Post # 1
Ok. So this morning Fiance and I had an argument and I would like to get some feedback if I am in the wrong here.
He has shared custody of his chidren and they are with us for a week every other week. Their mother apparently doesn’t have anyone or at least not when the kids are there. She tends to let them sleep in her bed. Children are 12(boy) and 9(girl).
We are engaged and live together.
So far out of 4 nights that they have been with us this week the 9 year old came to our room in the middle of the night under various excuses. First night she couldn’t sleep, second night wasn’t feeling good, last night she had a bad dream. The first two times he got up and went to her room and stayed till she fell asleep. Last night he allowed her to lay in our bed. I wasn’t able to fall sleep anymore because 9 year olds move around and since i don’t have children of my own, I am not used to such sleeping arrangement. Therefore I got up tired and moody.
However we went through this already with his son when he was 10 and we came to an understanding that sleeping in our bed should not happen anymore and if he has a bad dream that the father should go to his room instead. That was fine and a year later he hasn’t woken us up since and is perfectly fine sleeping in his own room.
So this morning i expressed how i feel that it’s wrong for the 9 year old girl to be sleeping in our bed. I don’t mind if he wants to sleep in her room with her or if he wants to plan a sleep together in our bed while i go on the couch, but I don’t feel right us as an engaged couple sleeping in the same bed as a 9 year old. If this child was 5 maybe even 6 I wouldn’t mind as much because i know that they need that. But i feel that a 9 year old is at a stage where it is important for their development to sleep on their own and cope with not sleeping on their own (unless of course sick or nightmares when the parent should console them in their room). When she did lay down he turned to me and was hugging me. She was just sleeping and moving on his left side. I really felt really awkward and upset. Here is my Fiance in the middle of the bed hugging me in the early mornign (cuz it was 5 am) – everyone knows also that a mans “something else” is up in the morning too and his 9 year old daughter on his left.
So we had an argument and says that i blow things of proportion but i feel strongly about this and letting a child come to our bed leaves an opportunity to doing it again. I have also told him that I don’t mind him going to her room to help her sleep or even staying there. He first told me that I knew he had kids…. well ofcourse i know. I love them, I clean after them, I cook for them, I play with them, i want what’s best for them which also includes them developing properly. He then argued back that I let our dog sleep on the bed and he doesn’t like it….. So since i am already tired and moody i really didn’t feel like arguing cuz there is no point.
Am i in the wrong here ? If so, then why do I feel so awkward ? I trust my feelings usually when I feel so strongly on a topic.
Post # 3
@Lulume: I don’t think you’re in the wrong at all, I completely understand how you feel about this.
Post # 4
A 9 year old is too old to be sleeping in bed with you guys, period. Stand your ground here. I would be terribly uncomfortable, too.
Post # 5
You are not in the wrong at all. A nine year old should not be sharing a bed with parents still, especially when one of them is a step-parent.
Post # 6
Child psycholgists say sleeping in a parents bed is very unhealthy at any age.
Post # 7
Child psycholgists say sleeping in a parents bed is very unhealthy at any age.
Post # 8
I don’t have kids, but from watching how my SIL and BIL raise theirs….I think it’s important for kids to learn to soothe themselves back to sleep, especially at nine years old. It’s not something she will learn until you put your foot down. I imagine it’s easier for your Fiance to let his daughter sleep with you because he can relieve her stress, but she more than old enough to handle this on her own. I mean, what is the worst that can happen by letting her stay in her room by herself? Besides the fact that it is uncomfortable for you, I think it’s a bit of a disservice to her by not forcing her to learn to deal with this independently.
Post # 9
I think you are correct on this one!
I think an occassional bad dream is different from a constant thing. I agree that he should return her to her own bed in the middle of the night and comfort her with a story, checking for monsters, rubbing her back, until she settles down. Then everyone should return to their own beds.
Post # 10
I do not blame you for being uncomfortable at all. I have a 4.5 year old with a man from a previous relationship and there is no way she is to sleep in bed with me and my Darling Husband. If she wakes up in the middle of the night, I take her to her room, snuggle her in, and return to my room. She is capable of calming herself and goes back to sleep easily. If she is having a difficult time falling back to sleep, I will return to comfort her as needed.
I do not think it is apropriate for a 9 year old to be sleeping in bed with their parents whether they are bilogical or step.
Post # 11
OP, you aren’t in the wrong. and IMO, 9 is a little old to be co-sleeping.
Post # 12
You are definitely correct — a 9 year old girl is too old to sleep in a bed with her parents, step-parents, etc. Your instinct is telling you it is inappropriate because it is inappropriate — and that is why you feel awkward. Your bed should be your private space during sleeping hours — and you should have the freedom to cuddle or have a quickie with your husband without having your children in bed to take away that private moment. Also — more than looking out for yourself — you are looking out for your step-daughter’s development and protecting her from being confused about where the boundaries lie when it comes to getting into bed with adults.
I think that your husband-to-be hasn’t awoken to the fact that his daughter is maturing and probably still sees her as a little 3 year old in his heart… He needs to open his eyes to the fact that he now has a young lady on his hands. 🙂
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
You are correct. I have worked in child protection business and a nine year old girl should not be sleeping in the same bed as her father. It looks odd to investigators and the child’s mother could use it against him in a custody hearing. That alone should scare him off allowing her to sleep in bed with you. Plus, how are you supposed to have sex with a 9 year old in bed with you?
Post # 14
Why don’t you ask how he would feel if the situation was reversed– and his ex allowed his nine year old daughter in bed while a boyfriend was in it. I think he’d see the innappropriateness of the situation then.
Post # 15
I definitely agree with you, OP. I used to co-sleep with DS when he was a baby, but after he got old enough to get up by himself, that was over. He has bad dreams pretty frequently, and we have to work to combat that. Here are some things that have worked with us:
– noise/sound machine (drowns out the “noises” so the child feels more secure; DS sleeps with the rain sound on every night); music would also work
– dream catcher (this is a new one for us, but it seems to work; we got supplies from the craft store, including an animal figurine to scare the bad dreams away)
– a lamp and crayons/coloring book near the bed (we haven’t had to use this, thank goodness, but when I was a child, I was allowed to be awake with the lamp on and color if I had a bad dream)
– as a last resort, one of the TVs with an attached VCR or DVD player so she can watch a movie in her room to fall back asleep (I used/use this tactic for myself as a teen and still as an adult)
I had constant nightmares as a child, and still do as an adult, so I understand the kid’s plight, but sleeping in your bed isn’t the answer. If she feels like you’re making a conscious effort to make her environment safer or more comfortable for her, she might be willing to stay in her bed all night. Try to get to the bottom of what her dreams are about or what’s causing her to wake up in the middle of the night, and start coming up with ideas, one at a time to try and make it better.
Post # 16
I will probably get flamed here, but I can see it from both sides. I have been married before, and both my current fiance and I have a son from previous marriages. My son actually slept in bed with me until he was 11 years old. Most of the time not all night, but sometimes. (believe me I realize how insane that sounds) He is now almost 17 and has developed into a perfectly healthy, extremely independent person with no issues at all.
On the flip side, my fiance has an 11 year old who up until a couple of years ago would occasionally come into bed with us when he was scared, etc. Sometimes it did feel uncomfortable on my part. So I understand where you are coming from. But I never said much because I really had no room to talk. His son is now also very well rounded and independent.
I think it just depends on the parties involved and their comfort level. As a parent, it might be hard for him to tell his daughter no. Or he sees it as simply comforting her, or even himself on some level. If she doesn’t live with the two of you, he may just see it as another opportunity to be next to his child that he doesn’t get to spend enough time with. I think when it’s your own child, and having them sleep in your room has always been a factor, you may have a problem seeing how it could make someone else uncomfortable.
I can definitely see where a child in the bed could cause problems in some relationships. If it’s making you that uncomfortable, then the two of you definitely need to come to some sort of agreement.
ETA: This should be a no brainer, but I just wanted to clarify that I am in NO way saying it should be okay for the child to be in the bed during sex, or with parents who don’t have clothes on, etc. Ugh.