Maureen Roberts' Blog
When you have kids sharing a room, there will be conflict. It just happens, no matter how much they get along, at some point, there is going to be a fight about something. Fights about tidiness, noise levels, or just about anything. Now sometimes your kids can come to some sort of solution without intervention by applying a little bit of creativeness. Other times you will need to step in and mediate a solution.
One option for ongoing sibling space sharing issues includes the traditional, but none too practical, splitting the room in half. You can do this any number of ways; painters’ tape may be the least damaging to flooring and walls, a border made of blankets, or a curtain panel hung from the ceiling. These options may give the roommates some sort of illusion they have separate private rooms. More than likely they will come to the conclusion they will need to compromise on some things to really make a life together more peaceful.
Layout the Lair
If your kids have several areas of shared interest, they can start with those items when they set up their space. A “common” area, so to speak, can create a sense of camaraderie and bonding. From there you have them could move into planning the furniture layout and traffic flow. Maybe discuss schedules and who wakes up first and how the morning routine needs to play out. Next, an agreement on a bedtime routine can help avoid any conflicts when everyone is tired and out of patience. Finally, figuring out how and when things like studying, reading, friends hanging out or other activities will take place in the shared space. You may need a third-party mediator to help shape some of the details and provide an objective perspective on issues.
Contract for Compromise
Writing out the agreements and signing you will give each person ownership over the space. This way any issues can be settled by going over the written agreement. As time goes on, the deal can have amendments, but these need to be agreed upon by all before being added. When it comes to living together in harmony, healthy boundaries and common courtesy go a long way. When you can remember to show respect to the other person you can often iron out any issues about shared room space easily with little conflict. When moving kids into a shared bedroom space have each kid list a “rule” for their area, write it down and hang it up in the room.
Need extra space for your growing family? Talk to your real estate agent about a larger home in your budget.