Oh my, I have thought about this idea so much.
Meet Jude and Ezra, my grandsons. They love each other very much. Their parents are adept at teaching these two fellas how to put themselves on the back burner and negotiate through loving, even when it is hard.
How do we do it? Taking advantage of the significant opportunities is the most powerful tool in our boxes. These two are really going to have their love for one another challenged in a few months as a sister comes into their home and they are required to share a bedroom. Often today parents feel children each need a room to themselves, but maybe the families in which the kids MUST sleep together, (sometimes on the floor), are better off. Easier is not always better, matter of interest, easier is rarely best for learning the powerful lessons of life.
Siblings that share a room learn a set of skills that can translate into effective relating in sharing an apartment or dorm room in future, and even learning negotiating skills one day used in marriage. My nephew’s children often share a bed, and they are learning things other kids will struggle with later because they are exposed to negotiating space. “Move over.” “Roll over.” “Come over.” In the following article on, Bunking Up, Malia Jocabson helps parents help their children to negotiate through some of the difficulties:
- When kids share rooms, discipline requires some parental creativity. The time-honored tactic of sending each child to their bedroom for time-out doesn’t work in shared-room scenarios. But bedrooms aren’t the only place that kids can cool off or take a break, notes Crist. Kids who need solo time can chill in the bathroom, the den, or even a parents’ room.
Being creative, patient, and loving will really pay off as parents encourage their children in thoughtfulness of sharing a space. Learning to live with one another takes so so much love. But love is often learned! God does not pour it into us like water on flowers. God gives us the opportunity to exercise the muscle necessary for love. Unfortunately, love is never learned while we are alone and isolated, but when we are thrown into places where we must think of another. Places in which sacrifices become necessary! Prayer helps, of course, prayer for the children and parents, prayers uttered BY the parents AND the BY the Children. (And maybe even a glass of wine to get through the tough spots.)
For more on teaching siblings to love through negotiation opportunities, check out these two sites:
Some Activities that can encourage siblings to love one another. Click Here:
And in this BLOG by Joy Marie Dunlap she tells of some ways to encourage love.