5 awesome things about kids sharing a room



“We could fit 13 kids in this house!” my sweet hubby exclaimed upon deciding to buy our current house.

It is by no means a large house. We have 4 bedrooms. If we are in one, he was thinking about 4 kids in each room. He was kidding—a bit. We loved the idea of having a big family. Maybe not 13 kids, but definitely one teeming with little feet. So there are a couple of factors that led to our sharing a room policy. Lots of people in one house being only one of them.

Here are the reasons we love having our kids share their sleeping space.

1) It builds unity.

Nothing warms my heart more than having sent them to bed and hearing soft giggles and whispers trail down the hall. It is in the late evening hours when homework is done, bodies are settled and screens are off that stillness allows for relationships to blossom.

2) It is a breeding ground for confidence and peace.

Eons ago I read a fabulous article on the systemic regulation of children’s bodies when they share a room with a sibling. There was an internal regulation of their breathing and heart rate with lower anxiety than young children that didn’t share a room. It is, obviously, not a necessity to building confidence. If you have a little one that is anxious or shy or scared especially at night, however, he may benefit from sharing a room.

3) It creates (and therefore allows for them to resolve) conflict.

Conflict resolution is one of best skills we can give our children. How to deal with our wrong choices and how to deal with wrongs done to us is complicated and can cause deep wounds if not dealt with in a healthy way. Being in closer quarters causes kids to bump into one another. Resolving hurts in a healthy way then increases intimacy and connection.

4) It dampens selfishness and entitlement.

My hubby grew up in Argentina. Sharing a room and being flexible about sleeping arrangements is not a big deal in other spots of the world. He didn’t really understand or agree with the separating  families into individual rooms. It has made little issues stay little leaving worries for bigger issues.

5) It frees up space.

In our 4 bedroom, there is our master, a girl room, a boy room and a playroom. With them sleeping in just two rooms, an entire room can be dedicated to home schooling and toys. The girls have a great deal of space in their room now, too, thanks to Pinterest. Not only do they have all their toys in the playroom, their floor is now open. They can play with things like Legos that they don’t want the baby boys to get into. We also made the top bunk a full size so that we have an extra space for a friend or cousin to sleep over.

We love room sharing!! How about you? Do your kids share or do you plan to? What led to your decision?

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Cate Johnson has been married to her best friend, Sean, for 12 years. She is the mother to their daughters who came home through international adoption in 2008. They also have a son that came home through domestic adoption in March 2011. The baby is another son, who is biological. Cate is passionate about Jesus, photography, writing and adoption and attachment. She also loves coming alongside prospective adoptive parents as well as those struggling through transition and attachment. Cate blogs about all of these topics and more at Gathered From Afar and Attaching Hearts.


  1. I love that you wrote this! Our two big kids (girl and boy, 5 and 3) just started sharing, and I’m loving it. I have gradually combined their clothes but had to get creative (we get a lot of handmedowns and I’ve had the luxury of storing a ton of clothes in their rooms. Do you have any tricks or tips on clothes storage in a shared space?

    And I so agree on all the perks – I was nervous because 3yo boy is not a good sleeper, but he’s done just as well or better with his protector big sis right above him. 🙂

    (Now if I could just get that baby to sleep…)

    • The girls have a dresser with a drawer each, a rack in the closet for clothes and then I have stacked high tuperware bins of off sizes/seasons in one corner of the closet. I think it is best to maximize floor space at all costs. 🙂

      Just remember, V will one day—sooner than our weary bodies will let us believe— be begging to sleep with them too. 🙂

  2. Cate, We’ve been thinking about this a ton recently as we consider whether to grow our family in the coming years and this has been one of our concerns. With a 4.5 year age gap and the gender difference, I’m concerned about my older daughter sharing a room with her brother when she’ll be approaching puberty in just a few short years. However, I’ve also been told that my younger son would likely sleep better with someone else in the room with him, but I’m just concerned about my daughter as she approaches growing up. Any insights?!?

    Sarah, I store my kiddos clothes in either the blue rubbermaid storage bins or the clear underbed storage. I’ve also learned to carefully pick thru the hand me downs that I’m given and only keep those which I actually will use. I’ve been given things that i figured I should keep just in case, but it only ended up taking up valuable storage space and never got worn! Good luck!

    Great topic Cate!

    • Hi Becca! I love that you are considering this. For us, our rooms are mostly for quiet activities and sleeping. I don’t think the age difference matters. Teaching about modesty and consideration are things you will do anyway. I think having your kids change in the bathroom, for example, is a small exchange for some really great benefits. 🙂

  3. Great post, Cate! As you know I’m a HUGE fan of sharing rooms as well for every single reason that you listed. Since we rent & move every 2-3 years, I am glad to not be tied down to having to find a huge house with lot’s of bedrooms. Our 3 bedroom house works perfectly with 4 kids. I met a woman last night at a church Heath was preaching at. She had 4 grown daughters & said they always shared rooms growing up – a set of bunk beds in two rooms. Whoever wasn’t getting along that day is who slept together that night! Building intimacy, confidence and conflict resolution skills is so necessary right now and future relationships.

  4. Love your reasons Cate. We are just about to transition our two girls together to a shared bedroom to make room for baby #3. We do have enough bedrooms for them all to have their own room, but like the idea of shared rooms, especially in the younger years. It’ll be interesting to see if I feel the same way during the later teenage years. As an only child myself, I relished having my own quiet space when I was, say, 16. But I guess I never knew any different. 🙂

    • I, too, am curious about how things will go in the teenage years. I love your reminder about personality types and protecting an introvert’s need for some down time. 🙂

  5. Our daughters are twins and they have shared a room since forever. First they were in our room, where they shared a crib. Then we moved them to their own cribs in their own room. They are 2 now and almost won’t go to bed without each other. One of our daughters gets tired a bit earlier, and I tell her she can go to bed, but her sister won’t be in for a while. She generally hangs out until official bedtime! I can’t imagine them not sharing. We will see once they are 12!

  6. My two older boys share a room because my 4 year old was sleepwalking and having nightmares. He was very scared to sleep alone. He sleeps through the night, doesn’t sleepwalk, and doesn’t cry himself to sleep every night now that he’s with his brother.

  7. About a year ago we did this with our girls – we took their “jack and jill” bedrooms and made a sleeping room and a play room. I looovee it. It has been the best thing for them and their relationships with each other. Our next task is how to integrate Jude into the mix now that he’s getting older 🙂


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