Q:

What are guidelines for children sharing bedrooms?

A:

Quick Answer

First, create a personal space for each child. It's a good idea to get two of everything (such as beds and dressers), and use curtains or other space dividers. Second, respect each child's schedule individually. Younger kids usually go to bed before older ones. Finally, set rules for when friends come over and how toys and personal belongings are handled.

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Full Answer

When placing children in the same bedroom, it's important to take their ages and temperaments into account. Children who are close in age or have similar schedules and activity levels do best sharing a room. Twins can be particularly comfortable in the same room. However, children who have poor sleeping habits or illnesses may have difficulty sharing a room with another child. Children may need to be split up temporarily if these issues occur.

While younger children may enjoy sharing a room and feel comforted by each other's presence, older children often prefer privacy. It is important to listen to children's preferences as they grow older. In the case of opposite-gender siblings, room-sharing can work well when they are young and are less competitive than same-gender siblings for toys, clothes and friends. Once opposite-gender siblings get older and reach puberty, privacy issues may make it harder for them to share a room. Child psychologist Dr. Bartell recommends that opposite-gender children should have their own rooms after the age of six.

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