4 Tips for Helping Your Kids Share a Bedroom
If you’re having trouble getting your kids to share a bedroom peacefully, don’t give up just yet. Although sibling rivalry is normal, there are a few clever strategies you can use to keep it to a minimum. These involve tackling the issue with an indirect approach instead of calling attention to it. Trying to force your kids to get along will only make things worse.
Separate SpacesCreate separate sleeping and play areas for each child. Having their own space can help ease the tension your kids feel from having to share a room. Put their beds on opposite sides of the room. Set up a small play area near each bed and fill it with toys that they normally don’t share. This should reduce the number of conflicts that occur over toys. Let them know that each child needs to respect the other’s space by asking if they can enter it instead of just barging in.
Individual DesignIf your kids are old enough, let them decide how they want to decorate their part of the room. When they’ve each picked a theme, let them choose the paint color or decorations for the walls on their side of the room. Take them shopping, and have them pick out a bedding set to match their theme. Look for accessories, such as lamps or picture frames, that also go with each kid’s theme. Letting your kids decide how they want their area to look allows them to express their individuality. It also emphasizes the fact that they each have their own special space.
Common AreaSet up a common area in the center of the room to balance sharing with the need for individual space. Encourage your kids to use this spot to play together with toys that belong to both of them. You can put a small table with coloring books in this area or a larger toy, such as a dollhouse, that they usually share. You still might get the occasional fight, but you can easily break it up by having each kid go to their separate area. Let them know that the common area is off-limits if they’re not willing to share.
PrivacyHaving a separate space might not be enough for some kids when sharing a room. They might want more privacy when sleeping or playing on their own. A fun way to provide this is by getting bed tents for your kids. These usually feature popular cartoon or TV show characters, so you can let your kids choose which tent they like best. The tents are easy to set up, and they give each of your kids their own private area.
Getting your kids to accept the fact that they have to share a room isn’t always easy, but these tips can go a long way toward helping them adjust. Give them plenty of time, and they’ll eventually become used to the arrangement. Even if things are rough at first, keep in mind that sharing a room will help them build a strong relationship in the long run.
Lisa Tuttle writes for design blogs and parenting magazines from her home in rural Vermont. She loves to find new organizing tips and kids room ideas for her own two sons.