem like a practice in patience and tolerance. One important thing parents need to remember when children share a room is that each child needs to carve out a space that’s their own, for those times when they want to be alone or want to enjoy quiet time. Here are other suggestions to help your children have a positive experience in a shared room:
1) Divide the room. There are many different ways to divide a room into two spaces. Place a shelving unit in the center of the room to offer privacy and storage. One that has open cubes will allow for both children to use shelves for toys, books and other items. Maybe give them a cute little cubbie window in the middle so they can chit-chat. Or you could make a freestanding divider wall that moves on wheels, or just make curtains that they can slide back and forth when they want privacy.
2) Take advantage of corners. Corners are a great spot for private space because people tend to feel more secluded when they are facing a wall. Plus, you can create a lot of shelf space with corner shelves and then put a corner desk in. You can make a cozy little nook by throwing some large pillows on the floor and a little area for books, and then make it more secluded by putting up a curved shower rod with a long curtain.
3) Bunk beds. Many people use one bunk bed in a shared room to avoid having two beds taking up space, but having two loft beds allows for each child to have a little space of their own under their bed. It is very easy to put a curtain around the perimeter of the bed so each kid can choose when they want to be alone or have company, and there is PLENTY of room under there for a small chair or beanbag. Then attach a touch light to the bottom of the bed.
4) Use every inch of closet space. Using every little bit of the closet for storage will open up the rest of the room. Think beyond the typical hanging rod with one shelf and turn the closet into an organizer’s dream with shelves and hanging rods from the ceiling to the floor.
5) Allow their input. Maybe you have always dreamed of a cute pink and brown room for your daughter, but now that she is sharing a room with her brother, that is out of the question. He would prefer Pokemon yellow thankyouverymuch. It is entirely possible that you may wind up with two different curtains, half the room painted a different color than the other, or that you will have to give in to the hideous comforter your son has been asking for. You want their personality to shine through in their room — even if it clashes with their sibling’s personality. If you simply can’t imagine the room as a mish-mash of colors and patterns, be sure that both children agree on the colors and theme. The important thing is that they feel comfortable and content in their room.
Do your children share a room? What are your tried-and-true tips?
Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, camping, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.
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