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Sharing With Siblings

Sharing With Siblings: How to Help Kids Find Their Own Space in a Shared Room

Some siblings have absolutely no problem sharing a room, and will whisper and giggle with each other far past bedtime, spinning stories and soothing each other to sleep. Sound like a fairy tale? The truth is, most parents don’t have it so easy. Most siblings have their rough patches with one another, and sharing a room with a sibling you haven’t gotten along with very well with that day can be the final insult. Most of us require a little alone space to cool down from the day, and when that space is shared by your arch nemesis (because when you’re a child, it really can feel that dramatic), you’re definitely not going to be able to get the breathing room you need to relax and sleep calmly. Then you have the siblings that get along fine, but whose relationship could still benefit enormously if they were able to get some peace and space from each other. This is especially true once the big brother or sister grows up a bit, and starts to yearn for more privacy and independence. This can be particularly difficult to explain to a younger sibling who doesn’t yet have those needs, and still wants to goof around with their old playmate.

The ideal solution for siblings who need space from each other at night is to get them their own bedrooms, but for many families this is simply not a possibility. Luckily, there’s a few other ways to partition off space and create breathing room in a shared bedroom.

Stagger bedtimes and naptimes. This first move is essential for sibling pairs with a big age difference. The older sibling will feel more respected and grown-up if they’re not forced to go to sleep at the same time as their younger sibling. Give them an extra half hour or hour to read, listen to music, or relax outside of the bedroom while the younger one gets tucked in. If your kids take naps, try to get them on different schedules so that they’re not keeping each other riled up and unable to sleep.

Create boundaries. Privacy Pop Bed Tents are an easy and beautiful way to immediately transform a bed into a private, airy fortress. The side flaps can be zipped close for maximum privacy, or left open during the day for an automatic play fort. The bed tents are also great for those rare siblings who have a little too much fun after lights-out, providing a partition that helps calm them down, eliminating distractions from each other that keep them up too late.

Expect change. As your kids get older, the dynamic between them will shift and evolve constantly. If you have your own siblings, you can remember this - and it’s probably still happening well into your adult years! Remember that your children are developing into their own personalities, and that their needs and desires will change frequently. Check in with both kids frequently to make sure they’re content and comfortable with their space, their privacy, and their individuality.

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