Carolyn Hax: Congrats on college! Now let your sister have your room

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Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: My senior-year daughter has the best kids’ bedroom and it is much better than the other rooms. This is not disputable or disputed.

Senior will be going away to college next fall. Ninth-grade daughter is making the case that she should get Best Room when Senior goes. The girls get along well and this is not a fight, but Senior is sad about losing her room — like she won’t belong in the house anymore. She would get a nice room that will have all her stuff, just not Best Room, which she got as a 3-year-old.

I know we don’t need to make a decision yet, but I’m leaning to Ninth Grader’s position — why have the Best Room sit empty? And it’s fair that she gets Best Room for at least some of the time she lives here. Thoughts?

Anonymous: Oh good, an easy one. Yes, bounce the senior this summer. Or sooner, so she can shift her impression of her new room well before she leaves? Give her that option: Switch right when this school year ends or switch in mid-July. Just don’t wait till summer’s end, too much going on as she gets ready to leave.

· Maybe the senior could get some money to decorate or something? Leaving for college can be emotionally hard so having an extra nice, albeit smaller, place in the home might be nice.

· Please work with both girls to make the transition smooth. I still remember coming home freshman year to find all My Stuff moved from my” room and unceremoniously crammed into a tiny upstairs bedroom.

· And please be mindful of how birth order has played into That’s Just How Things Are. I’m the youngest, and I got the short end of a lot of things, including the Crap Room. I get that your oldest had this room when she was 3, but did anyone ever consider changing up that arrangement before her moving out? No wonder she’s so attached to it. You say it’s not a fight, and maybe it’s not. But assigning things based on birth order is a no-brainer for everyone except the person who gets screwed, who is always a party of one.

Hi Carolyn: Our three kids (5 to 9) have been asking for a dog. It’s starting to feel like the right time.

There’s one “complication”: one of the children next door, one of the only two children with whom my kids play, is allergic to dogs. I hate the thought of a child not being able to come in our house, especially when we’d be getting a dog after knowing that. It’s not a minor allergy.

I know our kids may not always be close, and I hate for my kids to miss out on having a dog, but it feels exclusionary and heartbreaking to me. Am I overthinking this? I really don’t want to ask the parents if there are certain types of dogs that would work because it feels like that’s shifting the burden of the decision onto them, but perhaps I should.

Overthinking?: Absolutely do talk to the neighbors. You’re not asking them for permission, just doing your homework in a kind and inclusive way. Find out if any breeds or treatments would work. And if the answer is no, then I would seriously consider postponing. And I’m a dog person.

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