Sharing a Room in the Preschool Years
Most preschool children like being with other children so room sharing is a natural for them. They haven’t reached the stage where privacy becomes important. However, you still need to establish rules so that each child has some flexible shared space as well as some space of their own.
Room sharing in the early years is best if children are within a year or two of each other. Much more than that and you will find that their likes and dislikes as well as their needs are too different. Young children always want to do what the older child is doing but that may not be well received by the older child. Therefore, the older child needs a work area that is out of reach for the younger one so he can do more complex activities at that level. On the other hand, the younger child needs his own table or special place to work and the older child needs to respect the younger’s activities and not mess them up.
When the youngest is out of the crib, plan whether you have space for full size beds, twin size beds, or bunk type beds. If you choose bunk beds, you will need to use them separated at the preschool age and wait until the kids are at least 6 years of age to stack them. But, you have that option down the road and you can even separate them again in the teen years if privacy and a single room is more of an option at that time. If you don’t have enough space for two twin size beds, you can use a crib bed or toddler beds until the older child is ready for the top bunk of a bunk bed. You need to be careful if younger children are using a room with a bunk bed in it. Removable ladders are good in this case to be taken down during the day or when an adult is not in the room.
Skillful planning and decoration can give the room a uniform look yet bring out the individuality of each child. Storage is important and a treasure box or toy chest for each child will make them feel like they have a special place for their most important things. Chest of drawers, dressers, shelves, and so forth can be shared but be prepared for confusion if you have them sharing the same drawers. Keep things as simple as possible for children of this age.
Some days, it will seem like arguments are continuous and you think you have no choice but to separate them. Hang in there because there are important lessons they can learn if you persist. Most often, these spats are worked out and the kids learn from this shared type of living. In some situations like major personality differences, it may be better to separate the children. Parental discretion is required. For more information on room sharing, visit https://bunkbedsbunker.com/blog.