Are you wondering what age siblings should stop sharing a room? Are you worried about making the big change? You can easily help your kids successfully adjust to having their own bedroom with these 5 practical tips that actually work. Start preparing your child (and yourself) for the big change.
My husband and I have a little princess who has been sharing a bedroom with one of the most boyish boys (of all boys) for the past couple of years.
Although it’s been very tender to see our daughter’s princess dolls having tea with our son’s superhero action figures, (I’m pretty sure I saw a wedding set-up as well), my husband and I knew the time was coming for these two friends to part ways.
They would both be needing their own bedroom very soon.
The question, “what age should siblings stop sharing a room” can quickly become a topic of debate and opinion. This is especially true if your children are of the opposite sex (like mine are).
Although we don’t discuss age in this post (there are ton’s of great resources to read about this topic), this post will help your child successfully adjust to having their own bedroom. (Especially while you keep your sanity intact).
The one thing I do promise is that if your children are close while they are sharing a bedroom, rest your fears, their friendship will still thrive after their sleeping arrangements have changed.
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Our children are always bouncing and running into each other’s bedrooms throughout the day and trying to sneak into the other’s room to say hello at night.
Your job is to help their friendship grow during these moments.
Here are 5 tips that will help your child successfully adjust to having their own bedroom (from a family who has been there before).
Helping Kids Successfully Adjust to Having Their Own Bedroom (After Sharing)
1. When to Make the Change
Someone once told me that if you’re going to wait for the perfect time to do something, you’re always going to be waiting.
How true those words are for nearly every part of life we experience.
Knowing this, however, I would like to recommend times when not to make this huge bedroom change.
Don’t make the change during a huge event (such as a new baby or a move). We made this mistake.
My husband moved our family to Mississippi for law school and we went from renting a two bedroom apartment to renting a three bedroom house.
We thought this would be the perfect time for our daughter to have her own room! And perfect for us because we could easily put her things in boxes (two for one deal, right?)
Well, this was a mistake on our part. Not only was she struggling with the move and missing friends from Utah, she now had the fear of being alone while her brother’s slept in the room next to her.
Our sweet girl was dealing with so much stress, and her ability to ultimately thrive and love her new bedroom came from tips 3 – 5 in this post. And one of the reasons why this situation wasn’t any worse is because of our next tip.
2. Talk About Things Beforehand
Before our move to Mississippi, we asked our daughter if she would love to have her own bedroom.
“My own room?! Without my brothers in my bed and cars to step on? YES!”
So in the coming weeks, we talked about the big change she would be expecting. We told her about the new home we would be renting and her bedroom waiting for her.
We helped make her new room come life before the change, and you can do the same with your child very easily.
Talk with your child often and openly communicate with them the changes that will be coming from them having their own bedroom.
Don’t sugarcoat anything, but be honest in the great parts of having their own bedroom as well as some of the negative things they may experience (such as loneliness at night).
As you openly communicate with your child on what they should expect from having their own bedroom, you’ll be able to successfully set them (and you) up for success for when the big change comes.
3. Give A Lot of Patience
You have their bedroom in the house ready to go, their bed is moved in along with their dresser and clothes. Then nighttime comes and you tuck them into bed, kiss their foreheads and away you go to get some needed rest.
Then you hear giggles and find that the siblings are all in the same bedroom playing.
Or it’s the middle of the night and your child is poking your foot, standing at the end of your bed.
And in your delusion, your heart starts pounding as you bolt awake because let’s be honest, there is nothing creepier than a small smiling child staring at you while you sleep.
In order to help your children successfully adjust to having their own bedroom, you’re going to need to give a lot of patience. They have new surroundings to get used to, and not only that, but they no longer have their partners in crime surrounding them.
So, tired Momma, be willing to extend patience to them as they make this big change. This situation is just like having a newborn baby: the first few days are rough and hard, but over time things become easier.
4. Extend Freedom to Decorate
One of the fastest ways you can help your child successfully adjust to having their own bedroom is to give them permission to decorate their own space how they want.
Now, if you’re renting (like we are currently), obviously you can’t paint the walls or do anything major.
But you can take your child out to the local thrift store and find a cute end table or lamp that you can bring back to life. Or perhaps pick some beautiful canvas paintings to hang up in their bedroom.
In order for this tip to be successful, you’ll need to take a few steps back and let your child decide on their personal taste, what they’d like, and the decorating they would like to have happened.
If your son finds comfort in a really ugly brown pillow on his bed (and it’s definitely something you wouldn’t want in your room), it’s okay, let him have the pillow.
Their bedroom is in your house, but their rooms are the one place in the entire home they can call their own.
Yes, you still have the final decision on what comes into the home, but, if you can give them a little space to decorate and make something their own, you will have a child who is very excited to be in their bedroom.
5. Set Bedroom Rules
Just because your daughter has her own room, doesn’t mean she can do whatever she wants in her bedroom.
Having a bedroom by yourself is a privilege not many children get to experience. And just like all bedrooms, there must be rules for your child to thrive.
Some of the bigger things you’ll need to decide are who is allowed into the bedroom and at what time. Also, what should the child expect being in the room, do they have a cleaning chart for their room?
How will you keep them accountable?
Make sure to clearly communicate these rules and review them with your child often. As they grow you can adjust their bedroom rules accordingly and personalize as needed.
As you decide on when to make the change, talk about things beforehand with your child, give a lot of patience, help decorate, and be firm in bedroom rules, your child will thrive in their new setting.
I know some days might be hard, especially if your children are really close in their friendship together.
They’re going to try and sneak into each other’s rooms at night, you’ll have a lot of “Mom, she’s in my room!” screams throughout the house during the day, and you’ll wonder if you made the right choice.
You know your children better than anyone, and you also know that with all good things, time is the key to success.
Give your children time to adjust and thrive in their new environment. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that their friendship together grows as you do your part to encourage them to spend time together.
Do you have children who will be having their own bedrooms soon? What is your biggest fear with this change? Share in the comments below!
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected]