Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Considering Shared Bedrooms

Ever notice that while the size of the average family is shrinking, the average number of bedrooms in a home is increasing? Granted, one bedroom is often earmarked for a home office, but I show a lot of homes, and I find that the goal for most parents is to have a separate bedroom for each of their children. I know that everyone wants their own space these days. Makes sense when you're a parent of both boys and girls, or if there is an enormous age difference, as can sometimes be the case. But, for those of you with children of the same gender and somewhat close in age, I encourage you to at least consider that they share a bedroom.

For a number of years in my early childhood, my older sister and I shared a bedroom. We were eventually separated because I would keep her awake at night, being too restless to go straight to sleep. As we grew older, we would periodically share a bedroom , mainly when guests arrived from out of town and were given my bedroom for their stay. I enjoyed those occasions with my sister, chatting about school, boys, and music before finally falling asleep. It was disappointing to me that those opportunities were few and far between, particularly since my older sister kept mainly to herself, as was her nature.

Some friends of mine who grew up sharing bedrooms with their siblings have said that, while they didn't necessarily enjoy sharing space with their brothers or sisters, they feel they grew up knowing more about each other. Despite the arguing that would undeniably occur, they had to figure out how to co-exist. This, some have felt, was good training for dealing with college roommates later on, as well as good experience for dealing with others throughout life. Conflict resolution skills cannot be overrated.

Another point I would like to make is that siblings are another protective buffer in this world. Granted, it's not a hard and fast rule - and by no means scientific - but, in general, no matter how much we may argue with one another, no one else is allowed to pick on our family members. But it's not just about protection against neighborhood bullies. It's shocking how easily people with poor intentions can infiltrate the lives of children. And, yes, teenagers are still children - with raging hormones, more freedom, and later curfews, which make them quite vulnerable. Siblings may be more likely to know what's going on with one another than a parent is, if they spend time together. And while it's an unwritten rule that sibling secrets are never divulged to parents, there are rare occasions when that rule must be broken - and mortal safety lies at the heart of such occasions.

Again, I know of no statistics on this subject, and perhaps it's just my own opinion - which is fine, because it's my blog. But it seems to me that "togetherness" comes from, well, being together - spending time, sharing space, working out differences. Some other things that may stem from togetherness - compassion, time management, communication and organizational skills, creativity, collaboration, and the list goes on... So, consider the gift of togetherness for your kids. I'm sure you can think of a million other uses for that extra bedroom.

1 comment:

  1. I read your article and found it a very interesting post. whether anyone would like it or not but i like it.I agree with you with your last paragraph that describes very short but important things.thanks to share with us.

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