How old is too old?

 

  #1  
Old 06-09-03, 09:26 AM
WitchyGurl
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How old is too old?

I personally am raising my child in a way that many parents might not agree with but it works for us. I was just wondering how others felt about bed sharing. In our house we have a "Family Bed". It's basically 1 full and 2 twin beds pushed together. We all sleep there. My daughter does have a seperate bed anytime she wants to sleep there but she chooses to sleep with her Dad and I. Of course all the dogs are there too.
My daughter is 10. It doesn't bother her.
Doesn't bother me. Doesn't bother my hubby.
The dogs rather have her bed though but they don't get a vote.
My question is for most parents, how old is too old to sleep with mom and dad. I've heard such opinions as NEVER up until their 13.
Remember I'm asking your opinion I'm in no way going to change the way we live based on your beliefs.
I'm just curious to when and why you choose the way you do.


 
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Old 06-09-03, 10:27 AM
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1. Well, our daughter is 14 and hasn't been in bed with us since she was about 5 or 6 and no WAY would I put myself in the position of explaining to someone that I slept in the same bed as my pubescent daughter. The way people are nowadays, situations like that have "courtroom" & "Child Protection Service" written all over it. Try to imagine an innocent conversation between your daughter and, say, the school nurse wherein somehow she mentions she sleeps with both of you and the nurse asks some some clarification like, "does your Dad ever touch you in bed?" "Yes, he gives me a hug before I go to sleep". "What other kind of touching does he do?" etc, etc, ad infinitum. That scenario aside, my personal opinion is that there's groundwork laid for a variety of personal/emotional problems later on. Having said that, if she's a normal, well-adjusted pre-teen she'll probably get the privacy bug pretty soon and the point will be moot.

2. Sex must be interesting.

My $.02 worth.
 
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Old 06-09-03, 10:43 AM
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I guess I never started allowing my kids to sleep with us after 6 months of age, and it wasn't the norm then. Usually it was due to the fact I was so tired and it was easier just to keep the babies that close than try to get out of bed in the middle of the night. However, Tow-Guys #2 is a main reason I've never started them sleeping with us, but his point #1 is the main one. Their bed, however, was in our room until 6 months of age.

I do let them sleep with us if there is something very emotional going on in their lives. A death in the family, illness, etc. Usually, however, I climb in their beds with them for a little extra comfort and security for them. Even some unwarranted fears (more than likely due to them being overly tired) allow them to climb in bed with us.

My biggest fear with the girls sleeping with me is, and I may be wrong, that I was always afraid of them growing up thinking that they had to have someone in their bed before they could sleep. Or even my boys for that matter. If they grow up and feel they have to have someone in bed with them would they find a soul mate, or just a temporary bed partner?

Our girls have been so excited about our house since they don't have to share a bedroom now. When we lived in the apartments we had the boys room and the girls room, and of course, our bedroom. There were bunk beds in each of the kids' rooms. Now that the 19yo has moved out, and we have a 4 bedroom home they are truly enjoying having their own rooms, their own stuff....

On the otherhand, hehehe, the bedrooms are close together since I don't want them to ever feel 'alone' while in their rooms sleeping and our house is small (1300 sf). I didn't want a huge home where we could get lost from each other. We are, afterall, a family and I believe that we should be close together and support each other emotionally.

Kay
 
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Old 06-09-03, 11:15 AM
WitchyGurl
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the_tow_guy I do understand the fear of having my child taken from me. I live with the fear that my religion alone is often a good enough reason for the courts to do just that. Pagans routeenly are dragged into court to prove we're not devil worshipers
If sociaty as a whole would see that there are many ways to raise a healthy child, not just one, there would be nothing for me to really fear. I don't pretend to understand how someone could leave a frightened child alone at night. Husbands and wives sleep together not just for sex but also companionship. I'd much rather sleep with someone than alone.
BUT If I was sleepy enough, I'd sleep on a rock LOL!
I do agree that at some point she'll choose to sleep on her own. I'll let her decide when that will be.
Oh,
I hope your sex life is not so boring you only do it one place.
We never use our bed.

kaybyrd, my daughter doesn't always sleep with us, often she'll fall sleep on the couch watching TV. (not on school nights),
and she sleeps on the couch at my Mom's house. (she has a bed there too if she wants to sleep in it).
She also often precedes us to bed and is asleep before we get there.
As far as finding a soul mate over a bed parter?
Everyone thinks the person they're in love with at that moment is their "soul mate". I think that's an overly romaticized notion.
I feel we have several "soul mates". I believe in re-incarnation too.
My daughter already has a lot of self respect. I plan on nurturing that part of her.
You don't always have to have a human companion to sleep with either. Dogs and cats work as living stuffed animals
 
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Old 06-09-03, 11:53 AM
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I remember being so afraid at night that I thought I would just die. Mom wouldn't let me crawl into bed with her and dad. I would end up in bed with my younger brother. Even thought as adults we know the fears aren't 'real' our children don't have enough life experience to know that. I don't encourage their fears, but also don't discount them either. After all, what good am I to my children if they can't turn to me?

When the two girls aren't home at night, Ian (10yo) will sleep on the couch. He says that its lonely in their end of the house. If he's having trouble sleeping, I join him on the couch.

I have to admit that when my husband is out of town for months, it is nice and comforting when one of the kids sleeps with me. Sure beats piling up the clean clothes on his side of the bed so I can make believe that he's there LOL.

I also believe that too much privacy and alone time for children can lead them to believe that they are on their own, possibly make bad choices, etc. This is another reason that I chose a smaller house with an open plan. I stay as aware as I can of what my children are doing, and watch their behaviors/attitudes. If they choose to watch tv in their rooms, its fine with me, but they are not allowed to close themselves up in there for long periods of time. They aren't allowed to make or take phone calls in their rooms, etc. I found that also leads to bad things, too. My kids are good kids, I would like to try to ensure that they stay that way.

Kay
 
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Old 06-09-03, 12:08 PM
WitchyGurl
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Kay, sounds like you've come up with a system that works great for you and your kids!
My point of starting this thread was mostly to point out the differences in parenting styles. A lot of people get hung up on the notion of some things having to be done a certain way or your not a good parent. I know I'm a good Mom. I could be better, but hey, no one is perfect.
While I couldn't imagine leaving a child alone to sleep, I also couldn't imagine telling someone else they HAVE to sleep with their child. I don't expect what works for me to work for everyone.
I just want other parents to stop and think before they judge what's best for other people's children.
We're all just muddleing through parenthood anyway
 
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Old 06-09-03, 12:22 PM
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My system is not what a lot of people agree with. I've just tried to do what I feel is healthiest for my children. A lot of it has to do with things that traumatized me (sleeping alone when terrified) as a child, along with the fact that I have four children, 2 sets with different fathers. My husband today is #3 (and a keeper!), and step-father to the children.

My oldest two I didn't get custody of until about 5 years ago. I, dumb idiot, went into a deep depression after my father's death and lost custody of the oldest two during the divorce - which took place when their father realized that I wasn't coming into any money. Not crying, divorce was the best thing that happened, but it took 11 years for me to prove that he was abusive to them.

The second husband turned violent after my fourth child was born (his second of our children) so I had to leave for the children's sake.

There are a ton of issues that my children deal with from their (our) pasts so even though things are great now, there are still some underlying issues they have that I have to watch for. We're all healing, and it comes faster with love and closeness. Knowing that when it comes down to the line: we're there for each other.

Kay
 
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Old 06-10-03, 11:02 AM
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Parents sleeping with children

Co-sleeping is common practice in many cultures outside the US. It is a controversial topic in our culture. Studies show, however, that there tends to be no psychological or sexual problems among children who shared their parents' bed. There are no studies that show bed sharing is detrimental. One should consider the overall family environment. In family environments where co-sleeping is in the context of unhealthy family relationshps, alcohol or sexual abuse, one can expect negative outcomes.

Parents need to take a look at why they sleep with their children. For example, is it a way to comfort and be close and supportive to a child? Is it to meet one's own needs? Is it because a parent is lonely? A parent should also look at the child's response. Does the child come in and want the comfort? Does the parent demand or expect the child to sleep with them?

Bed sharing typically stops around age 6. Most kids start wanting their own rooms about that age. They start becoming sexualized around ages 4, 5, and 6, and many children start feeling uncomfortable about sleeping with parents. Parents should be alert to the child's comfort level if co-sleeping.

There are studies that show parents tend to report getting a better night's sleep when not sleeping with children. Too, if sleeping with children under age 2, parents may place a child at risk from suffocation or strangulation after being trapped in bedding.
 
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Old 06-10-03, 11:14 AM
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I know that suffocating my kids when they were younger was a big issue with me. I sleep almost comatose so I would never know. Now, the squirming kids have to sleep in their beds so I can sleep too. They kick and wrestling around while sleeping LOL.

In the olden days, I'm sure that bed sharing was a 'have to' situation. I know that my DH's family pretty much slept together because their house wasn't insulated and they only had one source of heat. They would move the beds together into that room so everyone could sleep warm.

My youngest two shared a bed when they were younger, but as Twelvepole mentioned, they started maturing sexually so they needed to be separated. I assume that if we were all in the bed together I wouldn't have had to worry, but since they were in another room I didn't want their ignorance/exploring to cause future problems.

Kay
 
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Old 06-10-03, 03:12 PM
WitchyGurl
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twelvepole,
I read a study that concluded that children of parents that allowed them to sleep in the family bed were reported to have higher grades in school, did not do drugs and had fewer instances of lawbreaking. Now this was one of many studies and I don't always choose to believe a study anyway. All I know is my daughter has only one subject she has problems with (math) if not for that, she'd be on the honor roll. As far as what's in her future, who knows. For right now she's happy. When she wants to sleep on her own, I'm all for it
 
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Old 06-10-03, 04:20 PM
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In your situation I believe that it is a good thing. I don't think I was ever in a situation where it could have worked out well for the children. In my first marriage, I did sleep in my son's room for the last year of my marriage. Things had gotten that bad, and his father was so hateful to me that I couldn't sleep with him. My son was my world. Still is LOL. He's 19 and lives on his own, but still calls me while at work and asks if I'll bring him lunch or something. Today, he didn't want cokes or water so he asked me to bring him tons of tea. Of course I did it. Can't have my baby thirsty now can I?

Kay
 
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Old 06-11-03, 04:27 AM
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I think you should let the child choose when they donít want so sleep with you. I think if you make them comfortable enough they will want to sleep alone in there own time, but at the same time know that if they get scared or lonely they can come back. I think if you tell them that they can no longer sleep with you might cause them some undue stress. They should feel like they can come back if they need to. If they feel safe they will be more likely to try new things, because they know they have a safe place to retreat to if need be.
 
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Old 06-11-03, 11:07 AM
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Matt,

I call that 'home base' LOL. Venture out some, yes, but you always have your safehaven.

Kay
 
 
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