When the 'attached' family grows up - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 14 Old 08-13-2010, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
WCM
 
WCM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd love to hear from families who live like we do, and what has changed (or not) as your kids entered the pre-teen /teen years.

We've always slept with our kids, and are physically and emotionally close. They are homeschooled and for them I (and their Dad) am an anchor. We take classes together; they do not do a class if I cannot be somewhat nearby. For the youngers it is a comfort issue, for the eldest he truly wants me to see him, wants to smile at me and have me share what has happened in his day.

Right now we all sleep in one huge bedroom, though each in our own beds. They'd love to sleep IN my bed, but there are just too many of them to do that.

My eldest (male) is almost 10, and everything about our lives he's happy with, and we are too.

What might change? I mean, at some point we've always assumed he'll ask for his own room, his own space, etc. Ditto his younger sisters. And yet I cannot see him being alright with sleeping on his own in his own room while the rest of us are still in the family bedroom. He'd feel very left out, based on how he has been in the past.

while I don't like to pre-judge or make sweeping generalisations about anyone, least of all my kids, I do think I can learn from others so I'm best prepared for whatever changes come our way.

Did your family live as we do? What changed and when? I wonder if our closeness will make the teen urge to seperate from us (both physically and mentally/emotionally) bigger or smaller. Will he push away harder or not as much?

I find I can do better about being respectful, open and laid-back about things if I have time to think about them on my own first. I've thought about how our way of living may change, but so far it never has, and I have no examples to look at and ponder on, as no one I know lives like us AND has older kids who've possibly voiced a need for change.

Many thanks!

Passionate posts = oodles of typos
WCM is offline  
#2 of 14 Old 08-13-2010, 03:34 PM
 
lorijds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,950
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When our oldest moved out of our bed, completely on her own (she was 6 at the time), her 3 year old sister moved out the next night, into bed with her sister! We went from a family bed to just the two of us in a 30 hour time span! Frankly, they liked it and my dh and I hated it for a while.

We still have an open bed policy (they are 15 and 12). For a long time, at least 2 days a week, the kids slept with us. It was completely random as to why, and sometimes one girl would want one of us to sleep with her in their bed, so the sleeping arrangements were very random and of any combo possible between the two beds for about 4 years.

Neither girl has slept with us since their 11th year, although interestingly enough, each has asked to sleep by themselves in our bed at least once in the last, oh, 18 months. Which is fine with us; whatever works.

In general, we have such easy going, happy kids. To me they seem pretty secure and self confident. We don't live quite like you, in that we didn't homeschool much and only had two kiddos; but we do live like you in the sense that we don't parent like most people. We learned early on to completely rely on our own instincts, not what the experts, our culture or our peers said. Our kids appear to enjoy hanging out with us, and we do a lot together as a family. There is a lot of trust in our familial relationship.

Over the years we have slowly found friends who parent more similarly to us; you may find this as well.. We have always been so strict when compared to them early on...and now it seems like we are the most lax of parents in terms of rules, because honestly my kids don't seem to need them. So far so good anyway, I hope I'm not jinxing myself!!!

Sorry this is such a rambling post! I would let your kids lead you, in terms of the family bed thing (and frankly a lot of other areas as well). I talk to my kids like I talk to my husband; we discuss things very openly and frankly. If I worry about my daughter or her peer group, we talk about it. Likewise, if I'm having difficulty in a relationship at work, for example, I will discuss it at the table and ask for advice from my husband and girls. And, at least based on my experience, if your son moves to his own room, don't be surprised if some of his siblings follow!
lorijds is offline  
#3 of 14 Old 08-13-2010, 07:13 PM
 
nolonger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My oldest also moved out of the bed on her own when it just got too crowded and wiggly and she wanted to stay up later than I did to read. At first she slept on the couch and then we found a bunk bed with a twin on top and a full on the bottom and a book light and she moved back into the room on the top bunk. When we moved to an area where I could afford to rent a house instead of an apartment, both children were THRILLED at the prospect of having their own rooms, but the younger child continued to cosleep for quite a few months, alternating nights between my bed and his sister's, although he did have his own bed in his own room. He let us know when he was ready to sleep there.

I think they were both about seven. I did kind of encourage them to speed up the process because I didn't know anyone else who coslept for that long and I was (probably unnecessarily) afraid of CPS and my ex. When I finally got the internet and was able to communicate with other likeminded parents, i always felt a bit of sadness when i read about parents cosleeping with 10, 12, and 14 year old children.

My older child homeschooled all the way to college (which she began at a young age) and my younger until high school age. They are now 21 and 18 and I also have a 2 1/2 year old.

The older children and I have had our share of successes and failures, proud moments and heart wrenching disappointments. dd recently moved from Guam to Hawaii and works as a hostess at a resort, living simply so that she can gradually chip away at a double major in Dance and Philosophy. ds1 lives independently in the same town where ds2 and I live but visits almost daily, has worked for the same company for over a year, bought a $300 car last January and taught himself enough auto mechanics to trade it in on a 1978 Camaro that he is now fixing up and intends to keep as a show car, and begins vocational training to become a corrections officer in a week or two.

I never remarried (the youngest is with a known donor) and would hardly hold my family up as a paragon of perfection or my life as something that others should try to emulate, but I have no regrets at all about swimming against the mainstream and raising my children the way I have or the sacrifices I have had to make in order to do so. If anything, I wish I'd had the courage to be more radical than I was.
nolonger is offline  
#4 of 14 Old 08-19-2010, 12:02 AM
 
kallyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well I can't talk about my own children, but I can talk about me and my siblings as far as cosleeping goes. I'm the oldest and I have a sister who is 3 years younger than I am and a brother who is 10 years younger than I am. Our parents coslept with all of us. When I moved out of my parents' bed, my little sister moved out too, but she moved into my bed instead of her own. When my little brother left our parents' bed, he moved into the bed with me and my sister! They each had their own bedroom with their own bed, but even if we went to sleep in separate rooms (not common) we'd all end up in my bed. I coslept with both my siblings all the way through high school and college, and will still sleep with either one of them if DH isn't around. We all have a really great relationship now that we're mostly grown too (I'm 27, sis is almost 24, bro is 17).

Me love.gif, DH guitar.gif, and DD baby.gif9/27/10!
kallyn is offline  
#5 of 14 Old 08-19-2010, 01:25 AM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My daughter stopped sleeping with me regularly at 12, although she still sleeps with me occasionally, like if we're watching a movie and she falls asleep in my bed, or if we're visiting someone and share a bed. It's not a big deal.

Rain also has been homeschooled, but even at 9 she did classes and playdates and stuff on her own, without caring if I was nearby at the time. For us, being physically close at all times wasn't a factor in our emotional closeness. We do still enjoy spending time together, but when we're together 24/7 for days in a row we start to drive each other a bit nuts, too. This was the same when she was under 10, though... maybe at under 5 we were together nearly all the time, but be 6 or 7 she definitely did stuff without me on a regular basis.

Really, she got to a point when she wanted to spread her wings a bit and not have me right there... which I imagine will happen with your kids, too. It didn't mean that we were not as close, just that she was growing up.

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#6 of 14 Old 08-19-2010, 01:33 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
My DD moved out or our bed at age 3 by her own choice (my pregnant belly was an annoyance to her lol.) My DS slept in our room until 2 (not in our bed because he was too light a sleeper and any movement woke him up.) At 2, DS wanted to move his bed into his DD's room and she welcomed him. They shared a room until they were 8 and 11. DS still climbs in with us at 9 on occasion but DD stopped when she got her own room.

They are still snugglers. They still want lots of physical contact from us and from each other. They have always been very independant though. They like us at some activities but they also enjoy having activities away from us and getting a chance to connect to other kids and adults.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is online now  
#7 of 14 Old 08-19-2010, 07:44 PM
 
journeymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Having a Gilly Water with McGonagall
Posts: 9,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
What might change? I mean, at some point we've always assumed he'll ask for his own room, his own space, etc. Ditto his younger sisters. And yet I cannot see him being alright with sleeping on his own in his own room while the rest of us are still in the family bedroom. He'd feel very left out, based on how he has been in the past.
He might, or he might think it's totally cool, one of the advantages to being older. He might think he 'gets' to have his own space.

Raising a child to be attached helps them feel secure and confident.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
journeymom is offline  
#8 of 14 Old 08-21-2010, 04:50 AM
 
zebra15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 4,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
DS is goign to be 10 in a couple weeks... dang how did that happen. I never co-slept but tend to stay 'close' for activites and such. Very rarely will I drop him off and wander too far during a class or program.
Because I'm a single parent and DS is an only child I think he is 'stuck with mom' more often. We do lots of things together.

He has not asked for more independence but when he does i will graciously step aside.

Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is online now  
#9 of 14 Old 08-23-2010, 02:56 PM
 
bestjob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 981
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DS is 9 and has gradually moved to his own bed.

Dd is 15 and when she was 5 years old asked me to give her a whole bed and stop hanging around. Pretty much since then she's wanted me to blow kisses and not have too much contact. She gives me hugs to indulge me.

Ds is 12 and love hugs, but has developed a phobia for the "bedtime routine" so he puts himself to bed.

Sometimes all I want in the world is a bed and a blanket to myself.

Maybe my family is a bit on the "personal time" side of things, but I do think we're pretty healthy and happy.

To each his own.
bestjob is offline  
#10 of 14 Old 08-23-2010, 07:13 PM
 
greenmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: On the commune
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
dd is 10, she nursed until just before turning four and didn't even have her own bed until 5. She has had one since and frequently sleeps in it, but also still sleeps with me when dh is out of town (ie: he's gone four nights/week and she will usually sleep with me at least two of those.)

Often many of the nights that dh is home we have my step-granddaughter over and then dd sleeps with her. I think homeschooling is a natural progression of an attached family in that the family likes to be together and have adventures together and share our discoveries. At the same time, if they are well attached they really don't need us hovering and have the independence and confidence to go out and do whatever interests them and then come home and share their stories with us eagerly listening.
greenmama is offline  
#11 of 14 Old 08-23-2010, 07:36 PM
 
chiromamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My kids are 15, 14 and 9. They each have their own room and we also have an open bed policy.
I think the foundation of AP has made my kids more confident and independent. They really love doing things on their own, getting themselves where they need to go. They are also much more physically affectionate with us and each other than most teens/preteens.
The older 2 have gone on extended trips with school groups and love it.
Honestly, once a kid is ready to spread their wings, they'll let you know.
However, I do feel it's important to encourage some independence...taking the bus, walking to the store to pick up eggs, etc.
I marvel at my kids' capabilities and confidence.
I also relish the time for myself.
chiromamma is offline  
#12 of 14 Old 08-27-2010, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
WCM
 
WCM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks everyone.

The part I guess I'm most curious about, but realise may be just too individual to guage, is how attachment affects the desire to push away, to differentiate from your parents, to get time to yourself.

Both my eldest and his best friend are parented/live the same way we do. Both are experiencing tears and frustration as their first step in puberty. This just got his mother and I wondering what our futures may bring and how our lifestyle may affect that. Thoughts?

Passionate posts = oodles of typos
WCM is offline  
#13 of 14 Old 08-27-2010, 03:11 PM
 
lorijds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,950
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel like our kids are amazingly independent, hardworking, smart, self motivated, and in general incredible individuals. Is it because the co-slept until they were ready to leave the bed? Is it because we raised them with minimal (and episodes of no) TV? Is it because we encourage music education in their lives? Is it because their father and I have a loving, affectionate relationship? Is it all the travel we have done as a family? Is it all the reading aloud we did, from the time they were born until this year? Is it the sit down, family dinners that we have every night? Is it that I married just the right man for me, and between the two of us our genes combined to create these perfect little specimens? Am I possibly somewhat biased in how much more amazing my daughters are than the general population?

Who knows? I *do not* think you can go wrong with listening to your child and honoring their dreams, hopes and fears. We have always tried to respect what are children wanted, their likes and dislikes, and have always tried to listen to what they had to say. We are talkers...we discuss situations, options, emotions, concerns as a family. DH and I discuss our mistakes and our accomplishments (big and little) as a routine, and give each other encouragement and advice...partially because this is how we are, and partially to model good communication and relationships.

I don't know why my kids seem so healthy and happy in general. I would like to say it is due to our amazing parenting skills and choices; but I have a sneaking suspicion that that may not play as big a role as I would like to think!
lorijds is offline  
#14 of 14 Old 08-27-2010, 04:22 PM
 
mariamadly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,452
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCM View Post
Thanks everyone.

The part I guess I'm most curious about, but realise may be just too individual to guage, is how attachment affects the desire to push away, to differentiate from your parents, to get time to yourself.

Both my eldest and his best friend are parented/live the same way we do. Both are experiencing tears and frustration as their first step in puberty. This just got his mother and I wondering what our futures may bring and how our lifestyle may affect that. Thoughts?
I think maybe they all go through turmoil but hopefully feel a connection of respect and trust that helps them weather it. Puberty is still rough going, no matter what. The difference is in what kind of home they have as it all plays out.

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), an underachieving Bernese Mountain Dog (2006-2014), and an overachieving mother (1930).  Married to DH since 1986.
mariamadly is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off