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Stepsibs sharing bed?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have some concerns about my DSS who is 9. His mother has remarried a man with a 6yo daughter. He has custody about 75% of the time, frequently more often as his ex is not very stable. We share custody of DSS 50/50.

The daughter is fascinated by DSS, up to and including coming into his bedroom at night and trying to sleep with DSS. DSS does NOT want her in his personal space while he's trying to sleep. While he's not old enough or experienced enough to express it, I think he feels there is something "off" about her insistence about sleeping with him. I also feel that the behavior of the little girl is a little extreme in the other situations where I've seen her.

Because she kicks up such a fuss when he tries to get her to leave, his mother and stepfather have been insisting that DSS let the girl stay in bed with him to avoid disrupting the entire family's sleep. However, this doesn't seem fair to DSS, and further, since the girl's mother is so unstable, I have concerns that there will be some kind of misunderstanding, and she will accuse DSS of some sort of sexual misbehavior with the daughter. While that may seem to be an unreasonable fear I think the mother is CRA-ZEE and so her actions/behavior are unpredictable.

Any suggestions for ways we can help DSS to deal with the daughter? Any arguments we can use to convince the ex that the situation is unacceptable? Am I being unreasonable?
post #2 of 7
I don't think you are being unreasonable AT ALL. Your instincts are correct that with unstable adults involved, accusations of sexual impropriety are too big of a risk. There are lots of reasons the girl could be seeking comfort and affection from your DSS. It could be something as innocent as she is afraid of the dark or something as nefarious as that she is the past victim of sexual abuse and acting out. In any case, the behaviour of the adults involved is alarming.

Is your son in his own room? Can he lock the door? If not, and the mom and stepdad can't agree that he will be undisturbed by this girl at night, then I'd see about restricting all overnight visits.
post #3 of 7
It is entirely unfair that your DSS should have to give up his personal space for the little girl! If the roles were reversed and he INSISTED and DEMANED she slept with him, against her will, how would they feel then?
The strongest argument is one on a personal level: if DSS doesn't feel comfortable, there should be no other argument needed.
Good luck....
post #4 of 7
i agree with both pp, something sounds a little weird. she should be in bed sleeping. perhaps they can get her a waldorf doll that she can design herself if she needs companionship. she will probably grow out of it regardless. but i would be concerned for sure.
post #5 of 7
If my ds (almost 3) wanted to sleep with my dsd (8), I would not tolerate it. Not only do I feel it is inappropriate, but it isnt necessary either. If the little girl can sleep in her room when your dss is not there, then she can do it when he is. End of story.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses! I always like to double-check and make sure my perspective on some of these thorny step-parenting issues is not out of whack.

DH is going to talk to the Ex and her husband about it -- and really emphasize to them that we think that allowing the situation to continue might give the mother some wedge to retry on custody (which she's not capable of handling, but which she is insulted she doesn't have). He'll also express his concerns about the fact that DSS should have some personal space whereever he is.

DSS is a very laid back kid and goes with the flow. You really have to be listening to him to catch on that something is bothering him. We're going to work with him to give him some tools to stand up for himself, and really express to the Ex and her husband when he is uncomfortable and/or unhappy. Even if the bed issue goes away, I imagine there will continue to be some problems with the daughter. Those of you who've watched Tiny Toons might remember the little girl character with the cat (Elmyra?) -- who was always saying "I will love him, and squeeze him and pet him and never let him go" while the cat was always silently, desperately and futilely trying to escape. That, in a nutshell, is DSS's relationship with the daughter.

This is heightened by the fact that the Ex and her husband are pretty focused on their "successful, happy blended family" so they seem to be willing to dismiss DSS's issues (since he isn't vocal about them) since they want to believe everything is 100% okay.
post #7 of 7
Give your DSS a door wedge, one of those triangular wooden blocks. I bet if he kicks it under his door for a few nights and she can't get in she'll quit trying and his dad and stepmom will get the picture. I agree, it sounds like something is up and that the girl needs to talk to a professional. Sounds like there is probably a bit of jealousy on her part to your DSS because his parents, although divorced liek hers, seem to be getting along better and deal with him in a more positive way than her parents are.
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