Big Kid Dilemma: When Brother and Sister Share a Room


When children are infants, toddlers or even early elementary school kids, the reality of opposite sex siblings sharing a room is not super-challenging. There may be the issue of  "Do I paint the walls pink or blue?", but by and large, at those younger ages everything works itself out.

It's when kids reach their tween and teen years that co-ed room sharing can become problematic. And many moms--especially in an economy where most of us can't afford a huge house or apartment--are faced with this dilemma.

I have a good friend struggling with this right now and she's often at the point of tears. Her kids have loft beds at either side of the room, but that doesn't help anything when it comes to the matter of privacy and friends. Her teenage daughter hates being home because she can't stand being in her brother's friends' company. Her son hates having so many beauty products and girl stuff everywhere he looks.

What works best for my girlfriend now is giving her tween and tween "company schedules," that is, specific days of the week that either kid can have friends over. As for the beauty products, her son just has to get over it.

Are you a mother facing this problem? Do you have any suggestions for making life easier for a brother and sister who have to share a room? Do tell!

independence, teens, tweens


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tyfry... tyfry7496

In some states it would be illegal for kids over the age of 5 to share a room with the opposite sex. I would do whatever I had to to NOT have teenagers of the opposite sex share a room, that is just asking for trouble.  I would even give up my room and sleep on the couch so the kids didin't have to share a room.

Momof... Momof2Stepof3

More and more familys will have to have there kids share rooms no matter if its illegal or not. Tyfry7496 What you think the parents are unfit? Have you been to other countries where everyone in the family shares a bed.


I dont think it should be illegal that is just asking for too much. Not everyone can afford the luxuries of having a multi bedroom house. I think room dividers are a better idea if the room allowes for it. When our parents were growing up it was common for sibling of both sexes to share a room and not wierd at all. Now days it is different because society has has changed so much.

matta... mattandjosmom

I agree that children in their teen years should not be sharing a room. In this state child protective services would proabablt be visiting the family.   The parents, if they only have one room, should have some type of divider.  A teen girl should not have to share a room with her brother who has friends, who I am sure stay over.  This is just asking for something to happen.  Even if they have company schedule, the daughter is still there when her brother's friends are staying over.  I think it is just asking for trouble......with a capital T.

tyfry... tyfry7496

To momof2stepof3, in Wisconsin it IS illegal for kids of the opposite sex to share rooms after they are 5 or 6 years old. I don't live in another country, I live in the US and I would do whatever I had to so that TEENS of opposite sexes don't have to share a room. I am not saying luxouious homes, just something with more rooms. I grew up with a brother and as soon as I turned 5, my parents found another place so we didn't share. My aunt had 4 kids and opposite sexes didn't share. My friend had 8 kids and opposte sexes didn't/don't share rooms. It is asking for TROUBLE when teens share rooms. Maybe some people need to give up their toys so they have enough rooms for their kids.

fragile1 fragile1

I don't know, but I do know brother and myself shared a room for about 2 years granted he was like 2 and i 9, but at the time that was the type of housing my parents could afford, and it didn't traumatize me or him in any waysmile mini

SebsM... SebsMom29

in most states it IS illegal for children of the oposite sex to share a room over the age of 5. My best friend was told by Child Protective Services to either move into a bigger place or for her to move to the couch being she has a 9 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. In fact this was required once the girl turned 2

benja... benjamink

My older 2- 15 y/o daughter and 13 y/o son- had to share a room for the past year and a half. No problems except excessive arguing since one kid is neat and one is messy. I occasionally had to share a room (and a bed-gasp!) with my brothers growing up. Big deal. What is everyone suggesting might happen? These are siblings for corn's sake. I can't believe how suspicious minds are these days, it's really sad.

sarah... sarah6183

Yep, I live in Wis where it is illegal.... and I would do what it takes to make sure that my children do not share a room after a certian age. That is why when we moved this last time, we made certain to get a three bedroom home. There is no excuse for a boy and girl to share a room after a certain age, and ESPECIALLY as teenagers. That is wrong. Once they hit puberty, it becomes very wrong. We moved into a house that has enough bedrooms, even though its barely within our budget. But at least I know we are doing what is right!

sarah... sarah6183

And i agree with you, Tyfry7496, some people need to grow up themselves and get rid of their toys to make the right accomodations for their children. My ex takes our two children, a boy age 4 and a girl almost age 6, and he knows that they are not to sleep in the same room. If they do, he wont be taking them overnight anymore.

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