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Finley Robinson

Family Friday: 9 Insights When Siblings Share Rooms

publishedabout 2 months ago
4 min read

Happy Holidays Reader🎄

Today's story takes 3 minutes to read.

My goal every Friday is to hold two things in tension for you...

First, the real struggles parents in your season face, without downplaying any of it.​

Second, to offer some hope and strength so that you can be the brave parent your kids need you to be.

Whenever an email resonates or would serve a friend, would you share it on social media or forward it along to them?

FYI, your personal link is always at the bottom of every Friday email!


Siblings & Roommates

10 years ago, my two daughters were sharing a bedroom.

It was functional. Not without friction but they managed well.

They were still young with normal 9 and 5-year-old challenges.

5 years ago, still sharing a room, those words could not be said.

It was ROUGH.

Drama every single week.
Frustrations over each small issue.
Teen and pre-teen angst spilling over.

This weekend I'm taking both of them on a road trip. Just the three of us.

We are going to pay a visit to the South's #1 female destination: Nashville.

They couldn't be more excited to go on a trip together.

So how did we arrive at this change? Why was the age-old story of "the oldest goes to college and they finally become friends" true for us?

More important... Why was it so hard to hold out hope 5 and 10 years ago that this might happen even though there was no guarantee?

Here are 9 unforgettable realities I’ve experienced about siblings who share a room together and live to love each other.

  • The mess is worth it for the rest of it
  • Bedtime is a special bonus time for all
  • Conflict breeds intimacy when repaired
  • Sacrifices and stories are future currency
  • Personality differences are hard but good
  • Sharing and selfishness are put to the test
  • Neither sees it from the other's perspective
  • It's a (long-term) investment by the parents
  • They will both say it was worth it, eventually

So what does this all look like?

I had one sibling, a younger sister. I never experienced this personally growing up. My first exposure was as a dad, so my learning curve was a bit steeper.

We had space for our daughters to live in separate rooms, but we kept them together for quite a while. From age 9-16 for our oldest and age 5-12 for our youngest.

It came down to what we valued and hoped would happen for them.

In all relationships, conflict, when repaired, binds the people closer together.

Since sibling roommates have nowhere else to go when they get into a fight, they have two choices. They can communicate and make up or live with the poison present in their room.

Did we like the fighting and frustration between them? No. Did we know they would have to grow as young women because of it? Absolutely.

Was their room messier with two people living in it, sharing a closet, and stepping over clothes and bags? For sure. Was it worth it so they'd work together to keep it clean? Definitely.

I remember bedtime being sweet when they were younger because my wife and I could go in there and read a book or tuck them in. It was a two-fer. Then we'd leave and they keep talking.

When I texted my girls and asked them what they remember (because that's how we have to communicate now) what they shared was so funny.

Games my oldest would play on my youngest to make her turn out the lights. How they admitted they were mean to each other now after denying it years ago.

My oldest told me "the best thing was being forced together. I was really mean then so I bet I would have been even meaner If we didn’t share a room."

My youngest daughter told me that she has more empathy for her sister now that she is her age, thinking about having to share a room with herself.

When siblings share a room, parents are making a choice to place friction in their child's life.

Instead of smoothing out their reality, it's a decision to pursue challenging circumstances and also bonding experiences.

For years I wondered if we were making the right decision. They both asked constantly to each have their own room.

We had the choice but I recognize not everyone has the space to accommodate that.

I questioned myself and wondered if we were doing the right thing. In the end, we believed they would be better adults and likely better friends if we kept them in the same room those 7 years.

When my oldest daughter stood on the football field at her high school graduation and I saw my youngest crying because her sister was leaving, I knew it had been worth it.

If you have kids sharing a room right now, I'd suggest three things:

1) Hang in there. They are growing more than you know.

2) Tell them stories. Share with them your sibling experiences.

3) Stay involved. Help them discover how to communicate & forgive well.

Did you share a room with a brother or sister growing up? Are you still friends with them today? How is it going with your kids if they are currently sharing a room? Write me back and I'd love to hear from your perspective!


Dr. Becky @ Good Inside

"Let's say you were riding on an airplane and suddenly experienced a lot of turbulence.

The pilot gets on the intercom and says, 'I'm such a bad pilot. I'm such a bad pilot. I had turbulence today. If only I could be one of those pilots who never goes through turbulence.'

If I heard a pilot say this I'd say what are you talking about? Sometimes you have calm skies and sometimes you go through turbulent skies.

The turbulent skies aren't your fault.
They aren't a sign you are doing something wrong.

Actually having a pilot who is sturdy in turbulence is what everyone wants.

Parenting involved turbulent moments. Your child has a tantrum. They are fighting with a sibling. They are arguing at drop-off.

This isn't a sign you are a bad parent.

This is an opportunity to be a sturdy pilot for your kids.


We're Better Together

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