Many families struggle with the issue of having enough space for parents, children, and any pets in the household. So, siblings often need to get used to sharing a bedroom. While this is a great way to promote sociability and cooperation between kids, it also comes with some of its owners. When it comes to peaceful cohabitation, there are a few tips and tricks parents can follow that will keep kids from fighting with each other while allowing the parent – i.e. you – to rest.
Find the Right Bed Arrangement
Many parents think that having children share a room is as simple as assigning them the space and being done with it, but you know this isn’t true. Finding the right beds are important so the kids will have enough space, can sleep peacefully, and won’t bother one another. One of the best arrangements is to use bunk beds. Finding the one that is ideal for your room should involve examining bed length, width, and whether or not the children will be able to climb in and out of their assigned space without waking up the other.
Keep a Routine
The best thing for keeping kids comfortable while sharing a room is to make a routine and stick to it. If the children are close in age, then you can give them the same bedtime, quiet time, and naptime. However, if the two kids have different ages – for example, one is four and one is nine – then they need a separate routine, but one they can get used to. Inform the kids about their routine and ensure they stick to it. It will take some time, but soon, you will have kids cohabiting peacefully and not fighting.
Set Ground Rules
This is the biggest step, but one parents often struggle with. Once the room is set up, a routine is made, and the children have been moved in to their new bedroom, it’s time to set some ground rules and stick to them. If the kids are friends and like to talk and play all of the time, establish play time and quiet hours. If one wakes up earlier than the other, teach them to leave the room quietly so as to not disturb their sibling.
The biggest rule that needs to be set is how the room will be cleaned. Siblings fight over everything, but one of the worst can be over who made a mess and needs to pick it up. The best ground rule to set is how to divide up chores for maintaining the room. If the child took out a toy, they need to pick it up. You shouldn’t put all of the maintenance on the older kid because that will breed resentment and cause more fights. Be sure to maintain discipline as well. When the routine and rules get broken all of the time, kids are less likely to behave and will start to fight with one another, resulting in chaotic cohabitation.
Siblings can share rooms, but it can be a difficult process. The best thing you can do as a parent is to be the authority figure and maintain the peace without choosing sides. Make sure each kid has their own bed and space but also knows to respect the needs of their sibling. Also, be sure to keep a schedule and discipline. Having children share a room can teach healthy boundaries, responsibility, and how to share!