Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sharing A Room?

For more than a week now, Zach and Teagan have been sharing a room. It started last week when they were bestest friends for an afternoon and then Zach was just heartbroken to go to sleep by himself. We have a thick camping mat and we put that on the floor in Teagan's room with a sheet on it, Zach's pillow, and Zach's comforter. They have slept that way every night since. Part of me is fine with the chaos of the room being taken over by this mat on the floor. Part of me desperately wants to go clean up the bedrooms. I've scheduled some time off in a couple of weeks. I'm going to have 1 day to do major home projects. I'm thinking about creating a big change. I want input from parents who have been there, done that. I'm thinking about taking everything out of both rooms. Then, one room would be 2 beds, 2 dressers, bookshelf. The other room would be a play room. Shelves, play tent, dollhouse, basketball hoop. Is there an issue if the kids share a room for a year? For 6 months? Is this too much work for a short term situation? At what age is it really important for a child to have their own space? At what age is it important for opposite sex kids to be in a separate space? Right now, privacy isn't much of an issue in our house. The kids still bathe together 90% of the time. They get dressed in the same area pretty regularly. One will use the toilet while the other brushes teeth. There isn't much discussion about private parts- they are far more focused on farts and saying "poop" in weird voices. The adults get privacy for the most part. Jeff has always had complete privacy- he has his own bathroom, shower uninterrupted, uses the toilet without kids walking in. I share a bathroom with the kids. I sometimes have a kid come in while I'm showering if there is an urgent potty need or... well, just because they need to tell me that Sesame Street is on TV. I often have company with me in the bathroom, too. They don't see my private parts. So there is privacy in our home but it isn't something we make an issue out of. I really want to hear a variety of opinions. Do you think you wait until you see signs from your kids to institute privacy measures? Do you think there is a specific age? Do you have (or did you have) opposite sex kids who shared intimate living spaces? Photobucket

9 comments:

ImogenSky said...

well miss moon (4.5 yrs) has started to SOMETIMES close the bathroom door but I think that came with starting kindergarten. My girls share a room so I'm not too much help there but I have some experience from nannying. G was 6 when she started stating that she did not want her dad or sister in the bathroom with her when she went. When she showered it was only her mom that was allowed to see her undressed.
Here in this house, all three see each other naked but little man is just 6 months old...they see me naked alot..as in everyday lol, and i'm breastfeeding so boobs are a daily part of their lives. They sometimes see my husband naked but Little miss sunshine (Zach's age) has taken to getting her face REAL close if she catches him when he pees. He now prefers to lock himself in the bathroom. He doesn't care if they come talk to him when he showers/dresses...
So if you. personally, don't mind changing all the rooms around and then changing them back in 6-12 months then I say go for it!

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Uh, I have a cat and dog that sometimes share a pet bed. Oh and I used to have 2 cats that shared the litter box. Hope that helps.

mimbles said...

My 3 have shared rooms in every possible combination including all 3 in the one quite small room for a while - double bunks on one wall, single bed on the other, 1/3 of the wardrobe each. David would have been 7 years old I think when they all decided to share, I can't remember how long it lasted exactly, somewhere between 6 months and a year I imagine. Just lately, with the topic of bedroom arrangements being raised by Caitlin's move, the kids have been reminiscing about past arrangements. They seem quite fond of the memories of all being in together. :-)

I'm a big fan of rearranging furniture so I was fine with them switching rooms around while they were younger and didn't have much stuff. Now though they can stay where they are, each in their own room, Caitlin's new room is the last move I want to do before they start leaving home!

Tom is still pretty relaxed about privacy at almost 9 years old. Tonight he got yelled at by his sister to "get changed in your room, not the hallway!" because he'd come out to tell her something mid-way to getting his pjs on. I occasionally remind them to be aware if there's a visitor in the house so they don't absentmindedly wander around underdressed but otherwise I've let them take the initiative on privacy.

It's only in the last year that I've noticed the kids not coming into the bathroom when I'm in the shower any more, and both Adam and I and the kids are prone to doing the nuddy run from the bathroom to our bedrooms if we manage to forget to take our dressing gown in with us to shower (we only have the one shower, but there's a second toilet downstairs). The last time I did that Caitlin covered her eyes in mock horror and then 2 seconds later ran after me to ask me a question - apparently I wasn't nearly so offensive when she wanted something from me!

So, my take on it? If they want to share and you're happy to move furniture now and possibly again in a relatively short time, then let them! They'll tell you when they've had enough of each other :-)

Julie said...

Privacy? What's that? I have two out of the house and a almost 14 yo ds at home. I can't remember the last time the bathroom door was closed upstairs unless we had guests. We brush teeth when someone else is in the shower or even sitting on the pot! I know, weird right? But, my kids have never seen it as an issue so we don't make it. We share rooms and my son loves sleeping most anywhere. I'll wager a bet your arrangement lasts way longer than 6 months!

Katherine said...

I have two boys, so obviously they share a room (even though technically we have room for them no to.) When I was little and my brother was two years younger than I was, we shared a room until I was 8 or so, mostly out of necessity. It was around that age that my need for privacy grew. My parents let my need for privacy dictate how long we shared.

I think that if the room arrangement works, that even if it lasts for only 6 months, it's worth the change.

Sarah*G* said...

My son (7) and daughter (5) shared a room for the last year after we moved to Indiana from the UK. We found an apartment to rent but it was only 2 bed so they had to share a room. I wasn't sure how it would work out but they loved it. They enjoy playing together and also split apart if they want to do different things. One issue we did have was at night when son would sometimes want light to stay on so he could read but daughter wanted to sleep. We solved that by getting a lamp we could clip onto his bed frame and it wouldn't bother his sister. The biggest problem we had was recently when we moved to a 3 bed place and I told them they would have their own rooms, they were not happy campers! Yesterday morning I spent 5 minutes looking for my son and he was found sleeping under his sisters bed!

lisleman said...

remember that guest post I did? You could start with that for the beginning of my advice.
I grew up sharing a room with my brother until he left for the army. Yes the opposite sexes make for a problem but not for awhile. They should help you make the room changes that way they can have some ownership of it.

kbiermom said...

My dd and younger ds have made our guest room their hangout and they share the double bed on the weekends -- it's like a sleepover for them. My dd likes to choose between the privacy of her own room and the shared space. Works out great for them.

Guess if it were me, I would just let them continue the sleeping arrangements as is. That way, they can each still retreat to their own space as needed. Maybe Z's temp bed can be rolled up and placed on his or T's bed neatly during the day?

Minivan Lover said...

I shared a room with my older sister for most of my life- even when we lived in a house with enough rooms for each of us to have our own. The key is teaching them to respect each other's privacy. If Teagan needs alone time or wants privacy then Zach needs to respect that- as much as he can at his age. It will work until it doesn't and then you switch it back.