Updated 11 February 2013

Sharing a room with a sibling

Here are some tips for carving out some personal space in a shared room, setting sibling boundaries, compromising on the decor and more.


From the Editors of Girl World Daily

Sure, sharing a room isn’t the ideal situation. But it happens. Here are some tips for carving out some personal space in a shared room, setting sibling boundaries, compromising on the decor and more!

“I’m dying for a little alone time!”

Maybe you want to crash on your bed, turn on your tunes and chill. “Sometimes, my little sis gets really annoying, and I just want her to leave me alone,” says Leah, 9, who’s been sharing a room with her sister, Laurel.

Room share boundaries: Not in the mood to hang out? Instead of squawking “you’re always bothering me,” work out a schedule so each of you gets some private time. Maybe on Mondays and Wednesdays you get an hour to yourself in the afternoon; she gets the same on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Bonus bedroom tip: If you want a friend to sleep over, ask your sister if she’ll snooze on the couch, then let her have a friend over the following weekend.

“My sister raids my side of the closet.”

Sharing a bedroom doesn’t mean sharing everything in that room. “Once, I wore my sister’s new sweater. I was walking down our street with a friend when she drove by, slammed on the brakes and made me take it off right there,” says Deb, 14.

Room share boundaries: Make an agreement that before “borrowing” each other’s clothes, shoes or jewelry, you’ll ask first and you each reserve the right to say no. Respect each other’s right to have dibs on your own personal belongings.

Bonus bedroom tip: Mutual respect must flow past the wardrobe too. Some areas are completely out of bounds: diaries, desk drawers and personal computers.

“Help! She puts princess posters all over our walls!”

When sharing a room, sisters need to be able to express themselves. But maybe you’re a bold and edgy kinda gal, and your sis is into frilly and fluffy stuff. How can you create a peaceful space without dividing the room with duct tape?

Room share boundaries: Start with the walls. Get ideas from decorating books and have a planning session. If you can’t agree, pick two colours perhaps bold but complementary, like orange and blue. Then decorate your area with wall stickers, dangly mobiles or a mural.

Bonus bedroom tip: What to do if you’re a neat freak and she’s a slob? The room is lived in, so it doesn’t have to be perfect, but set a weekly tidy-up session. (You can probably get your parents to back you up on this one.)

(Health24, October 2010)


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