What Kid Gets the Bigger Room.

Updated on June 07, 2017
J.S. asks from Wilton, CT
14 answers

I am a mother of 4 kids, three girls... 21 (B), 16 (R) and 13 (J) and one boy 19 (D). They are ALL currently at home. The oldest just graduated college and has a great job lined up, starting around September. My son is currently living at home getting his life sorted. My 16 year old is in highschool and spends a lot of time in her room. My 13 year old is homeschooled and has anxiety.

We have been in our house six to seven years. On the second floor... There is the master bedroom. Also bedroom 1 with its own bathroom (nice sized room). Bedroom 2 (again nice size) and 3 (small) connected by a "jack and Jill" bathroom. On the 3rd floor we have bedroom 4 and 5. The third floor has a bathroom and bedroom 4 and 5. Bedroom 4 is big, bigger then the master. But the master has 2 walk in closets and a big bathroom. Then Bedroom 5, its a nice size but no closet.

When we first moved in the bedroom order looked like this - B in bedroom 1, R in bedroom 2, J in bedroom 3, and D in bedroom 5. Bedroom 4 the big bedroom was left open. Then 2 years later B is off to college soon and J wants a bigger room (J has a dog that sleeps in crate in room.) J is offered massive room but turns it down because she was scared if there was a fire the dog wouldn't be able to get out. So J moves into Bs room and B moves into the massive room. Then 6 months later R takes Bs room and B is then in Rs old room. So rooms then are J in bedroom 1, B in bedroom 2, no one in bedroom 3, R in bedroom 4, and D in bedroom 5.

In the past 6 months B furnished her room herself and everyones in the same spot. The dog died and J is homeschooled. J recently (the past year) has been asking for bedroom 4. Js room (bedroom 1) needs a coat of paint and can do with some new furniture. One day R agreed to switch rooms if she can furnish room 1 and me and my husband where fine with it. So a few days later Rs out for the day and we talk and J says she's going to pack and clean her room. R is fine with that. J spends the whole day cleaning and packing her room and R a few hours after she gets J finishes her room and the after R says I don't want to switch rooms. J is really sad/annoyed. Now current day J is still asking.

J has friends over a lot and R doesn't.
R spends a lot of time in her room.
J is homeschooled
R and J both have cats
J might be getting a dog soon.
R likes her room.
J takes better care of room then R.

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answers from Dallas on

I would say the 2 oldest get last choice unless they are paying rent. Since the 13 year old is, homeschooling she is home the most and has friends over more she should get the one she wants.

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answers from Boston on

It was the butler in the drawing room with a candlestick. Sorry, just kidding ;-)

At the end of the day, your kids are incredibly lucky to have their own rooms. Seriously, I have 4 kids when they were younger, we had a 3 bedroom house with one bathroom for everyone so the kids slept two to a room and my two oldest (boy and girl) shared a room until they were 14 because there was nowhere else to sleep until we finished a basement room.

So with that perspective, it's your house. Do what you feel is right and they can deal with it. Personally, it sounds like your 13 year old would make good use of the larger room and your 16 year old did agree to it, so I would hold them to the deal that they agreed on. If your oldest is moving when she starts her job, perhaps wait until she moves and then do another final round of moves (after which everyone stays put). If she'll be living at home and saving up before getting her own place, then just do it as soon as it makes sense.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Your kids are old enough to figure this out on their own. I'd declare myself Switzerland and stay neutral in the entire thing.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Don't make things too comfortable for the 21 or 19 year old. They get last choice since they are supposed to me moving out of the house.

I am not sure if the 16 year old deserves the 'best' room or if the 13 year old does. Normally things go by seniority, but you seem to point out a lot of variables (too many for me to keep track of without re-reading and re-reading).

Make sure to use the room switches as a way to clean house and get rid of stuff (haha).

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

When my brother moved out of the house, my parents asked my sister and I to actually prepare a written proposal/ presentation explaining why we should have the larger room. It was their way of forcing us to actually think past the emotions of the situation. By the time we finished, I realized that my sister really would make better use of it, I wasn't terribly disappointed when my parents came to the same conclusion.

I agree with JB that J would probably appreciate the room the most, and I'd probably hold them to the agreement.

And make sure you remind them that this is completely a first world problem!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think I need another cup of coffee .. lol

Well. The first thing that struck me is the two girls had an agreement and one is now not following through. Why? I'd have them work that out, myself.

I came from a large family. The oldest got the preferred room - always. Then it got recycled through us younger kids - so eventually I ended up with it (youngest).

My only thought with your daughter J moving up a floor - will that cause her anxiety to flare up? to be another floor higher in house and away from you?

I'd have a trial week if it were me. Have them switch and see how little one does up there, before rearranging the whole household.

Here - the older kids sleep further away from mom and dad and get things like bathrooms.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Your children are lucky that your home has so many rooms. Perhaps they should be reminded that they are squabbling over options that don't even exist for many kids. I think the younger 2 should get priority since your older 2 are technically adults, and they should be making steps towards being out on their own, sooner rather than later if they aren't happy with the accommodations at your house. I'd sit the older 2 down and tell them you are going have a chat with the younger 2 and that they (the older 2) will be given the space that is left after the younger 2 choose. The younger 2 are very different it sounds like, but each of their needs should be considered equally important. Perhaps when you sit down with them and explain they get to choose first, and you would appreciate it if they could negotiate a plan together peacefully. If they don't appreciate the first dibs privilege enough to work together, I'd everyone stays put until someone moves out and they can try again.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Everyone stays where they are. There is only a move if both kids are fully on board. It sounds like R was never fully on board with the trade. She was being pressured, tried to think of a way to be OK with it, but ultimately decided she wants to stay where she is. J needs to accept that and stop harassing R and whining to you.

(As an aside, I'm even less sympathetic to J because she was offered the bigger room previously and turned it down. She doesn't get to force her sister out now.)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

That was really confusing to read! The 21 year old is moving out. I would have the two girls take the bedrooms with the shared bathroom. I would have the 19 year old boy take the third bedroom. He will move out before you know it. I can't imagine wanting to live at home very long as a young adult. I sure didn't! Once he leaves to live on his own I'd leave that bedroom as a guest room.

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answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia, J.!

If your 21 year old is moving out? She should NOT get the biggest room.

Other than that? I couldn't keep up with your post - R B J - just use names. Makes like easier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

This sounds a bit like a complicated math problem.
The good news is there are more bedrooms than kids.
How long are you planning to have all the kids live at your home?
The 21 yr old and 19 yr old should be working on their exit plan.
To encourage that, they should have smallest rooms - and they furnish their apartment(s) with their room mates until they earn enough to live independently..
Making things too comfortable at home means as your kids become adults they will never leave home - and they need to in order to fully grow up.
As kids grow up and leave, there are more rooms available for the remaining kids to choose from.
R made an agreement and needs to stick with it.
It might be helpful to find out what changed R's mind.

As a side note - I use to work with someone who had a philosophy about home maintenance.
He made a practice of emptying each room of his house once a year (his house had 7 rooms, each room would be done a different month).
It really helped him cut the clutter AND when a room is emptied it can be painted, get new carpet/flooring, wash drapes, anything broken gets more easily fixed, cleaned/dusted and then it's easier to get rid of things when you've seen it all and only put back to store what you really need.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Well, I'm a bit confused with all the rooms and people, but basically, you have two kids who are of legal age (19 and 21) who both still live at home. And you have a teen with a couple of years to go before she reaches 18, and a young teen.

I guess I'd ask you: what responsibilities have you established?

Does the college graduate with the new job pay rent? After the new job starts, will she continue to live at home?

What do you mean by getting "life sorted out"? Is your son simply trying to figure out a college major or looking for a job, or are there some problems (legal, or behavioral, or financial, etc) that he needs to attend to? If by "sorted out" you mean just trying to decide between school or a job, or trying to choose a school, I guess that's different than trying to pay fines or fulfill community service, etc.

What standards do you have for taking care of possessions, and pets? Who pays for all this?

If you're paying the mortgage, and if you're paying for cat food and litter, and if you're paying for wi-fi and internet and tv and electricity and water and all that, well, then, you assign rooms according to needs and tell the older two they're welcome to get their own places if they're not satisfied, and set a precedent for the 16 year old.

I'd take into consideration the needs of your 13 year old. She most likely can't pay rent, nor should she have to, and if she is diagnosed with anxiety, you want to be considerate of her needs according to what her doctor says. And she needs room for homeschooling and studying at home.

But if some kids are paying rent, let them sign a contract and apply for the room they want, and work it out, just like if they were renting an apartment. Often young adults will share a house, and often that house includes one more desirable room, so one kid will pay a little more in rent or expenses for the privilege of having the room with the view or the space or the huge private bathroom. That's life.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

ETA It might be clearer to say "I have X bedrooms, two rooms share a jack and jill bathroom, one has an Ensuite bathroom, and the other uses a hallway bathroom. I have 3 girls ranging in age from 13-20 and 1 boy, age 19. How should I do kids in bedrooms?"

My best friend growing up was one of 12 kids. They had a girl's room, a boy's room, and a little kids room for the babies and toddlers, then mom and dad had their own room.

In my house now I have a girl's room, boy's room, sewing room, office, and the kids/grand kids come and stay in that room. I have some extra mattresses that fit under the regular beds and everyone sleeps where they find space.

If I had 5 bedrooms and was in your situation I would give each one a bedroom and be done with it.


Well, the boy obviously has a room that doesn't share a bathroom with anyone. A jack and jill bathroom is for your girls.

I'd put the two that get along the best in one room and everyone else gets an individual room.



answers from New York on

My thought is this:

It makes sense for B and R to be on the same floor, the two oldest girls - hopefully R can be influenced by her sister's career goals! So, R moving to Room 1, to be there close to B who is in Rooms 2-3. And they would both have very nice large rooms - B basically has a suite all to herself (two connected rooms, maybe she can use the second one as an "office" if her job involves any work brought home) and R in the nice big Room 1.

HOWEVER - I would just want to make sure that Mr. "getting his life sorted" (D) is not involved in any bad behaviors at home. If J, as you mention, has friends over a lot, well if they are all hanging out on the top floor of your house, possibly out of your earshot, in J's new Room 4...is there any chance that D would be up there in his Room 5 drinking alcohol or smoking anything, etc? Or flirting with J's friends? J is at an age where she and her friends will be struggling with peer pressure, and putting J in a situation where she might be faced with having to "tell on" her brother would probably not help her anxiety!

So - I support your idea for R to take Room 1 (with B in Rooms 2 and 3), as long as you are sure that it will be okay to have J upstairs by D. But if D is up there using his Room 5 for drinking/smoking/being intimate with girls, it would be better to leave R up there by him (she has been seeing whatever D is doing up there for a while now and apparently she is not negatively effected by it) and keep J closer to B who can be more of a grown-up influence on J and J's friends.

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