1.24.2013

A Room of One's Own


Just like Little Miss C, I grew up with three younger brothers, and just like Little Miss C, I always had my own room while the three boys shared a space. It has always seemed natural for me to assume that girls need privacy and solitude while boys need to be useful or risk getting themselves in to trouble. ;) But lately, I've been questioning whether it is genuinely more healthy for my sons to all share the same bedroom.

E is an early riser, and possibly the most introverted of all our children. He constantly fumes at his brothers for messing up his Lego creations or *gasp* daring to talk to him while he builds his train layouts. He thrives on completing meticulous projects, loves to be outdoors, and needs ample alone time.

L, on the other hand, is super-social. The most severe form of punishment we can inflict on him is to send him to his room by himself. He talks constantly, always gives hugs, and wants to be almost-on-top-of-you while you complete your projects, read a book or simply stare into space. He likes to stay up LATE, but will wake up early if he hears his brothers moving around simply because he doesn't want to miss out on any fun.

Since birth, they've had a strange dynamic. L idolizes E. E is always trying to escape L. They're like oil and water, fire and ice. One rises early, the other stays up late. E is the pickiest of eaters while L cleans his plate and then waits patiently to be given his brothers' to eat as well.

We live in a three bedroom home, but we have a small home office that has become non-essential now that J doesn't work from home. I'm thinking of turning it into a bedroom for E, while L and Baby R continue to share a bedroom, but still... I hesitate.

And so, I'm curious: Do your boys have their own rooms? Do you share my same feeling that it's easier to protect a child from pornography and other evils if he doesn't have his own room to disappear into? Various perspectives are appreciated while I mull this over.

{image}

10 comments:

Allison said...

There are lots of arguments of whether or not kids "need" their own rooms, just for the sake of not sharing, but that's neither here nor there.

I say let E have his own room if it benefits the WHOLE family. If it gives him peace, makes it easier for you and J to effectively parent him, reduces quarrels and hurt feelings between brothers, then go for it. I was an only child, so I have no idea what it was like to live with siblings, but I'm a quiet introvert too and I always appreciated having a room of my own to escape to.

h. said...

I tend to lean the other direction. As one of the more introverted of your three brothers, I think it was healthy for me to interact with others who didn't approach life the same way I did, and learn to find "space" even in the middle of comparative chaos. It made me more aware of others, when it would've been easy for me to be absorbed in my own world. I learned early that the "real world" is a lot bigger than the one I occupy on my own, and that it's important to be active in both - a useful skill considering all the spaces I've had to share during a mission, college, army, marriage (kids!), etc... Keep them together, but maybe create a "library" type space, where only meticulous, quiet activities take place. Let them learn to live together, but have space in your home for each personality to be the louder voice when they need it. Sort of like solo parts in an orchestra. Everyone plays the same piece, but can stand out without unbalancing the performance. My two cents.

The Dragonfly said...

You and I have the same family dynamic - three boys, one girl. And while Hannah has always had her own room, the boys have all had to share with someone at some point. And to me, that purpose has been served. To learn to live with others at some point - but not forever. Now no one shares and it is good for us all. I think the best way to protect from evils like pornography is to not allow access to it in the bedrooms. None of our children have a computer, tv, phone or iPod allowed in their rooms. Strict? Yes. But it's what works for us. The funny thing is that the only girl would be the best room sharer of all.

Praxis Uriarte said...

My sister and I shared the same bedroom for most of our childhood, but just like L & E we had completely different personalities/attitudes. We would bicker constantly. It wasn't until we were each given our own room that things became more peaceful. I definitely recommend giving E his own space. It'll definitely help your sanity!

xo
praxis
praxsmiles.blogspot.com

Apis Melliflora said...

Our two boys each have their own rooms, as does our girl. But the younger two (8 boy and 6.5 girl) wish that they could bunk or sleep together every night. They are thick as thieves. When a room/space in the house is no longer used, repurpose as soon as possible, says I!

Crys said...

I like h.'s idea of a quiet play space, somewhere E can be with his siblings, but then I sympathize with the sleeping situation :) Alfred and Tober wake up so much earlier than Clark. He has always just had to sleep around their noise. I am getting ready to put him in a separate room with Everest and am really curious how it is going to go. I didn't have my own room until my older sister got married. Then I moved out 6 months later and have been sharing a room ever since so I am not a very well rounded perspective to draw from :) you know your family dynamic best, and I am sure if you put your mind to it you can find away to take the space you have and make it a little sanctuary for all of you.

hAha said...

Personal space? What's that?

hAha said...

H.'s idea is brilliant.

Nicole said...

This is one I've often contemplated as well, I'll have to read the other comments when I get a chance...Joseph and I love the idea of our kids all sharing space, only having a living room/family room to hang out in, inviting friends over to our house to play in the yard or sport court vs. hanging out at their friends houses (boys for their friends/other male influences, and girls for stranger danger) I try not to be paranoid but I do like the idea of the kids not being able to disappear. Since its on the same level as the main living area he could have rules like no locked/closed doors, we have that at home though our kids are still young enough they haven't wanted true privacy yet...But that might defeat the purpose of him being able to do trains and such without interruption...Keep us posted, I'd like to know what others think on the issue...

merelyLooking said...

I like h.'s idea as well - it's nice to think of additional (or rather, repurposed) space being useful for all, not just one, and every home could use a quiet room. However, if you do decide to give him his own space, I recommend a half door (the kind they have in old 1940 movies on idyllic farm homes) or a door with a window. I never think total privacy is a great thing for boys, but not only that, knowing the layout of your home, he'd be on a different level than you, and you'll probably want to be able to easily check in on him.

If it's any consolation, your dad has never had a room of his own in his entire life. He says what mattered to him was they each had their own space in the room - their own bed (thos it was a mattress on the ground), their own shelf for books by their bed, their own desk, and they each had a wall to decorate. He never felt cheated, but I do know Uncle Greg used to really get annoyed with him for talking so much and making noise. Greg told him to be quiet and then your dad spent the night making mouse sounds cuz he was being "quiet as a mouse" :) Funny to think of them as ten year old pests, huh?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...