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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sunny... sunnybunny5us

Once they hit puberty, I think they need a space where the opposite sex does not intrude. I only have girls but I have a lot of friends who were also poor and they always did what it took to let the boys and girls have seperate rooms, even if it meant mom and dad sleep in the living room.

Elizabeth Dawson

It is naive to assume people can afford that kind of space. Look around the world,or (even here in the US) curb your paranoia, and relax. People live in a variety of circumstances, from a family of 6 sharing a single room to extended family all residing in one or two bedroom apartments. Agreed, if you can afford to separate your teens of opposite sex, do it. If you can't it's no big deal, they will learn to deal with it. It is a very white centric middle class perspective to assume it is somehow inherently wrong.

nonmember avatar pooly

A simple Screen of Bed sheet on a wooden frame would allow for some of the desired Visual privacy. cost abouut 10 $ ours was cardboard then a sheet of sheet rock later another,and so on until it was a wall solid. on stormy scary nights I slept in his bed until I was Never had Intercourse either. 15 to his 17.never did get a door between us.

nonmember avatar Annie

I was forced to share a room with my little brother all the way to the age of 17. I wasn't able to grow up normally, suxually. I have many sexual psychological problems that are constantly being treated by a psychiatrist. My relationships and marriage were ruined by my problems. It was an oppression to my womanhood developement. Sleeping in the same room as my brother allmost led me to suicide...Its hard to explain but the issues that it causes are huge. It doesn't even allow a girl to think, dream, romaticize, masturbate, discover! It's worse than death. Shame on parents who don't give private spaces.

Sophie Reah

I think there are pros and cons to opposite sex teens sharing a room. I think once a girl hits puberty, she will not want to be changing clothes in front of her brother. Also, if he has friends sleep-over, I know I wouldn't want to be in the same room, same if the other way around - wouldn't want my brother in the room if I was having a sleepover. I think some sort of room divider can be an adequate compromise if there is no option for separate rooms, but I think if it's possible, its best for them to have their own room. A teen's bedroom is their sanctuary, it's where they express their personality and individuality. Ly x

nonmember avatar grammie

so I have a problem with my 7 year old granddaughter sharing a room with her 13 half brother.....there aren't a shortage of rooms. I have witnessed behavior that makes me question the I wrong to worry

Gary Whydopeopledothistotheirname McDermott

omg if your teenage kids are curious about having sex with each other than there is a lot more wrong with them then just sharing the same room. no matter how "curious" i was a a teenager i was never even remotely curious about having sex with my sister and believe me seeing your sister naked is not the same as seeing literally ANY other woman. You people who have teenager's that are doing sexual things to each other need to stand back and take a look at how you have raised your perverted ass children. Jesus this country is doomed, and BTW it's not a law in any state for sexual reasons only for fire-safety and occupancy laws, they are absolutely no relation to the gender of the kids/adults on the house. What a bunch of idiots…..

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