SLEEP => Sleeping For Toddlers => Topic started by: katerinask on December 12, 2019, 09:02:51 am

Title: Sisters sharing room or not?
Post by: katerinask on December 12, 2019, 09:02:51 am
Hello ladies!

It's been a while, but I am back and would love your thoughts around this topic.

I have 2 girls, just a year and a half apart (they are 2.5 and 4 years old). They are extremely different characters (extrovert vs introvert) but generally get along well, despite their differences. They manage to play well together most of the times, they do well with sharing and generally can keep themselves occupied for a while without major incidents. Of course the little one will annoy the older one, and there will be the odd screaming stand-off. This is driven not only by the difference in age, but also because my older lovely and complicated introvert can not always put up with my younger happy little extrovert.

Currently they have separate rooms, but I have been thinking of putting them together for two main reasons:

1. I would like the playroom area and toys to be in what they perceive to be a common, shared room. Now 90% of the toys are in the eldest's bedroom, where the youngest is always welcome, but I don't like that she has to go into her sister's room to play with her "sister's toys", even though they are shared and not her sister's only. Some toys are their own, but most are shared, i.e. meant to be for both. I don't see it working any other way, especially with them being the same gender and so close in age, they are drawn to the same stuff.

2. I would like to have a single bedtime routine for both at the same time. Currently, my husband and I take it in turns to go with each LO... which means PJs, milk, teeth, bedtime stories, cuddles and we still wait in the room for them to fall asleep before we go. Ideally, one of us could do the story, cuddles, waiting with both at the same time, so that the other can get things done around the house. Also, I think it will be easier to start saying goodnight and leaving them to fall asleep alone, when they are together in the room vs alone.

So, on the one hand I would like the above to happen, but on the other I am worried about a number of things as well, like:

- Will it be bad for their independence and general feeling of privacy?
- Will we lose those precious one-to-one bedtime cuddles and moments where they each have our full and undivided attention? We talk about our day and feelings, things we liked and what we want to do tomorrow etc. It's quite a special time, especially for my eldest. I would try and keep that somehow, bringing it a bit earlier so that we can have our alone time... Not sure if it would be the same though.
- What is the recommendation in terms of sharing rooms? What do phsychologists and parenting experts suggest? I can't seem to find a definitive answer?
- How will the dynamic change once they go to school and have homework? I will have to plan for desks as well... Not sure how that would work. Would I combine playroom and desks in the same space?

Do you have similar experiences? What are your thoughts on the above? Am I overthinking it? When I ask both of them they don't seem to be very sure if they want it or not, their answers differ every time. The idea of the eldest having a higher bed excites her of course (I was thinking of a low semi kind of bunk).

Your feedback would be much appreciated as always.

Thank you <3  :-*  ;)
Title: Re: Sisters sharing room or not?
Post by: Katet on December 13, 2019, 10:43:01 am
Mine are 22months apart and shared a room from.when the youngest was about 3yo to 5.5yo. We did it because they wanted company at night.
Most research on independence shows it comes from feeling safe and knowledge that they have a safe person to go to, rather than being sleeping in their own room  plays absolutely no part in fostering independence.
One thing I know from my parenting journey is sometimes you just have to try things and see if they work.
My only thing is having an introvert and an extrovert, that having a safe quiet place is important. My children were always allowed to take a book and lie on my bed and not be disturbed, when they shared a room, they rarely did, but they could if they needed space.
Title: Re: Sisters sharing room or not?
Post by: katerinask on December 13, 2019, 13:15:42 pm
Thanks Katet!

What made you separate them after that? Did they no longer want to be in the same room?

So, your opinion: If neither of them were explicitly asking for it would you do it or not?
Title: Re: Sisters sharing room or not?
Post by: Katet on December 13, 2019, 20:36:50 pm
I honestly don't remember why they went back to having their own rooms, it was just part of the journey.
As a parent of teens, I hold to a few mottos
1) you make decisions based on the evidence at the time and you can change many things if they don't work. 2) Children should have an opportunity to have an opinion BUT their experience in life should be factored as to if the opinion is used in making a decision. 3) things don't always work as planned...that's actually a good thing, we need our children to see life like that. 4) Getting things right first time all the time isn't success, making mistakes and learning how to work with the outcomes and improve is success.

IMHO if you are thinking about it...give it a go. If it isn't working out you go back to 2 rooms, if it does you have the answer. Either way when they are 12 or 15 or 20 and they are asking to talk through a decision, you use the bedroom sharing situation (either outcome) as an example.

As a life joyful you can be like this and sweat the small inconsequential stuff because as a part we do need to have our 'worry cup' and if we have the luxury to worry about things that are easy to change and control we are lucky.
Title: Re: Sisters sharing room or not?
Post by: katerinask on December 16, 2019, 09:59:34 am
Thanks for getting back to me and for the wise words. I am indeed grateful and I think about it every single day. Wouldn't it be great if our only problems were about whether or not our kids should share a room?  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Sisters sharing room or not?
Post by: deb on December 16, 2019, 16:45:04 pm
You also have the option of keeping a separate space in the playroom for the introvert to go to should she feel she needs it. My kids have always had their own rooms but had they shared, and when we travel and they have to share (eg at grandparents), DD1 always finds a place to "cocoon" by herself when she needs to recharge. Maybe keep a beanbag chair or a sleeping bag or a spare crib mattress on the floor in there, something like that.