father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

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Latest post 01-17-2006 5:31 PM by OhioCP. 25 replies.
  • 01-13-2006 11:41 AM

    Question [=?] father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    I am the Primary Custodial parent of our 9 year old daughter. My concerns are her sleeping arrangments with her father during his weekend/summer visitation time. We have been divorced for several years and he has always had her sleep with him in his bed even though she had a bed & bedroom of her own at his residence. When I've respectfully requested he change the sleeping arrangement he dosen't. He currently lives in a 3 bedroom house , however it's recently been brought to my attention that he has rented out the bedroom that used to be our daughter's to a male friend. When I ask my daughter why she sleeps with her dad her response is that that is how she shows him that she loves him. Obviously I'm concerned for her emotional well being. Let me also say that I'm not one to set a double standard, I have always provided our daughter with her own room & bed. I have always encouraged her to sleep on her own. She does/has & I've never had a problem.
    My overall question is what are my rights as the custodial parent to protect the emotional well being of our daughter in this situation?
  • 01-13-2006 12:24 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Yeah, and what else does she have to do to "show him she loves him." Oy.

    Your rights are to bring it to the court's attention and ask for a psychological eval and whatever other actions are deemed necessary, including not allowing her overnight visitation if he can't comply. Naturally, ensuring that he isn't renting out her room would be one way. Another would be to hope that he doesn't convince her to start lying about where she sleeps ... or spot inspections after her normal bed time.

    Talk with your local family law attorney. If you don't have one, get one.

  • 01-13-2006 12:59 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Thank you so much for your thoughts.
  • 01-13-2006 1:06 PM In reply to

    • CPof1
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    Disagree [)*(] re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    >>Yeah, and what else does she have to do to "show him she loves him." Oy. <<

    Wait, did the original poster seem to think that the father was molesting the child, or is this just something you conjured up?

    You know, alot of people have mixed opinions on cohabitating and that's fine, but just because a parent sleeps with a child does not mean that the child is being abused. You cannot immediately assume that with no information to back it up.

    I'm not saying that it isn't possible or that it never happens, but to immediately assume that without the OP even mentioning anything even to that effect (she was concerned with the child's independence, not that she was being abused) is IMHO incorrect and hasty.

  • 01-13-2006 1:09 PM In reply to

    • CPof1
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    Note [#=#] Oops, Co-Sleeping, not Cohabitating... sorry!

    http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,3974,00.html
  • 01-13-2006 1:26 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Do you have evidence of sexual abuse or do you just object to his parenting choices?

    He does not have to agree to parent the way you do. In many cultures such sleeping arrangements are quite normal.

    You should discuss it with your lawyer if you feel very strongly or have evidence of abuse.
  • 01-13-2006 4:14 PM In reply to

    • CPof1
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    Note [#=#] re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    After thinking about this more, I might not like it either, considering there are 2 other bedrooms in the home. However, if the father is keeping her in his room because he's renting out one of the other bedrooms and basically has a stranger living there, then maybe he's doing it to protect her. Did you talk to him about this?
  • 01-13-2006 5:46 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Nothing in your post suggests that HER emotional well-being is in any danger. I agree that it's a little "weird." I can't tell you how to discover if anything other than sleeping is going on. You can always seek court orders to address the issue, but I suspect you don't have sufficient evidence of anything to get one. Consult with a local attorney.
  • 01-13-2006 5:48 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Thanks for your thoughts....
    Yes, I have tried to talk with him about this issue in the past but to no avail. I do not know anything about the man who is sharing her father's home, but don't think her father would have her stay in his room for protection~this housemate is not a stranger to our daughter or her father. This is not a new situation, her sleeping in bed with him. And I'm concerned because not long ago he had her bathing with a male cousin around the age of 7. I feel that this is VERY confusingand wrong...and if she feels sleeping with him is a way she shows her love~isn't that unhealthy? What happens when she has her 1st boyfriend? And no I don't think there is anything physical/sexual occuring, but I certainly don't want to have to wait for something like that to occur before it would be considered "court worthy"...
  • 01-13-2006 5:52 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Thanks for your thoughts...
    Do you not think it's unnatural for a child to feel/think that by sleeping with her father shows him she loves him? What about him allowing her to bathe with a 7 year old male cousin?
  • 01-13-2006 6:37 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Unnatural? No. "Sleeping" doesn't mean sex to a child - it means sleeping. Nor is co-ed bathing of children unnatural or sexual.
  • 01-13-2006 6:48 PM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    Thanks for your thoughts, however, I NEVER said anything about this issue being sexual and am curious to know why you would. I disagree strongly with your opinion regarding bathing with a child of the opposite sex at this age and again where did the sexual issue come from? I realize that for some this is a sensitive topic, I respect that. But please don't put words/thoughts in my posting.
  • 01-13-2006 7:03 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] The courts aren't there . . .

    to tell people how to parent unless the parenting decisions are damaging the children.

    I suspect you'll need some expert testimony about the possible effects of this on the child.

    My father went back into the Army after my parents divorced. When he was back on leave we'd stay at our grandmothers, usually sharing a bed because grandma wasn't filthy rich. I don't think it damaged me in any way. I don't think it should be any different because this is a father and a daughter.
  • 01-13-2006 7:10 PM In reply to

    Ok [+0+] re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    I also have a 9 year old daughter, who visits with her dad every other weekend, and if she is like mine, and there was anything going on other than "sleeping", she will tell you. Kids cant always keep quiet if they are abused, and if you dont see any significant difference in her behavior when she returns home to you, I wouldnt worry so much about it.
    She may have her own room with you, but maybe your ex has his own reasons just as you do.
    Only if she has a behavioral change, or withdraws from her dad when he picks her up, or you take her to him, she is fine, Im sure.
    Bathing with opposite sex is ok, they are too young to even think about anything but taking a bath together. Try not to make it where your daughter is asking questions about everything, it may frighten her, and keep her confused. Im sure she can distinguish between whats right or wrong, she is 9 years old! Most girls are pretty smart when they reach age 7
  • 01-14-2006 11:43 AM In reply to

    re: father co-sleeping with 9 year old daughter

    I've read the replies to your question. Personally, I would not be comfortable with my children sharing a bed with their father, but perhaps each situation is "different." I believe that age 9 is too old to be sleeping with either parent, but again, to each their own. One thing that concerns me is the physical developmental stage of your daughter. My daughter was very developed by age 9 so sleeping with her father or bathing with a male cousin would have been totally inappropriate. I agree that you should consult your attorney and see what he/she says. Also, if your ex is renting out the room that should be used by your daughter when she visits shows a wrong set of priorities. This mind set in itself is unsettling. Good luck.
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