Whether home space is tight or parents just prefer it, lots of siblings share bedrooms. This can do wonders for your children’s bond, but there are bound to be territorial tiffs—and too-late nights—along the way. Karen Ruskin, PsyD, a parenting expert in Sharon, MA, shares a few kid-cohabitation smoothers.
Make a rental agreement. Have older kids form their own set of rules. If one child likes to curl up quietly with a book before bed but the other likes to jam out with his guitar, have them set a schedule of some solo room time and mutual quiet hours. This way both can do their thing and both can get the rest they need. Make sure they don’t overschedule; there needs to be time for spontaneity, too.
Have kids create nooks. Let them decorate their own sleep spots and set up shelves or drawers to house their “do not touch without asking” items. Also create an area of common space to encourage shared time.
Prepare for sound sleep. It’s not just sibling rivalry that causes friction. One child’s snoring or night rising can disturb the other’s slumber. Invest in a sound machine to drown out noises in the night, and work to get to the root of the problem. For example, a kid who snores may need to visit the pediatrician to rule out health issues. The goal: sweet dreams for all.