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#1 of 45 Old 02-27-2008, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is nearly 10

DS is nearly 8

We are buying a home in which the two children will be sharing a room. We are totally in tune with "creative solutions" for this "problem" (building a loft, hanging curtains, etc.) but it doesn't change the fact that there are so many people oput there that are *shocked* that I would ever consider a 2 bedroom house.

Of course the most vocal are the In Laws. and my parents are a close second.

If we couldnt afford a larger home, Im sure no one would be vocal about our choice.

But because we are choosing to scale back I am getting alot of flack. (we are going from a large traditional home to a small home in a green community).

Anyone out there have any inspirational thoughts? I could really use some strength from those with experience in this area...and some gentle come-backs for the opiniated loved ones who won't get off my back about it.

Everything I read online talks about how it is "inappropriate for mixed gender siblings to share a room...ESPECAIALLY around puberty. I havent seen anything to strengthen my resolve that this isnt a BAD thing.

Thanks!
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#2 of 45 Old 02-27-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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I shared a room with my brother at that age and my children (same age/gender as yours) share a room but mostly do to finances so I'm not sure of any snappy comebacks for you. As long as they have access to privacy (like a bathroom or closet) then I don't see how you are denying them privacy but if they spend a long time in either place I don't think you will be able to complain much.
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#3 of 45 Old 02-27-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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i dont think thats a great idea. i know that at that age i was going to go into puberty in a couple of years and girls that age really want there privacy especially from an older brother. i had a younger brother and that was hard enough. but thats just my opinion.

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#4 of 45 Old 02-27-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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Sorry no good snarky comebacks here either. I have lot's of snarky comebacks for those who make unwanted comments on my family size, lol!


We have been doing the same thing here. We have 6 kids in a 4 bedroom house. We took the biggest bedroom (it's long but narrowish) and split it between my DD 8 and Ds 11. They have been sharing for 2 years. We added a dividing wall about 4 months ago b/c my DD is a slob and Ds likes his room neat and organized. We got one of those cubicle walls from an office that was remodiling on craigslist for free. At the time we put them in the room together it made better sense b/c they are closer in age and have more in common than my oldest DS (almost15) and DS 11. I know some of our friends thought it was weird and were concerned about modesty issues and what not but it's been fine.

So other than different living styles I don't think it's a bad thing. I would make sure each child has some personal storage space ect. My DD dresses in the bathroom or our room. They really have had little problem with boy/girl modesty issues.

That said my DD is moving rooms and will be sharing a room with her 20 month old sister. She is certain this is what she wants, lol . My oldest is moving into her spot in the shared bedroom b/c he has lost the priveledge of being the only one in the house to have his own room.

Personally I think downsizing to a green community is going to give you a sense of cozyness and peace. I mean i go crazy sometimes and wish we had a huge house, but in the end I think we are lucky b/c we have to work together to coexist and make it work in a small space.
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#5 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i dont think thats a great idea. i know that at that age i was going to go into puberty in a couple of years and girls that age really want there privacy especially from an older brother. i had a younger brother and that was hard enough. but thats just my opinion.
yeah, well...i was asking for support in the OP, not opinions on this matter...i can find plenty of these sentiments in the mainstream.

thanks to those who offered the reinforcement.
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#6 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally I think downsizing to a green community is going to give you a sense of cozyness and peace. I mean i go crazy sometimes and wish we had a huge house, but in the end I think we are lucky b/c we have to work together to coexist and make it work in a small space.
Thanks! I am REALLY excited! We have moved around ALOT in the years and this is our first effort at planting some real roots.

I have really been absorbed in the "small space movement"...only now i wont have anywhere to store all those books ive read!

I shared a room with two sisters and no one ever batted an eye at this arrangement, and i have no lasting ill-effects from it. it just irks me that because I wasnt "blessed" with same gender children i am expected to provide in a way that the majority of the world's population would never expect. (starting to sound like a family bed post!)

thanks again for the replies!
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#7 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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I'm five years older than my little brother. My sister and I shared one room, and he got another. However, for about ten years (from when he was 3 until I moved out when he was 13) he would come into my room, and usually climb into my bed and sleep at the foot of it. Then my sister started going into his room, because I was a loud sleeper, and he'd sleep in her bed. It worked well for us. When I go home or he visits me, we share a room, and occasionally a bed. It's nothing gross or wrong, it just works for us.

And I always changed in the bathroom anyway.
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#8 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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I shared a room with my brother off and on for our entire childhood/teen life. I loved it! We didn't even have "creative solutions" or anything like that either. We just ran tape down the middle of the room to seperate "his side" and "my side"

It was fun. ! He was, and still is one of my very best friends, and I attribute that to sharing a room.

(for the record, he is a little over 2 years younger than I am)
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#9 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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YAY! thanks guys!

funny thing is i changed in the bathroom even sharing with sisters!

My two are best friends (for now) and when we lived overseas they had to share a room (but it is different at age 4/6).

They have their own rooms now, but i often find my DS sleeping DD's floor.

thanks so much! i really needed to hear this stuff!
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#10 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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I am deleting my pp since it wasnt supporting like you wanted. I hope you got to read it.

 
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#11 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 01:47 AM
 
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I think it's so individual, and I think it can work well, depending on the kids and how they've been parented. There may come a point where your daughter really wants her own room, where she can have friends over and have sleepovers and do girly things without a boy around, so you may want to plan for about 2 years from now. If you can build a divider in the room or something, that might be a wonderful solution. My son who is 6 is always sleeping in someone else's room too, but my older girls do get really annoyed when he is hanging around when they have their girl friends over.
My first thought was about a friend of mine. This is probably not a story anyone wants to hear, but I'll share it because maybe it will help you understand where the neigh-sayers are coming from. My friend's step children shared a room with their 12 year old step brother when they went to stay at their mom's house for their visits. At the time, they were 9 (boy) and 11 (girl). As it would unfortunately come out later, the two of them were doing every imagineable sexual thing with not only the step brother, but with each other as well. I'm not at all saying your kids would even fathom this idea...because I can't imagine my kids thinking or acting on something like this. In fact, I was so freaked out by it that we cancelled a beach vacation we had planned with them and it really hurt our friendship. (I felt bad, but I couldn't imagine my kids bunking up with the two step kids, knowing what I knew) Anyway, I suppose that some people might have thoughts of something like this happening, and therefore their interpretation of this arrangement is not positive. That certainly doesn't mean they are right...it's just their gut reaction.
As far as what to say to them, you could just answer with "We've considered our options for the future, and for now this arrangement will work very nicely for them...we appreciate your concern, but there is really no reason to worry". I don't think you really need to be snarky. My in-laws don't support us homeschooling and think we're "screwing him up". All we can say is "We really appreciate your concerns, thank you" and be done with it.
That said, I hope you enjoy your new green home. Can you tell me more about it? We want our next home to be more green, and my husband already has all kinds of options chosen, like solar water...and some other type of water filtration system, etc....
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#12 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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DD and DS shared a room until DD was 11 and DS was 10. Both sons share now.
I am more uncomfortable with my 6yo DS and 11yo DS sharing because of the different stages of development. I frequently ponder putting DD and DS1 back in the same room so we can contain the music, the talk, etc that's OK for them but not my innocent 6yo.
What you're doing is fine.
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#13 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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In a few years your son will start having wet dreams. It is uncontrollable and private. What/how do you think your son will feel having his sister in the room? How will she feel if she figures it out? I didn't have to sleep with my brother but he very bothered that I would come into his room after he started that part of development. I was the baby and would move from room to room until my parents put a stop on me going into his room at night.

I would have contengency plans. Maybe a room in the basement? That way if things aren't "OK" you can still respect your children's needs.

I don't think it is a bad idea but at the same time your children might need more than a curtain or loft bed.
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#14 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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My DS is only 5 1/2 months old, but I have a 15 yr old nephew and 13 yr old niece. They don't share a room all the time, but they do share a room whenever they travel or stay at either grandparents' house. They even share a bed sometimes when staying with family. I think a lot of whether or not it's "weird" comes from the way kids are raised. My nephew and niece were breastfed and talked to openly about sex. Nudity was never weird or taboo in their house. I honestly don't think it would occur to either kid to think anything of sharing a room or even bed with their sibling. It's all really natural and normal for them. They just don't blink an eye at stuff that would make some kids feel awkward... my nephew was around when I was having some BFing troubles when I first had DS and probably saw a good amount of boob but didn't flinch. If he has to ask his mom a question, he'll just walk in the bathroom without thinking that she might be "indisposed" or even noticing if she is. I think that if you are the one raising your kids and you don't make it weird, it won't be weird.
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#15 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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I would not recommend putting a brother and a sister nearing puberty in the same bedroom. I shared a room with my brother until I was 12 (he was 9) and it became very awkward for me. My body was changing and I needed to start wearing a bra. I didn't want him to see it so I hid it under my mattress! I finally picked myself up and moved into the room with my 2 year old sister who cried at night and woke me but it was still a better arrangement for me. I still blame my parents for being insensitive to my needs at that hard age.
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#16 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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if puberty issues cause unhappiness, they could split the bedrooms male/female. Mom and Dad can have their privacy in other ways.

In terms of comebacks, and apologies if this was already mentioned bc I'm skimming, I'd just respond the way I always respond for any bed-sharing criticism. The vast majority of the world sleeps with family members - all of them! - in one room. It's culturally unusual but not unnatural or horrible.
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#17 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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I just want to point out that impending or even new puberty does not make everyone uncomfortable. My 10 yr old dd has her period and wears a bra and neither she nor her brother are that concerned about it. Wet dreams would be uncomfortable no matter the sex of the room sharer if someone was going to be uncomfortable and masturbation can happen in the bathroom. It's a big deal for some people but not all people.
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#18 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 07:51 PM
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Families forever have been sharing space to sleep, until older children left home.
We grew up with neighbors on both sides of us in 4 bedroom homes and each family had 11 children. We were the odd ones with two kids each with their own room.
None ever complained about lack of privacy they used the bathroom to change into PJ's and slept and slept dormitory style in rows of beds and matresses on the floor.
It did them no harm, just about all of them are married with families of their own and are very close to their siblings.
It seems to be a US thing that makes children of opposite sex unable to share a room.
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#19 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 08:03 PM
 
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LMAO! My husband just read this and said...

"That's the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Don't they know how hard it's going to be to resell a two bedroom home?"


(he misses the point a lot)
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#20 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LMAO! My husband just read this and said...

"That's the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Don't they know how hard it's going to be to resell a two bedroom home?"


(he misses the point a lot)
HA!

the best part is there was actually a waiting list of eight other families trying to get this house! even in this market!

we were second on the list...thankfully the family ahead of us opted out because it was too small for their THREE kids!!! (see Im not the only one!)

Because of the nature of this cohousing community, it is not AT ALL considered odd that our kids would be sharing a room. and i predict the "think small" housing movement will be gaining momentum in the future.

I would love to know where all the urban mothers are on this thread! this is old news to apartment dwelling families!
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#21 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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In all the families I know who have 2 bedrooms and mixed genders, the parents all sleep in the living room. Even if you aren't willing to do that, maybe just tell the concerned grandparents and others that you'll be switching to that rooming situation when the sibling room-sharing becomes a problem...and then just tell them it hasn't become a problem yet if they ask later.
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#22 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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In some states, it may be a legal concern as well. Some states have laws against same sex siblings past a certain age sharing a bedroom. Just one more thing to think of, especially if relatives are already causing a fuss.

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#23 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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LMAO! My husband just read this and said...

"That's the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Don't they know how hard it's going to be to resell a two bedroom home?"


(he misses the point a lot)
OMG! That could be my husband! Maybe I'll show him the post and see what he says.
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#24 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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Also, I may have missed this, but what do your kids think of it? If they don't have a problem with it, and if you feel you have an open enough relationship that they'll let you know if it becomes a problem and they know you're willing to work with them, I don't get what the big deal would be.

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#25 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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i shared a room off and on with my younger brothers until i was 15. finally i threw a fit one night and my parents turned our dining room into a bedroom for one of my brothers. why did i throw a fit? cause i wanted some private space for me and my boyfriend. i didn't say that at the time, but that was why. sharing a room with my little brother probably saved me from getting pregnant as a teenager. but, aside from that, my brother and i were/are close and i would totally put my dd into a room with her brother(if we had one). i also shared a bed with him when we went on vacation to my g-parents house until i was about 8. not a big deal. but, we were ap'd and b/f for a long time and so it wasn't a big deal to be so physically close.
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#26 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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We live in a 3br townhouse with 2 brs upstairs and one downstairs. I put my dd (9) and ds (7) in the same room together so the little ones (2dds) could be upstairs with me and I could get to them easily if they woke in the middle of the night and also because the older two have more in common than my older dd and my 3 yr old. My kids are fine with it. Their main issues are things like one likes things clean and the other doesn't care if there is garbage everywhere, modesty issues are dealt with by changing in the bathroom or the closet. It just makes more sense for the house we live in right now for us to have this living situation.

When we move in the next month or so, we will be splitting them, but that is only because I want them each to be responsible for their own space and help keep the bedrooms clean. (Right now, they like to go upstairs and trash their baby sisters' room and then leave it that way, and that is not cool with me.) DS will still be sharing space with a sister though (my 4yr old w/ sn) because I don't think it is fair for him to get his own space JUST because he is a boy.
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#27 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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while househunting i certainly posed the question to the children: "if we moved into the cohousing community you two would HAVE to share a room again...how do you feel about that?"

ds: fine. whatever.

dd: just as long as i dont have to clean up after him

In other words, typical of any siblings sharing a room. however within this pedestrian friendly community of 36 homes there are 30 children between the ages of 7-10. So my children, like myself, are able to see the forest for the trees.
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#28 of 45 Old 02-28-2008, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, I may have missed this, but what do your kids think of it? If they don't have a problem with it, and if you feel you have an open enough relationship that they'll let you know if it becomes a problem and they know you're willing to work with them, I don't get what the big deal would be.
I wrote a minute ago about my kids reactions...they are fine with it, and yes we are a really open, loving, and comfortable family.

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.

also, everything I have found regarding gender/room sharing and THE LAW is only applicable for foster homes and government housing. In some cases landlords can put requirements.
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#29 of 45 Old 02-29-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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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.

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#30 of 45 Old 02-29-2008, 08:16 PM
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I think it would be fine for a 7 and 9 year old. If you're planning to stay there long-term, though, I really don't think a 15 year old girl will happily share a room with her thirteen year old brother, and vice versa. You mentioned building a loft, which sounds like a good plan - by the time they do need separate spaces, you could have that built for them.

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