As your children grow together, they may desire more privacy and personal space. It is important that you acknowledge and accommodate this developmental period and consider providing your kids with their own, separate bedrooms. Take into account the age, gender, maturity level and personality of your kids when you make this decision. Your kid’s own bedroom could be helpful or harmful, so you should also take time to think about the pros and cons of this big move. Here are some tips that will help you decide if your kids need their own bedrooms:
You want your children to bond and create meaningful relationships with one another. For their early years, ages 4-10, it is beneficial that they share a room so they can grow their relationship. They will learn the value of sharing and the close quarters will have them spending more time with one another. They will also learn how they can maintain a clean and tidy space together, through teamwork and cooperation. Alternatively, your children be far apart in age, one of them age 4 or younger, and the elder may have the responsibility of taking care of their younger sibling. While this would teach your eldest valuable lessons in caretaking and potentially enhance the nurturing element of their personality, it may take time and energy away from their own development.
If your children are of different genders, it may be difficult for them to share a room. Decor would be a problematic element, if you have a son and daughter who have different gender-related visual preferences — i.e. color of the room or masculine or feminine posters. However, this combination of genders could be beneficial for your son and daughter, as they will gain greater understanding of the gender differences between them. This could stimulate attitudes of respect and also help them realize their similarities. This may also provide them an opportunity to negotiate and compromise with one another, so they can find gender-neutral decor that is reflective of both their personalities.
Maturity level plays a role in whether or not your children are ready for their own rooms. If they are responsible and mindful of how they conduct themselves in their space, it’s typically a good indicator that they are ready for increased privacy and trust. You can have your kids work toward the goal of having their own room by placing benchmark goals that will help them show you that they’re responsible and mature. When moving to a big city, like New York, you should also have your kids look at potential apartments with you, using a service like ForRent to see if there are any places with bedrooms big enough for them to cohabitate. You should include them in the search so they can negotiate with you and one another about a shared or separate bedroom; this dialogue would be another indicator of their maturity level.
Your children may also have vastly different personalities and disagree about the appearance of their room — they may want decor representative of their respective ages and interests. You can remedy this and split the room with a room divider, so each side can be designed in their particular vision. Depending on how severe the difference, this may be a sign that they need their own space. Make sure you are attentive of how they feel within their own room and whether or not the growth of their identity is stifled by the presence of their sibling.
Ultimately, the decision to give your children their own spaces or have them share a room is all about assessing them from a parent’s point of view. It’s up to you to determine which decision is the right one, but the above tips should help steer you in the right direction.