Are you battling with a couple of children and not quite enough square footage to house them both peacefully? In an ideal world, all the members of your little tribe would have their room, but for many people, that just isn’t a viable option.
With an average UK house price of £230,332 as of February 2020, moving to a larger property may not be feasible either, and your little ones may have to put up with sharing a bedroom. However, research from interior design specialists Hammonds suggests living in close quarters with their siblings can help children develop vital skills.
The study of 2,000 adults threw up some interesting findings, including:
- Almost half (46%) described sharing a room with their brother or sister as a positive experience, while only 9% felt it had been a negative period in their lives.
- More than a third (39%) believed it helped them develop a stronger connection with their family.
- Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people said sharing a bedroom helped them to respect boundaries, while 38% said it enhanced the development of their emotional intelligence.
The Expert’s View
Psychologist and mental health YouTuber Dennis Relojo-Howell explains the long-term advantages of siblings sharing a room in their formative years:
“The are many benefits for kids to sharing a room; for example, a child who is anxious about sleeping on his own can feel more secure,” he says. “Also, kids will quickly learn the art of compromising – by learning how to occupy a shared space; children are likely to carry this skill into adult life when in the workplace or living in shared flats.
“It is obvious that there are times that siblings will not get on well, but dealing with conflict at a young age can help children develop emotional intelligence to navigate the adult world better.”
What You Can Do To Help Your Children?
Your kids may not be keen on sharing a space with their siblings, but there are a few things you can do to help them adapt to the situation as comfortable as possible. For example, setting some clearly defined ground rules will help all parties understand where the boundaries lie.
And you’re likely looking to maximize the space available, in which case you might want to think about incorporating built-in storage solutions to give your kids as much room as possible to play together or separately. You can also encourage them to be a part of the decorating process, allowing them to choose the colors for their half of the room so that space feels like their own.