My daughter is almost 20 years old and goes to school away from home, so she has her room over 2 reading breaks, thanksgiving, Christmas break, and summer holidays. I brought up the idea of sharing a room with her 12 year old sister which she didn't like at all. Currently her 12 year old sister and her 11 year old sister are sharing a room.

Is it a good idea to put the 20 and 12 year old together so my 12 year old daughter can kind of have her own room? Or does my 20 year old daughter need her space, although it's not used all the time? We do have another room, so the three of them could have their own room, but we have lots of guests that the other room should be vacant for.

What should I do?

  • I gave up my room when I turned 18 (and was going to school far away). My parents always said "at 18, you're out (jokingly)" but it prepared me to accept that I'll not always have my own room at their house. Mar 6, 2017 at 4:04

2 Answers 2


If you have 3 rooms for the children, then give each their own room, but with one condition that when guests sleep over, they must give up one room for the guests. That room should be the 20-year-old's because she's the only one not using it full-time in the first place. She's also the only legally adult person whom you are not obliged to house.

Do not accept complaints. This is really a first-world problem. They should feel privileged! In earlier days, and in other countries, entire families live(d) in just one or two rooms.

  • 2
    I agree. I would give the two daughters that live at home their own room and use the third as a guest bedroom, which the 20 year old can use when she is visiting. And if there are other guests, the two younger ones can share a room while the guests are there.
    – Kevin
    Dec 6, 2011 at 22:46
  • 5
    +1 for first world problem. My parents moved into a two bedroom apartment the same week I moved into the dorms, so I slept on the couch during college breaks. When I wanted my own room I got a tent on the back porch! May as well get your own place if you don't want to share a room. Dec 8, 2011 at 16:36

I only have brothers, so my situation was slightly different, yet the solution might be a good one. While I was away at school, the bedroom was given to one of my brothers who had never had his own room with the understanding that he would return to his previous room with our other brother any time I was home. The room was his and we had to negotiate him getting his belongings as needed, but it actually worked out quite well.

I would think one of the difficulties of a 20 year old and a 12 year old sharing a room would be bed times and the such, particularly if the elder has studying to complete over these breaks. I think much of it would have to do with the personalities of the girls. I would also consider which 2 would be the best pairing if you are going to have them share while the eldest is home - would they be better suited for the 20 year old and 11 year old to share? Personalities would be a large consideration. Further, think about how important it is to you that the eldest feel that this is still her home, if that is not a priority, no problem, but consider that too when making a decision.

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