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Do kids "deserve" their own rooms?

Poll Results: Do kids deserve their own rooms, no matter the cost?

 
  • 3% (9)
    Yes
  • 78% (224)
    No
  • 17% (51)
    It depends, or other, or whatever else doesn't fit "yes" or "no"
284 Total Votes  
post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
My SIL is getting remarried. She has custody of the two kids from her previous marriage, and her fiance has typical every-other-weekend-two-weeks-in-the-summer visitation of his two kids. So four kids all together.

My SIL has a three-bedroom house and her fiance has been living in an apartment since his divorce. They each have heaps of lawyer bills from their divorces, plus they each carry loads of student loan debt.

Despite this financial reality, they plan to sell her house and buy a five-bedroom house in the Chicago area ($$$$$$) because they feel each child DESERVES their own room. My SIL said that even if they are put into bankruptsy, which she acknowledges is a possibility, they have to do this so kids don't have to share rooms.

I think this is crazy, and that kids don't deserve their own rooms. As she's my dh's sister and not my sister, I am not comfortable talking to her about it, so I want to ask here. I'm wondering if I'm off and if this is a common belief.
post #2 of 90
I think kids in general don't deserve their own rooms, but I think that visiting kids deserve to have their own space even for only 4 days a month. They need some normalcy, privacy, and ownership in their dad's home. BUT that space doesn't have to be a whole room. It could be a real bed and a piece of storage furniture (desk, wardrobe, chest, etc.).
post #3 of 90
I think it's a fairly common belief, but I don't agree with it. Our kids (boy and girl) share a room. DS is starting to hit the point of not wanting his sister's "stuff" in his room. In the next 6 months, we'll probably look at some way to divide the room a bit more. As it is, they each have a bed (that they don't use ), but they share a dresser and toy storage.

That said, I know blended family issues can be harder. FWIW, I never had my own room at my dad's house. I was there EOW, and I shared a room with my step-sister. She was much younger, and my dad and step-mom were good about telling me I could ask for privacy to change or something like that. I wasn't forced to play in there or anything, and I did eventually have some of my things there in my own drawer. My brother shared a room with our step-brothers. My brother had more stuff that he kept there, so he had more space that was his.

In my permanent house, my step-brother was there EOW and usually once a week. We had only 3 bedrooms, but he requested that the loft be his room, so he kept most of his stuff there - and it was a cool space.

I think you do what you have to do to make it work. There is no way I'd risk bankruptcy so children don't have to share a room. I'm sure my kids would like their own rooms, but for another 1-2 years, this is where we are based on a variety of factors. I'm not going to change those plans to avoid them any discomfort, though I will try to accommodate the need for privacy as much as possible.
post #4 of 90
I wonder if they might be concerned about how "making" some of the kids share a room would look, custody-wise/ visitation-wise.
post #5 of 90
Thread Starter 
Ok well more details. She has a boy and a girl, and he has a boy and a girl. There is a 4-year dfference between teh boys and a 6-year difference between teh girls. It seems to me like the boys could share a room and the girls could share a room, but my SIL thinks the ages aren't good for that.
post #6 of 90
If it's within the family's means then it's nice to give each kid their own space, but I know very few people who had that privilege as they grew up. A female friend of mine shared with her brother until they she left home at 18 - they lived in a 2 bedroom flat with their parents.

It's a part of being a family and having siblings to have to share. Kids should be accommodated within the family's abilities, e.g. their own bed/side of the room/desk/drawers whatever, but that's all.
post #7 of 90
I voted that kids don't "deserve" their own rooms, but I can see where your SIL is coming from, and it sounds like she is coming from a place of love and trying to make sure no child feels less important or lost in the shuffle. I think it's wise that you've decided to stay out of it.
post #8 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
My SIL said that even if they are put into bankruptsy, which she acknowledges is a possibility, they have to do this so kids don't have to share rooms.
I can see the logistical problems with their particular kids, since the two sets of full siblings are opposite sex, but the above statement is crazy. If it meant the difference between staying afloat and going into bankruptcy, obviously the only sane choice is to have the kids share rooms.
post #9 of 90
Okay, so your SIL's boy and girl would basically have a room each, all to themselves except every other weekend when they could share with the other boy/girl. I think that's perfectly reasonable. Especially if both parents sit down with their respective children and all together as a family and lay down some ground rules for the sharing of space.
post #10 of 90
Kid's can share NO PROBLEM! I WANT my kids to share. Even if I stopped having kids but had more bedrooms I probably put them together. I think it is an excellent learning experience and relationship builder (if handled well).

When I was a kid visiting my Dad's every weekend and one night a week I slept on the floor somewhere (step-sister's room, living room), or the couch. It was never EVER questioned. Now... that isn't ideal. And looking back now it probably wasn't a good idea. It is part of the reason I stopped seeing my dad. I never felt comfortable or at home.

So, I do think the visiting children need to be accommodated. I'm not sure how as I don't know the genders. But SOMETHING can be worked out I'm sure! Finishing a room in the basement (if there is one) or even putting an addition on is probably a wiser investment than what this family is doing.

But the general answer to the question... kids absolutely do not DESERVE their own room and I honestly think those who never get to experience sharing with a sibling are missing out.

Do I think STEP-siblings should share? Well, not if there is another way.
post #11 of 90
I don't think 'deserve' is the right word. I think children are very very lucky if they can have their own rooms. The reality for most of the world though - isn't that way. We may be able to afford a three bedroom house - but even then, I personally will still be having my children share a room. We all 'deserve' our own space when we need it - but that doesn't have to come in the form of a whole room imo!
post #12 of 90
Thread Starter 
My SIL is coming to this from a place of love, and her thought I think is that the rooms would really be her kids' rooms and the other kids would feel like visitors. Which is unfortunate, but to get a 5-bedroom house in the Chicago area to accommodate things differently seems absolutely crazy to me. That will cost a fortune, and I'm not sure they'll even qualify for a loan for that, though SIL seems to think they can find some way to make it happen. Sometimes things aren't ideal. The kids all get along so I don't think it would be awful for them or anything. It seems like things would have to be arranged to make sure her fiance's kids had their own personal space in those rooms, but I just can't see adding the extra astronomical expense as being worth it. I think the financial issues will be harder for the kids than the room sharing. They can drag themselves out of debt living together and both working if they stay in that 3-bedroom house, and afford to help the kids with college or whatever comes up.
post #13 of 90
Well, with a blended family and their particular family stuff (age differences, and coming into it with children old enough to know differently), I can understand their reasoning, even though I think it's flawed.

I do think it's important for kids to have their own space, but it doesn't have to be as huge as a bedroom, and shared bedrooms can be arranged (with dressers, temporary walls, or freestanding closets) to give each child a private "cubby hole" within the bedroom, if that's what they want. Having one's one room is a luxury that can be nice, but definitely not a necessity. Certainly not something to court bankrupcy for.
post #14 of 90
No children do not "deserve" their own room at the family's financial expense. What good is their own room if they end homeless due to bankruptcy.

However I do believe that the non-custodial children deserve their own space whenever possible. The use of the same bed/sleeping area, a few drawers, closet space to keep their things in and place to keep things while they are gone. Space that makes them feel that it is their *home* too.
post #15 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
My SIL is getting remarried. She has custody of the two kids from her previous marriage, and her fiance has typical every-other-weekend-two-weeks-in-the-summer visitation of his two kids. So four kids all together.

My SIL has a three-bedroom house and her fiance has been living in an apartment since his divorce. They each have heaps of lawyer bills from their divorces, plus they each carry loads of student loan debt.

Despite this financial reality, they plan to sell her house and buy a five-bedroom house in the Chicago area ($$$$$$) because they feel each child DESERVES their own room. My SIL said that even if they are put into bankruptsy, which she acknowledges is a possibility, they have to do this so kids don't have to share rooms.

I think this is crazy, and that kids don't deserve their own rooms. As she's my dh's sister and not my sister, I am not comfortable talking to her about it, so I want to ask here. I'm wondering if I'm off and if this is a common belief.
I voted no. But, depending on gender and age, I can see really wanting each kid to have their own room though. You obviously can't have step-sibs of different gender sharing rooms and you wouldn't want older different gender bio-sibs to have to share either.

I can see wanting the kids who are only there every other weekend to not have to share w/ a kid who was there all the time so they wouldn't feel like a visitor in someone's room.

All that said, bankruptcy would trump all those things.
post #16 of 90
Well, not to the point where they'd potentially lose their home over it. Where she think all these kids will go if they do go bankrupt and have to find a different house?

I do think kids need their own space. My 2 shared a room when they were younger and it didn't go well. They now have their own rooms and a shared playroom. Growing up, I shared with my brother who's 4 years older and it was difficult. But we only had a 2 bedroom house, so we obviously had to deal with it. Ideally, I do think kids should have their own rooms. But if it's not possible, it's not possible.
post #17 of 90
I would pay extra so my kids don't have to share a room.

I shared my room with my sister who was 10 years older then me and I HATED it. I would never do that to my kids is there was another option.
post #18 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
I would pay extra so my kids don't have to share a room.

I shared my room with my sister who was 10 years older then me and I HATED it. I would never do that to my kids is there was another option.
There's a difference of like $500k to $600k to sell her house and get a 5-bedroom house. She's not willing to move her kids to a different school district. The Chicago suburbs can be pricey.
post #19 of 90
I know a family who have all 6 kids sharing a room and the kids love it. They feel sorry for kids who have their own rooms "wouldn't they be lonely?" I think going into major debt for this reason is really crazy.
post #20 of 90
I don't think kids necessarily deserve their own room - but it's nice to have that option depending on their age, personality, family dynamics, space in the house to have some down time, etc. It's not a right, though, and I've def heard people use it as an excuse to not have more kids or move to a smaller home - b/c they think the kids need their own room. As a kid growing up, I shared until my teen years and then we were able to shift around so that we each had our own room - but I would have been fine sharing with my sister until she moved out for college.

My kids are 8, 6, 4, and 2; they certainly don't care about having their own bedrooms at this point. We happen to live in a 5 bedroom home, with plenty of space - yet they much prefer to sleep all in the same room, or 2 in one room, or all squished into our bed/floor. They like to be together, and while it's nice to have separate space for their belongings, no one even likes to go upstairs and play in their own rooms anyway. I can totally see as they get older, especially DD, that things will likely change.

I answered it depends b/c I could go either way. In your SIL's case, it sounds like they are taking a big risk just to fill some supposed need.
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