Sibling Survival Tips: Sharing a Room
Lots of people find themselves with the situation of having their kids share a room. Often happens when families are expecting a bundle of love on the way and they HAVE to make room. Others find themselves moving into a home that offers less individual bedroom space. Some parents relish in the idea of having their children sharing a room, others not so much. Whatever the reason or how you feel about it, sharing a room is an adjustment and these tips may help.
1. Make Personal Space:
Sharing a room means a loss of privacy. It may not bother the wee ones but for older kids it might. If you can afford it and have the space, buy two of everything. This means two dressers, two beds, two night stands, etc. This will give each child their own “space” within the room.
This is a must when you have little ones and they are on a sleep schedule. Do not assume that just because the kids are sharing a room, they will be on the same sleep schedule.
3. Sometimes White Noise Helps:
White noise is very helpful for getting people to sleep. It induces deep and peaceful sleeps. The noises that one child makes through the night can make it tough for the other to get some shut eye. This is where white noise helps a lot.
4. Stand Your Ground and Be Consistant:
This is fantastic advice for parents in any aspect. Your kids may want to talk and play around instead of getting to bed. Be the firm, consistent parent that you are and they will listen.
5. Always Have a Plan B:
As parents, we can have a fabulous plan but it can and will go out the window at some point. You know the so called super-moms and dads that are around? Yes ,even they get caught in sticky mess every now and again. What happens if one of your children get sick or is teething, for example. It’s time like these where a plan b is essential. Depending on the age of the child, plan b may be sleeping on the couch or a pull out cot in your room for example. Just be sure to use Plan B ONLY when necessary – don’t let it become a habit by using Plan B every time one child has trouble sleeping (also see Tip #4).
When you change the kids sleeping rooms, it can be a difficult adjustment at first. When you first do it, your children may wake up during the night more often. Just know that in time, it will work! They just need to get used to it. Be consistent (see tip #4!)
7. Make Them Responsible:
This may be easier if your children are closer in age but it does work with other ages as well. Have them “help” each other with clean-up or brushing their teeth, etc. This may make them feel more mature and give them a sense of accomplishment.
If there is conflict: Cindy touching Amber’s doll or Jane taking Anne’s new shirt for example, explain the rules and consequences. Keep in mind that what works for one child may not work for another. Plan your consequences accordingly and make them very clear from the beginning.