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LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 05-Mar-15 11:25:10

Should siblings share a bedroom?

Author Sinead Moriarty on the bond she shares with her sister, and how sharing a bedroom while they were growing up helped to foster that closeness. Did you share a bedroom with a sibling and, if so, did it bring you closer?

Sinead Moriarty

Should siblings share a bedroom?

Posted on: Thu 05-Mar-15 11:25:10


Lead photo

Sinead Moriarty

Should siblings share a bedroom? Does it make them closer or is it a potential battleground? In my experience it is definitely the former.

I think the bond with a sister is like no other. If you are lucky enough to have a sister, who you get on with, you’ll know what I'm talking about. And if you shared a bedroom with your sister growing up, you'll understand that special bond.

I have one sister, three years older than me, who I am very close to. We shared a bedroom and talked long into the night about everything. So when she left home and went to live in Sydney for a year, I was bereft.

This is long before mobile phones, e-mail and Skype. When my father got the phone bill that Christmas, he hit the roof. If I remember correctly he said - via gritted teeth and a clenched jaw - that I could have flown to Australia, had a long face-to-face conversation with my sister and flown home again and it still would have cost less than the phone bill.

I firmly believe that part of the reason we are so close is because we shared a bedroom. Sharing a small and confined space with your sibling will make or break your relationship.

I think the bond with a sister is like no other. If you are lucky enough to have a sister, who you get on with, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Of course you won't agree on everything. You will argue and bicker over numerous issues. However, from a very early age you will learn to compromise, share and work out privacy and space issues. All of these are tools that will serve you well later on in life when you share a flat with friends or an office with colleagues or a house with your partner.

In my experience, by the far the best housemates were the ones who came from big families and were used to sharing and helping around the house.

Our society promotes a "me, myself and I" mentality, where we are encouraged to put ourselves first. While this can be important in achieving goals it's also important to remember that you will most likely end up sharing a living space with someone else at some point and that their needs matter too.

Sharing a bedroom is therefore an excellent preparation for the compromises that a child will need to make in their future life. Starting early seems like a good idea.

Children who have learned to sacrifice and work together on decisions and be considerate during childhood are gaining wonderful real-world skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Sharing a room isn't the end of the world. It may be one of the best decisions you ever make for your children. I certainly benefited from sharing a room with my sister and we remain very close to this day. She, like me, has put her children in a bedroom together. We are both hoping that our children will be as close as we are!

Sinead's book, The Secrets Sisters Keep is published by Penguin and is available now on Amazon.

By Sinead Moriarty

Twitter: @sinead_moriarty

Mishap Thu 05-Mar-15 11:43:51

Heavens no - it did not bring us closer. My sister was 9 years younger than me and I finished up having to get up in the night to her when she was little - and I am sure you can imagine how it cramped my style with my teenage friends of both sexes! I had no privacy and, to be honest, rather resented my brother having his own room.

It took many years before my sister and I established our now close and happy relationship.

J52 Thu 05-Mar-15 11:49:34

Not having a sister, I have no personal experience, but given the cost of housing, I expect that today many siblings share rooms.

In times gone by it was the norm. My mother shared with two sisters, adimttedly in a very large bedroom. It didn't seem to bring them closer, in fact there were often recounted tales about 'sharing'.

DHs twin brothers always had to share, even though there was a spare bedroom. They were allowed a room each at exam times! x

annodomini Thu 05-Mar-15 12:10:48

My DSs shared a bedroom until we moved to a bigger house. As they were quite close in age, I was able to read the same stories and poems to them. They were very well behaved at bed time - much better than my two youngest GSs who don't share, but are quite naughty about going to bed.

harrigran Thu 05-Mar-15 12:24:01

I shared a bedroom with my sister, ok when you are young but as a teenager it drove me crackers. I left home the eve of my 18th birthday. DH had to share a bedroom with three brothers.

janerowena Thu 05-Mar-15 12:29:33

I was one of four. I was lucky, we had a big house. When we were little it was fine, one room was big enough for four single beds, but I really wanted a room of my own. Eventually we all did. I really hated sharing a room, I wanted to read, the others would want the light out. They would want to talk, I did not. They would leave their tried-on clothes on my bed. If it works, it works. If not, it makes bedtime uncomfortable.

janerowena Thu 05-Mar-15 12:29:54

And one of my sisters ground her teeth!

KatyK Thu 05-Mar-15 12:30:32

We were brought up in a small 3 bedroomed house. Six children (two boys and four girls) and our parents. We had no choice.

gillybob Thu 05-Mar-15 12:33:45

My sister and I shared a room for a few years when we were children. We are 5 years apart and I hated sharing with her (although I know she loved it). I felt suffocated by my sister and my parents often made me take her with me when I went out with friends which only made me resent her even more. We do get on much better as adults than we did as children.

My own DGD's share a room at home (they share with their little brother too at mine) and they get along very well indeed. They are only two years apart and are like best friends aswell as sisters. The elder one (9)has a much softer/gentler nature than her younger sister (7) and she would be totally lost without her little sister to stick up for her.

Anya Thu 05-Mar-15 13:02:05

Why not share? We have bunk beds in the third bedroom and when my GC have a sleepover they use these.

In fact if all four are sleeping over it's two in the top and two in the bottom bunks.

Anya Thu 05-Mar-15 13:02:38

Top to tail.

Bellasnana Thu 05-Mar-15 13:06:31

I was the youngest of three girls but never shared a room with my sisters. We were always extremely close and have been all our lives.

My own four children did share, two to a room, when they were little but all had their own rooms by the age of about ten. They all get on well also. smile

ninathenana Thu 05-Mar-15 13:18:56

I don't have a sister, but I know my childhood friend hated sharing as there was about 6yrs between her and her sister.
DGS share because the 3 yr old sleeps better when with his brother. They have beds on opposite sides of the room but when DD checks on them they are often top to tail in one bed smile

hildajenniJ Thu 05-Mar-15 14:10:11

I had my own room, but my two younger sisters shared a double bed. They are definitely closer to each other than they are to me. We all get along well together but I sometimes feel as if I'm missing something.
My two eldest Gs's share a room, they have bunk beds. The younger one goes to bed half an hour before the older one, they are very good with this arrangement.

annsixty Thu 05-Mar-15 14:14:51

I was an only child and apart from DH do not like sharing at all. Actually if it is not TMI I don't share with him now. After H's brother died I went on a short break with his SiL and shared and couldn't wait to get home. I suggested another break with single rooms and she was a bit upset so that was the end of that.

gillybob Thu 05-Mar-15 14:24:22

I have a set of bunks and a pull out trundle that now fits neatly under the bottom bunk after DH fitted some wooden feet to the bottom bunk to lift it up a wee bit. Painted white you would never know they weren't supposed to be there.

We have a calendar on the childrens bedroom wall where they mark off who's turn it is to sleep in which bed, who picked the story etc.

All's fair in love and bedtime smile

FlicketyB Thu 05-Mar-15 15:46:59

I think it works when siblings are close I age and the parents treat the children as equals.

I shared with my younger sister for most of my childhood. We had our spats but we were very close. Circumstances meant that for considerable times in our childhood we were separated from our parents when we were at boarding school and they lived abroad and we were support for each other and I used to look after her as she was the younger.

My DC shared a bedroom for a few years but DS is a morning person and DD most emphatically is not. I either had 4 year old son grizzling on the landing in the evening because DS wanted to play and he wanted to go to sleep or I had 2 year old daughter tetchy and bad tempered all morning because she had been woken early and suddenly and didn't like it. So at the ages of 2 and 4 they got separate rooms and peace returned to the family

DGC , 4 and 7 share, there isn't any alternative. So far so good but they are close to each other anyway.

rubylady Thu 05-Mar-15 22:05:50

I shared with my baby sister. I was 15 when she came along and from her being 3 months old I had her in with me so I was up during the night while I was in the middle of my O' levels too. I didn't begrudge it with her though, it was my parents job to look after her.

Eighteen months before I left to get married, we moved into a cottage. I then not only shared a room but a double bed with her. On my wedding day we crept downstairs while everyone else slept on and had our breakfast together. She was 6 years old and my only bridesmaid. It was the best time of my wedding day. smile

gillybob Thu 05-Mar-15 22:27:35

What a lovely post rubylady smile

MaryXYX Fri 06-Mar-15 14:09:10

When I was a child we were a "one boy, one girl" family and didn't share.

A lot depends on necessity - five of my daughters shared a room for some time. That's one set of two bunks and one set of three. From what I can see they are still very close although the factor of "borrowing" one another's clothes no longer applies.

granjura Fri 06-Mar-15 15:14:44

Ahhh lovely rubylady. Never had a sister, and I do envy yours.

No reason why siblings should share a bedroom- but no reason why they shouldn't either. Pros and cons- but I feel we are far too precious about these things nowadays. In my parents generation- sharing a bedroom, even with several siblings. was totally normal.

FlicketyB Fri 06-Mar-15 19:26:30

I think the first time in his life DF ever slept alone in a room for more than the odd night was after my mother died. He was 82.

He was one of a large family so shared a bedroom with a brother/s throughout childhood. He only left home when he joined the army and then slept in barrack rooms and the mess and then was married and obviously shared a bedroom and bed with DM.

He then lived on his own for the last 10 years of his life and managed remarkably well. But when you one of the oldest in a large family your domestic skills do get honed and you do grow up very adaptable.

Dancinggran Fri 06-Mar-15 20:49:17

I shared a bedroom with my younger brother until I was almost 7 when we moved into a 3 bed house
My own 2dd's shared until in their early/ mid teens my DH converted the loft, but they often slept in each others rooms even then. They have always been and are still very close.

Igranma Mon 09-Mar-15 17:33:38

My sister & I shared a double bed when we were young, it didn't do us any harm we had lots of fun taking it in turns trying to catch Father Christmas.
Love her so much.

pinkprincess Tue 10-Mar-15 00:08:36

When I was very young we had a two bedroomed house with seven people in.
In the large bedroom there were two double beds, my parents in one and two of us sisters in the other. In between was a carry cot for the baby.
The second, much smaller bedroom had a cot for my brother and a single bed for the other sister. We would take turns in sleeping in the single bed and would fight over it.
Later we moved to a bigger house with three bedrooms-wow. My only brother had the smallest room to himself while myself and three sisters still had to share one bedroom as our parents had the other one. It must have been bliss for them, not having kids hearing their, um, night time activities.
My own two DC, both boys, shared a room in our three bedroomed house. I wanted to keep the other one as spare.After being brought up in cramped conditions myself I liked to think of a spare bedroom as luxury.