Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Room Sharing- Pros and Cons

Danielle Bean is helping a cyber friend stand up for her decision to continue having her kids share bedrooms. In todays culture with 6 bedroom McMansions with 4 people living there part time its hard for most people to imagine living in the consatant presense of another person. Here was my contribution:

"We've done a little of everything,(as always) since I can never leave well enough alone. I was the oldest of 8. There were 5 girls and a boy when my parents gave up and made the living room there bedroom. When expecting 'good ole #7' She had the 3 oldest of us--all girls-- take the livingroom and said she wouldn't deliver till he'd turned the attic to bedrooms. She did deliver in June although the bedrooms weren't ready till Christmas Eve. We slept on the floor that night, well, actually we talked half the night which drove daddy crazy!
When he was done I had a room and the other 2 shared but he never finished. We never got doors. Then when I was 19 #8 came around and everything changed. Both the younger ones were girls so the boy had his own room. I now had to share since I was in college and so only home half the time. And yes my sisters and I love to have a girl's night. Mum comes too. Its fabulous. We argued like crazy back then but now they are my best friends.
Currently our 2 boys share our attic, the 17 yo girl has her own room but its the size of a closet. and the 4 little girls have their bunks and clothes in one room with all the toys in another. For sleepovers we can take over the toy room.
I have noticed in families where everyone has there own room a tendency to allow gathering in bedrooms. It may be OK for a sleepover but with a boy and a girl teen I don't allow much of hanging out upstairs. its just not modest. We've tried to make the first floor very available. Living room, study, DR, kitchen, and to make the porch and back yard good places to hang out. I want their friends over BUT...
One idea I saw was to have a guest room double as something useful like a study area or craft area. This way you don't feel you've wasted space.
Another was abig family with one full bath set up the closest bedroom as the laundry and dressing room. All Dressers, the washer and dryer, the iron all in one place. You came out of the shower, grabbed your clothes changed behind the curtain and hung your towel. It left the bedroom with more room and eliminated season change over problems, (Like packing up the mittens the finding Easter colder than Christmas)
Our room plan will change when my oldest are at college most of the year and the oldest of the little girls becomes a teen 3 years before the rest.
Anyway sharing rooms really does great things for kids."

Beyond that I think its great for society. Most kids grow up in a public school and with age segregated activities after school and never learn how to deal with other ages. We learn compassion helping a little one with shoes or making beds. We learn vocabulary when an older person reads to us or tells about way back when. We see they struggle to learn something and learn to be patient with ourselves as we learn something new.
It seems to me we need more ways of bringing our kids together not more ways to give them privacy.

PS Danielle has been nominated for Funniest Homeschool Blog! She gets my vote.

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