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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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I am a single mother of 3 children, ages 10(girl), 9(boy),

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I am a single mother of 3 children, ages 10(girl), 9(boy), and 7(girl). My kids all sleep in the same bed, and frequently end up in mine. They all have separate beds. However they say they are afraid of ghosts, robbers, etc.. I am a recovering alcoholic for 22 mnths now. My kids lived with their grandparents for two years before I got sober. They have been home for 20 mnths. Whenever I try to "force" the issue of separate beds, I meet extreme resistance, and always have a change of heart. I end up feeling guilty over having left them, and begin to wonder if they suffer from abandonment issues. There is no physical or sexual abuse that I know of. Also we stick to a night routine that includes tea, soft music, or story, and prayers. How bad for my children are these sleeping arrangements? Will this go away in time? People have ridiculed me for this but I often say if it makes them feel safe, what's the harm? Any feed back will be appreciated. Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

This is a difficult question to answer since it really comes down to a personal preference and your parenting style. In many cultures, it's perfectly acceptable. Some religions would have a problem with children of the opposite sex sharing a bed.

The older kids are in the pre-pubescent stage... Something to bear in mind as they may begin to develop a greater sense of modesty and start to feel uncomfortable with this arrangement. What I'd recommend is talking with each of them separately to give each the opportunity to express their honest opinions about it all. You'd hate to find out later that one of them didn't like it, but didn't want to feel left out.

Give yourself a break from the guilt! They may have found comfort in sharing sleeping quarters even without everything that has happened. You sound like you're doing a great job with them now and that's what is important. If you're all happy with the current arrangement, I'd say it's working just fine. Remember that you can listen to what others have to say about your parenting decisions, but ultimately YOU are the expert when it comes to your family.

Lastly, I ran across an article you might find interesting... Enjoy!
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