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Bedroom Privacy For Siblings

by Gayle

My daughter is 11 and my son is 5. They share the same room with the exception of sleeping time. My daughter sleeps in the bedroom and my son on the couch.

Kaleb prefers the couch and will find his way to it in his sleep. Gabrielle uses the room to dress sleep and read. Kaleb plays cars and Nintendo.
Privacy time is easily managed between the two. Weekends they both prefer to sleep on the couches.

We had to move into a smaller space over a year ago and can't afford to move yet. The room is decorated for both and there is only about 1% arguing over the room which never lasts more than a few minutes.

Is it wrong for them to share a room like this? Some family members think it is wrong and say we need to move. That is the plan but we don't feel rushing is good either.

Comments for Bedroom Privacy For Siblings

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Children Do NOT Have To Have Separate Bedrooms
by: Annie Desantis

Dear Gayle,
Basically well meaning family members need to butt out! It is entirely up to you to manage your family life in the way that is best for you at the time. You are the ones balancing all the factors in your lives and clearly at present you are choosing, very sensibly to wait until you are in a better financial situation before you move to a larger place.

Moving in itself is very stressful, and to do that as well as increase the financial strain on the family would not be in anyone's best interests. Particularly when your children do not have a problem at all in sharing a bedroom. For siblings to only argue a very small percent is absolutely brilliant, even if they had their own rooms!

I myself had both my son and daughter sharing a room for many years after I became a single parent (I slept in the dining room - there was not even a lounge!) I lived very close to fantastic support, and financially I could save until we could buy our own home. It made us closer as a family and my kids (now adult) are the best of friends.

It is hard not be affected when other family members criticize us - their opinion of us is important, and we want their love and support. Of course they are coming from a place of concern - but they are not looking at the bigger picture.

It is only our western culture that insists everyone has to have a separate bedroom, in most indigenous cultures the whole family sleeps together! Many families who practice attachment parenting also believe, particularly while children are young, that sleeping together creates strong bonds and very loving supportive families.

Our consumer society has trained us to believe we have to have bigger and better houses, with more and more separate spaces, until family members can live together in the same house but barely see each other! Separate spaces is a luxury - all we really need is shelter, warmth, food and clean water! Parents these days are overwhelmed with debt, and financial pressure is one of the biggest causes of family breakdown.

Some people feel girls and boys should be separated but there is absolutely no reason for that, it is totally your choice, and disapproval can actually create a problem when there wasn't one! Sometimes when kids get to teenage years they start to feel more self conscious, but that can still be managed by changing in the bathroom etc.

Living in a small home can be hard to manage if family members are used to their own space. But clearly your family are dealing with it all very well, and until you feel the time is right there is absolutely no reason to rush it.

Stay strong in your choices and tell family or friends, that your family choices are your own business, and you are taking care of your family goals in the ways you think are best.

Clearly you doing a wonderful job raising your kids, trust in your own timing for making family decisions, particularly major ones like moving house.

Best of luck,
Annie D

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