Thursday, July 24, 2008

A room of one's own...

I'm a sucker for a written argument but, until recently, this is a weakness that my children haven't exploited. I have often told them if they dispute a rule or decision in writing I will seriously consider what they have to say. I didn't say this because I didn't want to listen to them complain, although I don't want to listen to them complain, but to protect myself against being bullied. Wow, that sounds terrible.. but you see, Ian is a master debater and could argue me in circles when he was about three years old. I simply couldn't withstand the barrage so I put a stop to it. I made it my personal policy to always say "no" to a verbal argument. I've probably never even articulated this to the younger kids. They were just victims of "this is how it is". My standard answer to just about any request is "I'll have to think about it." and if I'm pushed the answer is always "No."

Taylor and Delaney share a bedroom. They have always shared a bedroom. I think it's really special for sisters to share rooms, and clothes, and make-up, and whispered conversations in the middle of the night. Can you tell that I didn't grow up with a sister? Taylor, however, doesn't seem to think it's all that special and has been trying to secure a room of her own for a while now... I think it started about the time that Delaney came home from the hospital... but we simply haven't had the space until recently.

When Ian moved out last summer we finally did have an extra bedroom and the lobbying for separate rooms began. However, room allocation was difficult since we have two normal sized rooms and the room the girls share, which is 18' x 14', so we made the extra bedroom a guest room instead. This also helped a bit with the issue of parental guilt that comes with having an 18yr old out on his own. Completely giving his bedroom away was not something I was ready to do just yet. For the last year the "guest room" has primarily been a laundry folding (hahahahahaha) room, a storage junkyard, and a constant topic of conversation.

Well... someone finally took me up on my offer to consider arguments presented in writing and yesterday I was given the following:

Reasons to let everyone have their own room

1. Delaney & Taylor have own space.
2. More storage for Delaney.
3. Less arguments.
4. Less decoration problems.
5. Delaney & Taylor help clean up guest room.
6. Delaney stops waking Taylor up earlier.
7. Delaney has more room for sleepovers.
8. Taylor can have sleepovers in her room.
9. During school Delaney can get up without bothering Taylor.
10. Taylor and Delaney can have quiet to do their homework.
11. Delaney can sing.
12. Taylor can play her music.
13. Taylor can be in her room when Delaney has a friend over.
14. Delaney faces her fear.
15. Both girls have more privacy.

All three children are in agreement with Delaney getting the big room, Taylor getting the guest room, and Zane staying in his room. Letting Taylor have the guest room will help bring peace to her and Delaney. There will not be arguments about things like "your music's too loud" or "stop looking at my side!"

All three of them worked on the list (which could probably be shortened to 8 points but I won't quibble). So we agreed. The only change we made is that Zane will take the big bedroom, since he is the oldest and his room is where they all congregate to play computer games anyway. Right now it looks like a bomb exploded upstairs but they are all happily working together to move stuff around. It's nice to see them excited to clean their rooms!

Now I'm going to have to go fold the laundry because it's been evicted from Taylor's new bedroom and is lounging on MY bed. Why is it that eventually everything comes back to laundry?


Mrs. G. said...

Yes, why is that?

Leeann said...

I think it is awesome that they collaborated like that, came up with a plan, worked together and executed it. You were right to reward them with a resounding yes!

Congratulations to all three!


JCK said...

Impressive collaboration.

Karen MEG said...

It's all about the laundry.

I am also very impressed with how the allocation of space was so diplomatically and civilly accomplished.

You've got great kids there, Gina.

And now... back to your laundry ...which reminds me...

(funny, our "guest room" also houses all the junk/ sorting/ etc...)

Anonymous said...

Clever mom to make your kids really thing about what they want and why they want it and present it to you in written form so that emotions of the moment are minimized. Plus, they worked together. How great is that! We have four boys with only one still at home now -- he is the bonus baby who is now almost ten. He is spoiled in that he has a bedroom and a playroom (which is the previous the next oldest child still living at home old room). All his friends are so envious that he essentially has two rooms. To him this is normal. When I tried to explain to him that if he had a sibling near his age they would be sharing the toyroom. He did not like that idea. The other two bedrooms are now DH office and our exercise room.