To wonder why having a bed is a cp issue?(79 Posts)
I keep reading that one of the main things checked when ss visit is if the child has a bed and what state it is in.
Would they be upset if the child shared a bed with a sibling or the parents, or had a mattress on the floor?
(My two have their own beds, but both regularly sleep in my or each others beds - it isn't a huge leap to imagine this happening so much that someone wouldn't bother with wasting the space for another bed. Me n my sister shared a bed when we were under 5 in the late 80s, because my mum was worried I would hurt her climbing into her cot every night for a cuddle and we turned out fine.) (we are also thinking of getting that Ikea bed where the bottom mattress is on the floor to reduce the possibility of the kids hurting themselves falling out of the top bunk) (we have just started HE and I have a history of mental health problems that have led to a surprise SS visit in the past, so there is the slight possibility of the wrong end of the stick being got)
I think it's the idea that they have their own bed available to sleep in that's the issue, AFAIK. A bed that is clean and dry, with sheets on it.
One of my children really hates to sleep alone and will get in with their sibling or me most nights, but they have their own bed too.
I don't think SS would be bothered at all that the children shares their bed out of choice, but having their own place to sleep is part of recognising them as an individual in their own right, IMHO.
A mattress on the floor may well be a good option if they tend to fall out/hate bed rails, as long as it has cleanish bedding on it.
Just pondering, of course.
When ss visited my house, they put on the report that my DC didn't have beds. They did, but they'd pulled the mattresses off to make a trampoline.
To me it was obvious that they did have somewhere to sleep, it just took 5 mins to put the mattresses back
Haha, I went a bit ott with the brackets there...
I bloody hope they would take it into account if a child only had a mattress on the floor (unless valid reason like bed broke and new one being delivered/just moved haven't had chance to put beds up).
When I was 4 and under, I was being physically and emotionally abused by my 'mother' and her friend. My 'bed' was a scabby mattress on the floor with a sheet over. My 'mothers' friend's DD who shared my room had a proper bed in the corner and got fed proper meals whilst I had dry bread and water, when I was fed.
They should be looking out for signs like this as it is a sign that a child is not being cared for properly.
perhaps I take it too literally, but the 'own bed'? I take that to mean 'own space' as opposed to sleeping in the bath/dog kennel/shed.
WRT the bed you are thinking of getting, I think they would realise that this is the design of the bed and not a lack of bed itself, right?
Also if a child is climbing in with someone else, thats not the same as not having a bed provided for them. What if they decided that they did want to sleep on their own but couldn't because there was no bed for them?
I had a bit of a panic about this as mine have two singles pushed together to make a double. Dd's room does not have a bed and never has. I was really surprised this would be seen as an issue, then I gota bit of a grip. Large, clean bed with young siblings sharing is probably fine. Smaller, less clean bed with teens sharing - probably also fine but may be an indicator of neglect or abuse, to be put into wider context. Less about the bed and more about responding to their needs iyswim.
Apart from anything else, I doubt ss have the resources to worry about children whose biggest worry is having to compromise on which duvet cover is going on this week
Some people may choose to spend their money on a decent mattress and do away with a bed frame on grouinds of affordabily. It wouldnt just be a bed they looked at - I can hardly see the SS whipping away a child from a perfectly clean set of bed linen on the grounds that the mattress was on the floor..
It should only be an issue if it is part of a wider picture.
Unfortunately it has become a bit of a 'thing' since the Lamming reports.
It is not a helpful observation to make if it is simply a box to be checked.
My two youngest share a bed. My 4 year old is a bit to little to go in the top bunk and I am not buying new beds so he shares with the two year old. This is not a CP issue.
If their room was cold and damp and smelt of urine and they slept on a mattress under a pile of coats, it would be.
The reasons for checking are sound though. There have been cases were the downstairs has been clean and well cared for. The parents well presented. Everything looks fine.
Until the police are called on a dreadful incident and they go upstairs and find the filth and deprivation.
I know of families where they just have a huge mattress on the floor for everyone. It is not common but not shocking in the breastfeeding/cosleeping/babywearing/home educating types of families. Evn if a child technically had a bed, if it wasn't used it would likely be covered in toys, clothes etc.
In fact, I have a friend ith a child who will only sleep on the futon (set up as a sofa) in her room and shuns the top bunk where she is meant to sleep. Friend was considering turning the top bunk into a playhouse...should I advise her against it!
So how would they take my house? - DD 16 months wont sleep alone (never has - just cried) so we dismantled the bedframe and put the Kingsize mattress on the floor with another single bed mattress alongside so there is room for DP, me and DD with room to spare!
I think its part of the bigger picture of them having space and somewhere safe, comfy and clean to retreat to and sleep.
Its not just about bed or no bed. But if a child has a dirty old matress on the floor in the corner of a room then that would probably start alarm bells ringing.
i had ss around a year or so ago. the sw told me that they HAD to check that the beds had bedding on etc. she said i would be amazed at how many children didn't have appropriate bedding .
it is a mandatory part of the visit, and the sw looked embarassed at asking, but we both knew that she had to.
(and yes, of course there were no issues AT ALL with the dc's rooms.)
At what age do they need their own bed? My friend cosleeps with her 18mo and as this is what she always intended to do, has not bothered to buy a cot. She will buy a bed when her ds wants his own. Would this be a ss issue?
Lol BritaPerry - we're breastfeeding/cosleeping/babywearing but DEFINITELY not into HE - I'm a teacher myself - and am back at work and not at all hippy - just had a baby that would not stop crying/would not sleep unless we did these things!
* Evn if a child technically had a bed, if it wasn't used it would likely be covered in toys, clothes etc.*
To me, that's a whole issue in itself - why would clothes be on the bed, not in the wardrobe/drawers?
I've worked with SS in the past, and bed sharing isn't an issue unless there is suspicions of sexual abuse. The main thing is that the beds have sheets, sufficent covers and are clean and dry, and that if you are co-sleeping, that the Dc's are provided with the option to sleep in their own bed.
we have never had a cot since ds2 was born and they just slept in with us till about 3yrs of age, we did at some point get a toddler bed that is at the end of our bed, but its never used other than to store clean laundry, numerous hv and midwives have seen this and its not been an issue. ditto when ss where involved after i was hospitalised with pnp with ds4 the lack of a cot or a bed for him was never mentioned and they did look around the bedrooms and saw that he slept in our bed.
Ds1 his own bed, but ds2 still les with us. He's 2.5 and will have his own bed when he's ready or one. I would hope that if Ss were to isit us they would use thei common sense.
SS do not give a toss about the sleeping arrangements in families that have no CP issues. Not having a bed each is not a CP issue in itself.
Yes, like some posters have said, it's about context. If a child doesn't have a bed, or all they have is a urine soaked mattress with no bedding, it's an indicator that one of their key needs isn't being met. How can the child possibly thrive in a household where providing a warm and safe place to sleep isn't seen as an absolute necessity?
kinky why would clothes be on the bed and not in drawers etc, cos i do loads of laundry (with 5 kids) and i bloody hate putting it away so it gets dumped on the bed until i can be arsed to put it away.
Most of the clothes in my house are in piles in washing baskets...we are just too busy doing fun stuff/too lazy to put them away. They are still clean and in good condition. If we do iron, it is just before we put them on.
Soft toys are technically meant to be in a hammock, just lije lego is tecnically meant to be in the trofast. Desn't mean it woukd be at a randomly selected time when someone decided to come and look at us...
I have worked for SS in the past and the type of scenario that would cause alarm includes
-dirty/stained/urine-soaked/stinking mattress with no sheets
- dirty/stained duvet with no cover (and we're talking duvets that are filthy because they have obviously never/rarely had a cover on)
- an obvious lack of space for a child should they wish to sleep on their own
- age-inappropriate bedsharing
- not enough bed space eg. 3 children , 1 single bed (if theres no co-sleeping)
I'm a social worker and if I visited and found children sharing a bed, it wouldn't necessarily be an issue: I would need to look at the context and why it was the case, ensure the children were happy about it etc. The point that there are individual beds for each person if they want them is important, and I would possibly look into why children were so keen to share, but I used to bunk in with my sis sometimes when little so understand it from the fun point of view. Agree that clean and comfortable is also important. The main thing is that you can show you are able to consider and meet each child's needs separately, and make changes if needed.
It is easy to tell when visiting homes whether a child has an adequate bed. They need to be able to get to the bed/mattress, ie not in a room full of rubbish/broken furniture/junk, and they need to have clean(ish) and adequate coverings for the season.
My HV didn't like it when DS was 1 and had a bedside cot attached to my bed, and a futon mattress in his room (because he never ever slept there - we'd just moved due to EA, and I thought he'd be more settled in with me where he'd always been).
Then when he was 2 and I mentioned to my (new) HV that I was planning to get him a mattress to sleep on for now and buy a bed frame when he stopped rolling out of it, (as suggested by MNers!) she was a bit touchy about that too Perhaps the SS thing is why, then. She told me he'd soon learn not to fall out of bed - well, he's stopped now, but he's now 4! We had duvets down by the side of the bed as it was a nightly occurrence at one time...
"there are individual beds for each person if they want them is important"
What if there aren't? What if two infant age children share a double?
SS don't wander the streets, peering through windows, looking for bad housekeeping. They come in to assess if a child is being properly cared for when a concern is raised. Bed-sharing is one factor, not the only one.
Ds didn't use a cot/bed from when he was about 7-8 months until he was 19 months.
Problem was he was climbing out, and I decided after a couple of bumps he was safer in a mattress on the floor than in a cot. Once we had moved house and we had space he got a toddler bed.
I would expect that sort of reason (combined with it was a good cot mattress with blankets and sheets and his toys) would be good enough.
It was also better for tidying away when we had house viewings, but that was only a nice side effect.
He still prefers to climb in with us a 5yo than stay in his own bed. But he does start the night in it.
Failure to provide and maintain a proper bed can also be a sign of not coping. I don't mean the weeks we all have where the bedding isn't changed as promptly as it probably should, I mean just not able to keep on top of washing and cleaning to the extent where it's very unhygienic.
<eyes our bed, which really needs changing, but can't face it without DH's long arms to sort the king size duvet>
Oh dear. Well I'm glad SS didn't come round when we moved. We cosleep (may I tentatively put coslept? DS did last night all in his own bed!) and the cotbed was in the very delayed shipping container so DS was in with us or had a crappy travelcot mattress on the floor because he climbs out of cots.
He also had no high chair (booster seat) and we lived with virtually no stuff.
It needs to be taken in context. If a child wants their own bed and doesn't get one, or the cosleeping is unsafe then it's an issue.
What counts as an innappripriate age for bed sharing? As they get older mine have bern happy to go into iwn rooms but when poorly will hop back in with us. I remember being poorly and sharing my parents bed, i was certainly school age, maybe 7?
All I know on the subject is that someone I know (who was pretty inadequate in lots of ways, very long story, who used to bend my ear when I was her captive audience), complained that the social workers had used it against her that her children didn't have a single bed each, with their own covers and bedding etc. She has since actually lost custody of the children and they are in foster care. Now obviously there was much, much more to it than the fact they didn't have a single (specifically single, they had a double) bed each, but it was a factor in amongst the myriad of other issues the family had.
Shrieeek, infant age children can't really express that they want their own bed. I think the indicators of something not quite right are older children who don't want to share a bed with an adult anymore (typically "mummy's boyfriend"), for example, or children whose only comfort in life is being able to share a bed with a sibling. Not two little ones sharing a big bed, or kids sneaking into their sibling's bed at night to tell stories to each other when they should be asleep. Or - like my friend's sons - identical twins, who like to go to sleep with at least some part of their body touching (this is very sweet to see, by the way!)
Sorry I meant infant age (ie 4-7ish)
5mad - I read that as more amongst siblings, so a 13 year old sharing with a 3 year old (especially if different sexes) would be something which would start alarm bells ringing. 2 young children sharing would be fine.
DS and DD share a bed as I'e mentioned. DS is coming up to 6 and DD is 3. If either of them said they wanted their own bed we could sort something out but it wouldn't be straight away - there isn't a fully made up bed waiting iyswim
5Madthings - when I stay over at my parents' house, I still get into bed with my mum in the morning (and dad brings us a cup of tea and some toast!) Unless my son has got there first...
I reckon at the point when children don't want their parents cuddling them in bed is the point at which it is inappropriate ie different for everyone
Shrieeek, the key thing is that if (when?) either of your DC want their own bed, you will sort it out. If children's wishes on this front were being ignored, I'd bet good money that this wasn't the only area where their wishes and needs weren't being met
yes that's what I assumed. After all what would they do anyway, take the children? I hardly think so! They'd say get another bed. It's just the terms used "lack of bed each" made me think.
Lol at you getting in bed with your mum. Do you turn horizontal and kick your legs?
My 10, 7 and 4 yr old (all boys) would and do share a bed sometimes, i dont let them do it on a school night. Tonight dd trief to get in bed with ds4. I took her into my bed, where she sleeps as he was already asleep. Good job i did as he spectacularly vomitted a bit ago and have had ti shower him, change bed, clean mattress and floor! Had dd been in there she too would have been puked on (boak)
Shriek - for instance, a case I worked on the mother suffered from anxiety and had a 3 year old and an 8 year old share her bed. She used them for reassurance at night and they had nowhere else provided for them to sleep, despite the 8 year old expressing the need for his own bed. There were a lot of other issues at play in the case, but this was an important factor. As other posters have mentioned, context is important and each case is different.
Social services really ain't going to be bothered about normal parents bedroom arrangements, but will be interested to see the bedroom get up of families of have other issues such as alcohol/drug misuse, schedule 1 offenders as partners etc, as it can build a clear picture of what is lacking for the child. A 3 year old whose bed is a dirty mattress with no bedding is going to be some concern for SS, especially if there are other problems within the family.
Also, in some cases it can demonstrate where the priorities lie. We have had instances where a mother has had a CCG worth a fair bit, and has used it for partying, or an iPhone etc, and the children have been left without a bed, as all the money has been spent on other things deemed more important iykwim.
Shrieeek, no, I snuggle...
In our house, DD is the horizontal leg kicker; DS spoons; DH sprawls over the whole bed and fidgets. We are not good co-sleepers, much more a morning cuddle family
DD is 11 she has a whole double bed. She frequently manages to fall out of it. She would be much better on a mattress on the floor.
We had a big mattress on the floor until recently, never thought it was an issue at all. Now we have bed bases so there is a king sized bed and a single joined together to make a bed for all 4 of us (dds are 5 and 7). There is one single bed in the dds room, not always made up, but usually, but neither of them want to sleep there. I could put another bed there, or a double, or bunks, but it would just make the room even smaller so am putting it off until they want to stop co-sleeping. Quite a shock to think this would be frowned on by ss!
She'd love it, hates the floor space the double takes up. Unfortunately it is also the gust room and I can't see GPs being happy on the floor.
Premier Inns second child beds are mattresses on the floor. DD2 declares them far comfier than the expensive holiday inns folding double which had to be shared with DD1
We choose to put our collage mattresses on the floor as our bed frames were so bad they gave us back ache.
My ds is on a mattress on the floor. I don't want to spend money on a bed when he's perfectly safe, warm comfortable and happy where he is. I shove the mattress under ds2's bed during the day so they have loads of floor space for play in their bedroom.
Really - as long as children are safe, loved and have a comfortable place to sleep then SS have no business to comment on the furniture or lack thereof in a home. In itself lack of a bed frame isn't indicative of anything.
It's not beds that is the issue - it's that everyone has somewhere safe, clean and appropriate to sleep.
A home where no one had thought about where a child would and they just slept wherever they dropped would be a worry - a futon on the floor for a co-sleeper or young siblings sharing a bed wouldn't be.
Thinking back to when I was little, the worst times in my life were when I didn't have a proper bed. I had a z-bed for a time, which was horrible, and co-incided with living with someone who didn't clothe or feed us. Another time I had a chair instead of a bed, also a very low point. Incidentally, this was when SS were heavily involved, as were in familial care.
Friends of mine had a cot quilt each, and regularly had dog shit under/near their beds. Also heavy SS involvement, never taken away. The cot quilt thing always stuck in my memory as particularly awful. They were very resourceful kids with a heavily alcoholic mother. They could find ways of getting food etc. but bedding is a fundamental that outsiders don't have access to, so don't know when a child needs a bit extra.
Like others have pointed out I don't think SS would be alarmed if bed sharing was the only thing happening. My 8 year old twins share a bed. At the moment there is no other choice as the other bed broke, but even when the bed was there they still slept together!
I've also had DS2 only on a mattress for over a year as he broke two beds (he has ASD and loves to bounce.) Getting a bunk bed and a trampoline for the garden seems to have solved that problem!
I think you are being unreasonable to wonder this.
A moment's reflection should tell you why. If a child doesn't have a bed, it does raise question marks about what else that child doesn't have.
But the threshold for removing a child is very high - child must be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
I agree with everyone else who says it is about context - if its an issue of a child sleeping on a mattress or sharing with siblings, because that is what the child wants and that child is fed and loved - absolutely no problem.
But if the child has no bed because parents are fundamentally neglecting all his needs then that is very bad. A warm, clean place to sleep at nights is fundamental to a child's well being. It doesn't really matter if that involves a bed frame or not.
I really don't think most or all of the situations described here even come close to the situations where this is an issue. I watched the Protecting our Children series on BBC2 earlier in the year which followed social workers. The first episode showed a child of I think 3-4 who didn't have his own bed. In fact he didn't even have a bedtime. The parents let him run till he dropped, and then he slept where he dropped, in his clothes. The parents themselves had a bed, of course; in fact they had an iPad but it didn't seem to occur to them that their son might benefit from actually being put to bed, in a bed.
The social workers arranged for a bed to be bought for them, and delivered. On the next visit it was still in pieces waiting to be assembled. That child was removed from them and, as I remember, thrived with foster parents. There were many issues there but the lack of a bed was emblematic of the absence of any care or thought for their son. As I said, very different to the scenarios people are talking about here.
YANBU to wonder.
I had an erm.. social services scare and all sorts of things went through my mind. For instance someone once told me that a SW once commented on her piles of clothes. I had piles of clothes in my bedroom. So I had a little speech prepared for the unlikely event that the SW wanted to look in there. I was going to say:
"We prefer to buy furniture as we can afford it rather than get into debt. With a baby on the way a wardrobe for this room isn't a priority. I keep the clean Jumpers folded here, T.Shirts are under the bed in these crates and this bag contains dirty things for washing"
Needless to say, my prissy little speech was not needed.
As others have said, they are looking for an overall picture that indicates abuse or neglect. Your Ikea bed sounds fine.
That said: complacency is never recommended. You were right to ask.
Wen I had a visit from ss they
Checked the state of her room / bed etc. I'm sure they only check to make sure they actually have one and it's clean and not soiled/ filthy etc. yanu! Don't worry!
A bed is a statement of your attitude to your child - it's where they go when they're asleep and most vulnerable.
It doesn't have to be a perfectly crisp, white linen confection.
No-one on here has said anything worrying - 'siblings like to share' - you got them a double, to be more comfy. 'They climb, or fall' - mattress moved to floor to be safer, or futon bought. 'My kids cosleep' - large spread of mattresses so everyone has enough space to be comfortable.
It doesn't have to be perfect - just warm, clean and appropriate.
I've seen why SS look at beds, in the form of a friend's nieces' room. She was house-sitting for her brother and SIL once over and phoned me to ask me to come over because she's found something that made her worried for her niece's. Bear in mind her SIL had specifically told her not to go in the kids' room, here, and she'd only opened the door to drop in some clean clothes that she'd washed for them - I'm glad she did.
The rest of the house was okay - not great, but okay. Mum and Dad's room was beautiful. The girl's room was disgusting.
The smell from the sheets and the mattresses made me gag - no bed frames in either case. The carpet was stained, mouldy and damp. The walls were, literally, smeared in shit. There was no light bulb and the window was blocked by a broken wardrobe and a broken dining room table.
That couple were putting their preschool aged daughter's to bed each night on stinking mattresses on mouldy carpet in a room with no light source.
It was horrendous to see, and made depressingly worse by the contrast to the parent's own room. It said, in one snap-shot, exactly what they thought about their children and exactly what their priorities were.
If we'd obeyed mum, though, and stayed out of their room, I'd have dismissed my friend's concerns, told her rein in her overly-picky house-keeping standards and she would never have summoned the nerve to call SS, and those children would still be living like that. As it is, they're safe and happy with their grandma, as, no shock, SS found a myriad of other issues when they started digging.
and that is why they inspect rooms ginny - it's all too common
Ginny, that is awful - but thank you for sharing it. I do get slightly irritated and exhausted by these threads where perfectly respectable caring parents, who will never get entangled with social services, start clucking about 'ooh, what will ss say about me, are they going to take my little Timmy into care' despite countless posts from people with ss experience assuring them that it is all about context.
Child neglect is usually evidenced by a cumulation of issues, not just one. All of us have empty fridges sometimes, but if your fridge was empty every single time a social worker visited, she might want to know why. It's normal for our children to get headlice, but a child who is constantly infested, with no apparent attempt to treat it, would raise alarm bells. Some families choose to let their pets sleep on the beds, but if a child was forced to sleep in the dogbed, questions would be asked. It's not difficult to understand.
Sorry if I'm being narky. It's just that it all helps this idea that social workers just swoop in and grab children for ridiculous reasons that defy common sense.
My DSD (17) sleeps on a mattress on the floor. We've offered to get her a bed (in fact offered may be putting it too softly), but she says she doesn't want one. Every so often she brings up the fact that she doesn't have a bed, usually in the company of others, as a way of making herself sound like a deprived child. Cue me saying "you keep refusing one!" and still probably looking like a bad parent. It is maddening. I guess we should get SS involved...
sorry, I was being a bit flippant there - I hope I haven't offended anyone. I do seriously wonder what "other people" (her friends' mums...) must think about DSD not having a bed, though!
I watched a series of programmes recently called protecting our children about social workers doing just that.
Anyway it followed one little boy. His parents had not bought him a bed. He had to share the dog bed! So social services went and bought a bed but the dad had to put it together. The dad didn't put it together.
Having a place of your own to sleep is a basic requirement. It's a sign of neglect if that's not happening.
My kids have their own beds. It doesn't stop the youngest coming in with me at times though. That's ok.
Our daughter briefly slept with just a mattress on the floor (no bed frame) but it wasn't a money or space issue. She was really young (a year old) and I was afraid she might roll off the bed in the middle of the night and hurt herself. I reasoned that I'd rather her fall nine inches from the top of the mattress to the floor than two feet from a mattress lifted off the floor.
Once it became clear that she could stay on the mattress without rolling off, we got her a regular bedframe for the mattress.
Regardless, though, her bed linens were always clean, she always had ample blankets/quilts at her disposal, etc.
For those of you who have mattresses on the floor, do remember to turn them regularly; the reason bed bases are slats/boards with holes is because the bottom of the mattress eventually gets damp without the ability to air. It will become a blissful quagmire for dustmites and more.
Hesterton: We lived in rain-free Los Angeles, USA at the time. No risk of damp there .
We also covered the mattress in one of those allergen-free mattress cover things.
The damp is from us, not the rain... We put out litres of water from our bodies over a few weeks as we sleep...
Maybe I'm being overly fussy!
Oh dear dd 5 does not have a light sauce in her room. She has ASD and wake up in the middle of the night flicking the switches and messing about disrupting her sleep and making her behaviour bad at school. Needless to say she sleeps much better, messes around less. We will put it back when we feel she is ature enough not to do this
Apart from that, though her room is basic (she pulls down ornaments, lights etc), she has a clean bed and basic furniture with some toys, though I take them out at bed time as she messes about with tem
I have beds for my DD and my DS though they are rarely both in their own beds. DD will wander downstairs to watch TV in the night and DS usually comes in with me once I am in bed.
I did once get reported (maliciously) to SS. They came and investigated and I was surprised that the SW did not ask to go upstairs or look in the fridge. Both warranted with the complaint that had been made (though not really because it was lies).
hesterton - our mattresses on the floor are actually on the bedslats on the the floor (so just took off headboard/legs IYSWIM) for just this reason
hesterton-I was thinking about this this morning .My mum always used to fold back all the duvets in the morning and have the windows open to air the beds everyday.People don't seem to do this nowadays
Sleeping arrangements are very complex.
When DS (with autism) was having horrendous issues and we lived in a two-bed DH and I would take turns to sleep with him, or on an air-bed in DD's room.
The HV told me that SS would take a dim view of DH being in DD's room at night because she was eight at the time. We stopped doing it and were quite shocked that it might be an issue. Still don't know what a social worker would have made of that given no other concerns...
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
It's totally irrelevant if your otherwise loved and cared for child has no light in their room, sleeps on a mattress or shares with somebody else.
As has been said already, SWs would only be interested in these things if there were issues causing them to visit in the first place.
I grew up being passed from one bad situation to another. I didn't have my own bed, or often any form of bed, mattress, or sofa. I ranged from newspaper and what I was wearing, to my closest stab at normality; an extendible deck chair (teen in an adults bedroom who couldn't possibly be let sleep anywhere else!) with proper blankets, that tipped up and threatened to catapult you, or drop you in a crumpled heap if you moved and your bum wasn't in exactly the right place.
My existence was always temporary, my life a problem to be solved rather than lived or even enjoyed. Where and often how, I slept, wasn't a matter of any concern, including in fairness, to me.
With hindsight I can see that while Id have thought it the least of my problems at the time, and one of the least obvious, it really was quite a good indicator of what was happening to me, depreciating status from an already low one, and lack of importance or permanence to anyone, which in turn left me open to natural predation.
A child without a natural place to sleep, can be taken off by anyone, to anywhere, at any time, to anyones car or bed, quite reasonably, its not like it should be somewhere else, or something abnormals happing.
Theres a huge difference between a well-loved child in an unconventional situation, (one of mine was allowed to live and sleep in a cardboard box that hed decorated and denned for a weekend because he was having soooo much fun) and a child whos unvalued, a problem, and has no place, permanence, or right to a space to call its own anywhere, drifting through life uncared about.
I've little faith in SS, knowing them (as an adult) to be a post code lottery of good, bad and indifferent, and range from intelligent, educated, and caring, to shockingly dim with poor literacy, and self serving, but honestly, any worried co-sleepers, happy mattress on the floor lot (and my cardboard box dweller) have little to worry about in terms of do they have their own bed, in itself, its really not the actual issue.
Thanks justgettingonwithit - that's a great reassurance as I do worry. And I want to take home and cuddle your younger self
That 'protecting our children' shocked me when the parents had a bed but the child didn't. I think it depends what context it is in.
Justgettingonwithit, that is a brilliant post and says it all. I am sad for your younger self and sad that no one rescued you. I hope you are a case of 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'.
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