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How to stay sane when sharing a room

Getting along with a sibling can be hard enough, but when you don’t have a place to go that’s just yours, it can feel nearly impossible. If sharing a room with your sib is causing *way* too much drama, check out these tips on how to cope without going crazy:

1) Establish what’s off limits (and what’s shared). Often it’s hard to differentiate what’s what when all of your stuff is mixed together, and you could end up using or wearing each other’s stuff completely by accident. To avoid the fight, make sure you’re perfectly clear about what’s yours and what’s not to be borrowed. But on the other hand, it’s not a bad idea to establish what you’re okay with sharing. If you’re willing to compromise on some things, odds are you will be a lot more respectful of each other’s no-touch stuff.

2) Go someplace else. Try doing homework in the kitchen, living room or even at a local coffee shop if you’re allowed. Stay busy by making plans with friends after school or organize a sleepover over the weekend. Giving each other some alone time every once in a while is in everyone’s best interest; the more time you spend together, the more likely you are to get under each other’s skin.

3) Compromise. No one likes doing it, but no one can really get everything they want either. If your sister likes listening to music late at night and you prefer to fall asleep early, work out a time you can both agree on to either turn everything off or switch to headphones. If your sister is an early bird and wakes you up in the morning, (nicely) ask her to go watch TV downstairs while you’re trying to sleep. You don’t have to agree on everything, but pick your fights.

4) Talk to your parents. If you're both constantly fighting, you’re not likely to reason with each other, but if you approach your parents calmly and rationally about a problem you’re having, it’s way easier to get it resolved. Explain what exactly it is that your sister is doing that’s driving you insane and why it bothers you without trying to pin blame on her. You have a right to speak up if something is bothering you...just make sure you’re doing it in a mature way.

5) Put it in perspective. Remember, this may seem unbearable now but it’s a good learning experience for you in the long run. Knowing how to live with someone will be an important skill when you get your first college roommate, move in with friends after college and even when you have a family of your own. Think of it as practice. You never know, one day you might just be thankful you had to share a bedroom with your little sister.

Do you share a room with a sibling? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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by Alexis Ancel | 3/22/2018
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