Whether you need to or want to, having your kids share a bedroom has some seriously cool advantages. Here, some of the benefits of siblings bunking up together.
KIDS WILL BE MORE EMPATHETIC
Few kids actually like to share, but it’s an important skill that they need to learn. And room-sharing is a great place to start. child and family therapist and parenting expert Joanna Seidelsays, “Kids who share a room will learn how to respect each other and develop patience and understanding. This can help children become more caring and empathetic.” But the road to empathy will likely be paved with squabbles. To minimize conflict, Seidel suggests making sure that each sibling has his or her own belongings and an area (like a bed or wall) they can individually decorate.
THEY’LL BE BETTER CLASSMATES AND COLLEAGUES
Whether it’s sharing a dorm room in college or moving in with their partner, chances are that your kid is going to have to share a bedroom at some point. But the benefits of sharing a room go beyond sleeping quarters. “Children who share a bedroom will be more equipped to share space in the future, like in a classroom or an office,” says Seidel. Learning how to share their possessions and respect someone else’s space (plus, erm, deal with snoring) are all valuable lessons that your kids can take with them into adulthood.
YOU MAY GET MORE SLEEP
When kids wake up in the middle of the night, they want comfort and reassurance. Cue your little one padding down the hall and into your bed. But if your kids share a room, they just might learn to rely on each other instead. We spoke to one mom who reported that her younger son would often wake in the middle of night, until he moved in with his brother, at which point he learned to self-soothe and fall back to sleep. “Just the sound of his big brother’s breathing was enough to calm him,” she says.
SIBLINGS WILL SHARE A TIGHTER BOND
Doesn’t every parent want their kids to be besties? Siblings who share a room will inevitably spend more time together, which means more opportunity to develop a closer and stronger bond. “Siblings may seek comfort and security from each other when they feel upset or when they are trying to fall asleep, which can allow for a deep connection and friendship. They may also have more opportunities to be playful with each other and share in more frequent and deeper conversations,” says Seidel. (Try to remember that the next time your kids spend the night whispering and giggling beneath the covers.)