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Kids sleeping in parents bed (Page 1)

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My wife and I got into an argument the other day about our 10 yr old son and allowing him to sleep in our bed. Here is the situation.

He is my step son, her son from her first marriage. Once in awhile he will wake up after a bad dream and need her. This particular instance instead of taking him back to his room and staying with him there, she let him into our bed. She said she was too tired to get up and take him back and was also afraid she would fall asleep in his room, not wake up and then not hear her alarm in the morning.

I have several issues with this. First and foremost is that he is not my biological son and I am not comfortable with him in our bed. I do not want to be even remotely exposed to any eyebrow raising of inappropriate behavior of a man towards a child.

Secondly, at 10 years old, biological or not, shouldn't a child be staying in the own bed? (she also allows him in the bathroom when she is using the toliet or taking a bath, another issue altogether)

My main beef with all this is that she knows my feelings about this (it has happened on a few occasions) and she jus doesn't seem to understand my side. But regardless of my reasons shouldn't she respect my feelings and not allow this? Or am I totally off base here?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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replied December 17th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
May i ask why you are in a relationship with a woman who had a child, when you seem to come across as a man who is very unintrested in the idea or thought of being a parent?

Would you feel differently if this was your own biological child sleeping in your bed after a night mare?
Do you care for her son at all? are you even slightly intrested in being a step father to him?

Whether or not there is an issue with clingyness between the two that might be a bigger underlying issue.
But the big factor here is that, he is her son.
He knows that if he needs her possibly after a night mare or any other time in his life, she will always be there to comfort him when he needs comforting.
And being a parent myself, I would think that her son is her #1 priority. He comes first. She gave birth to him,

The reason why I ask why you are with her, is because usually, Step parents are sort of supposed to embrace-love, care etc.-that child, as if they were their own.
And you seem unintrested in this role of step father.

Is this just an issue of control here? You wanting to nip the problem-sleeping in the bed, the washroom thing- in the butt all together instead of her son having his mother there for him when he needs her?

The two seem to have a great relationship to me..
I mean this woman gave birth to him, and to be, being in the washroom while she is showering- im sure a curtain in drawn shut- or sleeping in the bed after a night mare.
Her son might have attachment issues that have sprung up from her separation or divorce from her sons father, did you think of that at all?

I think you need to re-evaluate your relationship with this woman. If you are this upset by his mother giving him attention and comfort when he needs it, you should not be in this relationship. This is a parents job.
When you get into a relationship with someone who has a child, you are in a relationship with that child aswell.
And by the sounds of things, you do not want to be a dad.
So maybe its time to rethink things, and possibly work on your relationship with your step son, if you are wanting to continue with this relationship.
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replied July 29th, 2011
Sleeping with children
I believe ProudMommyof 2008 has missed the issue completely.

Firstly, as a step dad to be, I acknowledge that when you enter a relationship with a woman, you take on the responsibility for the care of her children (while they live with you both)as well. That being said, regardless of whether this is my child or hers, it is inappropriate to allow a child older than 2 or 3 to join you in bed on a regular basis. The only exceptions would be illness or a bout of bad dreams or nightmares etc.
The closeness and security a child will feel to either his/her mother or step father can be achieved during waking hours. There is ample opportunity during the day to express affection and closeness with children. If this is the case, there is no need to make a routine of sleeping with children using the argument that it will make them more secure and emotionally stable. Quite the contrary I think.
The routine of children sleeping with parents will not prepare them for the upcoming stages of life where they must learn to manage stress and adversity. There is a great deal to be said about children learning to manage difficult situations in small increments at an early age. I'm not advocating for abandoning a child completely and letting them manage all types of stress or fear. I think it is important for a child to learn to overcome their fears on their own with a little assistance from their parents. The nervous system is a very resilient and self healing organ. Developmental theories on early child brain development suggest that young children who face difficulty and learn to overcome it at early ages, build the neural networks which permit them to function more autonomously as older children and adults.
I believe we have become a society of parents who will do anything to shield our children from adversity. There days are planned, scheduled for them, they are driven everywhere, told what to do and when and as a consequence, do not develop the tools needed to cope or think for themselves at an early age.
Big mistake.
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replied May 17th, 2012
I agree. My partner tries to wrap our daughter up in cotton wool but I wont let her. Our daughter has to learn LIFE SKILLS before they are left open to the world. I work with people with disabilities and we have to teach them life skills. If I did not do this I would be prosecuted for abuse/neglect, so why do we have to hold our children too close. It just means they will resent you more when they get older for holding them back and not allowing them to grow. I love my daughter and think this is the best way to let her grow up.
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replied May 17th, 2012
Sleeping in the same room as your parents.
My step father raise me, but I never even thought about sleeping in the same bed....If I had a bad dream I would wake him up, he would talk to me for a while then I would go back to my room. He treated me like a son and put me through college too. Just because I do not sleep in his room it does not mean that he does not treat me like a son, much the opposite. He treated me more like a son than my real father, who, will just call me on the phone once in a blue moon. And by the way, I call my step father, Dad. And my real father by his name, as my step father has raised me, so he deserves the title of Dad.
I would not recommend a child sleeping in the same bed as the parents, no matter what their age. To lay in bed and read them a story before bed time, yes, but that is it.
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replied January 2nd, 2010
Concerned about Co-sleeping and Step-parenting
Mike, I appreciate your post. I am a stepmother to a 5 year old who was weaned from co-sleeping when I started to date his father. We are married now and although he sleeps in his own bed successfully, he still climbs into bed on my husband's side for a morning cuddle on the weekends. I lie awake until my stepson leaves because, like you, I am uncomfortable sharing my bed with anyone other than my husband. The person that replied to your post, "Proudmommy," misunderstands the point that we are making and is viewing the concern from the point of view of a PARENT, not a STEP-PARENT. As step-parents, if we do our homework and read parenting literature we are encouraged to be friends, mentors and counselors to our stepchildren and it is very natural that we do not feel comfortable letting them into our beds!
Good luck, to both of us, striking a sleeping balance that respects our personal boundaries while promoting our love and support for our stepchildren.
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replied January 2nd, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
..but it strikes me as a little odd though.
Are you hearing what t he two of you are saying?
You are uncomfortable seeing your husband or wife's child show affection to THEIR parent.
Does that sound normal?
If you both have issues with your partners child showing them affection or coming to them after a bad dream and sleeping in the same bed, again i encourage you both to re-evaluate your relationships.
When you marry or date someone with a child, you are connected to that child too.
Step parent, although it is not a FULL parent, is still a parent or someone that a child sees as a parent.
I have a step dad, and he loves my brothers and myself as if we were his own children.
But by the sounds of things, you two are only wanting it to be you and your partners and NO children.
But in your situations that is not the case, you are bound to your partners children as well as dating or being married to the one you are with.
Re evaluate your relationships, maybe see a family counsellor to find out why you both feel this way..
Again, i have to ask:
Would you two feel this way if it were your own biological children sharing the same bed with you?
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User Profile
replied January 4th, 2010
Experienced User
I am a stepmother to three great kids and if anyone of them came in my bedroom with a bad dream I would let them sleep with me and there dad. Because When I got with there father they became my children by the way we also have a child of are own.
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Users who thank BabeBlues for this post: ProudMommyof2008 

replied January 4th, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
The response that BabeBlues gave is EXACTALLY what I was trying to get across to the other responder and OP.
You marry the children as well as the spouse you are with when they have children of their own!
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replied January 19th, 2010
Seriously?
Hey ProudMommy, you sound like the kind of person that would also totally FLIP OUT if you found out that YOUR child was sharing the bed with your former spouse and his partner. It is not healthy, it is not ok! You need therapy!

Speak with any professional regarding this issue, and you will find that you are wrong.
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replied January 19th, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
??
If my boyfriend and I were to seperate and he found another woman to be with, I would not FLIP OUT over our son going to sleep in the bed that he would be sharing with his new spouse.
Its his child, that is his father, if he wants to cuddle in the bed that his father just so happens to be in with his new partner, THATS OK WITH ME!
I think your blowing this out of the water saying that I need therapy for the way I feel about these two step parents..

Like I stated above and so did BabeBlues:
'When you marry or have a relationship with someone who has children, you marry or are in a relationship with that child as well."

I would love to know why you feel it is not healthy, for a child to hop into bed due to a bad dream or a morning snuggle with mommy or daddy when a step parent is in the picture though.
Why is it wrong for a child to do that when the parents are divorced?
Would it be okay if the parents were together still?
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replied January 23rd, 2010
Boyfriends kids getting into our bed at stupid 0 clock...
I agree with everyone but proud Mummy (i love my steps) i think you are spot on - proud Mummy- you do sound the type who says one thing now and would do completley the opposite if you were in OUR situations. You are missing the point it isnt about comforting kids the fact is when the kids are not your biological kids no matter how much you care for them it just isnt comfortable having them in bed with you and your partner when they stay!! My boyfriend has 2 kids a girl 7 and boy 4 years 9 months. The girl is wounderfull sleeps really well, however the little boy is terrible he wakes and gets into our bed at stupid o clock eveytime they stay. My partner has been seprated from his ex for over 3 years and for the last 2 and a half his kids have stayed alternate weekends at my house (that my partner moved into). Id like to add they both have their own rooms..My boyfriends Ex is still alone so it may well suit her to have kids in bed with her at all hours...it doesnt suit me.
Fair enough if ill or bad dream and come into our room I think its my partner that should get up and get into bed with whomever isnt feeling right at the time..I would take turns if it where my child too...I do not think the answer is to allow the kids into our bed!! its our space and you are making a rod for your own back...
Before you ask Proud Mummy I am not a parent myself but I am 6 months pregnant and when my boyfriends child gets into bed with us at 3am and is tossing and turning and I cant sleep and have to get up and get into his bed..I draw the line.
Its ridiculous. A) im not comfortanble with this as they are not my flesh and blood. I like my own space with my partner in MY OWN BED!! B) im a light sleeper and C) im 6 months pregnant!!
I am sick and tired of this and have on many occasions discussed his with my partner. I start to dread the kids coming as I know my precious pregnant sleep that is ruined and broken mostly by my own bladder is a complete right off when they stay.
I am so determined that these bad habbits will not happen with my own child. Its absurd at that age. Yes my child may miss his dad and vice versa. If thats the case then he should get up and take his son back to his own bed and stay with him there. As it stands I am the only one that is suffering from all of this and its driving me mad!!!

I intend to speak to my partner when he wakes as I cant have this when the baby arrives. I want to concentrate on getting the baby int a routine not a near enough 5 year old that should be sleeping through the night alone by now!!
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replied January 23rd, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
Fair enough, I get that.
But let me just state for the record, that I do not say one thing and do it completely differently.
I see no issue in letting a spouses child hop into bed with his or her parent. Nor would I have an issue if I personally were in this situation.

But may I just say, that you are only 6 months pregnant.
Routines for ALL babies sometimes do not work.
Trust me on that. I tried for months! to get my son into a sleeping routine, he has been stubborn since day 1, and has never gotten into a daily and nightly routine and he is now 16 months old.
You say now, that you will not have such behaviours of your child sleeping in bed with you, but once that child is actually born, most times the things you say now, change.
I always said that my son won't sleep in bed with us each night. Not because I hate it, but because I see how my niece and nephew are, they were 5 and 6 and still sleeping with mommy and daddy. That didn't seem right to me. But now, my son sleeps in bed with us and sure hes only 16 months, but I like that he snuggles with his father and I. Its not a huge deal to me, and with that said, no I do not intend on him sleeping in bed with us until he is 6 or 8 ot 10. We have a room for him made up with a "Big Boy Bed" and when he turns 2, we plan on getting him used to sleeping in his own bed. But he is still welcome to jump in bed with us.

Can I ask you this, have you thought of the possibility that your boyfriends children -mainly the younger one- misses having daddy living with them, and maybe that is why the younger one jumps into bed more?

Are you going to tell your biological child the same things as he or she is the age of your boyfriends children? Or is he or she an exception because this one is actually yours?

And may I just add, that if you are planning on getting a proper sleeping schedule back on track after your birth, you are in for a great shock...I have not had a good sleep in a year and a half.
I can understand the frustration of it happening every night, and yes I also agree that your boyfriend should start to take his child into his room to get him used to it. But a few times is not going to kill anyone and I dont think its as big of a deal as you make of it.
Its a child, not an infection..

I wish you the best with your own child, I hope you instill the same rules as you have with your step children. And remember, each child is different, you cant base a book to critique each child. And not all babies follow schedules..And I once again, I would not take back how I feel if I were in your situation.
FYI-my boyfriend has a daughter with his ex, she is 8 and although she does not yet spend the night, if she had while she was younger or even at the age she is now, and had a bad dream, I would not get pissy about her coming for some snuggle time with dad or bad dreams or illness. She's her fathers child. We have a room made up for her so she she knows she is welcomed with us when she does eventually spend the night. If we have our own child sleeping in the same bed as us, why wouldn't I welcome my boyfriends daughter too?
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replied August 20th, 2010
I agree with MikeH90 and Bo 2010. The other night my fiance's 8 year old daughter (whom I would do anything in the world for)came in and said she had a bad dream. He invited her to sleep with us in our bed. I got up and left the room because I was very uncomfortable with the situation. I don't feel any child should be sleeping in a bed with their parents, especially an 8 year old. My sister let her kids do it and had a hard time getting them to stop and because of it NEVER got to sleep in bed with her husband, damaging their relationship. Needless to say when I voiced my opinions about her sleeping with us he took her back to her room and she fell right back to sleep and was fine the rest of the night. He was angry though and asked what I would do if it were our child. I strongly believe children shouldn't sleep with their parents that's it. My children will not sleep in our bed. That is our space. I think parents can still show their affection but in other ways.
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replied August 20th, 2010
Active User, very eHealthy
rst2010 wrote:
I agree with MikeH90 and Bo 2010. The other night my fiance's 8 year old daughter (whom I would do anything in the world for)came in and said she had a bad dream. He invited her to sleep with us in our bed. I got up and left the room because I was very uncomfortable with the situation. I don't feel any child should be sleeping in a bed with their parents, especially an 8 year old. My sister let her kids do it and had a hard time getting them to stop and because of it NEVER got to sleep in bed with her husband, damaging their relationship. Needless to say when I voiced my opinions about her sleeping with us he took her back to her room and she fell right back to sleep and was fine the rest of the night. He was angry though and asked what I would do if it were our child. I strongly believe children shouldn't sleep with their parents that's it. My children will not sleep in our bed. That is our space. I think parents can still show their affection but in other ways.


I understand your opinion regarding children sleeping in their own beds; I just think that when its your own child, or when you become a parent for the first time, its all a little different. Things you say now like them not sleeping in your bed, that could change if you ever have your own that could change for any person as well.
When its your child, and when they come to you in the night from a bad dream, I think you might change your mind.
Or perhaps they sleep with you until their asleep and then jsut move them in their bed...or go in their room, and sleep with them until they are sound asleep, then go back to your room.
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replied September 21st, 2010
This is such a sensitive topic for me. My BF and SS (Stepson-I call him my stepson even though we arent married) have been sleeping together recently because BF purchased a house that is very large and spread out. SS isn't used to being in the bedroom right next to BF. So in case of a bad dream, SS is a flight of stairs away from BF.
I have a wonderful relationship with my SS. We've bonded for the past 2 1/2 years. I love him as if he were my own. There have been times that I have slept in the bed with my BF and SS. I don't mind it at all and I don't see anything wrong with it.

But recently, SS's BM ( biological mother) called the DCF on me citing "disorderly conduct with a minor."

So, there are always two sides to this debate. Someone like myself who views my SS as if we were my own but then I have BM who would die if she ever heard me say that.
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replied October 21st, 2010
I have an eleven year old step-son who has limited visitation with his biological mother who changes relationships like going through a kleenex box. His mother's last relationship was primarily with her 1st cousin whom she married in another state friendly to incest. She is constantly seeking married men and ruining families. She has not shown any interest in our son's maturity let alone his progress in education...unless there is a male teacher she can meet up with (I am not exaggerating at all!) She has since divorced her cousin...even though they are still related.

So you may ask what does this have to do with my eleven year old step-son? Upon the parenting plan it clearly states that our son should have separate sleeping arrangements. The biological parent has regularly violated that portion and has my step-son "snuggle with her" to sleep. This seems like an okay gesture from the outside looking in but given the history of this mother this is a nightmare. My son is exuding odd behaviors along with extreme immaturity. He does not relate with his peers and his perspective on females in general is way off. He has stated that he is his biological mother's "lover boy." Should I be concerned that she plans to marry him as well when he gets older? You bet, given the circumstances. My son knows that sleeping with his mom would not be popular among his peers. His reply is, "I will sleep in her closet." Ooooh! In fact, when my husband and I sit down to talk to him about this he is quick to change the subject. He is adamant about protecting his biological mother and her secrets. We have done years of counseling with our son to crack the shell but the grip she has on him is so tight.

Now if the shoe were on the other foot and our son's biological mother did not do this but my husband did, she would make certain to call CPS on him. Such hypocrisy!

At home we have a structured environment and all of our children enjoy their own space plus their own beds. When nightmares have occurred it has been our job as parents to get them comfortable again, in their environment (namely their bedroom-space).
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replied October 27th, 2010
Mike h90
Mike h90 is looking for a solution not just right and wrong. I am a proud parent of two kids one of which is 10 y.o. Thing here is not about loving the kids or not loving the kids, relationship choices and everything else. Break it down it sounds like Mike is talking about boundry issues. I have a brother going through the same problems with his girlfreind who has a 10 yo.
She does the same things as Mike discribes and my brother can not get her to understand his point of veiw.
The step-son coming into a bedroom at night due to a bad dream or illness is understood, to think the child should be pushed aside for the step parent is not only wrong but as Proud stated you shoud reeval that relationship. The problem is boundries in that if the child comes in should they sleep between the two adults, I would say that on the biological parents side of the bed would be more appropriate, that way the child is comforted and the step parent doesn't feel awkward with the sleeping arrangement. In my brother's predictament, his is spending the night with his girlfriend from time to time and he does like her son but he does not want to share the bed with both. He understands the bond between them but at the same time feels uncomfortable. A child at 10 years old should be in their own bed, in 3 years he will be a teenager and I don't believe anybody thinks they should still have a teenager sleeping in their bed with parents at that age. At 10 he needs to know boundries, he has his own room and his own bed and should be in them. I think that at 10 yo if a parent still is allowing it when it is not warranted (housing problems)then love your child or no the parent is being selfish because they can not let go. What type of attachment issues do you think that child may develop?
as far as the whole bathroom thing, my wife didn't flaunt herself in front of our son but she bathed with him and dressed in front of him to a point. That point was when he noticed differances in his and my wife's bodies. She explained the differances (as much as was appropriate) and from then on he was taught to knock, wait before entering the bedroom/bathroom. He was taught the differance between good touching and not allowed (he would poke or grab her breast). We taught him these things when he noticed because we did not want him going to school and inadvertently touching someone because his parents didn't see a problem with it.
We should teach our kids to be respectful of others boundries and what is/is not appropriate. Teaching them these things doesn't mean you don't love them it means that you care enough to not only love them but you love them enough to teach them to grow.
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Users who thank Airyman for this post: happymommyof5 

replied November 8th, 2010
Kids, especially 10 year old should stay in their bed. If a 1o year old wants to sleep in their parents bed it means he has some issues that he's showing with getting in your bed. You should both figure what those issues are and don't let them in your bed, instead talk to him, resolve his issues, and let him sleep in his own bed.
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replied November 17th, 2010
Here's my question: I'm dating my boyfriend of 7 months with two girls, 14 and 11. I see him once a week (saturday into sunday). His 11 year old is very attached to him and understandably so because their mother died 4 years ago. In the 7 months, I have grown closer to his girls and on the one night that I come over and stay over, his 11 year old wants to sleep with us. It's not from a bad dream, being sick or anything other then she wants to sleep with us and I have no doubt it's out of comfort of being like a family or afraid her father is going to leave her. If I go over on a Friday and stay until Sunday (which is rare) I don't mind her being there one night. I do however mind that he won't ask her to sleep in her own room with her bigger sister on the one night that I am there since they get 6 nights together without me. I am a parent of one boy and, by all means, he comes first. I love my boyfriend's girls and do a lot of things with them in the time I am there. I just need adult time with him which (because we are busy during the day) is in bed because I won't see him for 7 more days. I can't imagine this is a cold and heartless request and I can't figure out how to approach it since the habit is forming and just recently she's been laying between us. Any suggestions?
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replied January 17th, 2011
Mike H90 I am going through a very similar situation as you at the moment. My BF of 2 yrs has a daughter who is almost 7 who I love very much and would do anything for. I also have 2 older children myself. My BF's daughter comes to visit every other weekend and has done since she was 4 usually staying at my house. I have 3 bedrooms and up until recently my children slept in those rooms and my BF's daughter slept in a camp bed in our room and often got into bed with us on a morning. I have always felt very uncomfortable with this but because of lack of space had to put up with it. Recently my daughter has left home to work away and therefore I now have a spare room which I have offered to decorate and make nice for BF's daughter. He has said that he will ask her and talk to her about it but I know that given a choice she will choose to stay in our room. I feel that he should take control of this situation and tell her that this is her new room and try to make it exciting for her but he refuses to push the issue and is letting her make the decision.
Basically this is causing huge rows for us and is quite likely to split us up, I feel that it is not healthy for a 7 yr old to be in our room, I am also very concerned how her natural mother would feel about the situation as if the boot was on the other foot I would not like it. I was brought up that parents room is private, unless your ill or having a nightmare of course. But like you my feelings seem to fall on deaf ears and its likely that I may lose 2 people I love but I feel very strongly about this.
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replied January 26th, 2011
ok, so I am a stepmom of 2, legal guardian of 1 niece & have 2 biological children of my own. My children (biological, step, & niece) have been always welcome in my bed IF there was a problem. Over the last year (since we've lived in the same house) my 4 yr old step daughter sleeps with us every night. This for me is an issue. Being that we are parents of 5 our alone time is limited & I believe that she (our 4 year old is less independent & more insecure because of it. However, she has always slept in the bed with a parent & continues to do so when with her mother (who also tells her that she is supposed to sleep in bed with mommy or daddy & not in her own bed). For me with the 4 yr old it wasn't a huge issue for her to sleep with us especially in the beginning I thought it was importanat as this was all a big change.....however when the 11 yr old step son comes in our bed with the 4 year old it is quite awkward & physically impossible to sleep (fortunately that does not happen often although he still sleeps with his mother when he's with her). All of this has created some question with my own children as they have always been taught to sleep in their own bed. I personally don't think it's healthy for parents & or children to share the same bed nightly. I say all this to say, there are many different feelings that come up. It's an adjustment for everyone involved parent, step parent, children step children. Communication is the key combined with a whole lot of love & understanding. I don't believe there is a blanket right or wrong. I believe it depends on individual feelings & what will work best for the new family. I am currently struggling with getting my partner to agree that having children inour bed all night every night may not be best for us in the long run. This brings a lot of worry & concern for him about the 4yr old not wanting to stay in our home if she can't sleep with us as her mom (who is still alone) still encourages/allows it when she's with her (of course there are many different things that she tells her that I don't necessarily agree with) plus it's a comfort thing for him as well & I have to respect all of those things & we have to proceed with caution. I will say that if this was only a once in a while thing or just every other weekend I would welcome it & be grateful that the child was comfortable enough with me to want to be in bed with both of us & try to use this as a time for some sort of bonding between all of us or step aside & allow them to have some alone time which in turn would give me some time as well....im up for suggestions with my situation & just want to say to the new step parents, hang in there. The transition is tough/scarey for everyone involved. Be open & onest & I don't think that it's that uncommon to be uncomfortable with children that are not biologically yours in your bed especially @ an older age or if you've had some bad experiences with the other biological parent.....
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replied March 29th, 2011
I am stepmom to a truly fantastic 6-year-old boy and have no biological children of my own. However, it makes me sad to hear the parental hypocrisy in some of these posts. 1) No parent I know, good or bad, enjoys being judged for their parenting choices or concerns. 2) If those posters questioning the love and commitment of the step-parents in question truly thought they should be responding as a biological parent, would they also allow them a bio-parental voice? Because if my stepson were my own biological child, I would have the right to say that I disagree with how to respond to the situation. Parents sometimes disagree, biological or step. In this case, while I understand the philosophy behind co-sleeping, it was not how I was raised. I can see benefits to either side of this issue, but my experience was on one side, I cannot sleep with any child in the bed (elbows and heat) and I have little to no luck sleeping on couches. Even as a biological parent I seriously doubt I would think co-sleeping is a reasonable option for my family since I would also be taking my own health into consideration. As a step-parent, it is not any different in that sense. I think other things the step-parents have written is honest, even if unpopular. Both of my stepson's parents are in the picture, and both are committed to him. That means it is respectful of me to recognize that, although I absolutely adore him, he is not my child. He has parents. I have a role, but it is not as a primary parent. And, in maintaining that role, it is difficult to ignore the fact that boundaries are sometimes different - a parent could perhaps change clothing in front of him, a step-parent may have to think about how the stepchild would process that. Some don't see a difference, some do. It's a reality. And finally, it is important to respect the INTENT of the step-parent. ProudMommy, you seem to have a hair-trigger with your protective anger. Not every adult who advocates for their needs is a step-parent, and not every step-parent who advocates for their needs is a selfish should-be singleton. On the contrary, they could also potentially be a great role model for a child. My best friend has many, many memories of the special mother-and-child outings she had with her mom, the breakfasts they'd cook together, and the general feeling that her mother would be there for her no matter what, which still holds true. However, her mom did not compromise attending the ballet or taking adventurous, kid-free trips while her children were young. They managed just fine with grandparents or an aunt. She expected them to entertain themselves when she had guests and they knew that on Friday evenings she had a particular show that she watched, regardless of what was going on. She also made it clear from early on that their parents' bedroom was an adult-only space. That space was reserved for her to be in a relationship with her husband. Because of this they understood she was also a person with individual needs and desires. They understood that they were able to take care of themselves if need be, and, perhaps as a result, they are healthy, strong, independent individuals with great respect for their parents and their parents' relationship. As I said before, I can see the benefits of either side. Please be careful to judge. Having a child does not make your parental viewpoint the only parental viewpoint.
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