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camd2000, Parent Coach/Therapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 13
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Child and Family Therapist, Parent Educator and Mother.
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How unhealthy/ damaging is it for a ten year old child to sleep

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How unhealthy/ damaging is it for a ten year old child to sleep in mother's bedroom (on mattress not in same bed) as he is scared at night? Ex husband claims son will get serious psycological issues if it does not stop instantly and tells son how would his friends react if the knew. Mom dont think it is a big deal and by making it a big deal it becomes a big deal. Mom and son is working on it together but with no pressure for son. Ex spouse is threatening that he has serious concerns, need to take the son to psycatrist, will get long term damage and questions moms parenting skills, indicating he will seek to take over custody. Really? In my view it is very common for 10 year olds to be scared and I do not see the big deal in him sleeping in my room. We are working on tactics, him and I such as points for each night he sleeps in own bed resulting in reward, I tried the opposite psycology saying ok, from now you can;t sleep in your own bed, thinking that what kids are not 'allowed' to do, they want to do. He knew of course he could sleep in his own bed any time, just thought we would try to see if could help. His dad learnt that is is seriously concerned that mom denies son to sleep in own room and son has to sleep on floor in her room. It is such a twisted thruth and dad is trying to compile issues so that he can seek custody. Is mom wrong here? Is is such a serious issue to let son sleep in her room because he is scared, while working on trying to make him want to sleep in own room??

camd2000 :

There are many cultures that share small spaces. Sleeping in the same room itself is not psychologically damaging. As I responded before, it is good that you gave him his own space in the room. I would try and find out what he is scared about. Perhaps he is experience some anxiety because of the custody battle with your ex? Whatever the fears are, they are probably temporary. If you and/or your ex-husband are concerned that your son will sleep in your room forever then you

camd2000 :

Sorry. I hit reply too early. can always slowly transition your son back to his own room. Wait a bit until he seems less scared and then slowly transition him. You can move the mattress into his room and you can sleep in there the first night, then lay with him until he falls asleep and then if he wakes up in the middle of the night, lay with him again. Then, lay with him for just a few minutes and tell him you will check on him. Gradually help him stay in his room on his own (you can use rewards to help with the transition). Also, I would try to find out what he is scared about and try and address that. And, finally, I would see if there is any way to talk to your ex about it so that he isn't saying anything negative to your son to shame him, which will most likely just increase the chances that your son will want/need to stay in your room. If you are satisfied with these responses please give me positive ratings. Would you like to schedule a follow up to see how things are going and to further discuss how to address specific fears?

Customer: Many thanks and sorry for delayed response. There was a burglary next door two years ago and he has been scared since
camd2000 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
It sounds like you really are mindful of your son's emotional needs and under extenuating circumstances such as a traumatic event it is important to provide your child with extra support. It is understandable that your son has been scared since then. Does it impact other areas of his life? Is that something you would like to discuss as well? How to help him to feel less scared?