Here’s a little story. There once was a big sister who had her own room. Her mommy got pregnant with baby number 3 and to free up the nursery her younger brother had to move into her glorious big girl room with her. Along came a bunk bed, complementary his/her bedsheets, and an immigration of 10 pounds of toddler boy toys and books. The transition went smoothly, but there is something about two children 3 years apart; One is learning to exert herself as an independent and social being at a new elementary school, and the other one learning how to exert himself as a Big Kid who will call you Rude or Booboo Butt if his favorite plate is dirty. That is to say, the fighting is constant. They simply can’t pass each other without some sort of contact that escalates into a wrestling match. This brings me back to their room, and our realization that we needed to create a separate haven for each sibling so they can get some alone when feeling stifled by the other. And from the parents’ point of view, an alternative to the phrase “Go to your room!” when a time-out that herds them into the same space would not solve the hair-pulling, face scratching, name calling fighting match that got them in trouble in the first place. This is an all too common problem that could best be solved by adding an extra wing to your home. As that’s not possible for us without acquiring a city permit, I’m looking into a simpler solution: creating stations within their common space that they call their own. So the next time fighting escalates we can yell “GO TO YOUR NOOK!!!” and all will be peaceful and right with the world. (Play along with me).
This is the first of 3 rooms I’m reorganizing in our home. The projects are going on simultaneously so I’ll have to flip flop from one room to the other in my posts. Here is the breakdown of the Shared Kids’ Room:
The goal: To create separate spaces of which two children can take ownership.
The challenge: Fitting these nooks into a room that must also contain one bunk bed, one bookshelf, two dressers, a mini kitchen, a dress up area, a toy shelf and one entire wall taken up by a closet. Also, choosing decor for the spaces that are different and gender appropriate but a) complement each other and b) doesn’t trigger jealousy from either child (“No I want the fluffy pillow!”)
The solution: Finding small rugs to designate space and personalized decorations to make it feel inviting. Also, it will be necessary to throw out a LOT of toys (shhh) and pile another load into an “Out Of Sight Out Of Mind” basket that will be on a high shelf in the closet. This is purgatory for unused or barely used toys. If something is not asked to be played with for a whole year, it goes to the toy farm.
These are the misguided corners of the room as it is now.
This will be the placement for Mona’s nook:
This is the other corner of that wall, and what is to be Eli’s area: