24 answers

Boy/girl Kids Sharing a Bedroom

We are ready for our second child and I am curious if there are laws about children of the opposite sex sharing a bedroom. If we have another boy then it's no big deal but if we have a girl we may have to think about moving. I am wondering if there is a "legal" age limit for children of the opposite sex to share a bedroom.

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J., I don't know if there is an age limit as such, but I have to express something that's bothered me since I was a little girl. I shared a bedroom with my baby brother when we were little & had a small bungelow home. My father built me a bedroom of my very own upstairs when I was about 7 years old. I was so excited, but my Mom was dead against me staying in it. She was/is a housecleaning freak & she didn't like us stepping on her precious area rugs & messing things up. Anyway, she made me stay with my brother until I was in junior high & I was so embarassed. I'm not saying that you would do something like that, but it really made a lasting impression on me that I can't live down & it was all because she didn't want a mess. We were the cleanest kids in the neighborhood. We could never have kids/friends in the house because she wouldn't let them, but also, we were afraid someone would find out that we had to sleep in the same room. Thank goodness they were twin beds. It's just a really bad memory. Just wanted & NEEDED to share that.
K.

1 mom found this helpful

There are a completely different set of rules for divorced families. With exes trying to get back at each other, you have to be really careful.

There are no laws regarding this in any of the 50 states.

Social services have their own "guidelines" I do not know how they do it - they are not laws.

Apartments are allowed by law to limit the amount of people in a unit. They cannot define gender.

More Answers

Hello,
I understand your concern, I have two children, a girl 14 and a boy 11. When my son was old enough to move out of my bedroom, he moved into his sister's room. They shared a room until she was about 9 years old. I believe the age limit in MI is about 12 years old for opposite sex to share a room.
My husband and I decided to seperate them earlier than that and we moved to a three bedroom apt. We didn't realize that they had become so used to sharing a room, that even though they had their own rooms, they stilled tended to sleep on each others floors almost everynight. They were typical siblings during the day, fighting and what not, but at night I think they felt safer or more comfortable with each other. When my daughter was about 11, she finally "kicked" my son out for good.
If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about it right now. You have plenty of time to find another place to live if you want the kids to have their own rooms. But they should be fine for a couple of years. It doesn't hurt them to share a room, and it might help them to be closer siblings. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

my daughter and son (24 months apart) had many sleepovers in each other's room. they took baths until my older one was about six years old. privacy didn't become an issue until about my daughter, the older one, started middle school (11 year old).

at this age, it wouldn't be an issue. if you don't make a big deal, they won't either.

good luck, hope you have a safe and quick delivery. you are so blessed!!! forget the housework, love them like crazy!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.!
My best friend has 2 step children, twins, boy and girl. They have social workers who visit and come into their home so they were required to have them in separate rooms by age 5, they are now 6.
I say if you don't have anyone who is going to come into your house and report you then you can do whatever works best for you and the kids. I don't see any problem with siblings sharing a room when they are young. I shared with my brother for a while. They only issue you might have is the new baby waking up the toddler and vice versa....yikes! ;) Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

J., I don't know if there is an age limit as such, but I have to express something that's bothered me since I was a little girl. I shared a bedroom with my baby brother when we were little & had a small bungelow home. My father built me a bedroom of my very own upstairs when I was about 7 years old. I was so excited, but my Mom was dead against me staying in it. She was/is a housecleaning freak & she didn't like us stepping on her precious area rugs & messing things up. Anyway, she made me stay with my brother until I was in junior high & I was so embarassed. I'm not saying that you would do something like that, but it really made a lasting impression on me that I can't live down & it was all because she didn't want a mess. We were the cleanest kids in the neighborhood. We could never have kids/friends in the house because she wouldn't let them, but also, we were afraid someone would find out that we had to sleep in the same room. Thank goodness they were twin beds. It's just a really bad memory. Just wanted & NEEDED to share that.
K.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J. -
I know from living in an apartment awhile ago, that until the age of 5 years, brothers and sisters can share a room. After 5, they need their own room.
D.

I don't think there are any written laws, per se, on the subject, but don't write it in stone. I would ask your pediatrician.

But until they start going to school, I don't think there's a problem. Really. Until they start identifying with peers of their own sex, they should be able to survive each other. Unless of course one is just more disruptive than the other and interferes with naps or sleeptime.

There are a completely different set of rules for divorced families. With exes trying to get back at each other, you have to be really careful.

My kids each had their own rooms. Then I found out that I was pregnant. When my daughter was born, my other daughter was almost 6 and my son had just turned 4. I didn't want the baby to wake either up so we moved them in together. They loved it! Once the baby started sleeping through the night, I moved my oldest in with her. She would rather be in her brother's room and sometimes sleeps on the floor in there on a pad.

I don't know about the legalities, but they will be fine together for a few years. Once modesty sets in, I would have them in separate rooms. Wait until the market is better in a few years before you worry about selling. They will be fine for several years!

C.

My son is 2 1/2 and my daughter is 4 months, and we plan on having them share a room for the next 3/4 years. We have a bedroom for my son (being used as a playroom now), but it's on the other side of the house and I'd rather have them both in the room next to ours until he's old enough to know what to do if there were a fire, etc. I figure it will be okay until one of them starts to develop some modesty.

I was told by child protective services that as long as they got their own beds that is fine. I have a boy and a girl sleeping in the same room. They have bunk beds to sleep in. I know after the age 5 they have to be in separate rooms but I move into a two bedroom trailer with my kids that is when I was told to have separate beds

I'm not finding anything 'official' online that says anything about a law. If there is one... I'm thinking it is there for foster homes.

Honestly, if it extends to private non-foster homes... I'm appalled. Not everyone can afford a home with a seperate bedroom for each child! Frankly, I think it is ridiculous how the government keeps trying to legislate parenting. Of course there are those who are not good parents... and those children need someone to step in. But, those of us who ARE good parents and make educated decisions... it irritates me when the government tries to tell us what we can or can not do with our children... such as vaccinations and what not.

Sorry.. done with my soap box.

Personally, I think room sharing is fine until they reach an age of puberty or when one sibling might be embarrased by the presence of the other. Whichever comes first.

I think the law you are talking about pertains more to step children (siblings that are not related). Maybe once your kids start to go through puberty they will need a little more privacy, but I don't see anything wrong with it for now.

Hello J. I have heard that there is a law against siblings of the opposite sex to sleep in the same room. I am sure at first when they are very small it should not make a differance (i would think) but yeah I have heard of it. Hope this helps
B.

I have one girl and two boys. We have a three bedroom house. My girl and middle boy share a room becuase they want too and so they don't bother the littlest one becuase he goes to bed earlier. My kids are 5,3 &1. I am sure in the next couple years my two boys will be in the same room, but for right now they are happy with the sleeping arrangment.

Check with FIA (family independance agency) but I know from my sister and her issues with a step child is that the age in Michigan is 5 for sharing a room with the opposite sex even a parent and if you want to get into that law it is even harder on divorced parents. My sister has 2 boys 1 girl (she is the middle child) and a step daughter the girls have a room and the boys have a room but they all end up in the same room at night together when the step daughter is not there. I think my neice just doesn't like to sleep alone in a room. I think it is what ever the kids are comfortable with. Unless you are having FIA in your home monththy or yearly for something or rent a place in a county where you have inspections its your home do as you please. I have two boys and they hate being in the same room.

I don't know if there are laws or not either, but I think it is fine. I'm with Karen, just make sure they have thier own room in a few years. I wouldn't try to sell in these times.

GL:)

Yes when they get older they are not allowed by the State or the City...They can share a room when they are little and there isn't a problem it is just when they start to get older and understanding things more. Good luck with your family

They are your children, so really it is completely up to you and what you feel comfortable with. The only exceptions I am aware of are when their is a custody situation or foster children involved. In those types of cases the courts usually require separate bedrooms. Congratulations on the new pregnancy!

Check with your local FIA ( family independance agency) , anyone there will be able to answer that question. But since your son is only 10 months and the other child is not born yet, you have plenty of time for them to be in the same room.
In Michigan I understand the limit of age is 10 years old if they are different sexes. It may be different in other States. My children are older, but I had to deal with that issue myself. Everything worked out! And congrats on your beautiful boy and any future child! I do miss having little babies around.

I had no idea there were laws about this! I had to share a room with three of my brothers when I was 18 and 19 and the youngest was 9-10. I slept on the top bunk, one brother on the bottom, one on the floor and the youngest in the closet. Prior to that a room with my Aunt and prior to that a room with my Mom, none of it was fun, I hate apartments :(

I had the same concern for my boy and girl because I could barely afford a 2 bedroom apt let alone a three bedroom one. I asked a state offical at the FIA because I had been told when the youngest turned age 5 they had to have their own bedrooms. I was told actually there is no limit on this. It's because the bathroom can be used to dress in privicy. It only changes if they also share a common bed.

J.
I had my nephew living with me for a while and i had him in the same room with my girls. The girls slept in the top bunk and him in the bottom. His mother tried callin DHS on us for a stupid reason and we had a social worker come in. She said that it was no problem to have the 3 kids who were 6,7,8 at the time to sleep in the same room as long as they had some where else that they changed. Plus they don't care really about when the kids r little tooo. MY suggestion would be call ur department of Human services in ur area. They could give u exact details cause laws and rules change all the time. Oh just to let u know .... my girls and nephew never had a problem with it.... but i would consider thinking about moving before they get older cause they will need their own space. Good Luck

There are no laws regarding this in any of the 50 states.

Social services have their own "guidelines" I do not know how they do it - they are not laws.

Apartments are allowed by law to limit the amount of people in a unit. They cannot define gender.

I am a mother of four children, now they are 23, 22, 15 and 14. My oldest two, a boy and a girl, shared a room until we decided to build a house. My son was eight when he got his own room. My daughter ended up sharing her room with her two younger sisters until she was 12. And, then, we converted the "playroom" into her bedroom. It worked out fine.

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