The four oldest boys in the Balducci family love sharing bedrooms so much that they suggested tearing down a wall so the youngest son, Henry, could move in to the larger space.
A mother of six, Rachel Balducci, of Augusta, said sharing bedrooms works for her family because the four oldest boys are close in age and share similar schedules and interests.
When it’s easy to become isolated on computers, iPads and iPhones, Balducci said the family stays more connected by sharing bedrooms.
Her family and others are finding the long-run benefits outweigh occasional arguments resulting from close quarters.
“It helps you learn how not to be all about yourself. You have to be flexible, and you can’t just go off and be by yourself,” Balducci said.
Balducci said she hopes her children will be more prepared to share living arrangements with future college roommates or a spouse. She hesitates to think of drawbacks to their current situation.
Dr. Dale Peeples, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Georgia Health Sciences University, said parents should pay close attention to a child’s age and behavioral patterns when considering having siblings share bedrooms. A lack of personal space can have negative consequences for kids, especially teenagers.
“They are at a point when they are working on their independence, working on their autonomy,” Peeples said about teenagers.
Parents should value a child’s input, he said. An age gap between siblings can lead to resentment if one child prefers not to share space, he said.
At the Favorite’s house in Evans, the two oldest sons, Quinten, 15, and Zachary, 11, shared a bedroom for most of their lives. When Quinten was 14 years old, he asked his parents for his own room.
“He’s at the age that he really does need his own space, and he doesn’t need his younger brother all up in his space,” said Elizabeth Favorite, a mother of four.
The experience, however, helped them learn to compromise when issues arose with different sleeping habits and personality traits.
Favorite hopes her sons will adjust more easily to new living situations as they grow older.
“When and if they go away to school they’re not going to have their own room and that person most likely won’t be just like they are,” she said.