What are healthy intimate parent-child boundaries? - FamilyEducation
What are healthy intimate parent-child boundaries?
06/09/2012 at 03:45 AM

My boyfriend has a son who is almost 13 and he still sleeps in our bed when I'm not there and showers with his dad sometimes, is this weird to anyone but me?!?!
I'm definitely not worried about anything weird or sexual going on, so please don't go there. His son is an only child, is home schooled, he has no friends and he is very tiny for his age, he looks like he is about 8 or 9 years old. He is a very sweet and innocent child, very self aware and mentally mature, and since he has no friends he is VERY clingy towards his parents. He still uses the term "dada" when calling his dad and we constantly have to remind him to act his age. I feel very strange when I know he is sleeping in our bed and when they shower together. I suppose it really isn't my business because it isn't harming anyone (except perhaps his development into adolescence) but I guess I was wondering what other parents thought of it and how long till he grows out of this? I have talked with my boyfriend about it before and his reply is that he wants to cocoon his child and keep his innocence intact for as long as his son needs it and until he grows out of it, he doesn't want to force anything on him. My initial response is to question whether or not it's appropriate for him to be sleeping on our unwashed sheets. And another part of me wonders if I'm offended due to a territorial situation...like the bedroom and shower are our sacred,sexual, intimate places and do I feel they are being violated? Is it appropriate for me to request that I am the only person he goes into those spaces with?

Same-sex co-sleeping. doesn't bug me in the general sense. If you are clear that there is nothing weird going on, give it up. If the 'unwashed sheets' aspect bothers you, change the sheets when you leave. As for the other, territorial stuff, if you don't feel the boy is a sexual rival, then I think you need to get over it. Of course, it is reasonable to ask for most anything, but that doesn't mean that the other person is unreasonable to tell you No.