I have three kids (in case you didn’t know!). Twin girls (who are almost six), and a two year old boy. The girls share a bedroom. The boy still sleeps with us, and because there isn’t any more bedrooms some of his things are in our room, and some in the girl’s room.
The girls are pretty good at sharing and including their brother most of the time, but sometimes they like to go to their room and shut the door. Leaving their little brother screaming, broken hearted, in the hallway. That’s been happening a lot lately.
So here’s the burning question…
Do you let your kids shut their siblings out of their rooms?
What if it is a shared space?
Are kids entitled to their own space? To say they don’t want to be around someone for a while?
How do we teach our kids to ‘not share their space’ with kindness and compassion? And how do you deal with the one who is locked out?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Erin’s an only child and will always be. But if she had siblings, yes I think they’d be allowed to have alone time.
Most definately, I think kids should be free to have some alone time. We as adults love some alone time so I think it’s a normal part of self discovery.
My 3 yr old has only just started having some time to herself in her room. She makes up little games or sometimes just chills out with books.
But I dont have other kids so Im not sure how to deal with that one!!
My older three boys share one room – they’re 10, 8, and 4, so as you can probably imagine, the four year old (in particular) is sometimes locked out…
How we deal with this changes from time to time. I, personally, don’t believe any child is entitled to their own room (heck, where’s MY room all to myself???) – I know many (poss. most) people don’t agree with me on this…
So, anyway, sometimes I make the big bous include the little boy (or the exclude child – odd numbers suck, btw), and sometimes I explain that so and so needs some times to himself – depends on what I sense is going on…
Even if we had the money – which we will one day – I would give my children a room each because I strongly believe in the value of HAVING to share and negotiate and learn to GIVE space when someone needs it (which the opportunity for learning might not be as readily available when children have their own room where negotiation can be avoided)…
Anyway, that’s my take on it..,
That should read I *wouldn’t* even if I had the money…
I can’t really answer this, since I have only one (for a few more weeks anyway). I think a child does need a chance to be alone every now and then though. Not sure how to actually make that work.
But I just wanted to say that his curls just kill me. He’s so darn cute!
Hmmm, it’s a tough one. I think everyone is entitled to the right to have some time and space alone, but it has to be done with kindness and consideration towards others.
Mine have a room each, the doors to which are rarely shut, and they freely play between the two rooms. But we still often get tears from Miss B because “jacob doesn’t want me in his room”. We have a rule that everyone is entitled to time on their own, but that it has to be stated with words and with kindness… on a good day the rule is followed lol! The excluded child? I normally try and explain that it is not about them, but about their siblings need for some time on their own to think, regroup or chill out, then the two of us go and do something together.
Also time on their own doesn’t necessarily happen in their own room, if they are part way through a game or an activity that is set up … then I don’t think one has the right to order the other one to pack up and leave which ever room they are in. In that case the one who wants some solitude can go somewhere else. They often lie on my bed, on the trampoline, under the dining table. I agree with Meaghan, it is about learning to respect other peoples need for time and space, and learning to state that in a way that doesn’t hurt other peoples feelings. It’s a hard concept for little kids to grasp though.
Oh and I just realised that is Sif I am agreeing with, not Meaghan… not that I disagree with Meaghan either.
Loving reading all your ideas on this –
I’m definitely all for kids haring a bedroom and the benefits of that – I guess our problem seem huge now because it is ‘two against one’ and because the ‘one’ is only two….
Does it make a difference if it is two siblings excluding another? Or if it is an older excluding a younger??
Kate, when Bianca was two and Jacob was four and a half, we ran into problems with her unintentionally mucking up stuff, like wrecking the lego creation, stuff like that… we installed a “baby gate” across his bedroom doorway. He was happy to play inside, she was happy to play on the other side, they could still chat to each other and hand things over. Have you aked the girls why they are shutting the door? Maybe it is because they don’t want trucks plundering through their barbie scenes rather than wanting to be away from their brother? Just a thought.
I think you will probably always find the older tends to exclude the younger… but two against one is tough.
I have three boys, two that are close in age, and an older one. These days Jordan is aiming for time on his own, being almost 12, but that often causes tears from Tom (and sometimes Will).
I believe they should be able to have their own space and time, and their own friends (the little ones always want to play with the big boys when Jordan has a mate over, luckily one of his friends is fantastic about that!).
The two little ones share a bedroom, and Jordan has his own. We also have another bedroom, but that is a shared space .. playroom type of thing.
hmm I just realised that I have given no advice, basically we go with the flow a bit, if two are excluding one, then that one gets extra computer time or something (a bit of a treat), generally they work it out eventually between themselves, mine are older than yours so I can let them fight it out a bit.. so long as there is no bloodshed they need to work out their own boundaries.
Mistress B says
We tend to go with the flow too.
Yes, I think it’s important that kids get the opportunity to have their own space.
And Yes, I think it’s important that they also know how to share and get along and treat each other kindly.
The two need not be mutually exclusive. We tend to only step in and sort it out for them if things are getting heated, as yes we still have to do it especially when one has friend’s over.
We tend to distract the excluded one if they are feeling put out with extra computer time or a dvd or with asking them to help mum or dad with a special job in the garden or kitchen or something.
In our home we are big on “private spaces”. J and F share a bedroom, but their beds are 100% their own space. Miss V has her own bedroom although again it’s her bed that I emphasise is her space. Thankfully we haven’t really had issues of J and F excluding their little sister. In fact if anything it’s the other way around – Miss V will want to get away from her big sisters! I think that because they are all girls and similar in ages it makes a difference.
I did struggle when we had the two new additions though. TJ who is 7 is sharing a room with R who is 2. They are not brothers and not at all close age or personality wise, so this was pretty chaotic to start off with. TJ was constantly wanting time out in his room and shutting R out, who was suitably unimpressed. I’ve only just solved this one – We built TJ a fort. He now has his own space that R cannot get to and R generally loses interest when TJ is out of sight! Maybe not practical for everyone, but it worked for us :-)