Not Sleeping in His Own Bed

Anonymous needs your advice, “I have a problem with my family. My 10-year-old grandson won’t sleep in his…

Anonymous needs your advice, “I have a problem with my family. My 10-year-old grandson won’t sleep in his own bed since his parents separated nearly five years ago…

He’s been sleeping in his Mum’s bed. He says that he gets lonely and frightened. He can be quite delicate at times and is a very loving and kind boy.

I believe not to force him and that he will go to his own bed when he is ready. I’ve suggested once a week and then build up to full time. When it gets close to evening he starts to get anxious and then teary. He rings me for support. The rest of the family believe he should be in his own bed.

His father has never shown any affection towards him and there have been times where he hasn’t wanted to have him on the weekend (when he’s to have him)… he even got caught in a lie that he was still away, but his son saw him.

I just want this dear boy to know that he is loved and it’s ok to sleep with Mum until he’s ready to go to his own bed. Please, could you provide any suggestions.”

8 comments
  1. Ten years old is too old to be sleeping with an adult. He needs counseling and spending time with kids his own age. Divorce is hard on kids but most kids get through it ok.

    1. ‘get through it ok’? No, actually, most don’t. Traumatic events like deaths, divorce (or pandemics) can leave a scar that can take a lifetime to heal, if it heals at all.

    2. He will come out of it on his own, as time passes.Nothing wrong with the security he has in his Moms bed, he will regrow his independence on his own after a while.

  2. Nobody likes to sleep alone. He will grow up eventually. Don’t make an issue of it and at some point he will do it on his own.

    1. Sounds more like a separation anxiety, really need for EVERYONE to start out with counseling, then go from there.

  3. He shouldn’t be sleeping with his mother all night every night. She may be the problem. I’m sure his dad doesn’t cater to him the his mother does.
    I slept with a teddy bear until I married at 20. I comfort toy, a pet or on the floor but in 5 years his mother has a right to her own space. They both need counseling

  4. Does he have a room of his own? Does he have a dog? A dog, of course would be the perfect boy companion, but it may not be possible. They can, get him to redecorate his room, sometimes you can find star decals to put on the ceiling, or a light gizmo that shines them on the ceiling. Find a childrens book about stars to go with it. Read books with him, written about being lonely and/or afraid that includes coping skills. What is his favorite music? Play that at night. Have a solid bedtime routine, maybe read with him at night when he goes to bed. And, grandma, you have become his enabler to not grow up facing and overcoming problems. There should be a negative consequence, if after coming to an agreement with him and worked on positive coping skills, for not staying in his bed. Give up something he likes, watching a tv program. And a good consequence everytime, for a specific time period, when he stays in bed all night. Earn points for a special outing, etc. And the entire family must stand together and support mom in being able to make the change. She needs a list of actions she takes herself, if he comes in the middle of the night. This will be hard for both of them. Grandma, if you can’t stop enabling him at night, time your call for another time of day…..be busy with something at that time. Good luck

  5. When he starts having “wet dreams” etc., he will want to have his privacy. Life generally takes care of itself. Do not make a big deal out of everything. He will grow up — this divorce is a trauma he has to get through and he will. Kids eating problems are made worse by people always making a big deal out of it, also. Most times it will work itself out if you just let it. Food and sleep is just a part of life a necessity — should not be a source of conflict. Ignore it and it will get better. If it doesn’t then seek counseling but try ignoring it first.

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