Many who shared a room as a child claimed it helped them navigate adult life better.
Half of all adults (46%) who shared a room with their sibling as a child believe it was a positive experience, with many claiming that it helped them to develop stronger connections with their family (39%), emotional intelligence (38%), and sharing skills (35%). Only 9% claim to have a negative experience, and 45% of people claim the experience of sharing a room was neither positive or negative (neutral).
|When considering your overall experience, how do you think sharing a room with a sibling affected your mental health and well-being?
|It had a very positive effect
|It had a positive effect
|It had neither a positive nor negative effect
|It had a negative effect
|It had a very negative effect
The new research from Hammonds Furniture asked 2,000 adults who had previously shared a bedroom with at least one brother or sister, about their experience. The findings show that people who shared a bedroom with a sibling during childhood believe it helped them to navigate adult life better, with 6 in 10 (59%) agreeing the experience helped prepare them for shared spaces as an adult (such as university halls and office spaces).
It was also revealed that sharing had helped many later in life with their confidence levels (22%) and conflict management (21%).
Despite the mostly positive response, 17% of people surveyed claimed that they had little privacy whilst sharing, 17% believed the sharing affected their sleeping patterns and 10% claimed that it increased feelings of anxiety.
According to the charity Shelter a home should have enough bedrooms for children over 10 years old of different genders, and there should be no more than two children to a bedroom.
As well as this, children should not have to share with parents. If any of these happen long-term, Shelter advises that a house can be considered overcrowded, which could have further negative effects on children.
‘The are many benefits to children sharing a room, for example, children who are anxious about sleeping on their own can feel more secure. Also, children will quickly learn the art of compromising – by learning how to occupy a shared space, the child is likely to carry this skill into adult life when in the workplace or living in shared flats
‘It is only normal that there are times that siblings will not get on well, but dealing with conflict at a young age can actually help children develop the emotional intelligence to better navigate the adult world.’
Kirsty Oakes, Head of Displays and Marketing at Hammonds Furniture, commented on the findings: ‘Sharing a room is a major part of childhood for many people, and lots of us look back with fond memories of the chats we had and games we played with our sisters or brothers during this time.
‘As the results of the research shows, there are many benefits to sharing a room, but children still deserve their privacy. As a parent, ensuring you make use of the space in the shared room, making sure children have their own areas that are just for them, and teaching how to respect boundaries is fundamental in keeping your children happy and healthy.’
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