My wife and I currently live in a small two bedroom in the Bronx, NY. We have a 15 year old daughter. My wife is pregnant with another on the way, we don't know the sex yet.
We plan on moving into a bigger 2 bedroom by the time the newborn turns two years old. The thing is 3 bedrooms are expensive here. I figure our 15 year old could share with its new sibling from two years old onwards in the new place. We also plan on paying our teenage daughter to look after her sibling every now and then.
I don't see it as an issue as long as either:
*Assuming our teenager will most likely have a place of her own by the time the younger sibling hits puberty.
*Perhaps our teenager will have a job of her own after high school and can pitch in, help with the rent. We could get a 3 bedroom, split the rent 3 ways and we cover all her other expenses.
Teenagers NEED PRIVACY, she should not have to share a room w/ a toddler. Now here is my suggestion: have about sharing YOUR bedroom w/the toddler. The teenager should not be FORCED into sharing HER bedroom w/the toddler. Since you and your wife made the baby, then you and she should READILY share YOUR bedroom w/the baby, NOT your teenage daughter-that would be so UNFAIR to her! Also, look for an inexpensive house which YOU can improvise on. One can build a small extra room for the baby. My uncle did that w/his 4 sons, NONE of them NEVER had to share a room.
And yet...100 years ago whole families lived in just one or two rooms, plus an outhouse. Today, many houses are occupied by two or even three complete families of illegal aliens - a dozen or more children and 4-6 adults crammed into a single 2 or 3 bedroom house.
The housing in the US is gigantic compared to the rest of the world - no one else seems to require separate rooms for each person in the household. Only in the US is that the common practice.
I doubt that the child would suffer permanent psychic damage, then. It is customary in the US to have separate bedrooms, it is the norm and she could be ostracized by her school friends, but I really can't see her being damaged at all.
We are living in more modern times. As people become more affluent, they do not have to live on top of each other, that is so uncvilized. Crowding does have an adverse affect on people. People need space and privacy. Again, since the parents made the baby, let the baby sleep in THEIR bedroom, the daughter did not make the baby.
C'mon now, the daughter should have her OWN room, let the baby sleep with the parents. It is the mother who is pregnant, not the daughter. Let the parents' bedroom be the living quarters of the baby. There are cheaper houses which the government has foreclosed and can be obtained cheaply. One can also build an extra room for the baby when he/she gets older.
Affluence typically affects desires, not physical nor mental attributes. A young girl wants a room, does not NEED one. Wants are often viewed as needs, claimed as needs, but at the end of the day are only wants.
There is zero doubt that mankind evolved with family groups living in very close quarters. Two children sharing one room may be "uncivilized" in your opinion, but the rest of the world disagrees and our history clear back to caveman days disagrees. It is the norm, not the exception, for children to share a room.
The parents have to really buckle up, get EXTRA jobs in order for BOTH children to live comfortably. One child should not have to sacrifice for the other child, that is so unfair. The daughter did not have a say in the pregnancy so why should she bear the consequence. It is the parents' problem and it is UP to THE PARENTS(you and your wife) to solve and remedy the situation at hand!
Sharing a bedroom with another child is not "living uncomfortably". Living with two parents both working two jobs in order to afford another bedroom is absolutely "living uncomfortably" and living in conditions no child should ever grow up in. Anyone - anyone at all - that thinks a private bedroom takes priority over quality time with Mom AND Dad has a lot of learning to do.
What you are claiming for a personal bedroom can also be said for every possible luxury a child might want. A nice sports car. A beach house. A personal big screen TV. A personal telephone and computer, with private lines. A credit card, paid for by Daddy. All of these are just as necessary as a private bedroom in order to "live comfortably" - just ask the spoiled rich brat that wants them.
"The housing in the US is gigantic compared to the rest of the world - no one else seems to require separate rooms for each person in the household. Only in the US is that the common practice."
What? I find houses in the US to be quite small. I just couldn't hold my tongue on this, but there are plenty of countries that have much larger houses than the US. So please don't mention to people that it's only common practice in the US. It just feeds into "that" US stereotype that Americans think every other country is poor or beneath them.
Of a half dozen sites checked, all showed only one country, Australia, to be building new homes larger than those in the US. http://www.demographia.com/db-intlhouse.htm
Where are these "plenty of countries" you reference?
Ireland, the UK, New Zeland, Canada..... The average size of a house around where I live is about 1,300 sq foot in the US. I grew up in Ireland where houses are at the minimum this size and new houses being built are much larger. Similar to how surveys compare the public sector health services of these countries to private sector of the US while there are also private sector in those countries.
The "Research" I have seen on the US is "interesting" to say the least. My brother is an architect and couldn't believe how small houses are here. And usually when they claim to be larger it includes a finished basement below level.
And example "The average floor area of one-off rural houses permitted in Ireland between 2005 and 2008 is a 230.8 sq.m which is almost twice the average floor area for a multi-unit dwelling house (129 sq.m) for the same period. Each year since 2005 the average floor area for one-off rural houses has increased and in 2009 the average floor area increased to 252.9 sq.m in Quarter 2."
This also backs up your point that we have far too much space compared to some countries, but NO, the US is not the ONLY country to live in large houses.
And for your reference, 252.9 sq ft = 2722.2 sq ft
Regarding the 203 sq mt figure for the US in your chart, this would more than likely include a basement which is not the case in other countries. And I'm not sure about you, but I have seen 2 houses in 4 years being build that are 2k sq ft + above ground.
Average new home size in:
US 2204 sq. feet
New Zealand 1913
These are the countries you claim have larger homes than the US?
My son moved into a new home just this year - 3400 sq. ft. There isn't a house in his subdivision under the 2k sq ft you say you so seldom see, and there are least a dozen more under construction. And no, basements aren't the cause; even though we're a semi-desert area basements are not popular.
On the other hand, stand alone homes of around 500 sq ft are now being approved for construction in the nearby city of Boise. Which is why we look at averages, not minimum or maximum. No one cares about Bill Gates's 66,000 sq ft home except that it raises the average just a tiny tick. The average is what matters.
Here is another article, that only covers a handful of countries, but surely you can see that the US is not the ONLY country where people live in a large house. ANd to claim that the average Irish house is 950 sq foot is laughable. Again, my brother is an architect from there and we talk about how stupid people are to build such large houses there all the time. http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/how-big-is-a-house
You know, I want to be fair here, but it really bugs me. When I moved to the US, these kind of ridiculous comments really annoyed me. Yes, the US is one of the wealthier nations, but NO the US is not so much bigger and better off than EVERYONE else. Such comments are highly offensive and are the reason many Americans such as my wife find it difficult when traveling, because people are so used to hearing US citizens up on their soapbox about everything from house size to the dollar, from schooling to politics and being the biggest and best. My country for example, is half the size of Wisconsin, has a smaller population and a larger GDP, yet they make it on our own. So tired of Wisconsinites telling me that it's a third world country while it couldn't be further from the truth and while I half pity the way the majority of people live in Wisconsin.
The US is very average at everything compared to other western nations with similar cultures and that is fine. They just happen to have 50 states and a massive population that are spoon fed nonsense by cnn ad foxnews about countries they have never visited and have no idea about. In per capita comparison, there is nothing special or better here. Just the same as the rest of the western world with 50 countries strapped together. Some things are great about each state, some things are great about each country. I love the US, but it makes me so mad when people INSIST on this kind of thing. So YES, there are other countries that have large houses, and NO the US is not in this respect superior to EVERYONE. Further, there are states within the US where people live in shacks of about a average of 600 Sq ft.
Yes, I've seen that site. It, too, shows exactly one country with larger homes than the US: Australia. Which is exactly what I've been saying, isn't it?
It may really make you mad that American homes are bigger, but I'm not sure that is a reason to point to stats that reaffirm the fact and say that it shows the opposite. That's just silly.
One of the big reasons for those homes is the population density. Both Australia and the US have a much lower population density than most of Europe and that very definitely affects the cost of land and thus housing. And that's just the way it is; being angry about it and viewing it as some kind of American superiority complex doesn't change anything.
That is one article with a handful of countries. Ay ay ay. Believe what you want. What you said was "The housing in the US is gigantic compared to the rest of the world - no one else seems to require separate rooms for each person in the household. Only in the US is that the common practice."
Take a look at a smaller Irish city. People DO NOT all share one room as you implied. CLEARLY! But ok, I'm not here to educate people on how rude it is to claim that houses in ALL other countries are dwarfed by the ENORMOUS dwellings of Americans. "Only in the US".
And FYI, I am not angry. I am just disappointed once again in people. The population density of the US is also much higher than many countries. Property taxes are also MUCH higher which increases the likelihood of smaller houses in the US. But this typical discussion of ignorance has put me in a bad mood, so I will be stepping out now.
Looks much like a US listing of rental properties. Is that supposed to contradict all the sites listing average new home sizes? Or show that one bedroom per person is the norm outside the US? It doesn't.
Some population densities, in people/sq km:
US 32 people/sq km
Not positive, but I think all of those are part of the EU, and nearly all have much higher population densities (only 3 aren't at least double the US), which is what I said. Or would you rather hand pick countries outside of Europe as representative of being similar to the US?
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o … on_density
If you will scroll down the site you gave earlier, you will find a chart listing square footage per person in a home; the US is second only to Australia again. All other countries shown have fewer square footage per person.
Ireland isn't listed, but http://www.nationmaster.com/country-inf … households gives Irish family size as 3.1 people per family and the US as 2.6. Bigger families, in other words, in homes averaging half the size of those in the US - this does not support the contention that Irish houses are as big as those in the US OR that house size per occupant is as large. Rather it points to houses considerably smaller relative to the number of people living there - a reasonable conclusion is that there are fewer bedrooms per person.
Taxes in the US are generally lower than those in the more socialistic countries of Europe. Whether government takes it via income, sales or property would seem irrelevant to how much is left to spend on housing.
The worst thing about your statement, I rented my own 2 bed apartment in the middle of the small city of waterford for 4 years at E500 a month and it was more than 950 sq ft. I was far from wealthy. The only place people live in tiny apartments would be right in the middle of the largest cities when they are students and where an apartment is over E1,000,000 to purchase. But hey, what would I know? I just have personal experience and find the figures provided laughable.
Rabbit-hutch Britain: Growing health concerns as UK sets record for smallest properties in Europe
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho … 44450.html
And you're right - using personal experience to extend to country or continent wide average numbers doesn't show much of anything.
1. And Britain has what got to do with my example of Ireland exactly? A huge % of people in England live close to London, therefore, they have smaller families and smaller house due to the fact that the land and house values are much higher than most of the US bar New York.
2. The number of people sharing a bedroom in a house has nothing got to do with house size. We can't ascertain exactly how many people share a room without averaging family size per home, average family size etc. There could be a smaller home in Austria with less people per average living in the house. But I stand by the fact that Irish people DO on average have large houses and that figure is a complete joke.
3. In New York city large families wedge into tiny apartments. Just like your example of the UK.
4. That wasn't the point. The point was that you stated that NO other country had even close to the size of the average american houses.
5. But again, ok, I'm not going to try and convice you when you are 100% sure that the US has enormous house and no other country has anything close to that. And that americans are the only ones who don't push entire families into one bedroom. The ONLY ones.
A complete joke because of your personal experience with one house in one city in one country? That's the joke, not the lists of stats I've shown you.
But you seem to think that larger houses are superior and somehow make the citizen owning them better. Personally, I gave up long ago on owning a large home - don't want the upkeep in either labor or cost. That the US averages are higher than nearly every country just says that I'm a little different than my neighbors, just as those in other nations are. I find that people in different countries put value on different things. I like huge expanses of open space with few inhabitants; others like huge cities with lots of things to do. I love long, 1,000 mile, road trips; others hate the driving and just want to get there.
When it comes to countries, we all tend to value what we are offered. If it's a big home or lots of outdoor toys (RV's, boats, etc.), that's what is valued. If it is a close society helping each other, thats what is valued. If it's lots of culture that's what the inhabitants like and put a high value on. Or would you disagree with this? The US doesn't have anything like the culture or history of Europe, and most citizens don't value it much - does that make Americans inferior somehow?
I am 100% that it is not just my experience. Saying that US houses are enormous compared to every other country in the world is a massive generalization. I am by no means exaggerating when I say that I had 7 people in a 2,500 sq ft house growing up and people laughed at us and counted us as poor. I lived in 5 different cities in Ireland and unless you are poor or choose to live in a small house, it is completely affordable for families to have one large room per child.
Smaller houses are generally in housing estates/ council houses (1,200 sq ft 3 bed 2 bath)and the houses are provided by the government to struggling people. If you don't want to believe me, that's fine. My sister is a single mom with 2 kids living in a 4 bed, 4 bathroom house of 1,700 sq ft in Longford, Ireland and hasn't worked in 8 or 9 years. That's that.
I also wonder how they calculated these stats in the US considering half the people in this state live in tiny apartments or are homeless. I wonder if they use different metrics for different countries like they do to make the US unemployment rate look lower than it is in comparison to other nations.
And just an FYI, I never said anything about it making someone superior. I am just saying that those stats are way off and that is how it is. I live in Wisconsin in a 1,250 sq ft house, work hard, earn quite a bit and struggle to get by. I found it VERY difficult to adjust to life here with the small living quarters and we have planned to move back, but with the $ value, we can't afford it.
"considering half the people in this state live in tiny apartments or are homeless."
So far I've provided links to statistics to prove everything I've said. You even provided one to prove what I said. Can you now provide one to support your statement about tiny apartments or homeless (remember that "half" means 1/2, or 50%) or is that a meaningless exaggeration? (And specify what state it is?)
But again, I am unsure as to how they compare countries. For example, the US unemployment rate is calculated very different to that of other countries, yet they compare them willy nilly. I think you will find the above to be interesting. New York, as I said earlier, is a good example @ 50% of all housing units being apartments. As I said earlier, the size of houses to figure out the number of people per room is a bad indicator, but if you prefer to look at the average size of a house/ apartment, in New York state, 50% of units are apartments.
I also sent you real life proof of cheap massive houses in these countries. But yeah, the US is the only country where such houses are available. What annoys me most is, that people look online, have never lived in any other country, a massive amount of Americans have never been abroad, but they presume and presume.
I have honestly told you that I don't know one person where I come from who lives in non government assisted housing, that is under 900 sq ft. I also know very few people who share a room. Usually 2 young brothers, or obviously a couple. But your statement that ""The housing in the US is gigantic compared to the rest of the world - no one else seems to require separate rooms for each person in the household. Only in the US is that the common practice." is just not true. Even taking your statistics into account, Canada and Australia must be nobody? Taking your statistics into account, I can honestly again say, that I am not sure how they are calculated, but I have a strong suspicion that they are counting vacant housing, ancient unoccupied housing, and are using figures that arent comparable.
Presumably they take measurements of a few thousand homes in each locale and run an average. I don't see any other way to produce such a number. That wouldn't be hard for most homes; it is a matter of public record already. That you don't like them and feel they are wrong doesn't carry much weight unless you can say why or somehow show they are "cheating" (by including vacant houses?) enough to swing the numbers.
Separate bedrooms: in the US it approaches law, especially if CPS is involved, and most seem to have a spare bedroom as well if a house vs an apartment. I do recognize that home size does not dictate room size, meaning there could be 5 bedrooms in a 900 sq ft home, but it would be very unusual here and we've already seen that square footage per person is down in Europe (Australia again higher, not lower). Of course, the whole point of the statement in the first place was to indicate that the US is rare among countries in the size of the housing, replying to a post that children NEED another bedroom. The rest of the world (mostly) does not; why does the poster put such a high value on it?
Well, I guess what I have been saying is, using Ireland as an example, there was a HUGE surplus of houses and many were vacant. If an unemployed person can afford a 1,600 sq ft house and if there is thousands of surplus houses sitting about that people can afford, then why would people be living in a house of 900 sq ft with more than one person per bedroom. Well, they simply are not. I am confused as to how these conclusions were made just as much as you are.
And no, the size of a house is not indicative of the amount of people per room because all of these 900 sq ft houses may have one occupant in Austria, but the massive houses in Australia may all house 9 people. We really don't know. It's amazing what we can do with figures to illustrate what we want. I feel like we are all duped by reports on a daily basis, don't you think?
Regarding the OP, I agree with you. At one point, it was my father, myself (just prior to University14-16) and my 1-3 year old brother. We chose to have my 1-3 year old brother in the same room as me and felt like if anything, it made sense. Meanwhile, the rest of the house was empty as everyone had grown up and move out. Oftentimes we locked the spare bedrooms and never used them. There were 4 (I think) spare at that stage and it was spooky.
But when you take the average home size (assuming one family per home) and relate it to the average family size, you CAN get some kind of idea of how many rooms per person. Far from perfect, of course, but at least an idea.
Extra beds: I grew up in a 7 bedroom house (5 kids) that my mother now lives in alone. Nearly 7,000 feet, with the upstairs shut off most of the time and basement used only for storage. But...she's elderly, has lived there for 50 years and the idea of moving frightens her. She's also nearly blind, which means she'd have to learn to move about a new residence and at her age it would be difficult. So she stays in that "castle" and we kids do what we can to help maintain it.
4. "The point was that you stated that NO other country had even close to the size of the average american houses. "
I can't find where I said that. Can you quote or give a link to such a foolish statement?
For a while when I was a teen I had to share a room with my 4-year-old sibling and another sibling. Bunk beds no less. Honestly it wasn't that bad and I had enough privacy since the other two liked to play together in the living room most of the time. When they went to bed earlier than me, I moved to the living room. There are worse things in life than sharing a room.
As long as the toddler is able to sleep through the night I think your teen daughter will be ok sharing the room. Of course, if the baby is still at an age when he/she wakes up frequently, then he/she should be in the parents' room, otherwise your daughter won't get any sleep and her schoolwork will suffer.
My husband grew up in a small house with only two bedrooms. For the kids, his folks put up a partition that divided the larger bedroom. There were three boys; my husband and his younger brother shared half of the room until the older left home. And they have never grumbled over that fact. In fact, they say it helped them become very close as brothers.
As for people who complain it is wrong for a teenager to share a room with a younger sibling, I only wish I had had a little sister to share my room with!
Well we talked to our teen about it and she said she's fine with it. Some things that I think need clarification from my original post:
1. We would keep the baby with us until its two. If we keep it with us until its like 5 or 10 then I think our marriage will suffer from privacy issues if you know what I mean and before you know it there's only 1 parent left, who knows.
2. By the time its born, our teen will be 16. By the time its two, our teen will be 18 and done with high school. Their bdays are a couple months apart and late in the year.
3. By the time it turns 3, I'll be done with college myself, will have my masters in the health field, so that would automatically take care of all this.
now.... I hear everyone's point about each kid needing their own room but, a very big BUT, when both parents make $30k a year AFTER taxes (minus $24k in monthly expenses) and you live in NYC where the median 3 bedroom is $1500-$1700 a month to rent (yes, I said rent, we are saving for buying a home still), can beggars really be choosers?
Mind you I'm not talking about Manhattan. Forget that pipe dream. I'm talking about 3 bedrooms in Bronx, Brooklyn, queens, and parts of jersey by the water.
What if we rent a new 2 bedroom with a dining room and turn that dining room into a bedroom?
Cool, forget about Manhattan. Manhattan is prohibitively expensive. Have to think about the New York outskirts. Even Brooklyn and many parts of the Bronx are becoming expensive. I am retired and luckily live in an inexpensive apartment.
Feel so sorry for the young people today with this prohibitive rent. One really has to make at least $100k to break even in New York, especially in Manhattan! My God, it is MUCH WORSE than I thought! Good luck to you and your wife and the precious baby. God bless. Make some contacts regarding good, affordable housing. Also please avoid the predatory lenders-they are dangerous snakes who mean nothing but harm.
Housing is becoming so precarious these days, so sad indeed! I understand your predictament-look into foreclosures, get into affordable housing but to REITERATE, avoid the PREDATORY LENDERS like the plaque!
May I just say that is one amazing response to this OP? While you initially disagreed based on your personal view of the situation, which is based on a very wide knowledge of sociology and other important factors, I see you here taking a much needed more gentle approach to the individual's situation. It just happens so rarely in these forums, and is awesome to see. Thank you, gmwilliams. You earn my awesomest poster of the day award!
Mo, thank you so much and God Bless. Housing is SO EXPENSIVE these days; that is uncalled for; people DO HAVE A RIGHT TO DECENT HOUSING! There must be affordable and decent housing for ALL, NOT JUST FOR THE FEW! Sadly, this postmodern culture is reminiscent of Dickensian England, so sad indeed!
I agree that a baby toddler should be in the parent's room. This is your baby, not your teen's.
So if we manage to get a 2 bed apt with a dining room and turn that dining room into a 3rd bedroom, that should work right?
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