child sleeping with single parent - FamilyEducation
child sleeping with single parent
12/11/2007 at 14:38 PM

My boyfriend and I live 1,500 miles apart, adding to the distance issues in our relationship I have some concerns about his parenting style.  He allows his nine year old daughter to fall asleep in his bed and sleep there the entire night.  I feel he should take her into her room and let her sleep in her own bed.  I have known him for fourteen years, lived with him once for several years, I know there is nothing of a sexual nature in this, I know him very well and he is absolutley not that kind of man.  I do feel it is inappropriate for him to continue letting his daughter, who is now developing, to sleep in his bed.  Am I off base?

He's about 4 years overdue for establishing that she sleeps in her own bed, unless he is from a culture where co-sleeping is the norm.  But people can be very defensive about what is normal for them. 


 Yes, you are offbase, and overstepping your boundaries as well. Being a future stepmom, or even a stepmom gives you no rights towards the child. The father knows his daughter, and will decide what is best for her. The key to being a good stepparent is to support the parent, not attempt to alter the parent child relationship. Being that her parents have divorced she may need some time to cope with all that has happened. Sleeping next to her father is innocent and may be the security she needs to feel at such a time.

 While reading your post you stated that he allows her to fall asleep there and stay all night. Does she go to bed there ,or is she watching TV in Dad's room and falls asleep? She obviously feels safe with her father, and in these situations kids may not voice what they need but she is letting him know in her way.

  In my view the only thing inappropriate going on here is your need to dictate a parent child relationship from 1,500 miles away. Have your children never slept with you?


Single Dad has a point about it not being your business.  Apparently you are invested in this family, but not to the extent of making it legal.  Does she feel like you abandoned her when you moved out? 


No you are not offbase. You should, as a future stepmom, feel secure enough to talk to your partner about parenting style, especially if you are considering having children of your own with this man. Now, you have no business discussing it with the child. You aren't her stepmother yet, and even when you do become her stepparent, this is an issue to be discussed between adults. Also, most issues have to be addressed by the biological parent with the child, not the stepparent. As for the issue itself,  it is not a good idea on so many levels for any parent to be sleeping with their child, in the same bed, outside of unusual circumstances. (ie, sickness, some sort of trauma, etc.) If this is a case of simply not placing boundaries out of guilt or laziness or whatever, he is really doing her a dis-service. If she is still scared to sleep alone in her room at 9 years old, then he can sleep on the floor in her room with her, while she sleeps in her bed. Furthermore, it's just common sense that by now, a parent should be helping their child be independent and competent enough to sleep in their own bed. Finally, your concerns about her development are totally legitimate. If your partner (or anyone else for that matter) can't see why there would be concern about this, I would seriously question that person's judgement. Single Dad seemed pretty defensive to me in his response to you. If your partner responds the same way when you discuss this with him, you should take that into serious consideration. This may be his daughter, but the issue at hand is his parenting as a Dad and it's not going to work if you disagree on these kind of issues with your own kids.


 You have either never been in a similar situation, or if you were , you learned nothing from it. I will raise my children as I see fit, and I hope this father continues to do the same. This is more a control issue than a parenting issue.


I agree with skffeener, there obviously is a problem with guilt/boundries issues with this child.  I think single dad is taking this advice a little to personal.  As far as single dad saying there are control issues, there are, not with the poster but with the child controling the parent.  At 9, a child needs to be independent and sleep intheir own bed unless the child is sick, bad dream etc.  I have been through this myself and my daughter sleeps in her own bed unless something is wrong. 


No, SnglDad is not taking this too personal, or am I? Maybe I am. As a parent who has been through this, and much more than I am willing to post here. I have a hard time with outsiders dictating what a child needs, especially when it is not their child, and they are 1,500 miles away. This stepparent to be did not even answer any of the questions asked of her, nor has she posted anything since her original post. If she were truly trying to find a solution to this I would hope she would put a little more effort in to this.

MOM2JJ, your reasons for allowing a child to share the same bed are quite interesting. You will allow a child to sleep in your bed if they are sick, had a nightmare, etc. What are the differences between a child who is in a physical type of distress, compared to a child who may be suffering from a type of emotional distress? Physical distress such as a cold, fever, coughing , or whatever physical symptoms a child may exhibit cannot be soothed, nor cured by sleeping next to a parent.

A nightmare can cause a mild emotional distress and it may bring the child comfort to sleep next to a parent. This may not cure nightmares, but it will help the child to cope with whatever fear they have. This is a time to lay and talk about the dream they had. Usually talking about our fears openly makes them seem not so scary. Most kids are not aware of this, but they desire security more than an Xbox 360.

A child who is missing their other parent because of death, divorce, or illness may seek the same type of soothing as a child who has suffered a nightmare. To sleep next to the remaining parent who can talk with her and allow her to attain whatever level of security she may need in order to get back to her previous sleeping routine, I would argue, is healthy. Parent and child bond even more. This daughter knows that her father is there for her, and hopefully, she will always feel this way. It’s too bad that some people would choose to assert control, rather than exercise common sense.

The love a parent has for their child will compel them to do what is in that child’s best interest. Much to the dismay of the step mom to be, this father is doing just that. I applaud him for doing what he feels is right for his daughter. MOM2JJ, you were right about one thing in your post, I was taking it personal


Yes Singldad, you are personally attacking the poster as well as myself because you seem to have some personal hangups which may be the reason why as a parent you seem to find it okay to have a child sleep with you  or think it is okay for the child to sleep with the father.  Children need to have boundries.  A child should have a room of their own and a bed of their own to sleep in.  There really is NO reason why that a child should think that they should share a bed with a father OR mother on a daily basis.  There is nothing wrong if a child might have a bad dream once in awhile and want to sleep with you because they are scared.  I think you did not understand my post or ignored twhat I wrote about my daughter sleeping with me.  She does not sleep with my every night or even often.  I SAID that once in a great while......I can't even remember now because it has been such a long time that my daughter had a bad dream and I let her come in bed with me because she was scared.  Please donot change my words around to justify having a child sleep in bed with you every night because I don't agree with that at all.   It just contributes to separation problems that might make you feel better but is not healthy for the child! 


Voicing my opinion and opposition to the original poster, and yourself is not a personal attack. I am not one who feels a need to respond to every post on this website. I do however, respond to posts where I believe my past experience may be helpful to someone. In this case I fell back on my own experience in dealing with a one year old and a three year old who had their mother torn from our home due to a traumatic brain injury. During her year long stay in the hospital I had many sleepless nights with two young children missing their mother. Before finding out that my wife would never recover, or be able to return home, I enlisted the help of a well respected child psychologist with 36 years experience in the field, who specializes in loss. I wont tell you his exact advice due to patient psychologist privilege and ongoing litigation. I will say however, that I did follow his advice and did what was best for my children. I would argue that he may have a tad more insight in this field than yourself. My children now sleep in their own rooms and are very comfortable doing so. They are well adjusted and secure individuals. There are no separation anxieties. Most weekends my kids either have friends over to stay the night, or will stay the night at a friends home. I guess their separation anxiety hasn’t bubbled to the surface yet. I make no apologies to anyone for doing what my children needed me to do in order to cope with such a traumatic event.

In your latest post you make it seem almost perverse for a parent and child to share the same bed, unless it falls under one of the categories of your special conditions, then it’s perfectly fine, how hypocritical. You also tell me not to change your words around. Right after you change them around yourself. In your first post you never used the term “once in a great while” as you claim to have done. I think we can just agree to disagree. I was just giving my opinion based upon first hand experience, rather than ideas, and ego.


Quite the contrary Dad, I am the last person who is a hipocrite.  Obviously, you seem to have personal hangups about being a single dad which seems to respond to this post as well as okaying this behavior.  I will not apologize for my daughtere coming in my bed  once in awhile if she has a bad dream.  There are many children who have normal sleeping habits who do this.  This isn't anything new.  What the poster has said about her boyfiriend's sleeping habits with his kid/kids does not sound very healthy for them as well as her boyfriend.  I think you are taking personal experiences that you have had makes you condone what the poster's boyfirend is doing as ok.  Since you and the poster are both single dads you seem to sympathize with the father by using your personal feelings by okaying this behavior.  It really is not okay for children to be sleeping with their father on a regular basis and not having normal sleeping behavior.   You are right about one thing, we can agree to disagree :(


hypocrite adjective

person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings


You say it’s not healthy for a child to sleep with their parent, and again you state that you allow it sometimes. That’s the very definition of a hypocrite. I have absolutely no hang-ups when it comes to being a single father. I am very proud of my two kids, they are my main focus in life. We have endured much and have become closer because of it. Your attempt at analyzing me could not have been further off target. Please do me a favor and point out what part of my post suggests that I have a “Hang up” about being a single father. Your comment about me “Obviously” having “personal hang-ups about being a single dad” did remind me of an old Danish proverb “A man does not look behind the door unless he has stood there himself.”.

You say that there are many children who have “normal” sleeping habits. Please define what “normal” is. The fact that this concerns a single father has nothing to do with my advice. I would offer the same advice to a single mother as well. This has nothing to do with gender at least as far as I am concerned, but is about the child. You state that it is not okay for a child to sleep with their parent, even though you allow it in your own home. Yes, we can agree to disagree, I’m just glad this father is doing what he feels is best for his child.


Obviously Singledad we WILL agree to Disagree.  I think that your have some very disturbing views on the situation and I think this single dad is making a BIG mistake sleeping with his 9 year old daughter.  In another couple of years she will be a young lady.  Her body as well as her mind will be going through alot of changes.    I think that the father should take his daughter to a  licensed therapist to work out her issues then keep on letting his daughter sleep with him.  She needs to get professinal help and not  sleep with her dad at 9 years of age every night.  Maybe it is innocent now but she is maturing and soon will be developing as a young lady.  I think that there needs to be boundaries set and the girl needs to get the help to help work out the issues she has not keep sleeping with her father.  As I said before and will say have your thoughts I have mine.  There really isn't  any reason for you to keep debating this issue with me any longer.  I don't agree with you and you don't agree with me.  Let's leave this one alone!

 When in doubt, get a therapist.


 If you notice the date I last replied, I left this alone about 5 weeks ago. The father will continue what he is doing without our input.


When my brother got a divorce from his wife, he used to sleep with my niece every time she was with him.  His ex wife reported to social services that she thought it was unnatural and that "something" cold be going on.  She said that men often wake with a certain physical condition that a little girl should not accidentally wake up to see. 


Not only did social services actually get involved, but he was forbidden to sleep with her and getting her own room and bed was a condition of his visitation.  I KNOW my brother just wanted to make her comfortable in a new apartment and with the new arrangement and never had any disgusting intention, but the "experts" did not seem to think it was appropriate.


If it were my boyfriend, I would tell him once what my opinon was about the sleeping arrangments and why i felt it was a mistake and leave it at that.  It is his child and his home and he will do what he thinks is right.  However, if you think the person you love is making a mistake then tell them it is your place as his friend and companion.


At nine years old, a girl should not be sleeping in dad's bed (or mom's for that matter) but dad is even less appropriate.  Should YOU be the one to address this with your bofriend who lives 1,500 miles away?? I say why not!  He is your boyfriend and you are well acquainted with him and his child.  It's not your decision, but no harm is giving him a bit of advice.  Sometimes people don't even think there might be a problem with a situation unless it's brought to their attention.  In some ways, I think there are more problems here than just one issue.  I agree the little girl should have a bed of her own, but i wonder about you intention. Why did you move out of his home?  Are you and your boyfriend exclusive and how often do you see him and his child?

hey i know it is hard okay but you just got go through it okay got to go if want to write back.

Tis is to single dad - I know you are hurt and bitter but try for once to think out the box! I am sure you are a wonderful concerned father but your onesided bitterness will rub off on your children.You fought hard for your children and have a tremendous task on hands but leave the bitterness and live life joyfully! We feel your pain.

this is also to SnglDad--keep on keeping on! I think you probably have fun with your boys and live life joyfully. Zinging strangers on the internet can be pretty fun! It isn't so much fun to get zinged, but we survive it.

saartjie: It’s a rather common practice to try and discredit those who we do not agree with. For instance, because we do not see eye to eye on this matter, a good strategy would be to accuse me of being “hurt and bitter”. No doubt my way of looking at things, the way I see the world, must be because I’m “hurt and bitter”. There could be no other explanation for someone not agreeing with you, they must be flawed. On top of that I must be closed minded. Your passionate plea for me to think outside of the box is a bit confusing to say the least. The catch phrase “think outside the box” was improperly applied, as it refers to someone looking at a problem with a new perspective, without preconceived notions. Not caring to read back and check, I would say that there were not many in this post who agreed with me. My opinion was mine and not influenced by others, or popular beliefs. I looked at the issue from my own perspective. You had an example of someone thinking outside the box. The forest was right there in front of you, but the trees blocked the view, how unfortunate. As for my children, they are doing just great. They are well behaved, funny, smart, loving, and respectful. As I always say, they make being a dad easy.

Gail, whereas I don’t always agree with you, and sometimes what you say is over my head, I do respect your opinion, and views. You are correct, my children and I are quite happy. As for zinging strangers on the internet, I look back and realize I could have handled that with a bit more tact, I apologize. I do view you as someone who “thinks outside of the box”. That being said, I’m off to have a slice of lemming meringue pie.

Ok, well I have a 6 year old son (almost 7) and he doesn't even have his own room. Good thing I don't have my address on here or some of you might have social services at my door... I have 3 bedrooms, 2 girls who fight like cats and dogs and one boy who gets along with his mama just fine and it all works out. If I were to put the 2 girls in a room together it would be like armageddon! I say whatever works is what works. As long as he's not having sex with her then what's the problem? There are countries where everyone sleeps in one big bed together until they move out! Why is everyone so obsessed with sex?

bittersweet, sounds like you do this by necessity. If you had four bedrooms would your boy sleep with you? If you have the choice (and some countries/ppl don't) then let your kids learn independence.

This is to "single dad". I was researching the other day and came across this posting. I am a divorced mother of a seven year old boy. I have day-to-day care and control and my ex has visitations every other weekend (plus any day after school). I guess you could say that it is a very flexible "joint custody" situation. Here is my problem. My son (as stated before) is 7 years old. Here at home, he has his own room; his own independance. Every other weekend my ex has him.... they sleep in the same bed. While he TRIES to argue that he (my son) refuses to sleep alone, he FAILS to realize that a 7 year old is the BEST at maniplulating a parent. He seems to sleep JUST FINE in his OWN bed here!! My ex also claims that this is to better his "bond" with him... how about going to the zoo? How about having a picnic in the park? How about reading a story? There are plenty of things that can be done with a child to better a "bond"... this sleeping together crap... is NOT one of them! It is a show of insecurity on the PARENTS behalf. You see... when my son comes home after that weekend.. he has HUGE problems. He is now used to getting what he wants, when he wants it. It doesn't work that way in this house. My ex doesn't even have a bedroom for my son, and refuses to set one up! Oh yes.. he DOES have room in his house. Everyone has different opinions as to what is right and what is wrong. This is just my experience... nothing more. I find it frustrating. I could maybe understand it if the other parent lived a fare distance from the other, but my story takes place in the same city. As a Mom... it is my business to ensure that my son has structure and most importantly balance. Sleeping with a child when he/she is sick, or letting them crawl into bed after a bad dream for an hour; fine. But MAKING UP EXCUSES as to why your child HAS to sleep with you is hilarious!!!!! IT'S CALLED NERVES OF STEEL PEOPLE!!! Yup... your son/daughter is going to cry... HARD.... maybe even scream to try and get your attention. Go in, reassure them your still there and walk out. Stand in the hallway if you have to. Keep going back in as often as neccessary. Cry yourself. But at the end of the day, they WILL get used to their own room. And they WILL know that it is a SAFE place to be. A crying child will not hurt themselves... it only hurts you.

To the posts above, and below me. I guess I don’t feel the need to continually respond to each new persons ideas. I have stated my experiences, and beliefs. Feel free to go back and read, they are still relevant. I have not, nor will I change my stance on this. As parents we are all entitled to do as we see fit. The differences between the sexes is quite well known. I think the absence of comments noting such differences between sexes has more to do with common sense, rather than political correctness. A parents time with their child is just that. It is not a time for the other parent to dictate what they believe is best. Both parents are equal, and have a right to exercise parental autonomy while their child is with them.

I don't know if people are avoiding certain facts about this issue due to today's political corectness or simply nobody thought of it. Some facts: - in many countries children sleep with their parents as a matter of routine, yes...But culturs differ greatly and the perception of this is diferent in both, parent's and child's mind. In some countries people do things that are not approved in other countries etc etc...So one has to look from the perspective of some normative values withing the culture one is living in, as well as the need of a child...NOT a parent, the child. - are we forgetting that there is a difference beteween men and women? I am sorry to bring this up, but there is a big difference relating to a child sleeping with a male parent. Napping during the day or on holiday etc is different thing. But actually sleeping together is another. Are we forgetting that things happen to men while they are sleeping? Wet dreams, erections and so on. - how do you explain to a child that you pressed aginst them in your dream? Sorry but NO, a father should not sleep the night with their children, male or female once they become aware of their bodies which is about 3 up. If kids need comfort, of course a father should stay until the child is asleep and move to their bed. If a child moves to father's bed during the night, a father should wait till they are asleep either move them back or they themselves should move to a different bed. If that is not possible, a father should make sure he doesn't have a physical contact during sleep with a particular parts of his bodies. - similarly with the mother, but not quite the same as far as the female children are concerned, when the boy starts being aware of his erections a mother should try to move him back to his bed. But again this is not the same as for the father as the involuntary bodily actions are rarely a problem with the mother. Before I hear the outcry from the father, please remember that this is not a judgement but only the fact and if men find excuses all the time about "not being in control" of their actions during the night surely this will not change whoever is in the bed with them. Just using common sense is all we need in very difficult task of single parenting.

tinkywinky, you are so right! I knew a family who allowed their 9 y/o to sleep with the father while the mother worked at night 3X a week. The father inadvertantly pressed up against the girl in the night and she told a teacher who called protective services. The father, who still swears he was sleeping soundly and completely unaware of what occured, got 2 years in jail. The girl was taken from the mother for 4 years while the family went through state mandated therapy. PLEASE, all of you co-sleepers be proactive instead of reactive and save yourselves a lot of possible heartache.

2xstepmom, you are absolutelly right. This things do happen and even from my personal expirience, first time when I went with my dad on holiday (I lived with mum) we couldn't find a hotel with two beds so we took a double bed room that was available. My dad never thought about it as obviouslly this is not something you think about. During the night I remember I "found" smething and thought it was a mouse in our bed as on the coast they had mice so that came to my mind first. My dad jumped out of the bed and just said he took the mouse out and he will stay in the chair "just in case" to watch the room. Needless to say he was upset, in shock and we discussed it when I grew up with some humor I must add. I asked my mum later in life if she ever talked to my dad about the sleeping arangements and she was stunned as this wouldn't be possible to discuss at my time (I am over 40 now) as my dad would probably be offended. It is just something dads should be aware of, objective and not take as offence.

How did I know that something like this was coming along very soon? Your stance on this subject told me that you have, or believe you have had a negative experience while sleeping in the same bed with your father. I do not share your phobias, nor do my children. In fact, my children learned quite a bit while sharing the same bed with me. Because it is a time where there are few distractions we had great conversations concerning things that bothered them. I taught them songs, I taught them the planets, My youngest learned his ABC’s in that bed. We also had an imagination game where we pretended we were astronauts. The kids described the planet we landed on and the creatures that were there. There were no “mouse” problems, and no confusion between genuine love for my children, and intimacy. It is not the parents who allow their child to share a bed with them in a time of need that concern me. The people who always seem to oppose such an act by regarding it as perverse, give me the greatest concern. Your phobias are a window to your true self.

I think it is very difficult to bring a child/children alone and in the case of dads, it is even more difficult to establish any normal life. But in most cases, when we are single parents kids are our life. Still, what you are saying is great and it is normal, having songs, ABC etc etc...But this is sharing a bed while we are awake...When you actually sleep you can not possibly be in control of your physiological reactions as if you are there is something wrog. One of the tests, for eg, for many disorders including diabetis is "do you wake up with an erection"? It is not a reflection on single dads and it is nothing to do with perversions or one's fear. I am a Psychologist, by te way with 17 years expirience in clinical Psychology and also a single parent, also come from divorced family. My parents are great and we all get on well (my father was a doctor and very amicable man). So, no, it is nothing to do with fears, phobias etc etc. It is a fact, and unless you have special clothing or a medical problem this things will and do happen. Please do not take it personally as this is not a reflection on dads, their parenting skills or anything negative. I a simply pointing out what may happen during sleep. Sleep, not before or after we are asleep. Sorry if I caused you any offence. It was not meant.

And I have never slept or even laid in the same bed with my father, so no phobias there, sorry!!!

SnglDad, I don't think anyone said sleeping with your kid is "perverse"... Some of us have the opinion that a man consistently sleeping with his nine year old daughter is inappropriate. There are times when it is necessary on occasion, but overall, she should be in her own bed. It's not a phobia, it's anatomy. It might be more appropriate for a boy to sleep with his dad but overall, a nine year old kid should be allowed his/her own bed. Even in a "time of need", a parent should be helping a child to adjust to certain circumstance and leading the child toward independance. You may not realize it, but your posts are a window to YOUR true self and you appear very damaged at times!

I feel the same way that you feel girl. I would not want my so called "boyfriend" sleeping with his daughter. Once her hormones develop they might begin getting active and we dont want another child being sexually abused. He needs to put her in her own bed she is to big for that and i hope he listens because if i find out he sexually abusing that girl i am calling the police and getting him locked up once and for all.

Tamz,: thank you for your assessment. I can assure you that I am doing just fine. Whereas I appreciate your taking the time to write and tell me of my mistakes, I do not see it your way. The psychologist who helped the children through a very tough time made suggestions, which I did follow. Given his over 32 years experience working with children who have endured every type of abuse, loss of a parent, and families in crisis, I can honestly say I value his professional opinion over your emotionally filled “advice”. My children are walking testimonials to what I have stated, and I wouldn’t change that to please you. Both are healthy, happy, and doing great. Your statement that my posts are a window to my true self made me wonder. A persons true self will always be displayed in their statements, and actions, that goes without saying, unless they are being untruthful. I had never even given that a consideration, I wonder why you did. I think your statement just shed a bit more light on who you really are. Thanks for the lesson. I’m off early today and taking the kids to the gun range. Wish I had more time to stick around and “discuss” this. Helpmeout1: Please elaborate on your post.

Hi there again, I can just imagine how difficult it is for the kids and also how valuable closness between you and them is. And nobody is saying you shouldn't "nap", read, talk and simply enjoy bed time cudlles. A;; I am saying is that the whole night sleeping with kids over certain treshold (and children do reach tem at the different times that is true) as a matter of routine MAY cause problems and raise questions in their and other people's minds if they talk to other people. Whatever we may think or want we live in a society that judge us all the time and also we are bombarded with various issues from an early age, so children question things early. I can not believe that any Psychologist would tell you that it is not possible for you to have an "amorous" body response during sleep and your kids may be awake or even curious what is going on. I don't know if you spoke to your Psychologist in some time, but what he/she said before when kids were smaller, may not apply now. Your kids still may be small but they will grow and you refusing to even accept the possibility that we are right in some way points that you still have some issues to deal with. Depending of your personal circumstances you may genuinly feel that you need to maintain closeness in every which way but this may edge on fear/control and insecurity which can not benefit the kids in the long run. We have all been there, some of us many times over, and I am just saying that you should look into the possibility that things do happen while men sleep and that kids get curious as they are growing up and you can make the decission WHEN it is not right to remain in the bed with kid(s) as a matter of routine. You can't just kick the kids out of bed one day of course...

And understand our opinion of not sleeping with kids is "on a consistent basis" and "as a matter of routine"... Not all overnights in parents bed are inappropriate. My little boy is 8 and he sometimes says "mommy can I sleep with you tonight?" It is very rare but once in a while, I say yes. Even I (with no physically measurable body changes at night) realize that my son is better served in his own bed. I actually love having him there because I love him so much but I understand it is not what is best for him.

Tinkywinky, get all the facts before you try and diagnose me. If you had bothered to read every reply, you would have know that my kids have not slept with me in quite some time. They each have their own rooms, and sleep in their own beds. I never suggested that co-sleeping was acceptable on an ongoing basis, that is what people have assumed. As I said in my first reply to this thread “ Being that her parents have divorced she may need some time to cope with all that has happened. Sleeping next to her father is innocent and may be the security she needs to feel at such a time.” My comment speaks for itself. The words “at such a time” indicate that this is temporary in order to help his daughter adjust to her mother leaving. It’s better to read, rather than assume. BTW: It should also read that he has 32 years experience, rather than 36.

My apologies SinglDad maybe she does need the security of sleeping next to her dad during this transition, but I also agree that it should be limited. I think part of your issue was this fathers girlfriend trying to dictate how he raises his daghter and you feel it's not her place. After all, he did not ask us if sleepig with his daughter was appropriate, she did. I'm keeeping good thoughts for this man and his daughter.

You are right, I didn't read your first reply but only your reply to my first post where you gave an impression of being defenssive and also gave an impression that you do agree with routine co-sleeping. For that I appologize. I am sure you are a great dad and this posts are meant to be discussion points and not personal attacks. After all nobody knows one another here, and nobody knows exact personal circumstances. We are just exchanging ideas. Shake hands?

There is no need to apologize for your thoughts to singledad or anyone. He seemed to be on the defensive about poster's child sleeping with dad. I agree with you all that once in awhile when warranted that a child can sleep with their parent but not on a daily basis especialy for a nine year old girl. In stead of sleeping with her dad maybe the dad should find the root of the problem and get professional help for the girl so she can deal with the emotional issues she is having. He is using this as a crutch and not trying to deal with the true issues. JMO

MOM2JJ: First of all, your facts are a bit off. This was not the mother who began this discussion. This was the girlfriend who lives 1,500 miles away. The same girlfriend who began this, and never replied to any of the questions asked. Please state some guidelines that you see as being acceptable for a child to sleep with a parent. Though you may feel it necessary, not everyone feels the need to seek professional help for every issue that arises. The only part of your reply that I agree with is when you said “JMO”.

I think there are many ideas of what is and what is not appropriate when it comes to kids sleeping with parents. Overall, we as parents need to decide what feels right. I follow my gut. At the end of the day, it should be the father who makes choices for his child. If you ask me, this man should have waited to bring the girlfriend into his childs life until things were more stable. I do feel a nine year old girl should spend MOST nights in her own bed. I remember my little girl jumping in my bed many mornings and we had some great chats there. Maybe this dad would better serve his girl if he saved the bonding for morning time. In this case, there is not issue of bodily function.

Here's my thoughts. To futurestep: I wonder why you are 1500 mis away from your boyfriend. You mentioned that you lived w/ him once for several yrs. Why did you move out? Usually once you're living w/ someone, the relationship is pretty serious, and either you stay together, get married, or break up. Whatever the circumstance, if there was a disagreement over parenting style, which may or may not be the reason for you being so far apart from your boyfriend (I don't know), why are you still w/ him? If you are truly in love w/ this man, and he feels the same way about you, and your relationship is still a solid one, I don't see why you can't come to a compromise w/ this sleeping issue. Do you have any problems w/ your boyfriend's daughter? These are all things that you should work out if you wish to stay together w/ this man. It sounds like you invested a lot of time in this relationship, and I hope it works out for you all. However, if you feel in your gut that you are unable to work through any issues you have, maybe you should consider moving on. I know that sounds harsh b/c I'm sure you love this man after being with him for so long, but it's not fair to any of you to string this relationship along if it's not working. My advice to you wld be to sit down w/ your boyfriend, face to face, and lay all the cards on the table. I don't think you shld get his daughter involved at this point. I do feel though that you shld both sit down w/ your boyfriend's daughter, after all has been discussed, and a decision has been made about your realtionship. It can be very confusing to a child to have someone in her life that comes and goes, lives far away, or suddenly disappears. I'm sure while you were living w/ your boyfriend and his daughter, you became somewhat of a mother figure to her. Therefore, I think you have a right to say what you feel to your boyfriend for the best interest of the family. When you are at your boyfriend's place, do you all sleep in the same bed together or does she sleep alone on those nights you are there? I agree w/ you that whether she is in bed w/ just her dad or maybe even the 2 of you, that this is inappropriate. You need to decide how much this relationship w/ your boyfriend means to you, and how seriously this situation impacts your relationship. I do think you should say something, because however innocent the situation may be, it still bothers you, and you have a right to speak up. If you don't, it will continue, and it will cause further tention between you and your boyfriend. Good luck!

SinglDad: I have explained more then once the reasons and APPROPRIATE times for a child to sleep with their parent whether it is a mother, father, etc. I would suggest that you go to the beginning of this post if you truly donot know what my reasons are. Obviously there seems to be some concern as to why this child is sleeping with her parent. It sounds more then just the child is upset and maybe needs a night or two with the parent. Seriously, a child doesn't always aceept and adjust to divorce and breakups. I am surprised how you would not realize that. There seems to be more going on. Again, as previously stated by a poster, you need to look outside the box and not base your opinion on your own personal experiences. I will say you did make me chuckle when you shot down the suggestion of therapy. Therapists are not the big bad wolf. They can be a source to healing. It might be a benefit to the child if the family did seek therapy. As I said, we can debate this forever and really I think that we have our own opinions and to do so would just be a waste of time. Let's just call it day and leave well enough alone.

You should start to let the baby sleep by itself because you do not want this to occur at an older age

I am so glad you recognize the future problems this will cause to the child. 1500 away or next door everyone that can read knows this is improper behavior for the child's future well being.

I can read. My children slept with me during a rough transitional period. They are doing great, and there are no lingering issues with sleeping arrangements, in fact, I just tucked both in to their own beds, in their own rooms. I am glad that this father goes with his instinct, rather than popular opinion.

This is responding to SnglDad more than anyone but any input would be appreciated. I say this because when I read SnglDad's postings, It sounds a lot like my DBF. BTW, my DBF is a wonderful, wonderful dad. This is my situation: My boyfriend, single father, divorced 6yrs, moved in with me almost a year ago. His youngest son (he has 2) slept in his bed in their tiny appartment because of lack of space. I can understand that. When he first moved in with me. I had my own room. My boyfriend had his own room. His sons had their own room. And my daughter had her own room. His youngest never slept in the boys room. He slept with his dad (every night). I was told it was because the teenager kept him up and they would argue. I understood. App. 3 months later. My boyfriend started staying in my room at night and the youngest would have his dads room all to himself. Except once a week. His son wanted his dad to sleep with him. This has been going on for app. 2 or 3 months. His son has never woke up crying. He has never came in my room looking for his father. I told him I felt both of his sons needed their own room. He agreed. And we agreed to take it to the next step and I would move into DBF's room and his youngest could have his own room. So, all last week I spent every free moment I had moving all my stuff in my boyfriends room. Setting up my old room for his youngest son. By the way, his youngest is 10 years old. Last night, my DBF mentioned that he didn't know how he was going to sleep with his son once a week since he now has a single bed in his room. And he didn't mean this as if it needed to stop. I was offended. When we discussed me moving in his room. I told him he needed to think it over first because it would mean no more musical beds. He feels I am being unreasonable because his son is only requesting once a week now. And he is used to sleeping with him every night. I do not feel a child needs months to transition between changes everytime there is one. I believe it creates adults who cannot except change. Let me state here that I understand that younger children do need more time to deal with change. But my opinion here is based on his childrens ages. And I believe it is my DBF's guilt of divorce and seeing his children every other week instead of every night that is fueling this type of behavior. We have discussed marriage. He even wants more children. Do you feel I am being too pushy? This child is not traumatized (to my knowledge), does not have nightmares, nor does he have sleep problems. Yes, he is a child of divorce. Parents do not get along. Ex-wife has a problem with me and does not speak to me. I do not know what goes on at mothers home. Any suggestions?

It sounds like the dad has done a good job of responding to his son to this point. So chill. And read that Sexuality, commitment blah blah blah up in the popular discussions box on the right side of the page. Lots to think about.

I agree with you BlendedFam... The ten year old boy should be able to sleep alone in his own bed every night. I think your bf and his boy have already had a transition time and the kid should be just fine sleeping alone. Do you ever watch Nanny 911 and shows like that? Your bf should just tell his son that he will be sleeping in his own bed with you from now on. The boy will adjust and be perfectly happy and fine. It sounds like your bf is the one who needs to sleep with his son rather than the reverse.

I agree, if this young man is not having problems sleeping, then he should be encouraged to sleep in his own bed, alone. I do understand that Dad is wanting to spend as much time as he can with him since he only sees him EOW. My kids and I started what we call "jokey night". We put sleeping bags on the floor kind of in a circle so our heads are all close together, then we just lay there in the dark and make up stupid jokes. We tell stories, and just talk. After a while when they start to get tired I say goodnight to them and the other will go to his bedroom. This way we spend quality time together as they are winding down, but I still get to sleep in my own bed. Maybe a compromise like this would work in your situation.