Room sharing for a brother and a sister - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 45 Old 03-01-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Buddhamom View Post
I would check with your state laws because my sister inquired and was told that in our state children of the opposite sex can't share a room after age 5.
I was an elected official in our town a few years back. It was proposed to pass a building maintenance ordinance, and this governed such things as building/home maintenance and got so specific as to state how many square feet were required per child for sleeping space, and there was mention of only same-sex children sharing rooms after a certain age - I don't have the documents anymore, but it would be worth it to check into whether you are violating any zoning laws or ordinances.

I obviously was against this and it was not passed. However, I personally get flack from the parents because my boys have to share a room
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#32 of 45 Old 03-01-2008, 04:48 AM
 
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I am comfortable discussing my children's current and developing sexuality with openess and honesty with them, and i am rewarded by knowing my children are comfortable coming to me to talk about their concerns with private/sensitive matters.
I guess the question to me is what you will be in a position to do if they do come to you with concerns about this 5 years down the road? Will you be stuck, or will there be other options?
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#33 of 45 Old 03-01-2008, 06:38 AM
 
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we were ap'd and b/f for a long time and so it wasn't a big deal to be so physically close.
I think this is important to think about. I come from a family where it's the exact opposite, so if I were expected to share a room during my teen years, with my brother, I wouldn't have been too pleased. But I think that if children grow up in a close family, it's not a big deal at all.

My parents were the ones who made big deals out of nothing -- my brother sitting on my lap; us having a bath together, us sharing a bed while on vacation. It made me feel dirty and wrong -- doing something so innocent. My parents were weird.

So I guess what I'm saying is go for it if your children are comfortable with it.
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#34 of 45 Old 03-01-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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I say do what you have to in order to become part of the co-housing community.
You can certainly get creative-if the need arises- later on down the line....
enjoy your community-that is wonderful for all of you...
much peace-
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#35 of 45 Old 03-01-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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Ya know, going back 50-100 years and sharing a room, heck sharing a bed between siblings even *gasp* opposite gender siblings was just what was done. My dad shared a double bed with his sister, who was 10 years his elder in a farming family with five kids.

It is only because of our sex-paranoid, consumer driven society that this sort of thing is seen by some as unacceptable. There is nothing wrong with siblings sharing space. Those who did in previous generations did not grow up any worse for it, and in an environment as you describe, it seems room sharing would fit right in to the overall community style.

I don't really have any comebacks for you but I really wanted to wish you all well on your new adventure, it sounds great!

Take care,
Tara

Tara Momma to Callum and Gavin
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#36 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess that some of you hit on my sentiments...in the not-so-distant past this type of situation was accepted as the norm...and even luxurious considering they will have their own space/beds.

also it is very geo-cultural...in china, nyc, africa, etc how many families/siblings/extended families are sharing space?

when it comes down to it, i agree that so much of the negativity surrounding it is the result of our consumer-driven, sex-obsessed yet puritanical world we live in. In fact that one poster gets flack for same gender siblings room sharing is very telling about the world in which we live.

well, i reject that! I reject the idea that Pottery Barn has the right to tell me my kids need their own rooms and personalized furniture! I reject the notion that privacy and individuality are synonymous! I reject that personal space can only be defined through permanent walls and doors! I reject the 3000 sqft home and the 1.5 kids! i reject that "this is the way its done now (or here)"! I will not run my household based on some screwball theory that my kids will be "confused" or traumatized sexually because they share a room. (especially when there is nothing to back it up).

in regards to the poster who asked if we would be "stuck" in 5 years...the concept of being "stuck" is something i don't believe in. there are few situations that are impossible to undo in some sense..failure is always possible, but i dont act out of fear of failure.

i continue to be surprised at the number of people out there who find the mixed gender room sharing a bad idea or unacceptable solution...especially on this board!

i will point our again that i was looking for support, not advice. i know that this is great for my family and our future. we are clever people and i will be sure to post pictures of their bedroom when we are all done with it!

Lastly, I would love to see some sort of statute from ANY state, county, city, etc. that requires natural siblings of mixed gender to sleep in their own bedrooms...I really dont think it exists in the public sector. I think it is an urban legend. anyone want to take me up on that challenge? I've searched and come up empty handed..but maybe i missed something.
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#37 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 03:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Buddhamom View Post
I would check with your state laws because my sister inquired and was told that in our state children of the opposite sex can't share a room after age 5.
Are you sure these laws aren't tenant laws or laws applying to foster care? The only gender related room sharing laws I'm aware of apply to foster care and renting.
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#38 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 04:04 AM
 
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Well, I sort of shared a room with my brother starting when I was 9 and he was 5, for a couple of years at least. Our youngest brother had just been born but was sleeping with our parents, and there was a new set of bunk beds in the boys' room to eventually accomodate the baby. So I was allowed to sleep in the top bunk in that room. I still had my own bedroom with my clothes and my own stuff, but I chose to sleep in his room for ages. I guess it's not quite the same thing as not having that extra room to go back to, but it was fine for us and we were quite comfortable around each other.

Actually, it might even have helped our relationship as adults. I still feel pretty comfortable around him, even though he's my polar opposite. I feel closer to him than to the youngest, who I have tons of stuff in common with.
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#39 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 04:06 AM
 
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My grandmother lived with her mother, father, and 16 siblings in a 2 bedroom house. I doubt they were separated by gender. They all turned out fine and the ones that are still living are very close now. Modern society has turned the family into something that resembles a government institution. You are free to raise your children however you see fit. People are misguided in thinking that they must do something because mainstream America does it. If you want your family to be open, honest, close, caring, bonded, attached, etc. you have at it. That's the way it should be. And I just read your last post! You go girl! If I was religious I'd say AMEN! LOL! You were looking for support and you've got mine.

Jessie
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#40 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 05:52 AM
 
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OK, I found something similar to what I had reviewed while on borough council. This document mentions nothing about gender but references the minimum amount of square feet required for sleeping space here: (articles BB and CC)
http://www.ci.decatur.il.us/citygove...ode/CODE70.pdf

This is the type of maintenance code our town had once considered passing (it would have been a NIGHTMARE to enforce anyhow) and it was going to govern both rentals and owner-occupied dwellings. I don't think many municipalities get this picky thank goodness!

Good luck with your move - it sounds awesome!
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#41 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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I guess the question to me is what you will be in a position to do if they do come to you with concerns about this 5 years down the road? Will you be stuck, or will there be other options?
That would be my concern.
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#42 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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in regards to the poster who asked if we would be "stuck" in 5 years...the concept of being "stuck" is something i don't believe in. there are few situations that are impossible to undo in some sense..failure is always possible, but i dont act out of fear of failure.
OK, I'll rephrase the stuck comment.

I agree that this is very cultural. However, to some degree you are raising your children within that culture, so it's not unlikely that at some point they'll wish they had their own rooms, and (if you've raised them to be well attached with good parent-child communication) express that wish to you. You gave the fact that the children are comfortable with room sharing as a reason why you're comfortable, so I feel like I need to ask -- what about when they're not comfortable?

Will you say "family closeness is a family value to us, I'm sorry you feel that way, but it's not really your choice" (which I see as fine, but then you need to remove "they're comfortable with it" from your list of reasons)

Will you say "I'm sorry but this is what we can afford" (again, fine with me, but then again you need to remove their comfort from your list of reasons)

Will you move? (If so, will you need to leave this community that sounds wonderful?)

Will you add on space so that they can have their own room?

Will you rearrange living space so that they have their own space (the parents in the living room idea has been floated, is there a basement you can convert? Will their bedroom be big enough for a divider of some kind?)

Will you be disappointed, or crushed, and communicate that to your kids? (The fact that you refer to the idea that your children's taste in rooming arrangements as "failure" as opposed to something you might want to plan for makes me think that you might. In my experience kids are sometimes hesitant to communicate things they know will crush their parents, but not communicating a feeling and not having it are two different things)?

Do you have some plan to protect your children from the geo-cultural influences so that they never feel this way?

I don't think what you're doing is a bad thing or a wrong thing. But I don't think that recognizing that almost 10 year olds often feel differently about things from almost 17 year olds is "planning for failure".
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#43 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 09:13 PM
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My kids are younger, and all girls, but, I do have 2 of them sharing a room. When the 2 year old is old enough, and ready to get out of our bed, I am, most likely going to be putting the three of them together in a single room. Get this, even though we have a spare bedroom that they she could go into. The kids are so connected and close, that this would just provide a natural, and easy transition from parents' bed. Currently, the girls sleep in bunk beds, so, we would get a different bunk bed arrangement. I have gotten some raised eyebrows from my parents and inlaws, but then, I've gotten raised eyebrows for a lot of the things I do, so I'm kinda used to it by now!

I think, if your kids like the idea go for it. If they stop liking the idea, there are always solutions. I love the office cubicle wall divider idea! There are many ways to create private space within a room. And, being in a community that values the economy of space, it likely won't be an issue.

Mama to: Katie, Emily , and Abby
Not perfect, Just amazing!
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#44 of 45 Old 03-02-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Here is an answer I've used to the question of when my kids would get their own room.

....when they get their own house.
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#45 of 45 Old 03-04-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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I have no snappy comebacks (or teenaged children) but I wanted to offer support. My brother (who is 2 years younger) and I shared a room until I was 13 with no problems. Heck, I'd still share a room with him if I had to. For awhile we even slept in the same bed. I find nothing strange about that at all. In fact, I wouldn't find it strange to sleep in the same bed with him even now and I'm 20 years old. My brother and I are very close and were never taught that it was "wrong" or "strange" or even "sexual" to be in close physical proximity to each other.

Mama to DS (3/7/06)om.gif, DSD  hearts.gif(11/17/02), DD (1/16/08 )energy.gif ,  DS2 (5/30/10) sleepytime.gif and Baby Quinn angel.gif (R.I.P 3/22/13)

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