Sharing a room when you are a kid can be tough; the situations that can trigger a fight are infinite, and it can be enough to drive a parent crazy. Whether you are moving siblings together into a room for the first time or are looking for ways to mend a messy room-sharing situation in progress, here are some tips to help make everything run a bit more smoothly when you have younger children.
Give Each Child Their Own Spaces
Individual space is key to keeping the peace. Each child should have their own closet space and storage space. If they cannot have the room all to themselves, carving out their own spaces within it can mitigate this somewhat, and reduce the potential for conflict. Tell each child that they must ask for permission to enter the other’s side of the room.There are lots of websites where you can purchase personalized labels—enlist your children for help in picking the design and colors. If feasible, you might even consider stringing a curtain across the room to create two completely separate spaces that will afford much more privacy.
Finding ways to make each child feel like some of the space is individually theirs is important. The way you decorate can have a big effect on this. Consider painting the room a neutral tone and allow each child to add their own decorative touch to their side.
Get a Sound Machine
One of the biggest issues with sharing a room is disturbances during sleep; this can be especially problematic if you have moved a much younger child into the room who is still not totally sleeping through the night. A sound machine can be a great solution. Not only can it help get your kids to sleep, but it can drown out the noise that can come from mid-night trips to the bathroom and other activity.
Be Firm and Consistent With Bedtime Rules
Like any parenting challenge, firmness and consistency are key to getting a desired result.When you have younger children, establishing consistent sleep schedules is important. Getting two kids to bed when they are sharing a room can be challenging. It is important to establish some ground rules, and more important that you apply them with consistency. Do you want a strict lights-out, no talking policy at exactly 8 p.m.? Or are you okay with a bit of giggling and talking for 20 minutes or so? It can be a good idea to send your kids up to their room about 30 minutes before bed to let them expend some of that playful energy, then once it is time for bed, no more nonsense. There is no one best way—the ultimate goal is making sure your children are getting the sleep they need and however you can accomplish that goal is fine.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of family topics.If you are in need of some great labels for your children’s stuff, she highly recommends the quality name labels from Stuck On You.