Posted by: Wits-end Mother | 2003/02/18

Fearfull child, bedwetting, sleeping with mother


My 9 year old son has always shared my bed. Initially this was out of necessity... we only had one bed until he was around 4 years old. Since then however he refuses to move to his own room, where his long-suffering dad is sleeping! He has suffered from nightmares since birth and has a stress induced bed wetting problem. I feel quite desperate now that he's getting older to get him into his own room but discussions on this topic lead to the fact that he is afraid, apparently of everything especially "tiny cockroach size monsters who grow into giants during the night"! Please could you advise what I should do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Clearly, the best would be for him to see a child shrink for a proper assessment and advice. Part of the problem may be one of habit, established during the one-bed days --- but that ended 5 years ago --- did you just not get around to moving him then ( great opportunity missed, to make a big fuss about the marvellous privilege now he was such a big boy, of having his own room and his own bed ). Kids don't like changing the habists of a lifetime.
Also, depending on what else may have been happening in the family, maybe he appreciates coming between you and your husband in this way, and separating you ? Is there any reason why that might be so ?
But it also sounds as if he is a basically nervous and anxiety-prone lad, with the long-standing nightmares and bed-wetting --- and the skills of a proper child psychiatrist / child psychologist could greatly help him to overcome this , to the relief of you all. If funding such a referral is a problem, do consider arranging for him to be seen at the Child Psychiatry/psychology division of the nearest medical School ( other than Medunsa, which doesn't have that facility ).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Zeena | 2003/02/18

Better do what the Shrink says, or you AND your son are going to have a monster-sized problem on hands soon. He's at the age where he should be socialising with his school friends, and if they find out he's still sleeping with mommy, there'll be hell to pay. How your husband has accepted this situation so meekly, is beyond me.

I have all the sympathy in the world with anxiety-ridden kids -- I was one of them. But unfortunately life is quite hard on this planet, and a stage is reached when even a child has to face his fears and overcome them. After all, what do you think his life is going to be like as he grows older, and cannot be with mommy every night?

Go for expert help, get your son into his own room, with a night light all night, and get your life back to normal. It sounds as if you started this, and you will now have to take steps to normalise things.

Reply to Zeena

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