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Parents Called Out For Forcing Their Teenage Son And Daughter To Share A Bedroom

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Sometimes we have to live in a place that is smaller than our families need, or a space that doesn’t totally suit our needs or lifestyles.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t live in the space, but rather that we should test our creative limits, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor sggbvs believed she was making the right choice for how to fit her whole family into her house.

But after receiving pushback from some of the family, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she needed to do some reorganizing.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not giving my daughter her own room?” 

The OP and her family shared two bedrooms in their home.

“So I ([female] 38), my husband ([male] 39), and our 2 kids ([female] 16) and ([male] 14) live in an 800 sqft (squarefoot) house in Toronto.”

“We would really like to get a bigger house, but a 1000 sqft house in this city costs at least $1 million, so that is completely off the table.”

“The house that we live in has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and 1 kitchen/living room.”

“My husband and I live in one of the bedrooms while my daughter and son live in the other one.”

“Both of the bedrooms are the same size and are rather small, but my husband and I are both grown adults and we can both fit together in one of the rooms just fine.”

This became a problem when the kids became teenagers. 

“The problem now is that my daughter thinks that her room is too small and doesn’t want to share it with her younger brother.”

“I asked her what she wanted to do about this problem, and she suggested that her brother moves to the living room couch.”

“I said that I can’t just kick him out of his room because his sister wants it for herself.”

“I suggested that we could put up office-style cubicle dividers or a curtain to divide the room in two if she wants privacy.”

“Then we realized that this would be a bad idea since they share a bunk bed, since the room is way too small to realistically fit 2 beds.”

The family struggled to come to a fair solution for everyone.

“So, in the end, I told her that she can either stay in the room with her brother, or she can be the one who moves to the living room, since it wouldn’t be fair to kick him out because she wants his room to herself.”

“I understand that she wants more space and privacy, but what can I do?”

“So Reddit, AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some directed the OP to some living space solutions.

“My boyfriend and I and my two kids live in a house the same size.”

“When my youngest started kindergarten, I ‘converted’ my dining area into a bedroom for my bedroom. It is fully enclosed with curtains and if I owned it, I would have been able to enclose it better. The dining table is in the living room.”

“Everything is tight in the house, but we all have rooms and privacy. I’m also in a very high COL (cost of living) area and pay way under market (1400/mo when it would rent for 2200+) and there aren’t any areas nearby or even in nearby counties that would give us more for the same $.”

“If they can’t enclose an area for their own privacy, they need to set a time and kids can’t come out before/after times or else mega consequences.”legal_bagel

“Their kids are teenagers. They could’ve been proactive and considered the future issue when the market wasn’t this bad.”

“I feel for them. The housing problem all over N. America is atrocious. But it’s not okay to have the kids share a room at their current ages.”JenDCPDX

“There may be some major privacy issues with dressing and living and the like. I think in many, many cultures it might be agreed upon that opposite sexes at some point are not appropriate for the same room.”

“I am not sure about this and don’t pretend to know, but it would definitely make me feel a bit odd and wonder if there is a specific reason daughter feels uncomfortable.”

“There are some creative answers—sister moves to the living room, shift living room to parent’s bedroom, even if it is smaller. Create a divider for parents to have privacy in LR (living room) at night that rolls away. Get a twin bed for the son, move the bunk bed out to the living room, put the couch under the bunk bed.”

“This is a judgment on the OP because of her ability to find a solution, not get a new house.”

“I think she’s solidly the AH since it relates so much to healthy boundaries and personal space.”Weirgettingtuckered

Others were upset with the OP for putting herself first.

“My brother’s bunking in my living room due to [the pandemic]. The first thing we did was throw up a curtain to make it a room. Bed, desk, and wardrobe are a little Tetris-ed in there with the couch but it works. It’s basically a studio apartment with a fireplace.”

“Sure, the living room can’t be used as a living room anymore. But the living room was never a high-use space for me anyway. Like other posters have mentioned, teens’ rooms are a high-use space and they deserve privacy. OP needs to Mom up.”I_hogs_the_hedge

“Adults, at least pre-pandemics, tend to only use their bedroom to get dressed and sleep (or partake in adult nighttime activities).”

“Teenagers get a lot more use out of their bedrooms. Both in the amount of time spent and function wise.”

“They, at bare minimum, need 2 desks in there, along with the 2 beds, or a desk big enough to fit two teens at once. That alone will max out a small room.”

“Never mind clothes, storage for 2 teens, or whatever hobbies they are into.”owl_duc

“She’s prioritizing her f**king sex life over her children. I feel so sorry for them.”constantlyfrustr8d

“As someone’s said before, in a way several people have said: ‘the children didn’t ask for life, so when you make them, you owe it to them to give them a good life,’ good life in this case meaning privacy and space.”–x–throwaway

A few sided with the OP.

“Siblings all over the world share bedrooms and they are completely fine.”

“Of course it would be nice to be able to give everyone their own bedroom, but asking parents to surrender their bedroom is pure entitlement.”

“Edit to say: I (female) shared my bedroom with my brother until he moved out.”Mamushquita

“This sub f**king sucks sometimes. I cannot believe the top comment and all the comments below are essentially, ‘Have you tried not being poor?'”

“And telling the parents to move into the living room? These commenters are children who don’t know how much care a working relationship or marriage requires.”

“F**k this f**king sub sometimes and all the spoiled babies that s**t on other people.”

“You’re amazing, OP. You’re NTA.”thebaehavens

Though the OP was certain she was not wrong for her priorities, the subReddit was not so sure, with many blatantly disagreeing. Some agreed the OP deserved a bedroom, while others demanded making separate spaces for the kids a priority until the OP’s family could make better arrangements. This seems like one of those situations where any “win” will be hard-won.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.