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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1776
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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is it wrong for me to tell my partner i thing she should stop

Customer Question

is it wrong for me to tell my partner i thing she should stop letting our 10 year old boy sleep in our bed when i am away at work?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting us today. As a parenting expert, I would be more than happy to assist you today. You are not in the wrong for feeling the way you do about your son coming into your bed. Try to ascertain why your son likes to come in your room. Is your bed more comfortable? Do you have a better television in your bedroom?

Nonetheless, you and your partner must come to an agreement about your son coming into your room. Would it be acceptable for him to come in and sit in a comfy chair? Or would you rather not have him come in at all? Children like to come into their parents' rooms because it makes them feel safe and secure.

Furthermore, you need to make sure that your son's room is appealing to him and that he will want to stay in that room as opposed to your room. It really is not your son's fault that he comes into your room and gets in the bed without you setting limits.

So therefore, sit down with your partner and come to an agreement of when your son can come in the room and what he is allowed to do and not do.

You are correct that your bedroom should be your sacred place that you would like to call your own. However, your son is still young and does not need to be shut out completely from your personal space. He will understand once he is a little bit older and does not want you to come into his room as a teenager.

Hope this provided you with a little insight. It was my pleasure in assisting you on this day. Stay encouraged and much success to you with your son and your partner. Take care!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My son only asks when i am away at work as i wont let him, his own room is top class, but i think he needs to start being a bigger boy and sleep in his own room.
Will continuing to sleep in our bed have any effects on him, as is depending on his mum for more things, self confidence?

also i think this is wrong as he is closing in on puberty.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 2 years ago.
Sleeping in your bed will not affect him... if that is all he is doing... is sleeping in the bed by himself. If his mother is in the bed with him, it is not a good idea to have him in the bed as well. However, if you want him to start being more independent and feel more confident and secure about being alone and appreciating everything in his magnificent room, then you must stop him from sleeping in your bed. He should still be allowed in your room every so often but limit the sleeping in your bed. Maybe even reward him after so many instances of your son sleeping in his own bed when you are at work! Feel free to let me know if you need further advice or insight! Have a great day.
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

I wanted to step in here Bruce and offer you the psychological perspective. I am in agreement with you that sleeping in bed with your wife while you are away is inappropriate and it confuses the boundaries. Yes he may feel safer but the goal is also to teach him to feel safe without having to be in your wife's bed while you are away to get that sense of safety.

You are also correct that because he is entering puberty that this should not exist. This is not an issue about him coming into your room this is an issue of him sleeping in bed with your wife while you are not home. This confuses his role as well. You are the Dad and you sleep with Mommy and not him. This could also cause anger and resentment toward you when you come home that he is now displaced from what he feels is "his" bed.

Boundaries need to be set. Cuddling with both of you to watch TV is fine, but this is not the issue. Please write for CoachJenK in your response if you would like my further thoughts. It is my pleasure.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So why would my partner keep saying it is not a big deal, she said that her mum used to let her into her bed when she was wee.
Does this have any knock on effect of the lack of self confidence?

My partner lacks it, will my son?

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Bruce,
Your partner doesn't see it as an issue because she did it when she was young, but it does confuse boundaries and hers are confused currently because she was allowed.
I was going to suggest that this may sound more like a need in your wife to have him with her as SHE feels more secure and that is not healthy for your son as it is not his role to care for his mother's needs in that way.

Will this hurt his self-esteem? Hard to predict that but I do believe that the boundaries should be set. The difficulty becomes that the tow of you don't see eye to eye on it, so it will take some conversations about it so your views can be heard. I might also suggest seeking some counseling around this issue so you can work through it. Your son is not 1 years old, he is 10 and at this stage it should not be happening.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1776
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

After showing your response to my partner, she was upset that maybe I didn’t tell the whole story.


As in, it is 2-3 nights a week she will let him sleep with her in our bed.


 


She has been to the doctor, who claims that I am jealous of our son?


 


Does this make any difference to your previous answer??

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Bruce,
Thanks for coming back and I am sorry that there are difficulties around this issue. My opinion remains the same. 2-3 nights per week is a lot. Different cultures have different values around this, but I am speaking from the psychological perspective and I do not believe that a 10 year old boy, entering puberty, should be sleeping in the parental bed. It confuses boundaries and may cause jealousy. That word is used as such a weapon and I don't think it has a place here from your end. Let's look at that a bit deeper. Why does she need him in your bed? This has more to do with what her needs are around this. . Your son is being sent a message that when Dad isn't around he can have Mommy all to himself...so this then has the potential to cause friction when you are around. They can still share special Mommy and Son time but it doesn't have to be in her bed at night.

My views remain the same. I was clear on all that you wrote the first time. I knew it wasn't every night that it was happening, but it is still a boundary issue no matter what.

I counsel parents that sleep training should occur as soon as possible rather than have children in the bed. This begins as early as possible. It has to do with boundaries, independence and not confusing roles. Parents always need to be careful that our needs are not getting in the way of our children's healthy emotional development.

I am sorry your partner was upset, my view is not designed to upset anyone, but rather to give my professional view. Please let me know your thoughts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we also have a 16 month old girl that 'I' think he play a bit to hard with.

I have also caught him tripping her up as she walks past at times, dont get me wrong, I know he loves her, but ' I ' seem to be the only one who sees this.

Not sure what to do?

 

As you will know, the wee one ends up in the bed with her too.

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
This sibling rivalry is normal but at the same time you can set appropriate rules on what you expect from him.

Giving this power to him in the parental bed can also lend itself to thinking he can have this power everywhere. So ignore the bad behavior and give lots of praise when he is playing with her in a kind and gentle way. I am not surprised that the little one is in the bed. I am sure you are exhausted by this point.

I wish she would see a therapist with you so she can truly hear your feelings about it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello again


I took the whole emails to the councillor that we see every Monday, and never even got a chance to bring it up.


My partner said that you are not even qualified and are working outside the UK.


She had plenty of other bad things to say about you and the bottom line was, you’re wrong, she is right.


My partner has studied counselling, her mother is a supervisor and they both think they are right about everything.


We have now split and my world had been crushed.


I cannot put up with the constant belittling of myself and the way she parents the kids.

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi Bruce,
I am sorry to hear of this update. I am sure you are very distraught. I am in the US and am a Licensed Master Social Worker and qualified to give my opinions and suggestions. She doesn't need to agree with them and I am sorry that she is unable to hear your view on things which coincide with mine. As I mentioned previously, different cultures value different things, but in my view, it is about boundaries and you have been troubled by the boundaries as well which is why you have reached out. My work and support has been with you and so that could complicate things for her since it was you who sought out the support and not her. I wish she could at least hear your view and be open to different ideas.

I am so sorry to hear how crushed you are and also so sorry to hear how she has treated you. It is so hard when tow people do not share the same views on parenting. I am still here to support you as you need.

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