At this stage, not yet pre-adolescent but far from infantile, many parents wonder if it is still appropriate to sleep in the same bed with their children of the opposite sex.
Family love Shannon Lambert slept with her eight-year-old son until she was almost seven. She quit after the birth of her third child because she had no place in her bed. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t changing in terms of what her son deems appropriate. “In public now, I can’t even kiss him or hug him goodbye. But at home, cuddled up or lying down together, that’s no problem. It’s still small,” she says.
Sleep is separation
It’s worth remembering, though, that sleep is experienced by children as a separation. Sometimes, feelings about separation boil over before bedtime. So there may be valuable listening to be done if you decide to put a limit on sleeping separately. Those feelings may be giving you a hard time in many aspects of her life, and bedtime listening may be where she can
Be prepared for this – if there are feelings driving “off track” behavior – in this case, reluctance to sleep alone – then those feelings will surface when you set a limit – in this case, that you sleep separately.
Putting the kids straight – Why is bedtime important with older children?
As our children get older, they very often start all get away from us parents. They have all kinds of thoughts that they no longer share with us. They have hopes, dreams and fears that they keep increasingly to themselves.
Here are 5 reasons why you should tuck yourself in at night:
Let’s see what the experts have to say about allowing babies to sleep with mum and dad.
In March of 2007, The New York Times published a research article on this very topic. The article believes that an older child sleeping with their parents doesn’t do enough to maintain a healthy separation between adults and children. And obviously, a 10-year-old in bed is quite the obstacle to martial intimacy. In the study, he suggested that children who sleep with their parents may be responsible for destroying a marriage and even confusing children about their sexual identities.
Should a pubescent boy who wakes up every morning with an erection sleep next to his mother? Should a young girl, perhaps one who is budding or menstruating, sleep next to her father? Most people would agree that allowing a 10 or 11 year old to sleep with a parent of the opposite sex is either wrong or somewhat taboo in today’s world. And outwardly, those who are not okay with co-sleeping would likely be frightened by such behavior. But to the bed-sharing family, it might all feel cozy and completely non-sexual. However, it’s slightly unsettling to understand WHY an older child would still want to sleep with their parents.