The politics of childhood cohabitation has been raised after a
new survey revealed that children in one in four homes share the
London property prices mean that many of the same size families
live in smaller houses, which increases the likelihood of child
cohabitation to one in three.
Furthermore, 40 per cent of young couples say their homes are too
small for their children.
According to government policy that has remained constant since
the 1960s, one bedroom should be allocated to: any couple; each
single person over the age of 21; pairs of children under the age
of ten; or pairs of children aged ten to 21 of the same gender.
Anything more crowded could lead to a family on benefits being
given a larger home.
Even at these rates, bedroom politics between children is a heated
issue. Indeed, the heckling opinions voiced at Prime Minister's
Questions seem like (excuse the pun) child play compared to the
inter-children rivalry that can emerge over a single square foot of
the bedroom. Bunk beds or 'the best bed' also causes much anguish
for parents trying to quell bedroom arguments. As far as the bunk
goes, the top bed is the most hotly contested property in the
house. Although, revenge is often sought from below through
incessant kicking of the mattress!
In the end, despite the long nights of squabbling and fights, many
adults recall fond memories of sharing a room during their
childhood. Indeed, the vast majority would admit that it brought
them closer in later life. But to dampen the apparently painful
cohabitation while they are young, there are a few home
improvements that can be made to make life less stressful for all
Dividing up the space in the room by using different features
geared towards the separate personalities of the children allow
them to feel at ease within their own space, and can help in
improving the overall harmony of the room. Using different colours
and wall decorations can also create the appearance of two single
rooms in one.
The way you utilise the furniture will be ultimately crucial to
the harmony of the room. The beds are particularly important, as
they are the most personal aspect for the children. In this way,
you should try to make a bed more than a bed. Bed tents and
canopies can provide places to hide and relax in personal space,
and adding toys and personal features to the bed make them seem
There are various different beds for children, each of which can
be customised by adding accessories and personal features. Bunk
beds are the classic space savers, but loft beds, trundle beds and
captains beds also work well for kids. If you are using twin beds,
place them lengthwise against the walls for optimum divide.
Creating as much space as possible will prove to be a significant
benefit. Play areas are good for bonding and can lead to closer
relationships and mutual respect. Clutter can also be an
aggravator, especially if you have one neat child and one messy.
Using baskets and storage equipment can be a good solution to this,
allowing toys and clothes to be stored well but also accessible for
Finally, optimising the bedroom for sleep will make lives a whole
lot easier. Lack of sleep can cause restlessness and crabbiness,
which are both catalysts for bedroom wars. In this way, the bedroom
should be a comfortable and relaxing place for the children. A good
mattress and a warm duvet will leave the kids happy and well
rested, a treaty of sorts, that will at least delay future bedroom
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes