Current at: 08 July 2008
Keeping the peace in a shared bedroom
Australians have been heeding former Treasurer Peter Costello’s advice to have “one child for mum, one for dad and one for
country”. More babies were born in 2006 than at any time since 1971 which was
most productive year on record.
While factors such as the baby bonus and increased family benefits will have provided the initial incentive, the sudden appearance of larger families may present problems in many recently built homes which have followed the trend to more space for living at the expense of the number of bedrooms.
Even in more established properties the now almost essential requirement for home offices or computer rooms means that bedrooms have been taken over for these purposes. The likely result is a return to the days when children, in their early years at least, had to share their sleeping accommodation.
This need not be such a problem as it first appears to young parents used to having their room as of right through their own childhoods. Children are largely accepting of the arrangements you make for them in their early years, and some forward planning will further ease the process.
The best approach is to divide the room into three quite distinct areas – a space each child can call their own and one for communal activities. Involve the children in decisions about the layout and mediate the disputes.
Allow their personalities and imaginations to take over the personal spaces, with posters, toys, drawings etc reflecting their individual tastes and interests. The communal area should represent a meeting and blending of thethemes set up in the personal spaces with things that can be shared such as seating, and a table.
re areas with non-threatening objects such as open bookcases at right angles to
walls and try to create cosy corners where each child can feel alone and free to let
ir minds and imaginations wander, even if in reality this is not
Of course everything depends on
space available, and squeezing two children into one small room is always going to create difficulties. Bunk beds may be
only realistic solution, but try to cater for each individual, even if it is only through a piece of wall art. If you are devoid of ideas consult an HIA interior designer.
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