7 Benefits of Kids Sharing a Room

7 Benefits of Kids Sharing a Room

Moms like you reveal the surprising rewards of having their children share a bedroom.


By: Leah Maxwell

In some households, kids have to share a room, and in other houses they get to. Whether you’re a “have to,” a “get to,” or just considering the possibility of consolidating your kid space, here are seven reasons putting your children in the same bedroom is a great option, even (or especially) if it’s the only option.

1. They sleep better. Most parents who worry about their kids sharing a room are concerned about how it will affect their sleep. “I was nervous about moving Augie into Wyatt's room when he was a baby because I thought the kids would keep each other up, but the opposite turned out to be true,” says Wendy Copley of her sons, now 10 and 6. “They both sleep much better when they are in the same room.” Dalziel Whipple says the same is true of her daughters, 3 and 9 months: “My older daughter used to wake up and get out of bed many times a night. When my younger daughter moved into her room (at 5-ish months), she started sleeping through the night with only the occasional wakeup. My guess is that it’s comforting for her to have someone in there.” Of course, bunking two kids in the same room isn’t going to be awesome 100 percent of the time, but of the moms interviewed, even the ones whose room-sharing kids occasionally wake each other up say the pros still outweigh the cons.

2. You sleep better. Copley says part of the reason her boys sleep better together is because they’ve learned to rely on each other for company and reassurance. Having his big brother in the room is a big comfort [for my younger son], and it also keeps him from coming into our bed at night when he wakes up scared,” she says. Instead, “he snuggles in bed with his brother -- a big bonus for us.” Jessica Slattery’s 4-year-old son, Jacob, keeps a string of lights on at night to help with his fear of the dark, but when his 2-year-old sister, Elise, shares the room, he’s able to turn them off so they don’t disturb her sleep. Elise is still transitioning between a crib in the master bedroom and a toddler bed in her brother’s room and Slattery says, “Jacob is dying to have her go to bed when he does and sleep in there all night with him.”

3. Their stuff is contained. Another reason having kids share a room is easier on the parents is that it helps corral their belongings. “We have an extra bedroom, but I wanted [the girls] to share,” says A’Dell Stevens, mother of Claire, 6, Charlotte, 3, and Preston, 1. “When they share, there is only one room to clean up and one dresser to put laundry away in, and they share a lot of clothes and shoes anyway so it’s just simpler for me.” Slattery actually used her spare bedroom as a dedicated toy space, which helps keep her kids’ small bedroom free of toy clutter. Copley’s sons have their toys in their shared room, and she says they don't have to worry about defining ownership and separating things into two different spaces because everything is together. “Both kids have access to all the toys, and there are fewer arguments because of it,” she says.

4. You gain a room. Although freeing a bedroom for other uses might not be a major motivator for everyone, it’s still an awesome consequence of having kids share a space. Moms interviewed for this story are using their free bedrooms for play rooms, home offices, guest rooms, and craft/sewing rooms, and a lot of them used exclamation points when talking about the extra space. If your kids aren’t jazzed about sharing a room, talking to them about the benefit of having a space for other uses (and how those uses are a benefit to them) might help change their minds.

More from P&G everyday: The Magical Relationship Between Siblings

5. They learn to get along . Siblings fight, that’s just the way of the world, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t share a room. Learning to get along with other people is a skill that will last a lifetime, and some parents have their kids share a room for that specific reason alone. “I shared a room as a kid, and my kids share too. It promotes compromise and respect,” says Tamarah Faust, a mom of two sons. “They’re 5 and 2 now [and] I assume they will want their own rooms later on, [but] I will probably keep them together for extra practice in getting along,” she says. April Blosfield, mom of two sons, 6 and 4, agrees: “I think [sharing a room] will help them in life. There are all sorts of reasons for needing to be able to share space with someone else -- roommates, college, marriage. You may as well start early.”

6. They bond. A mom’s greatest wish may be that having her kids share a room will forge a closer relationship between them. If your kids come right out and say they want to share a room, jump on and ride that wave of goodwill while you can. “My kids shared because they wanted to,” says Whitney Moss, mother of a 10-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. “When my second was born, we added a room onto our house, [but] the preschooler asked to sleep with the baby.” Seven years later, Moss says they’re only now starting to think about splitting the kids into separate rooms so each child can have some privacy during the tween and teen years.

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7. Nothing is forever. Remember: the decision you make about room sharing now doesn’t have to be the one you stick with forever. If you try it and it doesn’t work out, you can always try again later or even forget it completely. (Siblings sharing a room is great for all of the above reasons, but it certainly isn’t the only way to live.) But if it does work, be sure to enjoy it while it lasts. Most moms interviewed said they, like Moss, predict eventually moving kids into separate rooms, and many of them said so with wistfulness for what they’ll miss: the sweetness of overheard late-night giggles, the mornings you find them tangled up in the same bed, the reaffirmation that letting your kids grow up together really is a gift.

What do you think about siblings sharing a room?


Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/PeopleImages


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