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gardenwebber

OT: 4 bedrooms, or 3 bedrooms + rec room?

gardenwebber
12 years ago

Hi all. I couldn't think of an appropriate forum for this question, so I thought I'd ask all you clever ladies/gents what you think.

We have a 4 bedroom house, 3 kids. All bedrooms are on the second floor and each kid has their own bedroom. Kids are 9.5 girl, 6.5 boy, 2.5 girl. We do not have a finished basement or any other "bonus" room where we can put a rec room. So.... We were thinking of putting the girls together in one room, and using the newly vacant bedroom as a rec room/workout room and put a TV and DVD player in there, our treadmill, and maybe a couple beanbags. The bedroom we would convert isn't huge - it would be an 8X10 room, but I think it would acommodate things well. The treadmill folds up, and I think there would be plenty of room for the occasinal "Turbo Jam" DVD workout. ;)

I plan on running this by the kiddos later over dinner. If any of them are strongly opposed to it, I wouldn't force them. My eldest DD is very easy going, so I am going to predict she'd be fine with it (especially for trading up to having a TV on the second floor they can watch, as I don't put TVs in their bedrooms)

Anyways - any thoughts? Once concern I have is getting the girls used to sharing a room, and how to handle the times when oldest DD has company and can't go to her room with her friends and shut out her brother and sister.

Any thoughts?

Comments (48)

  • igloochic
    12 years ago

    I understand the need for a family/play room, but, given the difference in ages, I think it would be wrong to put the two girls together. Basically that's a baby with a girl who is entering puberty soon. If your oldest doesn't object now, I guarantee she will within a year or two at most. (I shared a room with a younger sister and HATED it with a passion).

  • dilly_dally
    12 years ago

    No one can predict how your kids are going to feel about it. They may love the idea or hate it. You have to ask them. How do YOU feel about it? You're the parent. You have the say in how the houeshold is to be. You can decorate to make the room have two separate areas for the two that share a room. The kids can entertain their friends in the new rec room instead of their rooms. That might be a plus when they become teenagers.

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  • western_pa_luann
    12 years ago

    The girls are 7 years apart.
    Not a huge issue now, but it will be when one is 14 and the other 7.
    And it will get worse when one is 16 and the other 9.
    Add overnight friends and there will be problems!

    Your rec room sound more like an exercise room for you and not a fun space for the kids and their friends.

    It might work if you make it a space where the older girl can hang out with friends, escaping the younger girl sharing the room.

  • gardenwebber
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    With all due respect, whats wrong with me having an exercise room, anyways?? We moms are supposed to just disappear into the walls once the kids come along? Yes, it would double as an exercise room a few times a week, so they'd have to ignore the treadmill in the corner and just pretend it wasn't there.

    Sorry - do I sound disgruntled?? ;)

    Thank you all for your advice so far. I guess I was thinking the very large span in age difference between the two girls would be a benefit. Seems like there would not be much to argue about when one is wearing makeup and the other is still playing with dolls. I had a sister 1.5 years younger than me and we were ALWAYS competing because we had WAY too much in common - similar interests, many mutual friends, and that caused a terrible problem.

    I definitely need to think on this before I rush into all that moving of furniture.

  • daisyadair
    12 years ago

    I would love to see your upstairs floor plan to look at the possibilities. At our last house we split an area into two bedrooms by putting a top bunk bed in one room and a bottom in the other room. It is a big job to swap rooms, but you always have the option of changing it back.

  • amylville
    12 years ago

    I don't see that it would be a problem, if your kids agree. If DD #1 objects in a couple of years, you could switch it back. I assume you arent moving walls or taking out closets.

  • gardenwebber
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    I think a long talk w/ my oldest DD will clear up a lot of this.
    Amy - no walls coming out, nope. Just some furniture moving around.

    Igloo - could you elaborate on any issues you'd see with the two girls together? You mentioned puberty - do you think that it would grow the youngest one up too fast to be exposed to a tween in close quarters?

    Daisy - I will work on a "sketch" of our 2nd floor. We've already divided one room into two, so I think our options w/ adding walls are used up.

    We have a very rough basement that we are thinking of finishing one day. But when I say rough, I mean ROUGH. Not quite a root cellar, but not brick walls and 8' ceilings, either. And it is slightly damp, but we could look into that, as well. Maybe the bedroom switcheroo could be temporary until we finish the basement (if its even possible.)

    Just pondering... nothing needs to be done right away or anything.

  • bigdoglover
    12 years ago

    As a good loving parent you will want to put the well being of your children above your own desire to have an exercise room. I think it would be best for the girls of the differeing ages to have their own rooms.

    DH has his exercise room out in the garage. One of the cars has to be garaged outside so he can have his big dumb exercise machines. Had you thought of doing something like that?

    Or, as daisadair said, do something creative. They don't have to have BIG rooms. Maybe one room can be turned into two very small rooms.

    When DH was growing up, during the several years that his grandma lived with them, DH's parents gave their room to Grandma, and moved their BR to the basement. Privacy was no doubt a concern in that teeny house, but they knew the situation, that their boys needed separate rooms.

  • lukkiirish
    12 years ago

    I shared a room with my younger sibling until I was a teenager. During that time, I didn't know any different so it was what it was. But once I had my own space, I can't say I would have agreed to go back and my sister was only 22 months younger than me. At 2.5 there are still many nights when they wake up, they don't understand boundries when it comes to personal possessions and your older daughter is coming to an age where having her own space will be key and their "stuff" is their world.

    I know it's hard to hear this because as Moms we are expected to make ALOT of compromises, it comes with the territory but I wouldn't even put the burden of the choice on your daughter. If it's available, I'd be more inclined to enclose part of the garage and use that for an excercise hangout space.

  • ladynimue
    12 years ago

    I'm 9 years older than my sister and we shared a room with no problems. We had a lot of fun together and rarely fought over space. I think you have a GREAT idea! If friends stay overnight they can sleep over in your new rec room - my kids think it's a terrific treat to sleep on the floor, lol.

    I suggest making sure the shared room has private, off-limits space for each of the girls, their own dresser or corner or shelves, or whatever, so they can keep their treasures safe.

    With a 9.5 year old you only have another 8 or 9 years of sharing a room and then she'll be off to college and the youngest will have the room to herself. And if they fight too much, or it doesn't work out for some reason? No big deal, just convert back to 4 bedrooms. There sure isn't anything to lose by giving it a try.

  • pbrisjar
    12 years ago

    My perspective is as a 41 year old with no children of my own, who grew up as the middle child in a family of 6 and made a career for many years as a child caregiver, so take this as you wish...

    Once the eldest daughter starts to reach puberty you will have problems both ways, probably rather serious ones. You will have those problems regardless but if they have to share a room those problems will get much worse. All of us kids were very, very close growing up but we still had issues - most of them due to age differences. I also saw this in all of the families whose kids I took care of. My younger brothers are identical twins who were always very close (kinda comes with the territory). Yet even they needed their own "space" when they got to puberty level.

    It would probably work as a temporary solution but you'd be much better off with a separate room.

    You chose to have children and I'm sure you take that responsibility seriously. Please keep that in mind as you make these decisions.

  • igloochic
    12 years ago

    Your 9 year old will start turning into a woman before you know it (I wish we could stop that but it's not possible). And her friends are doing the same. I'm less worried about the younger daughter being exposed to this stuff than the older exposing things.

    Your toddler has a long ways to go before boundries are going to kick in. So now you're going to put her in a room with a tween. It's Hanna Montana verses Barney....the little one is going to get into the older one's "Stuff" and yes, girls love their stuff, and don't want their baby sisters playing in it. The older girl is going to start developing features that will embaress her (all girls are embaressed to discuss their breasts etc) and she's gong to want to be able to dress in privacy.

    My husband was the youngest of 8. He shared a room with a brother who was 6 years older. The older boy terrorized the younger, and to the day he died my husband really didn't like him. And in all fairness, it wasn't so much about the fact that they were brothers but because they were forced together for so many years. Both resented it, but of course the older felt that stronger, because he could understand what he wasn't getting in his private space.

    I just see it as a disaster waiting to happen. HOpefully they won't end up hating each other, but I will say that I didn't much like my sister for MANY years after we both left home, because we bickered like evil hens when we had to share a room for many years. It's not the way to lasting famiy happiness.

  • madeyna
    12 years ago

    A family room upstairs would mean that alot of the mess and noise would stay upstairs as well .I am not sure 8 by 10 would be big enough for the multiple purposes though. I have a just turned 4 year old and a 9 year old and they would probly get along fine in a room if the older one had fairly large space where she could lock her stuff away from the younger one. Brittany already sneaks in there to get things when Ashley is in school and I hear about it when she gets home. But Ashley did ask to share a room with Brittany so they could have a seperate playroom at one point. Instead I put the play room upstairs and the treadmill is in the living room. Any chance you could do it but give the girls the biggest bedroom since kids spend more of their time in the bedroom than adults they need more space.

  • sue36
    12 years ago

    I wouldn't do it. It seems like 11 is the new 13 (11 year olds are the way 13 year olds were 20 years ago). She will want to have friends over, maybe sleep over, hang out in her room in private, talk about boys and all that. Where will the then 4-5 year old go? We she just get kicked out? Girls change a lot from 9-12. What about bedtime differences? If the older girl gets to take over the "rec room" when she has friends over, will your son get upset over that (he'd lose access to the TV).

    Can you fit a treadmill in your bedroom? I have an exercise bike in mine.

  • marciagaye
    12 years ago

    I can just say I agree with the majority.....I would not do it.

  • laxsupermom
    12 years ago

    I have 2 boys who are 8 1/2 yrs apart and when DS2 was 2 he started having night terrors. After he showed up in our bed several nights in a row we asked DS1 if #2 could sleep on his trundle bed. DS1 was entering middle school and had every right to say no. He said "sure, why not?" DS2 spent over a year sleeping on that trundle bed, before transitioning back to his own bedroom recently. Any time DS1 had a sleepover, they'd hang out in the rec room. Obviously this isn't the same situation because it was a temporary shared space situation, but kids can share space successfully. Would learning to respect others' space and belongings be such a horrible thing for a kid?

    What is the size of the room that they would be sharing? I've seen several neat shared bedroom ideas over on HGTV.com. Do your kids spend significant portions of the day in their rooms currently? Or are their BRs mainly just used for sleep?

    And yes you are entitled to exercise. You do not lose autonomy as soon as you become so&so's mom. Whatever you do keep the treadmill out of your BR. The first thing they tell insomniacs(my DH is one) is take the exercise equipment and TV out of your BR. BRs are for sleep and that other activity, but nothing else. Plus it's bad Feng Shui.

    All this may be moot depending on what your daughters' verdict was. Let us know how they voted.

  • peoniesandposies
    12 years ago

    I'd say no. What you are envisioning as a common-use space is going to be awfully crowded. We have an extra 8x10 room that was meant to be a den (we also have a LR and a FR). We have a TV, 2 chairs in there and my sewing table (which I admit is a nice sized table). That is where we play our Wii and I'll tell you that it is awfully crowded in there. It's not a great space.
    I think you'd be better off with having your kids each have their own room. When they have friends over there is quite won't be quite the difficulty of a shared space.

  • mary_lu_gw
    12 years ago

    Looks like I will be among the minority here, but I think it would be an option. I have trouble with the concept that kids have to have their own room. Sure it's great if it can happen. But it just seems that today's family expects/requires so much space. Just watch a few HGTV shows and you know what I mean. "...2400 sq. feet and with 2 children we have outgrown the home". I guess I'll never understand it. During the time I grew up 1200 sq feet (and sometime less) was pretty much standard and a 4 bedroom home was reserved for large families.

    My sister raised 8 children and they shared 2 bedrooms. 4 girls in one and 4 boys in the other. There was a 13 year span between the youngest girl and the oldest. I'm not saying this was ideal, but it worked and the girls/boys are all great women/men today.

    Personally, I think this is, in great part, what is wrong with our society and a major cause of the financial crisis our country is facing today.

    Just my 2 cents...

  • gardenwebber
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Wow - so I leave the computer for a few hours and come back to my thread ABUNDANT with advice. Thanks, everyone!

    Mary Lu - I just wanted to tell you that I think your post was spot-on, and I very much see what you are saying!

    I've never experienced puberty (in a child of mine) so although some of this was surprising to me, I appreciate everyone's honesty!

    Pbrisjar - I was very surprised at the tone of your post. (perhaps I mistook the tone). What "serious" problems can arise over kids sharing bedrooms? I am not challenging you - I really am curious as to what knowledge you acquired in your line of work to make this statement? I have friends who have children sharing bedrooms who would probably feel quite insulted over the last sentence: "You chose to have children and I'm sure you take that responsibility seriously. Please keep that in mind as you make these decisions." That really sounds like you are saying that if a parent puts their children in one room, she is being irresponsible in some way. Not all families can afford a mansion - what do you say to the folks that don't have a choice over sleeping arrangements? Small houses can be loving houses. (coming from a big house owner) I'm sorry - I just had to say that.

    Sue36 - your post made a lot of sense.

    Putting the treadmill in our MBR is a thought - I don't see it causing a problem w/ sleeping (or that other thing you mentioned) Feng Shui is not a concern of mine. This doesn't solve the problem of the kids not having a 2nd floor hang-out space.

    Garage is not an option for rec room or workout room. Free standing, too small, not heated.

    My kids are all such great buds right now - I love this stage (all under 10). It is sad for me to imagine my eldest DD EVER getting seriously angry w/ the 2.5 girl. She is the apple of her big sisters eye - seriously, I'm not just saying that. And my boy and eldest DD are such pals - they play cards, do crafts together, sometimes they camp out on each other's floors if they are lonely. Oh well - this is all besides the point.

    Thank you all again for a very diverse range of opinions. I really really appreciate it.

  • maddielee
    12 years ago

    My sister is exactly (to the day) 8 years older then I am. We shared a bedroom until she went to college at the age of 18.

    I can remember her coming home from dates (late) crawling into the double bed we shared and whispering "waterbug" in my ear. Just for kicks....

    We laugh about it now, it wasn't so funny at the time. (I was in her 'stuff' all the time, playing dress-up with her clothes and jewelry.)

    ML

  • pbrisjar
    12 years ago

    We were all great buds growing up. We had to be as my dad was in the Navy and we moved every couple of years. We hung out together, played together, became each others' confidantes. We still are even though we live on opposite coasts. However, that didn't stop the fights (I still have scars from some of them), the cross words, the tensions. As soon as puberty hits everything changes. It's all part of the struggle to find personal identity and independence. I'm a computer geek, no a psych so I can't give you fancy terms or phrases.

    As far as the other point, I have rather unpopular opinions on this matter so I won't elaborate. I'm sure you're a great parent and will do what you know is the best thing to do.

  • IdaClaire
    12 years ago

    Gardenwebber, I'm glad you got some good feedback here! I'll say that I too felt your responsibility as a parent was being called into question by at least one of the responses, and that really surprised me. Good grief, family dynamics each being unique, that makes for an infinite number of ways to successfully parent and raise well-adjusted children. I think we'd all be well served to keep that in mind.

  • jlj48
    12 years ago

    I'm wondering if it would help you to take a better look at the rough basement idea. I know you said it was rough, however it may be able to be made good enough for a treadmill and tv. I have 3 children, 15 & 10 yr old boys and 6 yr old girl. We have 3 bedrooms upstairs so we put 15 yr old in finished basement. Honestly he has many moments where he is absolultely dreadful, so we are way into the puberty challenges. (And he used to be so sweet! - and still is sometimes). However, my point is that I so wish he could be upstairs with the rest of the family. The finished basement in theory gives us more space, but it is always a mess and is one more room to have to clean. Sometimes I dream about an unfinished basement where the expectations are low because it's unfinished. If there is a mess, so what. I would have a treadmill also, tv on the wall, and an old pool table for kids to play with. They could take food and drinks and make messes and who cares, nothing nice to ruin.

    It sounds like you have great kids and this is a great time in your family. Whatever you choose will be the right decision. Good luck.

  • maddiemom6
    12 years ago

    As the mother of an abudent number of children we made the choice for them to share bedrooms when we remade this house. We could have made them all their own rooms but we didn't, they share ( exception, teen daughter, only girl= own room) but until she was 5 she shared with her older brother of 18 months.

    Has it always been easy?, no..sometimes they fight like crazy but it's pretty well proven that children who share space with a sibbling(s) form better family bonds over all ( there are exceptions but these point more to bad family issues that the act of sharing a room)

    We opted for family space over private space since honestly we did not want our kids spending long stretches of time alone in their rooms.. no comptuers or electrontics in there either. It's hard work to raise a family these days a most families spend very little face to face time, I did not want a place for them to hide away in their teenage years.

    To that end we have a LOT of family space, TV/den, livingroom, 2 craft and sewing rooms, 1 meditation space, computer area in center of home and a schooling room and an exercise room. Obviously not a choice for everyone but it works for us.

    I think when it comes to sharing a room how you set it up will matter to accomidate differing sleep schedules and the like, but it's doable and if it makes for a happier mama..that is never a bad thing :)

    Maddiemom6

  • neesie
    12 years ago

    I don't think it's selfish to want a room where you can workout! I'm glad you thought Mary Lu's response was spot on because that is exactly what I was thinking! (i.e. HGTV, family of four has outgrown 2400 sq home)

    I had my own room as a girl and then was forced to share a room with my brother when we were teens (after my parents had a bitter divorce). Funny thing, the cramped space and the late night conversations brought us close together.

    Any decision you make now can always be changed. Currently I have a four bedroom home and when all three of my kids lived at home they used to trade bedrooms once in a while. And the house we had before that was only three bedrooms. I had both the boys in one room (7 year age difference) and the younger boy would many times ask my daughter if he could sleep UNDER her bed instead! She let him.

    There is no right or wrong way. It sounds like you'd like to try this new space. Go ahead and give it a whirl and you can always change things down the road.

  • Valerie Noronha
    12 years ago

    I did not read all the follow ups, but wanted to give you my take on the situation since I have 2 girls 6-1/2 years apart. The eldest is 13 and youngest is 7. They have shared a room together at times, when they were very little and more recently two years ago for about 8 months when we moved out to remodel our house. It just never really worked having them share a room and was one of our reasons for remodeling our house. My 13-year-old is in the middle (we have an older son) and she never felt like she had anything of her own or her own space. There were times she could not be in her room because her younger sister needed to sleep or her younger sister got in her stuff. While my girls are close, it really works better for each to have their own room and space--the needs are just very different. My 13-year-old stays up late studying, she will also talk to her friends in her room in the evening and spends time on her hair and makeup. Sometimes she has cramps (or PMS!!) and younger DD is very curious about the changes her older sister is going through, but older daughter doesn't want her to know stuff because the other one blabs. Sometimes my 13-year-old and I need to have private conversations about physical and social issues and if I had to send the younger one out of "her" room to talk to my other daughter, the younger one would be jealous and hurt. When they did share a room she was embarrassed to have a room where there were toys in it and sometimes my younger daughter would get in her stuff. The biggest issue though I'd have to say is the different needs in the evening--one needs to go to bed early and the other needs a quiet place to stay up late and work on her homework. We also have 4 bedrooms and don't have a guest room, though my youngest DD has a trundle bed so when when one of their grandmas come to visit, the girls will share and grandma can use my older DD's room.

  • zipdee
    12 years ago

    All three of my girls share a large room, all of the upstairs really. My oldest DD will soon be 13 yo, my middle DD will soon be 11 yo and my youngest DD is soon to be 9 yo. They all have birthdays fairly close together, so each is almost exactly 2 years apart in age.

    Honestly we've never run into a lot of the problems expressed here, but it could be because the close age span. They each respect the others privacy and things, they don't borrow without asking and they each have their own storage. Our girls confide in each other and they stick up for each other. They'd go to one of their sisters or me before a friend with a problem and that's how I want it to be. Like Maddie said above, while I think space is important to an extent, so is family involvement.

    Very often on the weekends, we have kids up there as young as 7 and as old as 13 .. together. No they might not all being playing the same game, one group might be lopped out playing a board game, while others are at the art table, while others are in a group talking, while a few are watching a movie. No one excludes anyone though and for the most part they get along just fine.

    I think it's important to know your own family's dynamics though, what works for one household, might not necessarily work for another.

  • Ideefixe
    12 years ago

    I've got a 17 year old, and her homework load has been intense since middle school. She could never have coped with sharing with a much younger sibling. 7 years is a big gap, no matter how much they like each other.

    Is the basement really too hard to fix up?

  • jazzmine
    12 years ago

    Good grief!! My sister is 6 years younger than me. We shared a room until I left home. We both graduated from university, have jobs, good marriages and happy lives. Neither of us have been to jail or rehab. Families should do what they need to do. I can think of lots of other ways to mess up your kids than make them share a room. Gardenwebber, good luck with whatever works for you and yours.

  • acountryfarm
    12 years ago

    I would always vote for family space over private space.

    I am also the mother of abundant children and none of them have ever or will ever have their own room. I too, could have easily built our new home to house each individual child privately. In my experience and opinion this is not what's best. There are so many forces vying for family time as it is & private rooms are just one more thing. We limit children going to their rooms to "get away". In this house they are part of a family unit & sharing sleeping space is just one of the things that comes with the territory.

    This certainly is an issue that you need to decide for yourself, but I would do it in heartbeat. There is so much to be gained from sharing & family time that it far outweighs the negative. I have a problem with each child needing their own room as well.

    Our DD has her own room as she is our only girl out of our 11 children. I can tell you this....

    .... she would give anything to have a sister, baby or otherwise to share a room with.

  • maddiemom6
    12 years ago

    Acountryfarm,

    My daughter still talks about the day we found out that our #6 was a boy when he was suppose to be a girl.. she still misses the baby sister she never got.

    Maddiemom

  • gardenwebber
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Daisyadair:

    Here is a sketch of our 2nd floor. If anyone has anything to throw out there, go for it. To the lower left is our master, the writing didn't come through very well. The wall in the back between the two back bedrooms I scribbled on to indicate that is a wall that we added a few years ago to split that back bedroom into two. (that back bedroom was our former MB)

    {{!gwi}}

    Thanks again, guys for the encouragement and frank advice.

    I am starting to post on other forums re: our basement and the difficulty level in finishing it someday. That would be great if it was possible, so we're looking into it.

    I talked to both older children separately today and they both said they liked the idea of having a play room w/ a TV upstairs - in fact, liked the idea ALOT. We're debating still.

  • maddiemom6
    12 years ago

    For what is't worth have you thought of taking your master and making it into the rec-room?.. that way you would have more *day-space* since most parents spend even less time in their bedrooms than children do!

    Maddiemom

  • whenicit
    12 years ago

    I have 9 bro's and sis's and had to share with up to 2 of my sisters at a time, one is one year younger, one is 2 years older. The oldest probably hated sharing with me (when I made fun of her putting on make-up for ex.).

    Would oldest daughter like a Treadmill and TV in her room? Maybe you can give her that responsibility and workout when she is gone/at school. (My boys don't have a TV in their room either but we do have a loft upstairs with a TV.)

    Do what your daughter's agree to and then tell them you'll re-evaluate as needed. You can always move it back.

    Good luck!

  • bigdoglover
    12 years ago

    "...I too felt your responsibility as a parent was being called into question by at least one of the responses, and that really surprised me."

    Oh for heaven's sake, let's straighten the lines here: no one is calling anything into question. If Gardenwebber weren't a good mother she wouldn't be trying to figure out the right thing to do for her family. She asked for our thoughts in the very title of her thread and in the thread itself, and then she herself was the first to suggest that she might be feeling a little disgruntled about not getting her exercise room.

    If someone does not want to hear all sides of the issue they're asking about, there are two things they can do -- don't ask, and definitely don't post it on an internet site where just about anybody is liable to come along and answer; or if you do ask, be sure to add a subline stating "here's what I actually want to do, and I only want to hear replies that support that."

    I believe I'll move along to the next topic now.

  • IdaClaire
    12 years ago

    "Oh, for heaven's sake" yourself.

    The OP stated: "I was very surprised at the tone of your post. (perhaps I mistook the tone)", and that's what I was also addressing.

    As you said, move along.

  • neetsiepie
    12 years ago

    I am 7 years older than my sister. For a few years, all 3 of us kids were in one room, as my parents needed the 3rd bedroom for an office. Then when we were able to back in the bedrooms again, I had to share with my sister. I was SOOO jealous of my brother having his own personal space. When I was in puberty, my baby sister would play with my things, and utterly invade my space. (Or so I thought). I really hated not having my own room.

    My girls had their own rooms, but my son & stepson (2 yrs difference) had to share a room, and they really resented it. When the girls moved out, the boys got their own space and were much happier about it.

    My personal opinion is that if you have the space, let them have their own rooms. Before you know it, you'll have plenty of space as the kids grow up and leave home. And frankly, having raised 4 kids in a 1200 SF house, them needing their own space was a lot more important than me having my own space. It saved my sanity.

    I like the suggestion of turning your master into the 'family' space if you're going to team up the kids. But, really, I have to say, pubescent girls and their baby sisters DO NOT mix. My sister is currently going through that with her girls...they're 5 years apart and were close as velcro until the eldest hit puberty.

  • bellaflora
    12 years ago

    I am doing the opposite. My sons (8 and 1.5) were supposed to share a very large room. We even had 2 matching full size beds in there already. However, now that the little one is ready to be weaned from the crib & sleep in his own bed, the idea somehow doesn't work. Oldest DS begged to share room with the little one, but their schedules & life stages are so different. The little guy would get all the pen/marker from the older guy and draw all over the walls, play with older DS's *dangerous* toys, tear his school books apart. Older DS would get up early for school and woke up the little one. The little one cried in the night and woke up the older one. So sadly, I am going to have to give up my office to make room for the little guy.

    My friend's 2 DSs (8 & 11) share 1 room since childhood and the older one is begging to move to the game room/play room. He is at the age where he likes privacy.

    My neighbor has 2DDs (age 16 & 9) in 1 room all their lives too and oh the drama drama she had to deal with.

    I shared room all my life (and even shared a bed) with my sisters and I thought it was ok. However, my mom said we used to fight like cats & dogs.

  • gardenwebber
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    OP here - I asked for advice, I got advice. I'm happy with that. I have appreciated everyone's opinions, even though a few things sounded a bit "off" to me. I asked for elaboaration and did not get it. Its not like I was thinking of emptying a bedroom so I could put a boy and girl together in the same bed at the age of 12 and 15 or something. Words like "wrong" and "serious" seemed a little too strong for the situation I was describing.

    I have talked to both children (oldest girl and boy) and they both liked the bedroom switcheroo idea - DS even felt bad that he wasn't going to be a "sharer". I am completely split down the middle and can't seem to make up my mind. The exercise thing is really secondary to the fact that I would love a room, not on our main floor, where the kids can entertain their friends (besides bedrooms.)

    How does everyone feel about your children entertaining their friends in their bedrooms? And what do you do when 13 year old Sally has friends over, and so does her little brother Jimmy?? Everyone gets to go upstairs?

  • western_pa_luann
    12 years ago

    Another question you might want to consider is...

    When the kids are older and the 16 year old is entertaining... music, food, giggling... upstairs, how is the 9 year old going to get any sleep?

    Elementary kids get to bed a lot earlier that mid-teens. Mid-teens when they stay up late often include friends, food and noise.

    My DD was part of a "Calc Club" study group that got together to work on homework. Very late night then...

  • daisyadair
    12 years ago

    Gardenwebber, that is SUCH a good point about "entertaining in their rooms".
    Here's a thought about your floorplan: have the kids take the back two bedrooms. Move your son to the smaller bedroom, the girls in the room with the closet. Take that wall that you guys put up and turn it into the bunk beds in separate rooms. This will give you a lot more useable floor space. Swing your youngest daughter's bed against the far wall and you will maximize the floor space there. Your son can have the lower bunk bed in his own room next door. That leaves the bedroom directly across from yours as a playroom. That also makes your own bedroom further away from the kids beds. The bunk beds are just drywalled with the mattress only on them.

    We have always had a rule that our kids cannot have a computer, video games or tv in their bedroom until they are 18. I do not want that stuff cluttering my downstairs living room. An upstairs space for this is the best solution. We built our current home knowing that we were going to have teens in them someday and to give them space separate from ours.

    Think about this solution. My husband would be happy to talk you and your husband thru the details if it is something you would be interested in.

    P.S. my 17y.o.'s boyfriend is coming for christmas for 17 days and there is no way in hell that she will be "entertaining" him in her bedroom!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sherry

  • CaroleOH
    12 years ago

    I think that the sharing a bedroom between the two girls is up to you and them. I do think the "appeal" of having their own TV room may be clouding the reality of sharing a bedroom with basically a toddler. I think you need to make clear how this new area is to be used. I don't allow my kids to have TV's in their rooms either because I want them to be part of the family. We do have a basement that they use when friends come over, so I do sympathize with you not having that area to use.

    I would be more inclined to keep the kids and their friends downstairs where I could supervise them. Maybe use the room for sleepovers when the daughter has a friend over, but the son could use his own bedroom for sleepovers and play area.

    Right now, your kids are young, and private space isn't that important. But in a few years it will be more and they will be less tolerant of each other and more secretive! I wouldn't be so worried about friends hanging out upstairs now, but when they get older, you need to supervise what they're doing and what they're watching and a room upstairs could be too much away from the rest of the house.

    I don't know if this is an option or not, but you might want to be open to buying a new house in a few years when the kids are a bit older. A house with a basement would solve many of your issues!

  • Ideefixe
    12 years ago

    Each to her own, but I'd be more concerned about homework, esp. for the oldest, than about entertaining her friends. I don't know how my daughter would have gotten all her work done (she's a senior and applying to colleges now) without her own computer and a quiet place to work.

  • gardenwebber
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Homework has come up a couple of times, and I just wanted to say - its funny - homework is one of those things I like to supervise! Now, maybe that is another thing that changes with age. When I was in high school, I rarely did homework in my bedroom. I always spread out at the dining room table within earshot of my Dad, who always helped me with my math homework. DD is 9 and she requires a lot of help/encouragement/praise and help with organization when doing her homework.

    Daisy - I am not sure what you are talking about with the bunk beds and being made out of drywall. Are you talking about murphy beds that fold up into the wall? Are you talking about actual bunk beds that you buy at the store? I am sorry - I'm slow tonight. :)

    After I looked at my drawing, I was thinking... could we add one more wall and split the back bedroom in the far back left into two small rooms? We could put in a door at the end of the hallway (where the closet it, get rid of closet and actuall go back a few more feet) But the two smaller bedrooms would be VERY small. Maybe too small?

    I am seriously looking into the possibilities for our basement. I have a post rolling over on the basement forum. This isn't a 5 alarm fire - its just something I am pondering.

    I agree that the kids might be excited about the 2nd floor TV, but that they may not be able to see this from a privacy/personal space standpoint. Good point.

  • kay123
    12 years ago

    I don't have an opinion either way, but in looking at your drawing I had a thought. If you put a wall with sliding french doors(for light and feeling of more space) in bedroom #3, making just enough room for DS's bed and walkway, he could have a sitting/playroom/exercise room off his room and the 2 girls could have their own rooms. Boys never seem to require as much space as girls. You could make it like a bunk room or something but with some privacy.
    And for re-sale it could be a office/workout combo room.

    I wish you the best solution possible. :)
    Kay

  • daisyadair
    12 years ago

    Here's what I'm talking about, the pink section is entirely your daughter's room, completely separate from your son's room in blue.

  • gardenwebber
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Daisy - that is very interesting. Now I get it, the pic helps a lot. Thank you for sharing and offering your help!

  • roguevalley
    12 years ago

    My boys had to share a room and then later both had their own. My one daughter always had her own room. Do what works for you. Having said that, while my kids were all teens - I would have given my right arm (well not quite) for a basement they could have hung out in. We had drums and an electric guitar played quite frequently. That would have been great to let them have at it in a basement. And to have a section of it that could have served as a home gym - that would be deluxe. Hope it all works out for you.