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My 13 year old daughter currently lives with my parents (her…

My 13 year old daughter...
My 13 year old daughter currently lives with my parents (her grandparents). My current wife (her stepmom) and I are visiting my parents for the holidays with our two daughters. My daughter who lives with my parents has her own bedroom that she sleeps in but because we are here visiting we are using her room. My 13 year old daughter said that she would just sleep in the room with my mom and dad until we left in a week. Is this ok? Is that inappropriate for her to do that?
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Answered in 1 hour by:
1/4/2018
CounselorJules
CounselorJules, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 828
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
Verified
I think that what your daughter is most desiring is a sense of security, familiarity, and closeness. I think children, at all ages, desire this. Maybe sleeping in a bed with them feels more secure or comfortable than sleeping on the couch or on a pallet alone in an unfamiliar room. Maybe you could tell me if there are specific reasons why you feel like it could be a confusing situation or questionable, that would help me provide more insight ❤️
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Lots of teenagers go through periods of insecurity and actually lash out in the opposite manner by choosing to isolate from authority figures or they become more oppositional and less affectionate. I would say that your daughter's desire to be close to them is actually refreshing. It may also be a sign that she is well connected to them. If you know that she is returning to her own room when you guys leave, you wont have to worry about this being habitual or being an immature option as if she is not autonomous or independent enough to spend alone time..... Any time there is transition, we see what appears to be "regressive" behaviors in our kids, but we have to remember that they are still growing up and however we can foster security is positive for them in the long run :)

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thanks for the reply. I myself don't have an issue with it as much as my spouse. My spouse grew up in an abusive home and was molested by a family member and was exposed to lots of inappropriate things. I feel she is on heightened alert and relates alot to her childhood. We are here in the Turks and Caicos (where I'm from originally) and my wife is Canadian. Maybe it's cultural but it is not uncommon for us here to sleep in our parents room for a couple nights or so and share a bed.

That makes a great deal of sense. I think that when we have a history of abuse or unhealthy boundaries with our family of origins, it definitely heightens our awareness and increases hyper vigilance about situations. I think that your spouse's life experiences included that trauma which increases the personal trigger for any disturbing personal memories and those are being transferred into this situation. It would be different if your daughter was not raised in this environment and these people were unfamiliar to her. I can understand your spouse's perspective but it is likely that this is a safe and normal situation for your daughter and if there is no history of abusive patterns present, I would say that this is completely fine. I would offer your spouse support and understanding of her perspective so that you dont minimize the concerns she has, but also offer her a reframed perspective relative to this specific situation so she can feel secure in knowing that your daughter is safe with her grandparents. She may appreciate that empathy from you. This can also be an opportunity for your spouse to see healthy relationships and modeling of family interactions :)

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You and your spouse are both very thoughtful for considering the need to ensure that the boundaries are appropriate :)

CounselorJules
CounselorJules, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 828
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you so much for your help with this, it definitely has given us more perspective and we are now comfortable to go forward with a decision.

Thank you for the positive rating and I am very glad that this has offered insight or perspective. I hope everyone enjoys the visit with family and that you guys feel secure with your decision :)

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