Whether you need to or want to, having your kids bunk up together has some seriously cool advantages. Here, some of the benefits of siblings sharing a room.
8 Awesome Benefits of Siblings Sharing a Room
1. Kids Will Be More Empathetic
Few kids actually like to share, but it’s an important skill that they need to learn. And room-sharing is a great place to start. child and family therapist and parenting expert Joanna Seidel says, “Kids who share a room will learn how to respect each other and develop patience and understanding. This can help children become more caring and empathetic.” But the road to empathy will likely be paved with squabbles. To minimize conflict, Seidel suggests making sure that each sibling has his or her own belongings and an area (like a bed or wall) they can individually decorate.
2. They’ll Be Better Classmates And Colleagues
Whether it’s sharing a dorm room in college or moving in with their partner, chances are that your kid is going to have to share a bedroom at some point. But the benefits of sharing a room go beyond sleeping quarters. “Children who share a bedroom will be more equipped to share space in the future, like in a classroom or an office,” says Seidel. Learning how to share their possessions and respect someone else’s space (plus, erm, deal with snoring) are all valuable lessons that your kids can take with them into adulthood.
3. You May Get More Sleep
When kids wake up in the middle of the night, they want comfort and reassurance. Cue your little one padding down the hall and into your bed. But if your kids share a room, they just might learn to rely on each other instead. We spoke to one mom who reported that her younger son would often wake in the middle of night, until he moved in with his brother, at which point he learned to self-soothe and fall back to sleep. “Just the sound of his big brother’s breathing was enough to calm him,” she says.
4. Siblings Will Share A Tighter Bond
Doesn’t every parent want their kids to be besties? Siblings who share a room will inevitably spend more time together, which means more opportunity to develop a closer and stronger bond. “Siblings may seek comfort and security from each other when they feel upset or when they are trying to fall asleep, which can allow for a deep connection and friendship. They may also have more opportunities to be playful with each other and share in more frequent and deeper conversations,” says Seidel. (Try to remember that the next time your kids spend the night whispering and giggling beneath the covers.)
5. Siblings Will Learn How To Set Boundaries
We touched on this already when we mentioned how kids who share rooms often find it easier to adapt to a classroom and, later, even a workplace setting...but the social benefits of bunking up with a sibling go beyond a lesson in sharing and respect. If you look at the flipside, you’ve got a crash course in boundary setting that will serve children throughout their lives. Indeed, when one sibling wants to be alone and feels frustrated by the lack of physical space (i.e., the experience of anyone who takes public transportation to work), it’s actually an excellent opportunity for said child to build the confidence and assertive communication skills required to express one’s needs constructively—even if the need is just to opt out of play in favor of some quiet time to read.
6. You’ll Free Up Space In Your Home
This one might not be as touchy-feely as some of the other benefits on our list, but it ranks pretty high regardless. After all, any arrangement that improves quality of life for the whole family is worth consideration. In this case, combining two or more kids in a room means more space in your home for other things—a craft room to encourage your own hobbies, a playroom to contain messes (more on that later) or maybe just a proper home office—since working remotely from bed isn’t great for productivity. Bottom line: Unless you live in a McMansion (no judgment if you do), chances are you’ll be grateful for the extra space no matter how you choose to use it.
7. Bedtime Will Be Streamlined
Bedtime routines tend to drag… especially if you’re running back and forth between two bedrooms to put your children to sleep in separate spaces (two separate lullabies, two separate requests for more water, two separate pleas for ‘one more book’… you get the idea). Perhaps bedtime isn’t always so bleak but the process is, at the very least, streamlined when siblings share a room.
8. There *might* Be Less Mess
You know how we said that you’ll enjoy the extra space in your home when your kids share a room? Well, this might just translate to fewer toy messes, too—especially when the children in question are close in age and often play with one another throughout the day. This one doesn’t require too much explanation, just imagine the difference it makes to have all the toys consolidated in one room—be it their shared bedroom or the playroom you wouldn’t have otherwise had—and you have a recipe for quicker clean-up and fewer Legos underfoot in the living room. Is it the be all and end all? No. But sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference in how smoothly your household runs.