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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10565
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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We have a grandaughter -"Ava" age 6 who is a very well bala

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We have a grandaughter -"Ava" age 6 who is a very well balanced and very socially alert and seemingly gifted child.
Unfortunately, her mother (age 35) has filed for a divorce from our son (age 39)
The question relates to the fact that the wife's mother (Grandma Devon) has a very strong pattern of having the 6 year old sleep with her on about 2 to 3 nights per week during which our grandaughter stays with "Grandma Devon." The grandmother in question is approx age 60 and has a husband in the same house. He leaves the bedroom when our grandaughter sleeps over. There is NOT any suspected imporper behavoir, but the opinion of my wife --- (an RN / plus junior college nurse instructor and M.S. in Nursing /Nurse Midwifery - Columbia University / Einstein School of Medicine, NYC) --- is that sleeping with the grandmother is counterproductive to the development of a 6 year old.
We are very much aware that the wife / mother has in the past had very substantial drug and alcohol problems plus multiple arrests for theft from employers along with multiple arrests for drugs and DWI. (County court records office)
She seems OK ?? now but she has taken a boyfriend and produced a new baby (from the boyfriend ) and has taken over the house which our son paid $45,000 down and on which he did extensive improvement work.
The basic question: Is a 6 year old sleeping with a grandmother rather than having her own bed considered to be unusual and / or counterproductive to the development of a 6 year old ?

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I definitely understand your concern for your grand-daughter's development in co-sleeping with her grandmother.

Dr. Z :

Most studies are mixed on this subject actually, but most find no harm in co-sleeping with a parent (most studies examine parent and child co-sleeping habits). Also at 6 years old, this is still considered acceptable and appropriate behavior for a child to sleep with a caregiver adult.

Dr. Z :

Here is an overlook article on the studies that have performed on this subject matter

Dr. Z :

So I would not be too concerned about this behavior, but I do believe that the 6 year old should be encouraged to sleep in her own bed and have her own independence at night. I think that is important for the child

Dr. Z :

Most studies only examine when a child and caregiver co-sleep as a result of the child being afraid and severe attachment issues and not wanting to be alone, so the child usually has their own bed in these studies.

Customer :

THANK YOU THANK YOU I feel like a 1000 pound weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am happy that I was able to help you

Customer :

I had been quite worried, but now I feel much better. Your answer is quite complete and I am glad that the studies are "mixed." Your answer is EXCELLENT FOR ME and it saves me a lot of unnecessary "grief," due to my not knowing a correct answer. I will tell my wife and she will be relieved. THANKS AGAIN Bob and Becky AND Rob FitzGerald

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I wish you and your family all the best. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer :

Rating EXCELLENT and I will keep your just answer address for possible future use.

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