Stylish Shared Bedroom Ideas For Kids
While most parents would love to give each of their children their own room, sometimes it's just not possible. A shared bedroom is quite common, but not as simple as placing two beds in a single bedroom. If the children sharing the bedroom have different interests, then this can cause some friction as far as decorating and furniture choice. These tips and tricks will help to keep the peace when tempers start to flare.
Johnny might like robots, but Jimmy wants the room decorated with sports memorabilia and pictures. Find a common decorative element they both can enjoy such as superheroes, a television show or a particular book and see if a truce can be reached.
Sit the children down and ask them to say or write down all their interests and compare the notes. Also, ask the children to write down what they think their sibling would like in the room. Once the list is created, put them together and compare notes. Ask if they wouldn't mind a compromise. Tell them they can help pick out the decorations together, so they feel they have an equal share in the process.
If one or both don't want to compromise, then tell them that it's just as much the other child's room as it is theirs. It's only fair that they share the common area.
Sometimes Divide & Conquer Is the Only Option
While dividing a room should be a last resort, sometimes compromise just won't be an option. The children are both stubborn and refusing to budge, so the parent must do something to accommodate both their needs. Depending on the size of the room, create a division using a bookshelf or other piece of furniture and give each child an equal section of the room.
If a piece of furniture isn't an option, then divide the room using a different color palette for one side. For example, if one daughter wants a princess motif and the other daughter loves soccer, then use black and white for one side of the room, and pink on the other side. Parents can also to try to incorporate both sets of color preferences throughout the whole room, but using more of the preferred color scheme on their individual sides.
The children can decorate their individual areas however they want. This is particularly good if there are several years between the two children and their interests and personalities are very different.
Bunk Beds vs. Separate Beds
At first glance, a bunk bed may seem like a great way to conserve space in a small room, but don't forget about the importance of sibling harmony and individuality. Bunk beds separate the children into a higher and lower relationship.
On a psychological level, the child on the top may see themselves as the boss of the room, lording over the other child on the lower bunk. Parents tend to let the older child pick their bunk or give them the top bunk because they have safety concerns with the smaller child. So, the upper bunk child is already older and now has a position of superiority. Conversely, animosity may develop, because the smaller child wants to be on the top bunk.
Separate beds give the children a sense of individuality and equal footing. If bunk beds are the only option, such as the case of a smaller bedroom, then consider a top bunk schedule where one week the older child is on the top bunk and the next week, the younger child is on the top bunk.
Keeping It Clean
Trying to keep a room clean with one child is hard enough, but putting two in a single room can be a nightmare for several reasons. Double the children means double the mess and soon clothes, toys and books from both children are strewn everywhere.
If one child is more cleanly than the other, then they can become frustrated by the mess and tempers will flare, especially if they end up cleaning it most of the time. Also, the children won't be able to find things in a timely manner, and it's hard to respect each other's individual belongings if they are thrown about everywhere. Sooner or later, something is going to be broken.
Help alleviate the stress by providing plenty of small bins and drawers for the children to place their belongings in. If they don't use them, then institute a weekly cleaning time where both children clean up their respective areas.
They may not be happy with the schedule, but it will encourage them not to make a mess and keep the peace. While they may not like the arrangement at first, sooner or later the children will settle into a routine and sharing a room will become a normal part of life.
There will be the occasional argument and temper flare up, especially as the children get older, but that's going to happen regardless of any room decorations. The best thing a parent can do is provide a relaxing and peaceful place where the children can learn to compromise together, while learning the value of sharing.