If you have or plan to have children and you’re shopping for a new home, one of the most important deciding factors will likely be the number of bedrooms. While many parents seek out homes that are large enough for each child to have his or her own room, some choose to have their children share bedrooms because of the clear benefits.
It Teaches Important Social Skills
Sharing a bedroom with a sibling teaches kids respect. Children who share rooms have to learn to respect each other’s belongings, space, and need for peace and quiet. They need to learn to clean up after themselves, to share possessions, to respect each other’s privacy and to keep the noise level down so a sibling can study or sleep. Respect for others will be valuable when children go off to college and share a room with a new roommate or when they live with a spouse or partner in the future.
Sharing a room encourages siblings to communicate. They can talk about their day, what’s going on at school, friendships and dreams for the future. They can also talk about anything that’s bothering them and help each other manage their problems. When they inevitably get on each other’s nerves, they’ll need to talk things through and find a solution. Parents can become involved if necessary, but it’s better to allow kids to try to sort things out themselves first. Learning problem-solving and communication skills as a child can help kids when they grow up.
Siblings who spend a lot of time together when they’re younger are likely to forge a strong bond that will last into adulthood. As they seek support and guidance from each other and confess their secrets while growing up, they’ll likely reach out to each other instinctively when they’re facing challenges as adults.
It Can Help Kids Sleep
Children often sleep better when a sibling is sharing the same room. Kids who have trouble falling asleep or who wake up in the middle of the night may be comforted by the soothing words or the mere presence of a sibling and find it easier to sleep through the night. They’ll also be less likely to wake up their parents to seek out comfort.
Consider the Advantages
If you’re house hunting, don’t feel pressured or obligated to buy a huge home so that each of your children can have their own room. Sharing a bedroom can help kids in many ways, and countless adults who shared a room with a sibling look back fondly on those years and appreciate all of the important life lessons they learned from the experience.