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12 year old sleeps in his dads bed

(73 Posts)
harpej Thu 01-Aug-13 13:38:35

My boyfriend's 12 year old son regularly wakes at about 4.30am and comes and gets in bed with him. He usually says he has an ache or pain which is why he has to sleep with him. Apart from the fact that my boyfriend is shattered the next day, I am worrying about this happening when we all go away on holiday soon and how I will deal with it.

I must admit that I feel extremely uncomfortable when this has happened when I have stayed the night, as I feel he is now too old to be sleeping in our bed.

I don't have any children of my own so am worried that maybe I am being unreasonable. And how do I broach the subject with my boyfriend?? I don't want to be critical of his parenting.

Advice needed please.


curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 16:54:41

"China . I suspect that means you don't respect my parenting. I am just going to have to learn how to live with that particular disappointment."

Or mine. My grief, however, is controllable.

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 16:57:28

Seeing as I'm not looking for anyone's respect I can live with that toowink

Pagwatch Thu 01-Aug-13 16:57:43

Op, I think it's going to be easiest if you just ask him how the two of you should handle it if it happens.
He may be so used to it that it hasn't dawned on him that it might be logistically awkward.
Equally do you think his son will continue to do that if he knows you are there ?

runningonwillpower Thu 01-Aug-13 16:58:47

This is one of those situations where I see both points of view.

I can understand that a 12 year old sometimes likes to cuddle up with his Dad. And it would be very sad if he felt he couldn't.

But I can also understand why a grown woman wouldn't want to share a bed with someone else's 12 year old.

However, he must be old enough to understand the compromise of no sharing if that space is already taken up. It doesn't have to be sold as a lifetime exclusion - just a practical solution to three people in the bed don't fit.

Pagwatch Thu 01-Aug-13 16:59:19

We could make a support group in case it gets tough and we need to hug it out [sadface]

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 17:00:16

"However, he must be old enough to understand the compromise of no sharing if that space is already taken up. It doesn't have to be sold as a lifetime exclusion - just a practical solution to three people in the bed don't fit."

Does that work both ways? grin

Owllady Thu 01-Aug-13 17:03:44

I can see both sides too

I am giggling about the loss of respect for parents over it though. I think it's such a lovely thing to cuddle your children, no matter what their age. If i go to bed early my older ones love to come in for a cuddle and a chat smile the youngest would stay in there though so i discouraging it....

Lackedpunchesforever Thu 01-Aug-13 17:04:14

It's a sad world when children aren't allowed to curl up in bed beside a parent if they require comfort and closeness.

Pagwatch Thu 01-Aug-13 17:07:22


The real shocker is DS2 who is 17 and still rocks up once his alarm has gone off. Dh gets kicked out of bed to go and fetch the hot drinks grin

We bought a really big bed years ago. It's fab.

Spottypurse Thu 01-Aug-13 17:09:20

I'm another DP kicker-outer when DD comes in grin he goes and makes us all a cuppa and brings it back up

Jan45 Thu 01-Aug-13 17:11:12

I'm not dishing children wanting cuddles from parents and creeping into their beds at 4.30am but if I was seeing a bloke and that happened, I would not be happy to either share the bed with him or sleep in his (a bed is not a bed, it's someone else's bed with their smells and god knows what else)!

Surely, unless the child is ill, the b/f can make a compromise when the OP stays over, it won't do his son any harm to spend some nights sleeping in his own bloody bed, he's 12!

5madthings Thu 01-Aug-13 17:15:12

we had three kids in our bed this morning... just doesnt bother me and is entirely natural.

if i want space i kick dp out or he often ends up in bed with ds4 as he likes a cuddle in the night. if either of us wants peace and quiet we will decamp down to the sofa.

dd has just started going to bed in her own bed, its a toddler bed at the end of our bed so she isnt far away but it feels very odd to go to bed and not have a child in there! tho at some point in the night she then ends up in our bed anyway.

after 14yrs and five children i am relaxed about where my kids sleep so long as we all get some sleep. they grow up too fast anyway.

i remember being ill as a teen and sleeping in my parents bed etc.

runningonwillpower Thu 01-Aug-13 17:16:36

Curlew - I get your point and in our family one of the parents (probably him) would just slope off.

But in step-relationships it does seem to get more complicated and a practical compromise has to be sought.

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 17:31:06

Pag-we might have togrin

We are another big bed house hold, super kings rockgrin

5mad-how is she in a toddler bed already??shock sad you'll have to have anotherwink

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 01-Aug-13 17:40:10

It's a sad world when children aren't allowed to curl up in bed beside a parent if they require comfort and closeness.

At 04:30am? I can just imagine if I turned up on my parents doorstep at that time of the morning because I needed comfort and closeness.

It's part of teaching a DC independence, at 12 they are making the transition between child and adult - there's a time and a place for seeking comfort , and 04:30am when Dad is already snuggled up in bed with his partner is not the time or the place. I bet the same 12 year old would die rather than have cuddles from Dad at the school gate in front of his mates!

Are there really parents out there who encourage pre- teen DCs to climb into bed with them regularly? I thought it was a Disney-Dad thing; obviously not!

5madthings Thu 01-Aug-13 17:41:42

i know valium she is 2.5 and tbf she only starts the night there... and i lay with her until she falls asleep.. but i was sorting out our bedroom and she was very excited by a digger bedset i found so i suggested making up the toddler bed and she wanted to try it! she is normally in our bed by midnight. it does feel odd and like the end of an era.

lol at having another, the boys would like us to have another but dp says no. rationally i as well, but as i have been tidying away baby stuff and merry is starting to sleep in the toddler bed my womb is doing that broody/achey thing blush its not happening tho, five is enough and merry is insistent she is still a baby girl, she snuggled up and slept on my lap this afternoon, hasnt dont that for a while! she is stretched out on my legs now, would be nice if it werent so hot and sticky!

seriously tho if i was a step parent and my partners kids did this i would just get up and go sleep elsewhere. it wont last forever.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 01-Aug-13 17:42:39

So all of you who have big beds and bed share - this includes non-blood relatives (step parents and the like)?

I'm wondering just how quickly SS would be knocking on my door if my 12 year old DD disclosed that she shared a bed with my DP!

Pagwatch Thu 01-Aug-13 17:45:35


Yes, absoloutely. I quite understand that in a step relationship it is more complicated and requires more thought/negotiation.

China, you are being very absoloute about how other people express closeness and affection.
My 17 year old DS1 arranged a cycle trip with five off his friends from Munich to Venice. He is very independent. Our willingness to hug him whenever we thought he needed it hasn't stunted him at all.

Is it possible that you are making judgements based entirely upon what works for you in an oddly superior manner?

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 01-Aug-13 17:48:27

I would have no problem with this. Are you sure you don't feel uncomfortable because it means you sharing a bed with a child not related to you?

5madthings Thu 01-Aug-13 17:51:30

My partner works in child protection. Its not unusual for the staff to sit beside the bed of an older child/teen until they fall asleep and then repeat this in the night as necessary. As they are carers the relationship is different to relatives/parents.

But equally I would and do happily let my children co-sleep with relatives/close friends if its needed.

merrymouse Thu 01-Aug-13 17:51:36

I think a 12 year old is old enough to understand that his father and partner need some alone time on holiday,even if only before breakfast.

It's one thing having your 12 year old in bed if you are single or have a long standing relationship. It's quite another if you are in the early stages of a new relationship.

The 4.30 am snuggling can always be replaced by less nocturnal snuggling.

CountryGal13 Thu 01-Aug-13 17:51:37

Yeh, as a step-parent, I'd be uncomfortable with that too. My step child is a 12 year old girl and I'd be pretty shocked if she climbed into our bed at 4:30 in the morning. I'm sure it'd be different if you were both his bio parents but, like it or not, things are different in step families. Puberty will kicking in soon and then I shouldn't think he'll be wanting to sleep with his dad anyway...

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 01-Aug-13 17:52:12

No more than expat did - she not only said that a bed is a bed but also made it clear that co-sleeping was a non-negotiable for her in the same way as I am - all be it we are on opposite sides of the same coin!

As I said, each to their own - but telling the OP she deserves to be dumped if she doesn't accept her DOs choices without question is indicative of someone who has limited experience of Stepparenting.

Petal02 Thu 01-Aug-13 17:52:35

Agree with the posters who point out you can't expect a grown woman to share her bed with someone else's 12 yr old son!!! And I'm not surprised she wouldn't want to sleep in his bed either, yukky or what????

It's one of those things that just doesn't sit well in a step situation.

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 17:54:11

Wind your neck in, China, I didn't say she deserved to be dumped but that I would and you just honed in and got personal. Get a grip.

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