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BLOG: Apparently this is the new rite of passage for 12 year olds. Seriously?

What happened to single beds?

By KATE HUNTER

‘Children these days generally move into a double bed once they hit double figures,’ said the saleslady at the bed shop.

‘Really? All of them?’ My friend Jules was shocked.

‘Well no,’ the saleslady paused. ‘A lot go straight to a queen size.’

I was shocked too.

But clearly I live under a rock, because apparently a big bed is du rigueur for today’s kids, and the days of squeezing into a single until you left home wrapped with the final season of The Brady Bunch.

When I asked followers of Mamamia’s Facebook page whether double or queen size beds were really THE THING for kids now, nearly 400 people responded. They were divided into three camps:

1. Of course! Why the hell not? A bigger bed is so much more comfortable! And so practical – handy to have for visitors (presumably the kid gets bumped onto an inflatable in the hallway).

2. No way! Giving a kid a double bed is the same as saying, ‘Any minute now you’ll be wanting to have sex, and we don’t want you doing it in the backseat of a Mazda Capella like your father and I had to. Do you think a double is big enough?’

3. A king single is a nice compromise. Same length as a queen size, not as wide as a double. Long enough for tall teenagers, not wide enough for an adolescent orgy.

There’s also a faction, led by me, that believes a bigger bed is simply not necessary until you leave home or buy it yourself.

If you want to buy your kid a bigger bed than the one you had at their age, then of course that’s your prerogative, but I reckon it’s another step towards THE KIDS TAKING OVER.

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Mark my words. One day soon parents are going to wake up to find themselves in bunk beds, wondering exactly when the power shift happened.

I trace it back to Beverley Hills 90210. That iconic 90s teen-angst show was the first time I saw teenage girls living at home who slept in anything bigger than a singlevc . The girls had doubles, at least, decked out in frothy comforters and smothered with dozens of throw-cushions. The boys had big beds too, but with fewer cushions and geometric-print covers.

Soon, parents will wake up to find themselves in bunk beds.

Before 90210, television kids always had singles. Poor Ritchie Cunningham in Happy Days was still in his boyhood bed when he was at college.

Single women generally had single beds too. Laverne and Shirley were in their twenties, had jobs at the brewery and shared an apartment, but they slept in twin beds in the same room.

Laverne and Shirley was set in the fifties though, when nice girls had no need for anything bigger than a single.

But why the trend for bigger beds for kids today? Is it just an affluence thing? Is it because that’s what we see on telly? The kids on Modern Family all have big beds, so do the teenagers on the profusion of tween shows on Nickelodeon and Disney channels.

Are single beds considered babyish? Kids, as ever,  are in a hurry to grow up.  I wonder if we worry more than our parents did about our kids’ happiness and comfort so are more willing to splash the cash to follow the trend?

It’s interesting, but it’s not the sort of quandary that keeps me awake at night. Although it might if I was forced to sleep in a single bed.

What are your thoughts on double beds for kids? Indulgent or practical?

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