Teenagers don't always like sharing a bedroom -and Kady Johnson, 16, and Halley Johnson, 13, of Waterford are no exception.
Halley admits she's a "night owl" who often stays up reading until the wee hours of the morning with a light on.
Kady goes to bed sooner and gets up earlier.
"I have to get dressed in the dark and turn on as few lights as possible and be really quiet in the morning," Kady says.
For her part, Halley misses having time to herself.
"I like being alone a lot sometimes, so it gets a little bit too crowded for me," said Halley. "I have to leave the room sometimes and go downstairs."
About sharing rooms:
Suggestions for parents:
Any decisions about kids sharing rooms have to be well thought out. Children can offer input but parents make the final decision.
Consider each child's personality. Talk about the unique needs of the child. You cannot see all of them as the same.
Respect the need for each child to have her own personal space. They have to learn appropriate boundaries-that you don't bother your sibling's possessions without permission.
Source: Gail Rhymer, a Belpre-based psychologist.
Despite the ups and downs of co-habitating with a sibling, Halley said she's liked rooming with her sister for the last two years since the family moved to Waterford.
"I think that moving here and sharing a room has made us a lot closer and I really like that. She's my best friend now," said Halley.
Kady would like to have the best of all worlds-the bigger room and huge closet that she and Halley now share would suit her just fine.
"I'm not sure she would be happy with that choice over time," said their mother, Robin Johnson.
Less-than-ideal situations between teenage siblings who share a bedroom can be circumstantial, or the two may be reacting to one another.
No matter the situation, parents should have the final say, according to Dr. Gail Rymer, a Belpre-based psychologist who serves clients in Ohio and West Virginia.
"(Teenagers) have input but they don't have the right to make the final decision," said Rymer.
She suggests parents find out what's causing problems like getting in another's personal space, arguing, one having his sleep disturbed by the other or a messy sibling.
Jana Gregory, 30, of Barlow understands why her son Levi, 9, gets frustrated about having to clean up after his brother Cooper, 3, in the room they've shared for almost two years.
"I will help him pick it up because I realize it wasn't just Levi's mess," said Gregory. "I tell him 'I have to pick up after you so help me out a little.'"
Overall Levi doesn't mind sharing oversize bunk beds with his little brother, she said.
"He doesn't complain about them sharing a room and he's at the age he would. ...I think it's also a comfort for Levi because he likes the thought of his little brother being down there (on the bottom bunk)."
Children from big families often learn how to co-exist together in the same bedroom out of necessity.
Shari Bricker of Marietta and her husband David have 10 children. Eight of them still live at home and range in age from 4 weeks to 19 years old. Three of the boys room together, as do two of the girls.
"There's really not much argument about sharing a room because they're pretty much used to it," Bricker said.
Although Bricker's children might not like that another wants to sleep in complete darkness or leaves things strewn on the floor, she said it's important that they're learning to compromise.
"They will learn how to get along with others," she said.
Although Rymer said there's little scientific evidence about what's best in terms of siblings sleeping in the same room, she offered some "common sense thoughts" on the topic.
The decision depends on age differences, how many children will be sharing a room, what's economically feasible for the family, the children's compatibility and more, she said.
"I really encourage parents to talk about the unique needs of the children. You cannot see all of them as the same," she added.
Bricker, who shared a room with an older sister for awhile, thinks that separate bedrooms for each child are not necessarily better.
"I don't think it's important for (children) to have their own room," added Bricker. "I think sharing a room is good for them."
Gregory, who shared a room with her older brother when both were younger, was in agreement.
"It kind of made us closer," said Gregory. "We depended on each other more. It helped us bond. I was hoping that might happen with Levi and Cooper."