Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sharing Rooms

Why does society have a problem with a brother and sister sharing a room? So many people on message boards that I like to read have a problem with anyone over the age of four sharing a room with a sibling of the opposite sex, even if that sibling is only two or three years old. I mean, I get that society is highly over-sexualized, but what on earth are these parents teaching their children to think they have something to worry about in that regard with a four-year-old and a three-year-old sharing a room? Or a seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl? It is ridiculous.

I shared a room with my two younger brothers until I was about eight years old. When I moved out of that bedroom, one of my brothers was six and the other was four. When we shared a room, we each had our own bed and we slept in our own bed and generally stayed off each other's beds unless we were playing some game, like pretending the bed was a family car. Even if we did cuddle up together to nap or just because, what is the harm in a brother and sister being loving by giving hugs and being next to each other on a bed?

My six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter currently share a room. It's just the way it has worked out for now. Partly due to the fact that when we bought the beds we did, we didn't think about the fact that they are bunk beds that do not separate into twin beds. So we have to have the kids share rooms because we own two sets of bunk beds that cannot become separate twin beds. That was a hugely stupid oversight on our part, but we'll deal with it and move on.

Our seven-year-old son and four-year-old son share the other bedroom and then we have a huge room that we use as a playroom for now. Probably in the near future, when baby number five is ready to move into a separate room from us (we like to keep them near us in our room for the first several months), we'll have to buy a twin bed and move the three older boys into the big playroom as a bedroom and move our daughter into her own room and the baby in the other room. At some point, if we stay in this house a while, we'll have all four boys share a room and use the third room as a playroom or office space.

In addition to people having a problem with opposite sex siblings sharing a room, they also seem to think that all teenagers need their own room. Now, I'm not arguing that having their own rooms wouldn't be nice, but often it's just not doable, nor is it absolutely necessary. My older two brothers shared a room until the oldest left for college. My younger three brothers shared the same room for about five years. Then we moved and the youngest got his own room and the other two shared a room until they left home for college/missions. I had my own room from the age of eight on, being the only girl. If I'd had a sister, I guarantee we'd have shared a room.

I think sharing a room teaches children to live with another person. I wished I'd had that before college. I had a really hard time sharing a room with roommates, to the point that by the end of college, I always found apartments with single rooms so I wouldn't have to share. I still have trouble sharing a room with my husband, even after nearly ten years of marriage.

What do you think about opposite sex siblings sharing a room? What do you think of teenage siblings (of the same sex) sharing a room?


swedemom said...

My kids share rooms out of necessity. My oldest hates it with a passion. For a long time my husband was adamant about my oldest sharing a room for all the reasons you've articulated. But we've come to realize that the oldest has sleep issues and sharing a room adds to the problem. Our oldest is a completely different person when he is well-rested. So someday, when we can arrange it, he'll have his own room so he can have the rest he needs.
The next two boys like to share a room and they don't like to be alone. My daughter shares a room with her baby brother. That's fine with me. But as she gets older, she'll move into her own room. I think it is fine that opposite sex siblings share a room until they get older. My daughter will definitely have her own room in a year or so, because she is getting older.
I'm very sensitive to concerns about incest and molestation because my older sister was sexually abused by a relative. I don't want to put my kids in situations that can cause problems.
I think teenage siblings should share a room. It's good practice for all the reasons you mentioned.
Growing up, I had my own room most of the time. But I managed to do fine sharing with roommates in college.

NatureGirl said...

My oldest two shared a room until girl was 8 and boy was 6.

My youngest two currently have separate rooms but sleep together anyway. Boy 12 and girl 9. They prefer to be together. It is good...fosters sibling unity!


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