What is the appropriate age for children to quit sleeping in the same bed as their father?

Cathi - posted on 06/15/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My b.f. has allowed his 7 yr old daughter and 11 yr old son to sleep with him in his kingsize bed since his divorce 5 yrs ago. I think they are old enough to sleep in their own rooms in their own beds.

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Becki - posted on 06/15/2010

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i couldn't agree more. my husband and i came up with the strict rule that our bed is for us a married couple not our children. in the event of a bad dream or storm one of us moves to the couch with the child, never our bed. at 7 years old his daughter, by law, is too old to share a room or bed with someone of the opposite sex. in most states that law starts at 5 years of age.

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Leonie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I can understand why he has allowed his children to stay with him. Divorce is never an easy thing. But I also think it is time for his children to have their own privacy and space in their own rooms. I really think he needs to make it a slow transition and a fun one. Maybe do a room makeover for each child. Let them set their room up to express who they are.

You don't have to repaint or buy new things. Maybe put favourite pictures on their walls, artwork from school etc. Also maybe let them choose something appropriate from Dad's room to take with them. Like the linen on the pillows they sleep on. A trinket or photo of Dad so they know that they still have their father close. He may even have to sleep on a matttress on the floor of their bedrooms and slowly move it out the door and back to his room. Give them positive feelings about it. How exciting it will be, etc. Reward them with a "Sleepover" with their best friends once they have slept in their own rooms for a month. Good luck.

Laura - posted on 06/23/2010

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Some good points "for" and "against" co-sleeping. It is a personal choice parents make. Our daughter has had her own bed since infancy yet has had the freedom to sleep with us under certain conditions: 1) illness, 2) storms & nightmares 3) when one parent is away overnight. All other times she must sleep in her own bed. Co-sleeping can provide extra security for the child (and parent) when situations are a bit scary. I agree with two observations: This might be just as comforting to dad as for the kids because of a divorce (insecurities) AND he does need to be careful because of potential accusations of molestation. That is sad but true. BTW--our daughter is now 12 and has been told that upon starting her period she will then be a young woman, not a child, and no longer invited to co-sleep with us. It will be a "right of passage" into adulthood...

Chantell - posted on 06/23/2010

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I agree... and on a personal note... they shouldnt of shared a bed in the first place... as soon as my kids were big enough to leave their cots they were put straight into their own beds!!!

Jennifer - posted on 06/22/2010

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To be honest, I would have moved them out of the bed years ago. Kids need to learn to sleep alone and be comfortable sleeping in their beds alone. They need to be able to comfort themselves back to sleep. I went to college with a girl who still slept in bed with her parents up until the time she moved into the dorm (College Dorm) and that was just weird. It did NOTHING for her social life. She also had a difficult time adjusting when it was time for her to be on her own.

The Daughter in particular should be moved out of the bed as soon as possible. Since there is a divorce in his past, that means there is a mother who might try to use that and say he is molesting her. There should be NO appearance of inappropriate behavior. He is potentially setting himself up to lose visitation/custody of his children by continuing to let them sleep in bed with him.

Margaret M. - posted on 06/22/2010

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This situation is not good for either your boyfriend or the kids. These kids need their own beds and bedrooms -- They are much too old to be sleeping with Daddy. My son has always been in his own room, and own bed -- since the day he came home from the hospital -- at 10 days old.

Sherri - posted on 06/21/2010

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If they are all comfortable with it. I see no problem with it in the least.

Sherri - posted on 06/21/2010

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Becki there are no such laws in the US regarding children sleeping in there parents bed. It would only be if you had a foster child and/or if CPS was involved in your family for some reason.

Tracey - posted on 06/19/2010

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If everyone is happy with the arrangement why does it have to change? Yes they are old enough to have their own rooms / beds but they probably enjoy cuddling dad. I'm guessing the problem is that you want to be the one cuddling dad in which case I would move the children a heck of a long time before a grown up sleepover or the kids will feel dad pushed them out for you which will cause resentment.

Melanie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Maybe I'm the only one, but I think it's kind of sweet. It won't be long before they're too old for it and he'll be wanting those days back. Why force it? If it doesn't bother him or them, then who is it hurting? When my husband and I first met 10 years ago, he already had a little girl. He only got to see her on the weekends and for a looong time she slept in the bed. She's 12 now and I kind of miss those days. ;-( There is nothing weird about it. Just a dad that wants to be close to his kids while he's got them. You should be glad as it shows what kind of man he is. Besos!

Indya - posted on 06/18/2010

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I also agree. Now is the time. An occasional 'sleep over' is not out of order, but this might be for him more than for the kids. Meaning he suffered a loss in the relationship ending (even if he initiated it) and the comfort he feels from having his children sleep with him might be more the reason for him and out of habit for his kiddos. He should cut those strings and allow them to sleep in their own beds.

Tina - posted on 06/16/2010

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I agree with you, NOW is the time. He needs to do it now. If nothing else but for them to feel like they have their own space in his home. They have their own bed, possibly their own room. That way they will feel more like home there as well.

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