Finally, a parenting trend that benefits parents: shared bedrooms
As a parent, the trend often seems to be towards more. More stuff, more space, more more more. It can be exhausting and stressful, trying to keep up with the Joneses and making sure your kids aren’t lacking for anything.
Which is why a new trend towards less is so refreshing.
According to the Detroit Free-Press, in nearly two-thirds of homes with two children under 18, the kids share a room. Which seems to be a new development.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that from 1995 to 2014, the median size of a new home had increased by 550 square feet to 2,500 square feet, and 46% of new single-family homes had four bedrooms or more. Apparently, despite that size increase, parents are forcing their kids to share quarters, both to keep that extra space for themselves and to benefit their kids. Parents are using the extra rooms as offices and guest rooms, and I say more power to them.
Of course, it’s not just about parents being selfish. Having a roommate can actually help kids become heavier sleepers, according to Linda Szmulewitz, a certified gentle sleep coach. Provided you can get them to stop talking to each other and actually go to sleep, of course.
“For older children who share a room, I work on helping parents set expectations about bedtime, so that they keep in mind that the time that children spend chatting before going to bed is their special private time, and you have to allow for that to some extent, rather than expecting that you are going to put them to bed and they are going to lay there quietly and just fall asleep without any interaction,” Szmulewitz said.
I had my own room growing up, and it was nice to have my own space, but it was always fun when I shared a room with one of my brothers on Christmas Eve, or some other special occasion. It was like having a sleepover! Sharing a room would’ve been less fun when I hit my teen years, obviously, but nothing about teenagers is all that much fun for parents, so these kids sharing rooms can just suck it up.
Private space is important, especially as kids grow older, but there are other ways to manage that without every kid requiring their own bedroom. So if you’d rather turn that extra room into a Dad (or Mom) Cave? Go for it. The kids will be fine.
It’s good for parents to preserve their sanity by saving some space for themselves, and not breaking the bank just to accommodate their children. We spend an awful lot of time providing for our kids, making sure they have everything they want, that sometimes we give them a lot more than they need.