In our affluent society, the norm seems to be each child in a family having his or her own room. Many families with three children wouldn't even consider purchasing a 3-bedroom house, because then two of the children would need to share a room. But is sharing a room with a sibling really so awful? Many of us grew up sharing a room with one or more siblings, and we lived to tell about it. There are actually some advantages to making siblings share a room.
1. Sharing a Room Helps Siblings Fall Asleep Easier
While it's true that initially young kids sharing a room may keep each other awake with their giggling, talking and playing, the security of knowing they are not along in the room is often quite comforting to children. Children sharing a room generally learn to fall asleep faster (and return to sleep more quickly if they awaken during the night) than do children in their own rooms.
2. Sharing a Room Can Make Mom's Job Easier
When siblings share a room, they have someone to call out to at night if they're feeling a big unsure. They have someone to talk to and play with if they wake up early. They have companionship! Just having another person in the room with them gives them someone else to interact with, so they're less likely to wind up in your room early in the morning or late at night. Siblings sharing a room can result in more sleep for Mom, which is always a good thing.
3. Sharing a Room Can Help Siblings Create a Bond
If you shared a room with a sibling growing up, no doubt you remember whispered nighttime conversations and giggles as you tried to keep quiet enough to avoid Mom and Dad coming up to lecture you about going to sleep. It's true: sharing a room gives siblings more times together to develop a bond that can continue for a lifetime. They can have conversations with each other that they would not have with you, and the extra time they spend with each other can help create healthy and happy relationships within your family.
4. Sharing a Room Helps Siblings Become More Flexible and Less Selfish
Our society promotes a "me, me me!" mentality, where we are encouraged to stand up for ourselves. While this can have its advantages, it's also true that at some time in life your child will most likely need to share a room or house with someone else, during college, marriage, etc. Sharing a room is excellent preparation for the compromises that your child will need to make in life. Why not learn early? It's probably less painful to compromise on paint color for the wall than on bigger issues she will face as an adult. Children who have learned to sacrifice and work together on decisions during childhood are gaining wonderful real-world skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Sharing a room isn't the end of the world. It may be one of the best decisions you ever make for your children!