Posted by: Stepmom | 2004/10/14

Sleeping arrangements

My b/f and I have live together for the last 1.5yrs. He has a 7.5yr old daughter. She is an only child. She is a typical by-product of a divorce - father feels guilty so he pampers her (and still thinks/treats her like a baby) and the mother is a single, stay at home mother.

She still sleeps in her mothers' bed - every night. The problem is that when she comes to our home - she throws her "toys out her cot" almost every night cos she does not want to sleep alone with her teddies! I have told my bf that she is not to sleep or even climb into our bed - for many reasons and one of them being that the ex is evil - and I would not put it past her to make up some story about molesting or indecent exposure.

Is it normal for a 7.5 yr old not to sleep in her own bed? And how do we deal with her tantrums every other week?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like your view of the spoiling and babying is probably correct. By well before 7 she should definitely be sleeping on her own. It is NOT normal for a 7 year-old to refuse to sleep on her own. I'll leave it to the other moms on the forum to discuss how to deal with this, and check our Archive of the forum, as we've discussed this topic very often. For a kid to VISIT the parent's bed, for a cuddle or a chat, fine.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Flash | 2004/10/14

I think the ex loves her child like all normal mothers. Remember, she might even be hurting over the divorce/separation with the father of the child and might react unkindly. But dont get caught into the mess, be at your best and this might just work for you. Dont find fault in her and dont bad mouth her infront of the kid or to the father, Remember, your love is still young and after a while, this father might also see a wicked side of you!!
That is life and just be careful. A child must be allowed to be a child and the mother must not be blamed for sleeping with her since the divorce. I am sure she feels lonely and they need each other most with her girl. If it was the dad sleeping with her then there will be a problem , but for the mother, I see no real problem here.
When she cries for her dad at night, all she needs is the assurance that everything will be ok, give her time and she will be ok.
Ignore the mother, actually, she is none of your business, but remember, she will always be bonded to your man. If this is something you cannot handle, I suggest you find yourself an unattached man.

Reply to Flash
Posted by: Always b positive | 2004/10/14

I can understand its not normal for a 7yr old to still want to sleep in her mothers bed..but come on...

Its not NORMAL to divorce either the poor child is very insecure at the moment as she no longer has her mommy and daddy at home and properly feels very lonely...

Children are very sensitive and you being an outsider must remember its going to take time... You esp need to show her love even if she is not being nice in return. She will soon then warm up to you and will want to please you (by sleeping in her own bed ect etc)

I do feel that you are making a mistake by sleeping with this man and not being married, that will lead to many conplications... so you should really think about things carefully.

Do you want to play a role in this childs life or are you in for a quickly fling and end up messing her feelings even more???
If you are serious about this man respect him and his situation and talk things through ...i know hes just got divorced so getting married will prop not be in the picture now...but your body is special and you shouldnt let him use it to get over his feelings for his ex!!! Sex isnt everything, relationships should not be based on that otherwise its very very shallow.

Do some serious thinking cause it not only affects you but also a 7yr old girl for the rest of her life!

Reply to Always b positive
Posted by: Stepmom | 2004/10/14

Flash - thanks for you comments. I too slept in my parents bed when I was sick and climbed in the morning to have a cup of tea during school holidays. But she has been sleeping in her mothers' bed from "bed time" and for the last 3 years(since the divorce)! This can't be healthy for her - what happens when her mother gets into a relationship on day??? She can't sleep through the night without calling her father atleast once - she's just not use to sleeping alone.

I call her evil cos she felt nothing to take her 6 yr to the police station to lay a charge against her father because he incorrectly allowed her to sit in the front of his car for a v short distance (he had work boxes in his back seat). He won't even allow a family friend (male) to keep an eye on her when she's in the bath to take a call - for fear that she would find out and lay a charge on him and his friend. I've seen her at her best - she's wicked and has so much anger in her that she does not mind hurting her child to get back at people!

Reply to Stepmom
Posted by: tebogo | 2004/10/14

The reason she is throwing tantrums at night is because she is introduced to a different set-up altogether becuase of getting used to sleep with mom everyday of her life.

There is no easy solution right now but to slowly explain that she is big now and needs to sleep alone, but at her age will be confused as why you sleep with his dad (not understanding anything a relationships). Just be patient and dont make her see you as the wicked witch.

Good luck

Reply to tebogo
Posted by: Flash | 2004/10/14

Or again, ... remember, she only a child. She needs all the love, attention and direction. Do not spoil her ofcourse but still, love her and lead by example

Reply to Flash
Posted by: Flash | 2004/10/14

Why do you say the ex is evil? Why do you say the kid is not even allowed to climb on your bed?? Gosh, you must have a problem your self. Believe me, if this was your child you will not have a problem with that. I have three children, 11yrs, 8yrs and 4yrs. They all sleep in their beds but most mornings the little one creeps in our bed for a hug. The other two girls also climb on our bed (not sleeping overnight). You are right, the kid cannot sleep with you, but there is nothing wrong with the mum sleeping with her daughter. Most times when my husband is away my two girls invite themselves to my bed. What you must do is to teach the child to sleep on her own when with you. Don’t be too strict though otherwise the kid will resent you. You must be careful also if this guy realizes that you don’t blend nicely with his kid, you might lose him. Remember, you lived with him knowing he has a child already, its part of the package. You must not be jealous of each other, remember this guy loves you both in different ways. Don’t let him choose between you two, remember - blood is thicker than water…..

Reply to Flash

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