My stepchildren came to live with their father and me nearly three years ago. We knew the kids were sleeping with their mother before they came with us. As a side note both kids wet the bed at that time and their mother didn't make them wear pullups of any kind. So as you can imagine my husband and I were extremely concerned about this. For different reasons their mother has only in the past month had the kids spend the night with her again. They spent the night with her this past Saturday night. This morning (Sunday morning) my step-daughter mentioned she couldn't sleep because she had to sleep on the floor because her brother was sleeping with their mother. Her brother is 11 and 1/2 years old. He is going through the early stages of pruberty. They are both loving, smart, and wonderful kids. They stopped wetting the bed at night a long time ago now also. My step-son is starting to resist going to her house because he states that is "kinda boring". I am sure that is true but I very worried about what else may be going on while he and his sister are their.
I read some other posts that confirmed my belief that is not healthy. She knows we feel this way. I know that other cultures all sleep together, but I was wondering if someone could post some references so my husband and I could show her that sleeping with a boy of his age is not healthy. Also, my husband and I talk openly to our children about any and all subjects but are their any warning signs I should be looking for from the children in relation to this topic?
Thank you so much for your time. I truly appreciate it.
I wouldn't do this in my home but as a matter of healthy personal space not because it's inappropriate.
I think the stigma that goes along with our bodies comes from adults. It's his mother. Do you have any reason at all to believe that there is anything sexual going on? If it's just a boy sleeping with his mom, although I wouldn't do it, what's the real harm here?
That being said, if he doesn't HAVE to sleep with her I would think that he probably shouldn't. Young teens need their privacy to get to know himself. A parent needs their privacy too as a way to tach their children that they love them but that they are people too.
It's also a way of teaching respect for other's belongings.
Honestly, I thinmkthat additional info is enlightening. I do think that she may have a warped sense of being and although it doesn't necessarily mean anything inappropriate is goingo n, she might not understand the boundries she probably should have by now. Perhaps that'sbecause of her history.
If it's any consolation, the instances of mothers abusing sons is far less than fathers abusing sons and/or daughters but still, it's distressing to sy the least.
I don't think it's a healthy thing. Parents and children both need their space and it's something that young boy will need to understand as he becomes older.
Can someone talk to her and ask why she feels the need to continue to allow him to sleep with her?
I stumbled across this post looking for child feeding behavior, but nonetheless thought I would chime in as a mother who "co-sleeps" with her children. Mine are only 1 & 3 1/2 though. I have had my son in bed since infancy because I breastfed and when he outgrew his co sleeper it was easier to have him in the bed than to stick him in a crib. I had a hard time getting him out but finally succeeded, and then we had a huge earthquake in October, and now he is back in bed. I sometimes get annoyed when he is restless and steam rolls me in his sleep, but in all honesty I love having him there. I sleep better with him right next to me, partly because I am used to it, and partly because I feel like I can keep him safe there. My daughter is now in the bed at a year because she started to resent the fact that the rest of the family was in the bed and she wasn't.
Perhaps it is this way with your step kids mother. Maybe she is over protective (especially given her history) and she likes to keep them close. Maybe she has co slept with them for years and can't imagine not having them next to her. I don't know.
I have an Aunt who is an anesthesiologist and her 11 yr old daughter still sleeps in their bed.
She is bright, beautiful and very well adjusted. I am sure that in a year or so she will probably start wanting her own space, and sleep in her own room- when she chooses to. My three year now sleeps a night here and there in his own bed by his own choosing. I have no doubt he will someday choose to sleep there every night, and I will probably be a bit bummed.
When my sisters and I were kids we used to all climb into bed with our mom and sleep in. It made me feel loved and safe.
If the kids seem fine with it, and it is THEIR choice to sleep with their mom, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If she were making them it would be different.
I am an LCSW, a mother and a grandmother of a 3 year old boy and 13 year old granddaughter. In looking at the issue from all of these perspectives,my opinion is the same. The behavior is inappropriate. Perhaps in situations in which there is a family emergency/ ie a house fire and the family is delegated to share a motel room, or recreationally,they are camping out in a tent, or in an instance in which a child has been severly truamatized to offer comfort by sitting on the bed until he drifts off to sleep may be some exceptions. Sleeping with older children can very well result in boundary issues. One mother talks about sleeping with her teenage son, and in the same paragraph states she encourges her children to be individuals; this is quite a contradiction.While the mother may perceive her pre teen as still a child, she needs to recognize he is at the age in which he will begin experiencing biological and hormonal changes leading to sexual stimulation by various stimuli,and a natural curiosity about sex. The mother or mothers who engage in this practice should ask themselves how they would feel if they learned they were providing that stimulation and to take it a step further, that their son was masturbating while lying next to them as they slept in their nighties..
A mix of culture and poverty issues can oppose to the belief that it is "unnatural" for children to sleep besude their parents. For families that can only afford a studio type apartment, everybody sleeps on the floor and beside each other. I grew up on this situation and I do not think that it harmed me in any way. I think it made me more secure and confident that i do have a family beside me all the time in spite of poverty. I guess it also depends on the nature of your family and how you view specific situations. Trust is a big part of a family and if you don't have this then it just taints the image of just being a family to being 'sexually oriented adolescents". In a western culture such as America, independence is being taught to children at a young age. In our culture, being a family is the first and foremost of your humanity. We are taught to stand up on our own feet but will always come back to a family that we grew up on or a family that we ourselves will build.
Children should be taught right or wrong. I do not think that sexual predators should sleep with children. In certain situations, like a scary night for a child, the presence of a caregiver may be sufficient enough to make them feel secure, thereby helping them be confident that they are not alone but is always loved by and especially their parents or caregivers.
It sounds like the real issue that is concerning you is that the mother was abused as a child and you are wondering if that cycle is continuing. The children are old enough to talk to them about what is/isn't appropriate behaviour. Although I appreciate it is going to be hard to raise this subject around their mother.
Both my children usually sleep in their own beds, but there are days and times when they sleep in with me or will ask me to sleep in their beds. I don't have a problem with that and neither to do they. Our families are mixed cultures, and I don't see anything wrong in it. How long will it continue? I suppose until they stop asking me - but in my husband's culture is it common for adults and children to share, especially around siesta time.
Our twelve year old daughter wants to sleep in our room because she feels secure there. She is our youngest and the only girl and we love the sweetness of it. I also have been alarmed with the night time abductions of children that are overemphasized in the media! It does affect my husband and I with privacy issues. She is very scared to sleep in her own bedroom. We want to do the best thing for her. How do we handle this problem?
Another thought I had is that people generally think the worst! I cant believe that everyone is so suspicious all of the time. I admit I can be that way also. The truth is that we love our daughter and enjoy sleeping with her close by. She sleeps on her mattress on the floor. We have a very large bedroom. Her 23 year old brother teases her mercilessly about sleeping in her parents bed even though she sleeps on the floor. She does not ever want to sleep over at anyone's house. Personally I would rather have her have friends here anyway. But I miss and want private time with my husband! I think the terrible child abductions have scared us both and we just feel safer sleeping together. There is nothing sexual about any of this! My daughter is beautiful and has tons of friends is totally normal and well adjusted except for this one aspect. We have thought that our culture may just be kind of weird about people all sleeping in the same room that are family. My husband and I have our personal time whenever we can when our daughter is out of the room. We lock the door so none of our children just stroll in to use the bathroom, borrow clothes or look for stuff. Comments? suggestions?
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