Parents - Don't Believe Your Kids When They Say - "I Want My Own Bedroom!"

Our kids' biggest complaint while growing up was that they had to share a bedroom. Since we have two boys and two girls, I saw sharing as a perfect and natural arrangement... two bedrooms... two in each.

They dreamed of the day when they would have a bedroom to call their own...

"If I had my own room I could listen to my favorite music all night."

"If I had my own room I could read mysteries all night."

"I want my own room so I can have the closet to myself."

"I want my own room so I can have privacy when my friends come over."

So when we decided to build a house, of course, their #1 request was for individual bedrooms. I didn't make any promises, but secretly thought it would make for smoother family life if the house we built had enough bedrooms for each child.

There would be no more arguing about who was the Messy One. I would hear no more shouts to "Turn off the light!" or threats against those crossing the line marking ". . . my side of the room!"

I would no longer have to stand at the bottom of the stairs and yell for everyone to "BE QUIET and GO TO SLEEP!"

When we finalized the house plans, there were enough bedrooms to eliminate sharing. Throughout construction our children talked endlessly about the possibilities and how "once and for all" it would finally be proven that "She was the Messy One--not me!"

The first thing I noticed after moving into our new home was that the messiness was evenly distributed. Then, I noticed that the boys, whose bedrooms faced each other, kept their doors open all night so they could talk to each other.

After we had been in our home several days I went to kiss the girls goodnight. Our oldest daughter wasn't in her room. When I looked in our youngest daughter's bedroom I found them both settled in there... together on the bed. "What are you guys doing?"

Giggling, they answered, "We're having a sleep-over!" They have since had many such sleep-overs.

We've been in our home several years now and I had forgotten all this until yesterday when my daughter and I were hiking and talking. She said she was glad that she and her sister are such good friends. I wondered how that came to be, because I remembered some of their battles with each other.

She answered, "I think it's because we shared a bedroom all those years. We would argue during the day, but once we were in bed with the lights out, we told stories and laughed and talked about our day and the people we knew. We gave each other back rubs and foot rubs."

She concluded, "I think it was during those times that we really bonded."

I wish now that I could go back to those days in our smaller home and change my call from the bottom of the stairs to, "Talk, laugh--don't worry about sleep! You will cherish this friendship the rest of your life."

See Celebrating Motherhood for helps in building strong mother and child bonds & attachment [] as well as other parenting tips and encouragement.

Also enjoy a humorous look at the struggles that come with the celebration!

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