Shared Bedrooms: Ages 6-11

Privacy Prizefights

Kids begin demanding more privacy during middle childhood, resulting in shared-space scuffles (“Mom, she’s not staying on her side!” “Can’t he just leave me alone for a second?”) One reason: During the elementary school years, a child’s budding sense of modesty about her body ramps up self-consciousness, so the same child who once gleefully streaked around the house sans clothes as a tot may balk at dressing and undressing in front of siblings, particularly a sibling of the opposite gender.

Parents can ease fighting over property and privacy by establishing clear policies about who is allowed to touch what and by giving each child a “sacred space” within the bedroom to call his own and to decorate as he pleases, whether it’s a bulletin board, a bookshelf or a bed. If communal dressing and undressing is causing problems, kids can change clothes in the bathroom.

> Shared Bedrooms: Ages 0-5 and 12-18