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Do Kids Need Their Own Bedrooms?

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“The boys must be so excited to get their own rooms!” That is the most common thing I hear when I tell people we are remodeling our house. (In case you are one of the few that I haven’t told yet… we’re adding on a bedroom and bathroom. And gutting the kitchen!)

Since our second son was born, the boys have slept in the same room. First, with a crib and a twin bed, then with two bunk beds broken apart, and most recently with the beds stacked. We read books to both of them before bed, said our bedtime prayers together and tucked them both in. When the bedroom door closes to just a crack, the chatter begins. I love the listening to the chatter.

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But since the construction began, our whole family has been staying with my mother in the four-bedroom suburban home where I grew up. My parents were immigrants and our house reflected the aspirations of the American Dream. Forget a chicken in every pot. In 1970s suburbia, the dream was to have a bedroom for every kid.

My childhood room is still decked out with yellow canopy bed; next door, my brother’s is furnished with a brown Ethan Allen set. Little Brother chose the yellow bed; Big Brother took the brown version. It was a novelty for them to have their own spaces — something we’ve tried to remind them is a temporary thing. What’s the harm in letting them experience a little independence?

There’s also something sweet about two brothers sharing a space … especially if that frees up a room to be turned into a home office.

Well, our habit of hanging out together in the afternoons quickly went by the wayside. Instead of gathering around the kitchen table, eating popcorn and comparing worksheets, each boy rushes up to his own room and spreads his papers on his own desk, leaving me by myself. Sure it was a little too noisy and crowded (his papers are coming onto my side!), but it was cozy. We could chat about our days, I could help both kids, and sometimes they would even start talking with each other about fractions or Greek gods or whatever.

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I can see the idea of each child having a bedroom is appealing — especially when they hit the teen years and when the siblings are different genders. No teenage girl wants to change in the same room as her little brother. But there’s also something sweet about two brothers sharing a space … especially if that frees up a room to be turned into a home office.

Do your kids share a bedroom? If you had space, would each child get his or her own room?

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