Emily at Wheels on the Bus had an excellent post today on children’s sharing rooms. Since I had a 2-bedroom apartment, a 3-bedroom apartment, and then a 3-bedroom house, my 4 daughters always shared rooms until the older ones went to college and shared rooms with absolute strangers.
Growing up, I was the only girl with 5 younger brothers; from the time I was 7, I had my own room. Before that, I shared a bedroom with my 2 younger brothers. I always wanted a sister, and I would have been happy to share a room with her. I always had roommates in college and in my first Manhattan apartments before I got married. My husband came from a family of 5 kids, and he always shared a room with his brother.
We took it for granted that our kids would share bedrooms. Originally we planned to stay in a New York City apartment, and only millionaires have a big enough apartment to give each of 4 children their own room. In no way did we ever feel we were depriving our kids because they didn’t have their own rooms. In our 3-bedroom Manhattan apartment, 3 of them decided to sleep in the same bedroom, so they could use the extra bedroom as a playroom.
Getting the baby out of our bedroom was much easier because she looked forward to sharing a room with her sisters. Sharing bedrooms made bedtime easier all through early childhood.
I suspect my girls are closer because of their enforced togetherness. Sure there were conflicts, especially over cleaning rooms. I do recall my second child putting a strip of duct tape down the center of the room to establish cleaning responsibilities. Possibly they played more outside their bedrooms since they had less room.
Sharing rooms is excellent preparation for college. My kids always had roommates in college in dorm rooms much smaller than the usual bedroom. At Yale, one year, they had to share bunkbeds. In major US cities, most people share apartments for economic reasons.
I am 62. I only had my own room for 16 years–11 years of my childhood and 5 years between marriages. I have never felt deprived:)