My 9yo still needs this - I have let her know that I enjoy it but want her to be able to sleep "on her own " at certain times - if she needs to sleep over grandma's (she's done that twice) and she LOVES to sleep over her best friend's house and have her over as well - but then she isn't sleeping alone, just not with me - and she needs to be able to fall asleep on her own as well sometimes
She is wrestling with the desire to 'do it on her own' mixed with the preference of still being with me - at our house the routine has always been I fall asleep with her - step away for some time with dh, bath for myself etc. She always comes to my bed between 12-2 and our queen is not big enough for three of us so I go to her room which is about three steps away (and usually take a trip to the bathroom while I'm at it) I never have trouble going back to sleep and we seem to be so in sync that I am awake before she even gets to me - aside from wondering when she will outgrown this I have NEVER had an issue with it
For a few months now she has been seeing a counselor for anxiety (there is a family hx and she does have some gen anx but handles it well and is quite articulate about it, thanks to her Dad's guidance) Together they are working on steps but this comes from her with gentle encouragement (especially to stick to any agreed upon goals before her next session)
She has successfully made it through the night without coming for me (one time, as part of her agreed goal) but mostly she is holding at falling asleep on her own after 10 -15 min of lying down together - I see this as 'her issue' and while I am ther to guide, support, help, and encourage I don't sweat it
Yes, I often wonder when I'll 'get the boot' but she is my only child (and has PLENTY of boundaries in other areas, IMO) and I do enjoy the togetherness, and feel that has tremendous value - I just try to be mindful that I am not holding her back in any way - and given her love of the sleepover I hardly think that is happening
The question tho, that I have had to ask MYSELF many times before arriving at this point, Is this a problem for anyone in the family? (nope) Dh has questioned it from time to time mostly out of concern for her healthy development - but he's an anthropologist and I just remind him our arrangement is the most common throughout the world's cultures and he pretty much shuts up -( we both work flex schedules so we find time alone when we want to...)
For what it's worth I have also read over on the family bed forum that kids with anxiety often take longer to feel okay sleeping on their own - and most report that they've switched to sleeping on their own around puberty - I highly doubt she'll be sleeping with me by the time she's 14....I choose to enjoy it while it lasts, just like all that holding her I did when she was a baby...