Ways to ease the stress of sharing a room

freezetagAugust 29, 2008

Anyone have any ideas for giving siblings who share a room some privacy?

We have four kids, in a 4-bedroom house. The kids have one very large bedroom, and two normal-sized ones. Originally, our oldest dd (13) had the large bedroom, and her younger brothers (11 and 8) had the other two. When our youngest dd (5) was born, dd13 immediately said she would share her room, which worked out well for a few years. Then, when she started middle school, she was annoyed by dd5's toys and clutter, and didn't need a giant bedroom for her own things. Ds11 really loved his room and was reluctant to leave it, but the dd13 lobbied endlessly until he agreed to move into the large bedroom with dd8, leaving the smaller bedrooms for the girls.

I would like to help ds11, because he has a strong need for privacy. I know he regrets the move and wishes he had a place to go where no one would bother him (which I understand! I have that desire too) The large room doesn't really lend itself to being split up, as it is rectangular and the door and closet are at one corner (plus dh is adamant about not splitting the room, because he says that in case of a fire, the perimeter of the room would be searched and nothing beyond). So I am trying to figure out how to carve out some private space for ds - hoping someone here has already figure this out :)

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We also have 4 kids and 4 bedrooms. My 15 y/o has his own room, DD has her own room as the only girl. The boys ages 12 and 6 share the largest of the kids' rooms and have since #4 was born. They have bunk beds and the oldest has the top bunk. That is about the best he has as "his space" b/c no one else is allowed on his bed. He has a wall shelf up that high and keeps stuff he wants to keep to himself there. So far that is going well. Luckily, my 12 y/o is a very easy-going kid, as the 6 y/o gives him a lot to put up with.

DH is very interested in building them loft beds, thinking that would give them their own space both above and below. I think it's a great idea. So does DS#1, who says if that's the case, he and the 12 y/o want to "move in together" and give the 6 y/o the smaller room to himself. It is an option we are still discussing. I think the 15 y/o will regret giving up his own room when he's had one all his life. In the other hand, it might be the best choice in the long run. Once he goes off to college, he'd still have the space when he does come home, but we won't be holding an entire room for him when he's not home.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 3:21PM
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First of all, I wouldn't have a boy and girl that age together in the same bedroom because they both need their privacy as they're opposite sexes.

Growing up, our family has 4 boys and 2 girls with 3 bedrooms. We always had to share! My sister was 3 yrs older than me and I remember her not liking sharing a room with me (especially when she was 16 and I was 13).

What about the two boys share the big bedroom, the 5 yr old girl gets the small bedroom, and your 13 yr old girl gets a bedroom in the basement? Do you have room in your basement to make an extra bedroom? She'd love it! This way you wouldn't hear her music! LOL

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 8:05PM
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Oops - meant to say ds8, not dd8! (I agree about boys/girls sharing a room once they are oh, school age or so). The girls (5 and 13) each have their own room, and the boys (11 and 8) share.

Stephanie, it's funny you said that about the bunk beds - the boys used to have them, but then decided to split them apart because each wanted to claim a separate section of the room as their own territory. Maybe putting them back together would help - I like the shelf next to the top bunk idea. And the boys have asked for lofts (because their "cool" older cousin has one) - I just hadn't thought about it helping the room situation - will have to think about it some more.

We have around 1200 sq feet in our basement, so plenty of room, but right now it is just for storage - completely unfinished and no windows. So that is possibly an option for later, but adding an egress window and finishing a room is not something we can swing financially right now. No one wants to move down there - it is currently very basement-y and I think they have trouble visualing how it could look if it were finished. I think once done, though, that the older two would be very pleased to be down there alone (and you're right about the music, plus they are both in band at school and while I like to hear them practice, it does get a little annoying when I am trying to hear something else :)

And I'm not worried about making the boys share - it can't be helped and they will survive it, I'm sure! Just wanted to help ds11 out a little. I have the same privacy craving that he does, but I get my fix by getting up earlier then dh and the kids. Not that I would suggest that for him - he needs all the sleep he can get!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 5:39AM
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Since the boys are closer in age, it would make sense that they share a room.

As for the girls, there's an 8 year age difference so it's understable that the 13 yr old wants her own room.. and should.

As a child, my sister and I did the same with our bunk bed. The only arguement after that was who was going to be closer to the door! LOL

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:35AM
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