Shared Bedrooms: Ages 12-18

Sleepover Scraps

Tweens and teens are bound to want alone time with their pals during sleepovers and friend visits, and parents are nearly guaranteed to hear a shrill chorus of “It’s not fair!” as tweens and teens tussle over when they get to use the room.

Before investing in earplugs to dull the din, consider this: parents are children’s primary role models when it comes to sharing space.

“Parents who share a bedroom with a spouse can have an opportunity to model compromise and consideration,” says Brightwood.

Parents can guide kids through problem-solving by helping each child reframe grievances and define needs using “I” language: “I feel hurt when you exclude me from your sleepover,” and “I need an hour uninterrupted to work on a school project.” Afterward, children can brainstorm potential solutions together. This negotiation practice will pay off big-time, says Brightwood. Long term, kids gain skills that give them a leg up in life, along with a stronger sibling bond: all in all, a pretty sweet bunk-bed bundle.

> Shared Bedrooms: Ages 0-11