How to Downsize With Children

TMAAT July 4, 2016

Introduce them to the Tanner sisters

So you’ve got two kids, primary school age, who are vehemently against sharing a room? Sounds a little like the Tanner sisters in Full House. In the very first episode, Stephanie and DJ move into the same room and towards the end of the series, Stephanie has to share with Michelle. Much of the series is about the trials and tribulations of room sharing, but ultimately it brings the sisters closer together. Your kids will relate to the sisters and you’ll get to relive a classic. Got sons who just will NOT watch a show full of girls? The reboot, Fuller House, features two boys having to share a room. Easy!

Create personal space

Each child will have their own unique interests, so find a way to make space for both in the room.
Think rugs by their beds, bed covers that suit their personalities, wall decals and even different
coloured chests of drawers. If you’re moving and looking to keep the entire move on a budget, this is the perfect time to DIY. We also recommend checking out online stores for wall decals, as these are cheap and reuseable. They should also each have their own bookshelves and toy tubs, to avoid the
conflict over who touched whose toys!

Maintain two schedules

Different aged kids have different needs, especially with regards to bedtime. Although it might be difficult, maintaining their individual sleep schedules is crucial. If the younger one won’t settle at all, have the older one sit and read in their own bed, so it ‘looks’ as if they’re going to bed. In any case, putting them together separately will help them settle better, as they aren’t looking to gain the other’s attention. Use the time that the older one is awake alone for as bonding, reading and winding-down time.

Be firm and consistent

Bending the rules for one will only cause arguments and leave you and your children exhausted, as will suddenly changing one child’s bedtime to fit the other. It’s never easy, but be firm and consistent with the kid’s schedules and eventually they’ll learn to adhere to them. Removing one child from the situation to get the other to go to sleep or get dressed is often easiest. Encourage the other child to go find something quiet to do, perhaps read a book, in another room.

Remember, babies can’t share rooms

Babies under six months (sometimes older) really aren’t cut out for room sharing with toddlers, especially if those toddlers haven’t exactly mastered what’s socially acceptable and what’s not yet. So it might be best to have your baby share a room with you in the short term. At least then you can sell the older sibling on the idea that its way cooler than they think it looks.

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