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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 13:41:18

Will you be sharing a room? If so, I would just roll out of bed and into DSS's. but I have a very relaxed attitude to bed sharing!

Jan45 Thu 01-Aug-13 14:15:15

I would find that strange and I wouldn't be willing to share my bed with someone else's 12 year old son, no way. If that's what they do then fine but you don't have to partake, I'd be sorting out a bed for myself or at least broaching the subject of the son staying in his own bed when you go on holiday!

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 14:36:11

What curlew said. My ds often gets into bed for a cuddle still. I take it you haven't got older kids OP?

Floralnomad Thu 01-Aug-13 14:37:51

I also have a relaxed attitude to bed sharing and its ok for him to sleep with his parents ,but I don't think he should be sleeping with you .

purpleroses Thu 01-Aug-13 14:38:46

I'd be relaxed about it with a 5/6 year old, but 12 really is rather old for that. Can you have a word with your BF and say it makes you uncomfortable, and could he maybe suggest to his DS that he is too old for that now?

Does he live with your BF full time? Or just visit at weekends? If he's not there very much he may be doing it because he's keen to be with his dad as much as possible when he does get to see him. Or possibly because he's jealous of you being in the bed. So plenty of attention and 'dad time' in the day is the way to go, with the deal being that he stays in his own bed at night.

Your BF may need to get up and escort him back to his own bed a few times at first to get him used to the idea, or even stay with him in his room til he settles. Not easy when you're sleepy but worth it in the long run.

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 14:40:13

They aren't that different from toddlers really just in bigger bodieswink just take yourself off to another bed if it happens.

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 14:42:50

Why too old purple? Not appropriate with the OP I agree but too old with his father?confused ime kids tell you/let you know of they are too old for something. Perhaps the boy needs some extra reassurance/comfort?

purpleroses Thu 01-Aug-13 14:52:10

Too old in the sense that he shouldn't be needing that level of comfort in the night - unless he's had some recent trauma or something. They're not the same as toddlers at 12. Toddlers still believe in monsters under the bed, are afraid of the dark, and sometimes need reassurance that you've not vanished when you're not in the room. They don't have the resources to keep their minds occupied if they find themselves awake in the night and sometimes need company whilst they fall back to sleep.

12 year olds should be able to find themselves awake in the night, roll over, daydream a bit and then fall back to sleep. They're still a child (just) but not the same as they were when they were small.

I don't think there's anything "morally" wrong in it, if the 12yo and his dad are both happy with it. But the OP says that her BF ends up tired the next day as a result, and that she feels uncomfortable about it. I'd have been OK with my own DS in my bed up to about the age of 12 and have shared a bed with him on holiday up to about that age. But would not be comfortable with my DSS of the same age in the bed. The relationship is not the same, and it's reasonable enough to expect the OP's BF to consider both her needs and his DS's and strike the right balance.

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 14:54:29

As I said, if it doesn't happen til 4.30, the OP should just roll into the boy's bed! Simple.

valiumredhead Thu 01-Aug-13 14:55:40

Don't you think some 12 year olds are afraid of the dark and monsters? I think you'd be surprised at how many ime still want a night light or the door open with the landing light on.

curlew Thu 01-Aug-13 14:56:39

Some 12 year olds just want a cuddle with dad. Or mum. Doesn't have to be deep seated trauma.

Floralnomad Thu 01-Aug-13 15:00:56

My daughter is 14 and not particularly well ,she often comes into our room and kicks one of us out of bed as a change of scenery helps her get back to sleep . Doesn't bother us in the least ,her room has a very nice king size bed .

5madthings Thu 01-Aug-13 15:01:00

meh i would just do as curlew said and go and sleep in the boys bed, or on the sofa etc.

Spottypurse Thu 01-Aug-13 15:03:40

My 11 year old still comes in with me on occasion. DP just goes into her bed. I don't see the issue. She doesn't have any trauma that I'm aware of she just likes in with me. And she still sleeps with a night light in her room.

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 15:16:23

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

Jan45 Thu 01-Aug-13 15:24:54

I think there's a difference between your own child and what you have allowed since day one to being someone's g/f and expected to sleep in bed with a 12 year old boy, no way, I wouldn't want to sleep in his bed either!

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 15:27:56

Gees, I've slept in loads of beds. A bed is a bed.

Neitheronethingortheother Thu 01-Aug-13 15:28:20

As a sm to 2 children and with 3 of my own there is def a difference between a sc and bc getting into be with you. I would not like a 12 year old child getting into bed with me. Tbh he probably wont be that comfortable at getting in with you there. I wouldnt fancy sleeping in a 12 year old boys bed either. Think it is one of those things that need to be knocked on the head before ye go away.

purpleroses Thu 01-Aug-13 15:33:55

Maybe the OP doesn't find it easy to get back to sleep if she's been woken at 4.30am? Maybe she doesn't feel comfortable in her BF's DS's bed? (I'm very fond of my DSC, but sleeping in one of their beds is absolutely not the same as sleeping in one of my own DC's beds - they smell different!) Maybe she likes to have sex with her BF in the early morning!

There's absolutely no way she should expect to be booted out in the night, in favour of a 12 year old, who has his own bed in the same house that he can sleep in. And I rather suspect that those who have suggested she should be are not in fact stepparents.

OP - please don't feel that you can't raise this with your BF or he's dump you (as has been suggested above). I can assure you that when my DP raised similar issues about my 8 year old getting into my bed at night, I didn't dump him, but instead gently worked on getting DD to be better able to settle herself back to sleep in her own bed. Stepparenting is about balancing people's needs, not about always coming second to the DSC. But your BF can't balance your needs and his DS's unless you tell him how you feel.

xalyssx Thu 01-Aug-13 15:52:26

My ex's son does this every night, when I was a part of their lives I slept on the sofa...

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 01-Aug-13 16:30:00

Each to their own, but I wouldn't have any respect for a parent who chose to regularly sleep with their 12 year old DC out of choice.

expat Likewise - I'd be out of my partners life in a heartbeat if I found out that he wasn't encouraging independent sleeping in his 12 year old DS - not for me at all, I'm afraid!

OP if your DP isn't prepared to discuss it, then you have your answer, I'm afraid.

eslteacher Thu 01-Aug-13 16:42:17

I think if it happened occasionaly, like two or three times a year that would be one thing, and going off to sleep in his bed wouldn't be an issue for me. But 'regularly' would be quite difficult to live with.

I think it is worth broaching with your boyfriend, but very gently and open-mindedly to test out the waters. Maybe to get his feelings on whether he expects you to leave the bed or stay in it, and to discuss going forward as the child becomes a teenager, whether he envisions it still being a regular and accepted occurrence or if he wants to phase it out..

Pagwatch Thu 01-Aug-13 16:47:56

My near 11 year old DD deliberately sets her alarm for before mine goes off t come in for 'cuddle time'.
It's not a problem. It's quite a nice start to the day tbh <shrug>

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.

nkf Thu 01-Aug-13 16:50:32

Kids and parents like to cuddle up sometimes. The issue is you are not happy with it. No idea how to deal with that, but I don't think it's necessarily weird.

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