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Am I being a bad parent... by making my sons share a room for convenience?

Three Irish experts have their say.

Image: Shutterstock

EACH WEEK, WE hear from a reader who can’t figure out what to do about a tricky parenting situation. To get a balanced take on the dilemma, we ask Irish parenting experts to weigh in.

From choosing whether to push toilet training to allowing a baby to ‘cry it out’, being a parent involves decision after decision – and a whole lot of questioning yourself.

This week, one parent is conflicted over making her two sons share a room, even though there’s space for each to have their own.

Have a parenting dilemma you’re struggling with? Let us know anonymously here and we’ll share it with our panel of experts. 

This week’s dilemma

I’ve two sons – a two-year-old and a four-year-old – and I’m torn about making them share a room. We live in a three-bed, so technically they could each have their own bedroom, but, being honest, I’d rather keep them together. It works better for my partner and I to have both boys in the same bedroom, and they get on well.

However, I’m worried that I should be giving them their own space, especially because (luckily) we’re in the position to do so. Although this is easier for us at the moment, I’m afraid keeping them together is going to cause problems in the long run. Am I being unreasonable?

What the experts have to say…

No, you’re not being unreasonable. Sleep, bedtimes and siblings are a big part of family life. As parents, we try to do what works for everyone, regardless of the situation.  Your two boys are still so young – I think it’s a lovely age for them to be together, it’s company for them both and a way for them to naturally share their space with one another. Many parents have the issue of siblings disrupting each other’s sleep so, to be honest, I think you are doing very well. As they get older it’s likely they will seek that independent space. However, for now, I wouldn’t try to fix what’s not broken!  

- Aoife Lee, Parent Coach at @parentsupport.

I don’t think you are being unreasonable. Your sons are still very young so, if anything, you are providing them with company and comfort. If it was affecting their sleep I might feel differently, but if it’s working for you all, great. Nurture a home that has open conversations on these topics and foster communication skills in both boys, so when they feel they need space or further individuality, they will know how to tell you and feel comfortable in doing so.

  - Deirdre Holland Hannon, Behaviour Specialist at @deehollhan.

You’re not being unreasonable by putting them in one room.When they get older they will definitely want their own space, but this doesn’t usually happen until much later in childhood. Kids love sharing a room in some ways – they chat before they go to bed, they sleep knowing that there is another person there in case they wake up during the night and they wake up in the morning in the company of someone from their family. Many children around the world of this age share bedrooms or sleeping space. So, if I were you, I would let them enjoy each other’s company and make sure you get a good night’s sleep! 

 - Krysia Lynch, Maternity Care Expert at Krysia.ie.

So what’s the final tally? Is this reader being unreasonable?

Yes – 0

No – 3

Have a parenting question you want answered? Let us know anonymously in our survey here or email us on family@thejournal.ie and we’ll put it to the experts.

More: Am I being a bad parent… by wishing my maternity leave was over a little sooner?

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