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I am devastated. I just found out, thanks to my older brother who is visiting from out of town, that my entire extended family thinks that we are horrible parents for still allowing our 9 year old dd in our bed. Not only that, but the implication is there that this is somehow "sick", and that our closeness as a family is somehow suspicious. Also, that we allow this means our marriage is in trouble.<br><br>
My husband and I were together 17 years before we had dd. We were pretty tight as a couple by then. Our romantic life does not take place in the family bed. Our family bed is for sleeping, reading, watching movies and talking. I do not advertise that we have a family bed, now that our dd is older. I KNOW most people would think it weird. But I never expected my brother to attack us like this. It was an ugly scene.<br><br>
I KNOW 9 is pushing the limit for co-sleeping. But our dd is also an extremely well-adjusted, happy, secure child. My husband is a psychotherapist and we are not unaware of child development and psychological issues.<br><br>
We moved this year to a fixer-upper house and are just getting dd's room finished. She will have a fun loft bed, and I anticipate her naturally transitioning to that. This has also been an extremely difficult year, with a big move, major surgery for dh, and some other really major upheaval and stresses for our family. I did not think, especially under the circumstances of this year, that we were doing anything bad. My brother said "If she (dd) went to public school they would REPORT you for this".<br><br>
Does anyone know of any "expert opinion" or evidence I could use to defend myself? My extended family thinks we are the only people in the world to ever have a child of this age sleep with parents.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> People all over the world sleep together. It's only in our society (and some others) that we equate "sleeping quarters" with "sex". Picture living in some remote place with one room; every night, everyone gets out their sleeping mats and fall asleep. They get up the next morning, roll up their mats, have breakfast, and life goes on... What's the big deal?! It's just sleeping for God's sake, who cares where it happens? (Can you tell this topic drives me nuts?!!!) I would research sleeping habits around the world and show your family that sleeping together is not a "problem". and if they say that "yeah, but this is America." I'd reply, so how does that change the fact that we're human first? Who cares where everybody sleeps? It's only a problem if people turn it into one. Nobody is worried that their dogs might grow up weird b/c they all snuggle up together and sleep, no matter where they are. Almost all animals snuggle up together and sleep- and we're animals too. (OK, I'll get off my soapbox now!) (and BTW, no matter what people say, I've known some longterm cosleepers and they all turned out just fine and independent too!)
 

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My son is 13 yrs old and still climbs into bed with my husband and I when he has a bad dream or scary stuff keeps him awake. I have been scouring this forum for someone to address this topic with regards to older kids. Our other son (now 15) has always been a good sleeper and we rarely had him need to sleep with us. I don't like to talk with people about this because of the stigma attached. Your post seems to fit what I feel. We have had people give us shocked looks like we are freaks when it comes out that he still sleeps with us sometimes. He is very big for his age too, so that is hard. We tried the sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag next to the bed, but there is only narrow spaces around our bed in our tiny bedroom... so he can't fit there. My husband and I have not pushed him back to his own bed (much) because we both suffered as children with night terrors so we know how it can be. We want him to know that we are here for him. He sometimes goes a week or so at a time without coming to our bed so perhaps it will be soon he stops? I don't know. I take it you homeschool too? We do, so I guess it is a good thing because I know how the public school likes to get into ppl's business too much. Well, any input or encouragement would be greatly desired. I hope I helped you too somehow with my story.
 

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my good friends have a 6 and 9 yo who are sssssssllllllooooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyy transitioning to a double bed in "their" room. which means that for the last 9 mos since the parents got rid of the bunk beds in the girls' room (that were never used, at least not more than on occasion or for guests) they sleep there some nights, with one or the other parent there, too. the parents think the 9yo is ready so long as the 6yo is there with her, but the 6yo is not quite ready for no parent to be there. the mom's parents live with them, too (active late sixties, do the "daycare" and much household management so both parents can work fulltime), and grandma is of japanese decent, and grew up cosleeping and raised the mom cosleeping. the girls are in private school, so no dealings with that issue.<br><br>
hth
 

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Honestly, I wouldn't defend it. I would just say 'we do what works for us as a family. I wouldn't presume to tell you where to sleep or have sex, I'd expect you to do the same' and leave it at that.
 

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((hugs)) Most anyone with kids, even if they don't "cosleep" are problably lying if they say their 9 yr old has never climbed in bed with them, be it a nightmare, or a thunderstorm. I slept with my mom everynight at that age, I'm actually embarrassed to post how long I hogged my mom's bed<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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We dont have a age limit for co sleeping here. When dd 6.5 and ds 2.5 are ready for their own room we will let them but until then I am in no hurry for it to happen. Do what is right for your family and dont listen to close minded people even if they are related by blood.<br><br>
Up until I got married at 22yo I would often sleep in the floor in my parents room. I just liked being close to them and it was cooler in the floor as well (we had no A/C)<br><br>
I dont know why people in the USA make such a big deal about co sleeping in other countries it is tne norm.<br><br>
I am not one bit worried about dd being in school and us co sleeping I cant imagine anyone getting into our bussiness that way.
 

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I have a friend whose son coslept with them until he was 10. She said her husband used to joke that he'd start shaving before he went to his own bed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Now he's 15y/o and just fine. I know another woman from Eritrea who had four daughters and they ALL slept with her and her husband. Her twin daughters are in college and still like to sleep together with each other. She is completely befuddled about the American attitude towards cosleeping. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br><br>
I'm sorry your family gave you grief. They truly don't understand. Hang in there -- you'll be OK and so will your dd. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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First off, it's not his business to be airing what goes on in your home with the rest of the family. If it were my brother, I'd probably tell him so (but then, I don't get alone with most of my extended family so the issue would be a moot point... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: )<br><br>
However, my brother co-slept with my parents until his was 15 yo. He's now 20 and a perfectly normal, well adjusted adult. If it works for your family, that's all that matters. When it's time, parents and children know.
 

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I just wanted to chime in and say that I co-slept with my mom until I was almost 12 and I went to public school lol It was a bit of a shock for me to find out other pp didn't co-sleep. I did avoid the subject when I was in high school though because I was a little embaressed<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Well, I live in Japan and here it is perfectly normal for entire families to sleep in one room together until the children leave the home for college or marriage. Even then, there are many extended families that live together and still sleep in the same room together. DD often spends the night at a friend's home and at their house DD sleeps in the same room as her friend (also 5), the sister (8 years), the mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and great grandma (they all take family baths together *gasp* naked as well--but that's another issue). Another family we know has one sleeping room with a mom, dad, and two teenage daughters. This is the societal norm here in Japan and in many Asian cultures. Personally our family loves this concept and have decided that we will try to do the same thing in our home. . .having one family sleeping room. I think the American concept that having children in the parents bed means that the parents aren't having sex and are lacking intimacy is silly--there are many other ways for intimacy to occur (isn't that what the kitchen table is for<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> )
 

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>there are many other ways for intimacy to occur (isn't that what the kitchen table is for)<br><br>
It all kind of goes with that original Puritan mindset, doesn't it? Sex is only ok if it's 1) in your bed, 2) with the lights out 3) for making children 4) missionary position and 5) no fun at all! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
So if you're doing something that obviously takes #1 out of the equation, people get all weird ("well, they must be DOING IT with the kids there, or she's not DOING HER DUTY at all! Can you IMAGINE!" [insert fainting and gasps from the twin-set crowd]) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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Our 11 yr old dd co-sleeps with us most of the time. No big deal. She's a well-adjusted, secure, kind child.<br><br>
I wouldn't bother to find studies or research that backs up your decision to co-sleep. The problem isn't co-sleeping, it's a nosy, intrusive brother. Tell him to mind his own business and quit gossiping.<br><br>
"This is what works best for us. It's a PARENTAL decision and none of your concern." Repeat ad nauseum until he drops the subject.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ann-Marita</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8110416"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wouldn't bother to find studies or research that backs up your decision to co-sleep. The problem isn't co-sleeping, it's a nosy, intrusive brother. Tell him to mind his own business and quit gossiping.</div>
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Exactly my thought. Do not allow him to "derail" you into defending an issue that isn't REALLY the issue...this could be no-vax, HS, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, etc.<br><br>
The issue is that your brother thinks it's okay to embarrass/shame you regarding YOUR parenting choices. THAT is what's unacceptable.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>keeksmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7937840"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I KNOW 9 is pushing the limit for co-sleeping.</div>
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I don't think that's true at all! I think family members of any age, who are comfortable enough to co-sleep, are actually quite healthy and have a very loving relationship.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My brother said "If she (dd) went to public school they would REPORT you for this".</td>
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Does anyone know of actual cases where families have been reported for co-sleeping?<br><br>
I agree there's no need for the OP to feel a need to defend herself. If, however, she's thinking it's likely a family member might call Child Protective Services -- it might be helpful if anyone has any idea what, if anything, would be done about such a call. Would such a call even be investigated?<br><br>
If there's some likelihood of a visit from a social worker -- what steps could the OP take to defend herself from unwanted and coercive interventions? While she shouldn't feel any "need" to defend what is a very normal, healthy practice -- if her family could be at risk of government intrusion, isn't it wise for her to arm herself?<br><br>
I don't personally know how CPS handles (or even IF they handle) reports of co-sleeping from state to state. I'd like to think they just handle child abuse allegations, and leave it up to families to figure out what sleeping arrangements work best for them.<br><br>
But does anyone have more information?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>keeksmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7937840"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My brother said "If she (dd) went to public school they would REPORT you for this".</div>
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Is this TRUE?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Corri</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8109865"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It all kind of goes with that original Puritan mindset, doesn't it? Sex is only ok if it's 1) in your bed, 2) with the lights out 3) for making children 4) missionary position and 5) no fun at all! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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Hmm. . . Are you talking Puritans as in the early settlers of America or people (of the last 150 years or so) who are defined as puritanical?<br><br>
Greenfield Village (in Dearborn, MI) has a house from the time of the Puritans. It has one big room (a man lived there with his wife and--I think it was--7 children). One day I got wondering how they conceived so many children with so little privacy and concluded they must not have been as inhibited as we are about their children hearing noises and such. Just a thought.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AmyJayne19</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8112467"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm sorry that your family isnt supportive of your co-sleeping. I am 23 and still sleep with my mom when I go to visit her.</div>
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How funny you mention this. I'm 33, but if dc and I spend the night with my mom or she spends the night with us, it's an intergenerational bed! In fact, when dh's niece came out last year, she also slept with all of us (we have a twin and queen size bed, so it was cozy but we all still had room. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
I think co-sleeping in this country is one of those things that people aren't willing to talk about because they think it's not the norm. Like many topics here on MDC, I think this is only that will slowly become more known and accepted.
 

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Sounds like you've gotten some great support on this. I hope you are feeling better!<br><br>
Co-sleeping aside, your brother totally triangulated with you. What he's saying is second hand, his interpretation of the "facts," whatever they may be. I would request that if others in the family needed to talk to me about <b>anything</b> that they come to me directly. End of conversation and let it go as best I could.<br><br>
Gossip, which is essentially what your brother was doing, since he was reporting "he said, she said" is <b>poison</b>. I try never to take it seriously or to perpetuate it whenever possible.<br><br>
On the co-sleeping, what everyone else said. I had an Indian friend whose mom was devastated when, at 25, my friend suggested she didn't want to co-sleep anymore when she came to visit. Co-sleeping is just what many, many, many people do.<br><br>
That said, the whole scenario would have upset me greatly too.
 
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