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Boyfriends kids still sleep with him...
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Boyfriends kids still sleep with him...

Hi, my boyfriend has been divorced for over a year, seperated for almost two years. He has twin 8 yr old sons that sleep in his bed with him on a regular basis when I am not there. I know that when he was married, the boys would sleep with both parents. After their seperation, his ex had a guy move in right away, which forced the kids out of her bed immediately. So I know he was trying to make sure they knew they were still allowed to be with him at first, but now, after almost two years, I think they should be out of his bed permenantly. He thinks I am being manipulative and that they should be "weaned". I also think this is bad for their development and independence... Am I wrong?
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Hello,
   the co-sleeping movement is a popular one now, but not much has been said about the downside--that all children need to learn to self-soothe and sleep on their own. Long term co-sleeing does not establish healthy boundaries and can be overstimulating for children. Many parents with joint custody find that establishing boundaries is harder for them, particularly when they are lonely or find it very painful to be separated from their kids. Children in joint custody situations are often a bit slower to assume age appropirate levels of independence because both parents have less time with them. The moving the kids out of the bed will be hard for your boyfriend, perhaps harder on him than on the kids.

It is time for the boys to learn to sleep alone or with each other without a parent. Their father should sit down with them discuss what the transition will be like, and gather ideas for how to make it smoother (cool new sheet sets, nightlights etc.). I do not forsee any need for them to be weaned at their age, though they may need extra support for falling asleep for a while. It will be a big change, but one they should be ready to make.

As you are not yet a stepmother, this is still between them as a family. Its a delicate role to play when you are still an outsider, and you have to remember that these are his kids (I'm a stepmother myself, I know how hard it is to play this role). Conflicts about parenting stepchildren are very common and can be toxic to a relationship. Check out the book The Enlightened Stepmother if you are looking to be around long term as a stepmom.

Best wishes
Rebecca Resnik
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Thank you so much for your insights and the book recommendation! I'm going to have him read this exchange and then do whatever he decides as a father is best. Take care... : )
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i know where your coming from been with my girlfriend for almost 4 yrs now and she still allows her 12 yr old son to sleep with her keeps telling me she is working on it but that has been going on now for over 2 yrs its kinda like he rules the roost and what he says goes kinda like she has no control over him all i can say is good luck
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Wow that's rough! And at age 12 - I would think that is definitely detrimental to his development... My BF knows the kids aren't allowed in the bed when I'm there, do you live with her? If I move in - it'll have to end, or I won't be moving in! I've been working on getting my boyfriend to establish more rules and control (not in a weird way, just normal parental demanding respect and expecting enough of your kids) and he seems to be responding - just slowly. Although not as slowly as your GF! lol Thanks for the well wishes! And good luck to you too! : )
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