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Advice on how to keep the peace

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Expert offers tips on getting children to share a bedroom

In today’s economy, it is not always affordable to own a home with a bedroom for each of your children.

And now that multi-generational households are becoming increasingly popular, young children might have to bunk up in order to allow their grandparents their own space within the home, says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa.

“Financially, it might not be an option to move to a larger home to accommodate everyone.”

Any parent knows that keeping the peace between siblings can be a challenge and this only escalates when they share a bedroom.

“Homeowners will have to weigh up the financial strain of moving to a larger home against the emotional strain of trying to get their children to share a space amicably. Sharing a room could allow your children the opportunity to bond and to learn some valuable lessons in sharing and consideration.”

There are a few tricks parents can try to foster peaceful cohabitation between children. One is to recognise that one bedroom does not have to mean one bedtime – particularly if there is an age gap.

A single bedtime may mean trying to wrangle an older sibling into bed before they’re tired or keeping a younger child awake to the point where they are overtired. Instead, implement different bedtimes and keep the older child out of the room until it reaches time for them to join their younger sibling in their slumbers.

Another trick is to allow each child to design their own space within the bedroom. This gives them the freedom to make their allocated space their own. It will help them feel they have a safe space that belongs to them alone where they can go when they are feeling upset or frustrated.

“When it comes to selling, homeowners will just have to remember to depersonalise the space and make it more neutral to allow buyers the ability to picture themselves in the space,” says Goslett.

As a final piece of advice, he recommends that homeowners up their storage game as a misplaced toy or item of clothing is the easiest way to start an argument between your children. Parents can colour code the shelving so children know where their items belong.

“Good built-in storage often adds value to a property, so investing in well-designed, built-in wardrobes will not only minimise arguments between your children but will also add value to your home in the long run.”

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