Isn't 11 an inappropriate age to sleep with a parent?

My stepdaughter, who is 11 years old, refuses to sleep on her own when she is at our house. We see her every other weekend. When she was young, I tried working with her on sleeping in her own bed. She would end up screaming and crying and her dad would give in and sleep with her. I gave up the battle a few years ago for my own sanity and most nights I sleep on my own anyway (my husband snores terribly and likes to sleep with the TV on) and told my husband it’s his deal now. She will be 12 in July and still insists on sleeping in bed with her dad and literally freaks out if she is told that she has to sleep on her own at our house. Do you think that she will outgrow this on her own? Also - is there an age limit when daughters should not be sleeping with their fathers? I think it is reaching the inappropriate age, but I am not a mom. Thanks for your help.

Answer #1

I like the idea about starting with having a bed of her own in the same room. But there is definitely an issue here that needs to be looked at. She’s at the age where it does start to matter but mostly since this has never really been addressed it’s following her into adulthood.

You are in a very delicate position because you are not her mother and could be seen as a threat separating them.

Does she do this at her other house too or is just with her father? The biggest problem is that it shouldn’t be you looking into the matter but her dad. I think the best way to help them is to talk about it with him and ask him to talk to her.

Find out why she does this, ask her if she is afraid and what of, try to build her confidence by finding a solution together (like the extra bed thing). don’t be too hasty since this has been going on for years, it most probably will need quite a bit of effort and time to get the situation resolved.

Answer #2

Hi, I am the person who posted the original question. Thanks for all of your answers so far, I appreciate it. To answer some of the questions you guys asked: I have known her since she was three, so she has had me in her life for most of her life. We are in a house now that we have lived in for three years. She has her own bedroom which is right across from our bedroom, she helped decorate it herself when we moved in. She slept on the floor in her mom’s room for years, she says she now sleeps by herself when she’s at home but I don’t quite know if I believe that. I have tried rewards for when she sleeps in her own bed, didn’t work. I have tried consequences for when she doesn’t sleep in her own bed, it didn’t work. I have sat her down and explained why she needs to sleep in her own bed and asked her why she can’t sleep on her own, she says she doesn’t know why but she just doesn’t like it. Three years ago (when I was still actively working with her on this) she said she needs a TV in her room to sleep. I bought her a TV. It didn’t work. When I was actively trying to get her to sleep in her own bed, it was horrible. She would cry and throw fits when she had to come over to our house. She would cling to her mom’s legs and and be like, “no, no, no, no!!” It made my husband feel absolutely horrible that his daughter didn’t want to come and spend time with him. He has mentioned several times lately that she needs to sleep in her own room. I just go “uh huh” because honestly, I have given up. When she was six, seven, eight years old he kept saying, “give her a break, she’s just a little girl. She’ll grow out of it.” Well, she is almost 12 and I don’t see it happening any time soon. It’s hard being a step-parent because I don’t have children of my own. Her mom and dad think that she is most well adjusted child who has no problems. I don’t feel like I am in a position to tell them that I think their daughter needs therapy. They don’t think that anything is wrong. I think there is an issue here, I am just looking to see if I’m the crazy one. : )

Thanks for all the help.

Answer #3

my son wouldnt sleep in his own room until he was 6. we had the tears and t.v thing and that didnt work either so I know what you mean. it is really hard to be the step parent but you are in the right. the child does need to stay in her own room. sounds like the mother hasnt helped the situation and who knows if she is really sleeping in her own room. she is proberbly saying that to sound like the better parent. I think it wouldnt hurt for a bit of therapy. your right.

Answer #4

you can also ask her WHY she wants to sleep with you!! then try talking to her about it!! you know, tell her that she’s old, she can get to have her own privecy in her room with her own bed, and you know just try to convence her to sleep in her own bed!! it CAN work!! hope I helped!

Answer #5

Fck No! its ok if its you dont try to say its someone else … you should stop sleepin wit your parents when your SIX at the most but try to avoid it.

Answer #6

WELL MY OPINION YES SHE IS TO OLD I PUT MY KIDS IN THERE OWN BED IN MY ROOM AT THREE YEARS OLD… AND THEN WHEN FIVE YEARS OLD THEY WENT TO THERE OWN ROOM… I AGREE WITH EVERYONE ELSE SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS YOU NEED TO LET THE FATHER KNOW THAT IT DONT LOOK RIGHT… THEN AGAIN MAYBE SOMETHING HAS HAPPEN IN THE PAST THAT HAS REALLY SCARED HER FOR LIFE… IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TALK WITH I AM HERE TO LISTEN AND GIVE YOU THE BEST ADVICE POSSIABLE…

Answer #7

Dear briannajoe, It’s time to be parents…yes, she is way to old to be sleeping in bed with dad. She suffered when she was younger by parents who did not set the rules and hence she has come accustom to getting her own way here. It’s time to have a pretty room for her and a regular bed time. Have night lights and music if she wishes. As parents our duties are to raise a healthy child and giving up for your own sanity is not an option when you are a parent. She is already at an inappropriate age to be sleeping with a male adult. If you do not resolve this issue shortly seek out counselling for her and perhaps some parenting classes for you and dad. Sue…good luck

Answer #8

My cousin slept in the same bedroom as her mom and dad until she was 8… she just didn’t like the fact of sleeping alone on the other side of the house. Her parents bedroom was in the front of the house and to get to her bedroom she had to go through the living room, the kitchen, then another family room. So I could imagine why she wanted to sleep in her parents room (she moved her bed in there) But ever since her half brother moved back in the house she is sleeping in her own bedroom now. She just didn’t like being by herself.

Answer #9

its about the age if not past it that she should be sleeping with her father. I would tell your husband that he needs to deal with this and maybe if get really upset leave the house for a little bit and do watever it is you want to do. maybe just saying he needs to deal with it won’t work but actualy getting up and leaving for a few hours will give him the message you can’t take it. I hope I helped:] funmail me to tell me how it works out.

Answer #10

I know this is SUPER late.. but try playing some soft soothing music in her room at night. or make a small bed on the floor and every night move it closer to the door

Answer #11

wow I stopped at like 7.

Answer #12

I would try to work out why she is so damn scared of being in a bed by herself. I was abused by a parent but I still was too scared to not sleep in there bed. but then again I was told someone was going to harm me if I told people things… im not saying anything is going on with your partener but there may be something going on with someone else she knows. I would sit her down and have a big chat. 12 is old enough to handle a chat.

Answer #13

arrrggg shes using you the tv in her room is a great example. just wach she will ask for smthing els and I garante it WON’T work

Answer #14

yes give itr time

More Like This
Advisor

Kids

Parenting, Education, Health and Wellness

Ask an advisor one-on-one!
Advisor

SnoozeShade Australia

baby products, travel accessories, sleep products

Advisor

Newcomers

Baby Products, Bedding, Swings

Advisor

Riley Crossing Child Care

Preschool, Daycare

Advisor

International Nanny

Nannies, Governesses, Maternity Nurses

Advisor

Newborn Stages

Parenting, Child Development, Health