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?
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.
I shared with sister until I married at 18. I always wanted a room of my own although we got on. Sometimes we would contrive to part with wardrobes, old curtains and piles of books to split the room. Still friends aged 61 we recently shared a room and she snores!!