Photography credit to Arnmbr
Siblings are the greatest gift in the entire world. The trouble with siblings is that you don’t often realise quite how valuable they are to you until you’re an adult and likely no longer cohabiting with them. Finding ways to keep the peace between your young kids when they are determined to despise one another is no easy feat at the best of times. But with the price of housing what it currently is, more and more households are downsizing and are therefore required to have their offspring sharing a room. We’re not suggesting this is necessarily a bad thing in the long run, for some children cohabiting with a sibling is a comfort that helps them sleep better and can ultimately teach them a lot. However, there are certain to be tumultuous moments of snatching and shouting and fighting. We’ve compiled a list of the five ways to keep a shared bedroom harmonious. You can’t put an end to sibling bickering, but you can do your best to mitigate it.
Photography credit to Bloglovin
Creating a visible divide through the middle of the room might seem like the best way to offer each child their own space, but you run the risk of starting World War III if one of them crosses over enemy lines. Bunk beds is the easiest way to remove a hard border between each child’s space by making sleeping a part of the shared room. They are also great tools for space saving. Sharing storage, like mix and matched toybox, is a great way to show kids that the space their in is for both of their usages. This avoids any battles for territory. Modular toy storage facilities allow your offspring to access their own toys when they need to (and hopefully one day learn to put them back as well).
Same, same but different
Photography credit to Pinterest
Bear with us, because we know it’s hypocritical to insist on creating a shared space and then immediately preach about the importance of independence. But even though space is shared it’s important that each of your children can identify a sense of self and comfort within the room. An easy way to achieve this is to ensure that the space is shared, but that there are items within it that pertain to a certain child. For instance, if one of your children is musical and the other artistic, why not include both an easel and a guitar? Should they want to borrow something that belongs to their siblings, you’re provided with the perfect opportunity to teach them about patience, respect and negotiation even if you do have to go through a few bust-ups first.
Decorating with a difference
Photography credit to ohhappyday.com
And it’s not just in their preferred toys where you can embrace the difference in your children's personalities. Don’t be frightened to mix their styles in one place. Posters of films, shows or books that they are interested in as individuals can help shared spaces feel more like their own. Colour differences in beds and bed sheets are a subtle way to show a difference, without causing the room to feel garish or overwhelmingly clashing. Celebrating difference isn’t as difficult in a shared space as you’d think. Neutral colours can help differing tastes blend into one another.
Photography credit to ebabee
There’s nothing wrong with your kids getting a little antsy for some privacy, especially if they are of varying ages as opposed to twins as they can be at very different stages of their development. If you’ve got the space, it’s worth creating small pods of space within a room where your kids can go to be alone. Reading nooks, featuring a beanbag or a small chair and separated from the rest of the room by a bookcase, are a useful way to encourage reading and give your children room to be alone. Spaces like this are shared by the children but are only big enough to be used independently. Teepee tents are all the rage right now and they create the perfect amount of space to go to be alone. This privacy can be replicated by bed canopies that can be pulled back and forth as and when. If you want to get really innovative with your space, why not make like this couple who turned their son's cupboard into a dual layer playroom where they have separate spaces to enjoy their toys whilst still sharing the remainder of the room.
Photography credit to Design Sponge
Photography credit to Red
You’ve probably lost count of all the times you’ve shouted ‘violence is not the answer’ at your youngsters. When you’ve got children in close quarters they can have a tendency to express themselves through their fists when they are feeling territorial. Try providing an alternative creative outlet for them to channel themselves through. Chalkboard paint allows you to paint as much or as little of a room as a canvas for creativity. Kids are free to express their personality and individuality all over the wall over and over, as only a simple wipe will remove the previous day's masterpiece. More changeable options include hanging empty photo frames in the shared room with clips for them to hang their own artwork in, or a magnetic wall with letters adorning it which not only encourages learning but allows both children expression through language, not violence.