Kids might have to share a room, but having problems with a 4 year old...Need advice please... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 12-06-2011, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Little background: my DS is 4 and has his own room. He does not sleep there (both kids sleep with us in our bedroom) but has all his books, toys, blocks etc. His sister is 17 months and right now there is a gate stopping her from going into DS's room. Whenever she occasionaly enters his room (if somebody accidently leaves the gate open), my son completely freaks out, tries to push her out of his room, tackles her, starts crying histerically and really really freaks out if she touches any of his stuff. He holds her down, tries to close the door on her (once closing the door on her hand), pulls her hair. Normally he is not a violent or mean kid, just when it comes to his room. Yes I tried teaching him about sharing, for months now. I make him share his toys with his sister, but his behavior has not gotten any better over the past few months. My daughter does not have her own room or space. All her books and toddler toys are all over our living room, which is pretty much a playroom for her. She already sleeps in our room. Her clothes are in our bedroom. My dillema is that we are thinking of moving to a smaller apartment in order to save money. If it wasn't for my DS's behavior, I would like to put both kids (DS 4 and DD 17 months) in one bedroom,  I am tired of having toys all over the living room, and I think my son is ready to sleep in his own room. I am worried that it is not safe to put my kids in one room together. Of course I am always with my daughter but my son's behavior is so extreme and possessive when it comes to his stuff, I'm not sure how to teach him to share. So my question is, does anyone have experience with kids sharing a room and having problems over sharing space, toys etc. Should I try to get my daughter her own room (that would really raise rent because of extra bedroom)? We are moving to another state so we have to change apartments, I was just hoping to get a 2 bedroom, instead of 3 to save money.  I don't know how to teach my son to change his behavior... Anybody have any experience with a problem like mine? . Thank you in advance for any help!


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#2 of 8 Old 12-06-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Well, we have the bedroom for sleeping and toys in the common room - I would think that if you had a new bedroom and there were no toys in it, that would work.  I am not sure how life in the common room would go... but I suppose it would give him a lot of practice at sharing! :)

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#3 of 8 Old 12-06-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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We don't keep toys in a bedroom until they are older, over 5-6 really. Younger then that that all the toys stay in a community room, open for anyone and everyone to play in, that gets rid of his and hers toys. If there are toys that little ones can not get into then they stay on a shelf and come down during nap time, etc... That being said 2 of my 4 kids are over 5 and those two share a room. It is rough. Right now DD1 who will be 9 in a couple weeks, has all her stuff in there because she doesn't play with younger kids toys anymore, her things are nicer and the 2y will destroy them if they are left out. There isn't room for DD2 to keep her few DD2 only belongings so they are kept in my bedroom. And that way they each have their own separate play areas if need be. DD1 sleeps in the shared bedroom, DD2 starts the night off in there and then ends up in my bed.  Ideally I would have separate rooms for them because OMG, the fighting just never ever stops. Over every little thing. More space would be greatly welcome. 


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#4 of 8 Old 12-06-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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When you say you want them to share a room do you mean for them both to sleep there, or ds would sleep there, but all the toys would be kept there?

 

My friends have a 9yo ds and a 22 month old dd.  They currently all share a family bedroom (9yo is up on a loft bed and babe is in the family bed), and have "the kids' room" where a lot of the toys live (there are also some v. toddler friendly toys kept in the living room).  The arrangement works well for them.  The kids' room was originally "ds's room" (though he slept in the family bedroom).  When dd came along they started calling it "the kids' room", and it was only during toddlerhood that she actually started going in and playing in there.  Their ds has been totally fine with it being a shared space, but of course there is a world of difference between a 4yo and a 9yo.  ;)

 

So, I guess my advice would be to rent whichever size apartment makes sense financially, and just be very matter-of-fact (and non-apologetic!) about what room is for what purpose.  Like: "this is the kid room, and this is mommy and daddy's room.  Here's where the toys live.".  If you intend for both kids to sleep in the other room (right away or eventually) I'd set up a bed for each of them.  "This is ds's bed, this is dd's bed".  I'd absolutely start letting dd have full access to the room from the get-go.  There could be a special shelf or shelves for ds's "big kid" toys to keep them out of dd's reach.  I'd keep most toys in a common area if possible

 

 


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#5 of 8 Old 12-06-2011, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, right now both my kids sleep in our room (my son was cosleeping but now transitioning to own bed in our bedroom), my daughter is sleeping in a crib right next to our bed (but often comes to our bed). My DS's toys are in his room (it's a very small room, more like a den, 2 kids would not fit in there), my DD's toys are in our living room (so basically we don't have a living room, it's a playroom), and in reality, because it is already a small townhouse we are renting, kids' stuff are spread out everywhere, it is very messy. I was thinking since we have to move, why not rent a 2 bedroom, and give the larger room to the kids, yes I would try to transition them to sleeping in there, and all their stuff too. Of course they can bring out whatever toys they are playing with into the living area, but I would like to have the toys "live" in the kids room, at the end of the day, most of the time, to help keep some kind of order. Right now, there are toys all over. I know the best situation would be to have an extra room as a playroom, but I don't think I can afford that.  I guess I will look into trying to rent a 3 bedroom vs. 2, if at all possible... but we are really trying to save on rent..

 


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#6 of 8 Old 12-09-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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I'd rent the size of space you can afford and then work on the behavior. A move may help the transition because it will give you a chance to decorate and rearrange the furniture in a way that works for both kids. I'd make the bedrooms about sleeping and clothes/linens storage and find a play with a larger main living space for playing and toy storage. Or make enough space so that "rotated toys" are help in the main area and bedroom toys are the ones we aren't playing with righ now.

 

I love a neat and orderly space and the key for us was being careful with the volume of toys and making sure everything has a space. We've had good luck with toy storage from Ikea Billy bookcases which fit the majority of our toys, some with doors and some without. We do have a few bins for duplos that also fit in the bookcases.

 

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#7 of 8 Old 12-09-2011, 02:45 PM
 
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Yeah, I think you should rent what is affordable and teach your son to handle whatever you go with.  It doesn't seem to me that getting another room would even solve the problem - the problem being your son's attitude about it.  It would likely just keep the problem there with no need to work on it.

 

 

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#8 of 8 Old 12-10-2011, 04:42 AM
 
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New house/apartment, new rules. The kids have equal access to the new space. I'd make sure that your older child has raised shelves to put his special stuff but anything kept low is able to be used by both children.

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