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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.


ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 01-Aug-13 17:55:48

petal - if nothing else, 12 is the age of wet dreams and other pubescent joys; I can't imagine ever being close enough to my DSS for him to be comfortable sharing his morning glory with me!

Petal02 Thu 01-Aug-13 17:56:48

Can I just ask if posters would find it appropriate for a man to share a bed with his 12 yr old step daughter? Not a good idea, is it?

Same principle as the OP, but with the genders reversed.

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 17:58:48

I'd say the same no matter what the child's gender.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 01-Aug-13 18:00:36

And if I were the father and you made a big deal out of it, I'd dump you fast.

I'm struugling to read that as anything other than personal - it's hardly hypothetical, is it?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 01-Aug-13 18:01:42

I'd say the same no matter what the child's gender.

But what would SS say? A big risk for a stepparent, don't you think?

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 01-Aug-13 18:02:55

I suppose I would be of the opinion that SC should not have to grow up faster than BC so if it is ok for BC, which in this case it is IMO then it is the adults and not the child who has to make the compromises. Maybe dad can go into the son's room with him.

GoodTouchBadTouch Thu 01-Aug-13 18:03:18

Poor you OP. I wouldn't want to sleep with a 12yo boy.

Petal02 Thu 01-Aug-13 18:08:16

I think it's really inappropriate in a step family context. A bit different in a bio situation though.

merrymouse Thu 01-Aug-13 18:08:24

I don't think this is really about SS. I think it's about the OP marking boundaries within the relationship.

The OP should tell her boyfriend how she feels. If they can't negotiate this without somebody feeling resentful, the relationship probably doesn't have much future.

On the other hand, if this is the only sticking point, its unlikely that the son will want to share his dads bed for much longer, so maybe just book 2 double beds and kick your partner out at 4am and enjoy a lie in?

hesterton Thu 01-Aug-13 18:09:19

I would gently suggest to my dp that when he woke and came into the room, dp should have a hug with him back in his own bed. Nothing wrong with the dss wanting that closeness with his own dad but not in op's bed at that age.

I love it when my wonderful dsd aged 8 comes in our bed for a natter and a giggle in the morning but 4.30? Then it's her dad's issue.

Lackedpunchesforever Thu 01-Aug-13 18:13:42

How many nights a week does your partners son stay over ? Do you live together?

FairyThunderthighs Thu 01-Aug-13 18:13:51

I'm fairly sure I still occasionally went to my mum and dad's bed when I was that age. There was no specific fear but I was a sensitive child and sometimes needed to be near them.
My DP is a stepdad to my son and if he ever wanted to come into our bed I'm sure DP would sleep on the sofa, because as a step parent it could be seen as "wrong" by some people. Also to give us more room, ds and I are wriggly sleepers!

nkf Thu 01-Aug-13 18:16:45

Of course the OP doesn't want to share her bed with her partner's son. Who is suggesting that she should? The issue is what to do when both OP and son want to be in the bed with the partner/father. No idea myself, but I can see it's not a SS issue.

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 18:23:26

I don't think anyone had suggested the OP sleeps in the same bed have they? Just if the boy comes in to go and sleep elsewhereconfused

Pagwatch Thu 01-Aug-13 18:23:43

It's going to be about sensitive negotiation isn't it?

The op needs to talk to her partner now.
If the boy is used to this, if it is an aspect of their relationship that signifies closeness and affection then I am not sure 'now op is here it stops' is going to be a good thing is it?

Surely a number of conversations now about exactly how this will play out will be easiest on everyone ...
'ds, on holiday the sleeping arrangements will be different so we need to work that out. If you wake up jst clambering in with us will be awkward and cramped so let's talk about changing things so everyone is happy '

I think the op has understandable concerns about how to handle it.
It's just the 'coming in for a cuddle at age 12 is inappropriate' comments warranted a response because it's kind of bollocks.

brdgrl Thu 01-Aug-13 22:39:07

Whatever one's view on a 12-year-old coming in for cuddles on a regular basis - the OP is the adult partner. She has a right not to 'make way' for a child and the suggestion that she get up every morning and move into the boy's bed is absurd.

Co-sleeping with children (setting the age issue aside) is fine if both adults are happy with that. In this case, one is not.

As has been said, too, an adult woman sleeping with a 12-year-old, unrelated boy is not appropriate by most people's standards, and has the very real possibility to cause problems with the mother or indeed with social services.

Clearly, the situation cannot continue. Someone has to leave the father's bed. That someone should be the growing boy who has a bed of his own, not the adult partner.

brdgrl Thu 01-Aug-13 22:41:07

And if I were the father and you made a big deal out of it, I'd dump you fast.
I wouldn't. I'd think it was a legitimate concern, and apologize for not having dealt with it already. wink

CountryGal13 Thu 01-Aug-13 23:08:56

My step daughter is the same age and i wouldn't be comfortable with that either. I'm sure it would be different if you were both his parents but, like it or not, step families are different. For the time being could you not stay at home on the nights he has his son? He's probably on the verge of puberty and won't want to share a bed with his dad for much longer anyway.

UC Fri 02-Aug-13 08:37:38

I read this thread yesterday and was quite surprised by the number of people who thought it was totally average and normal for a 12 year old to get in bed with his parents at 4.30 am, and then spend the rest of the night there. This isn't just getting in for a cuddle before you get up (which I completely get, I love this with my kids), it is moving bed in the middle of the night and going back to sleep somewhere else, in your dad's bed. To be honest, this is something I'd expect in a much smaller child, and it's what you see professionals like Tania Byron dealing with - children who won't stay in their own beds all night. Surely it's a problem if it's making the OP's partner tired the following day too?

Surely there is a difference between sleeping in your own bed all night and coming in for a cuddle at 7 am (or whenever getting up time is), and waking up at 4.30 am and spending the rest of the night in your parents' bed.

I also find it odd that the OP should be expected to get out of her own bed, and migrate into her partner's son's bed at 4.30 in the morning, because he doesn't want to stay in his own bed all night.

For me, all of the above apply in bio or step situations. The step situation here adds another dimension. I am a step parent. My DP is my DCs' step dad. I would be very uncomfortable with either my DCs or his DCs coming in at 4 am, and getting into bed with us for the rest of the night. If there's ever a nighttime problem with my DCs, I get up and go lie with one of them in their own bed for a while before going back to bed with DP. My DP's DS1 is 12, and I would be very very uncomfortable if he got into bed to sleep with us - as would DSS!

So OP, I think your only option is to talk to your DP, explain how you feel and see how he reacts. I think this needs to be addressed before you go on holiday.

Hulababy Fri 02-Aug-13 10:38:19

I would probably encourage 11y DD to go back to her own bed if it was the early hours(now DD is older I like my bed without being pushed and kicked and DD is a dreadful wriggler!) - but if she was properly upset or ill then I'd let her stay, and Dh would no doubt get up and go in her bed. When DH has had a night away from home then DD loves to be able to sleep in my bed! I'm happy for her to do so occasionally, and she is happy. I would have no issue for her to do the same with DH.

I do this a SP would be different though. However, what happens depends on several factors really. Could the DS being feeling a bit pushed out at the moment and that is why he is needing the extra comfort? It could be something that needs to occur very gradually - the getting him back in his own bed.

Kaluki Fri 02-Aug-13 17:21:14

I had a thread on here a while ago about my DSD trying to get in our bed. I hated it. We made a rule that nobody comes into our room before 8.30 unless for illness or emergency. Then if anyone wants cuddles then the other adult (usually me) gets up.
There is no reason why a 12 year old boy (stepchild or otherwise)should be disrupting the household at 430 am each morning.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 02-Aug-13 20:50:04

I haven't read the whole thread but OP i'm with you - 12 years old is way too old to be coming in at 4.30am unless theres a problem. My DSS is 5.5 and Dp has managed to get him to stay in his bed all night and he usually comes in around 7am for cuddles with his dad... which is fine because its not 4.30am when everyone should still be asleep!!

I may be in the minority but I would not "roll out of my bed" and into the 12 year olds because there is no physical reason why a 12 year old shouldn't remain in his own bed till a reasonable time in the morning and unless he is ill or there is a problem, no reason why he should be coming into the room and waking the adults up.

Frogcatcher Mon 05-Aug-13 17:46:21

I'm a SM to an 8 yr old & he has never come into our bed since DP & I have been together. He used to sleep with DP quite regularly before I moved in as they used to watch DVDs in bed but once me moving in looked likely DP put a stop to it (but linking it to him going to the big boys school & not me being there more frequently). On the rare occasion he is upset or can't sleep he comes in but then DP will stay with him in his room until he goes back to sleep again. I was worried about our first hols when I thought we would all be in the same room & he would want to sleep with us but in fact we had a sofa bed in a separate lounge & managed to bribe him to sleep there with the fact he had a tv! I don't think you're unreasonable to be uncomfortable with it OP & your DP needs to sort this out.

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