Siblings often have to share a bedroom (especially when a family has multiples). Nannies and au pairs can help siblings share a room successfully by remembering the children are individuals and helping them keep their belongings organized. Here are some ways to help siblings who share a bedroom.
First make sure children of the same age share a bedroom. Siblings in the same bedroom should have similar waking and eating patterns. Newborns and infants wake up ofter during the night and will wake up the other siblings sharing the room. It is best to not allow newborns or infants to share a bedroom with other children in the home. It is best to not have a sibling with special needs or chronic illness share a bedroom with siblings if possible. It is usually easier having multiple newborns or infants share one bedroom so they can be fed at night together.
Children that share a bedroom should be allowed to separate their individual belongs. Separate closets, separate dressers, separate desks, and separate everything you possibly can.
Use labels or masking tape to identify personal space on shelves and belongings. Give each child their own containers to hold their personal belongings. Let them decorate a space in the room that is all theirs. For example, ask the parents if they can each decorate a door anyway they like. Finalize ideas with parents before changing their room.
It is fun for children to decorate their own cardboard and plastic containers to store belongings they don’t want anyone else to touch. Let the children paint, draw, and glue the box however they like. They should clearly place their name on this container so there will be no mistaking who’s it is and who is not allowed to use the box. If the child owns something very important that they don’t want their siblings to touch, it belongs in this box. Outside of the box, everything is fair game and can be used by anybody.
Create a checklist or star chart for chores. Positively reinforce age-appropriate chores. It isn't fair if only one sibling is responsible for turning off the lights each day. Each sibling that shares the room should be responsible for taking care of their own dirty laundry, making their own bed, and cleaning up their own toys.
What are your tips for siblings sharing bedrooms?