My married brother sleeps in room with 13 year old son instead of with his wife.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2011
My married brother sleeps in room with 13 year old son instead of with his wife.
29
Wed, 06-29-2011 - 1:47pm

Hey,

I don't have children so my brother will not listen to any advice I have. I wanted to post here - for other folks that have children to respond. He sleeps in a bunkbed with my 13 year old nephew. (He sleeps in lower bunk, nephew sleeps in upper bunk.) I think his wife prefers he sleep with her. I fear that this behavior is severely stunting for a 13 year old's normal development. He is home schooled, has limited opportunities for social interactions (except an occasional outings with a small group of other home schoolers), and is in general - a fearful young man. My brother sleeping in his room is doing nothing to helping him, but I feel like he's instead inabling him. I strongly believe this is wrong as a child should be sleeping alone at an early age and 13 is beyond too old. Also - I don't believe it sets a good precedent for the parents who should be establishing healthy boundaries and showing the children that the parents are in love and a team. Instead it is reinforcing my nephew's fears and my brother is putting his emotional needs in front of his wife's. Again - I feel like it is affecting my nephew's normal development in becoming a healthy, independent person. My brother will not listen to this. He just says "You do not have children, so you don't understand." If I didn't think this was extremely dysfunctional - I would not be asking for input from other parents and would mind my own business. I would, however love any input or advice from other parents please. Thank you for your time!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Why does he sleep in his son's room?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2011

He says its because my nephew is scared (of ghosts). My nephew said his Dad told him that he will stop when my nephew tells him he feels like he's finally able to sleep alone. My brother has been doing this since my nephew was 4. My sister in law has told me that she's told my brother that she wants him back in her bed. My nephew has spent the night alone before (once he spent the night at my house and when they vacation with my sister in law's side of the family). Now I can't even get him to spend the night. My brother talked him out of it last time, stating that our animals make our house so dusty, that his allergies might act up so much that he might have to go to the hospital. (I don't have a dirty house.) I do try to spend time with my nephew as much as possible and encourage him to do new things. This is just ONE problem. There are many other dysfunctional things going on...but this is really bugging me as I love my nephew and want to see him develop into a healthy adult. Thank you SO MUCH for your input.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
I don't think what your brother is doing is really a big deal. It differs from your own parenting philosophy, but many families (from the US AND other cultures) practice some form of co-sleeping (though, what your brother and nephew are doing is more *room-sharing*).

In different circumstances (I'm thinking economic circumstances primarily), I and my same-sex child might share a room (to save on rent). No one important (as in, the authorities) would see anything wrong with it.

Now if your brother and his DAUGHTER start sharing a room, you might have a legitimate concern.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

This is a little creepy to me. It's not the room-sharing (I sometimes

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

I have to disagree with those who say a parent sleeping with their child INSTEAD OF their wife, is no big deal.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I agree that the sleeping in the kid's room along with a bunch of other dysfunctional behaviors could indicate that something weird is going on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2011
Thank you sbrtooth and musiclover12. If everything else was "normal" with their family dynamic, I would butt out. I just feel helpless. My brother also refuses to get therapy whenever his wife - or I - suggest it. His doctor even suggested he get on antidepressants. Again, its frustrating for me just to helplessly watch so much dysfunction going on. If my brother and his wife didn't have kids - I wouldn't care as much. Children, as you know - do not have the luxury of picking their parents -and unfortunately find themselves caught in a web of their parents dysfunction and they grow up to continue the unhealthy patterns. ugh.... So thanks again for the input.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

I had dinner with my 27 & 30yo daughters last night, and I ran your story past them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
A friend of mine is a single dad who sees his DS on weekends. He's disabled (chronic illness) and lives on a disability pension. Because of his limited means, he can only afford a one-room apartment (aka, bachelor, studio, bed-sit). His apartment is one room, with a tiny kitchenette, and a bathroom. So every weekend, basically, he shares a bedroom (which is also the living room) with his DS. He's been doing this for years (since he and his ex split up). If you called Children's Aid for impropriety here, they'd consider you a nuisance. Sharing a bedroom with one's same-gender child is perfectly fine.

I ask, would you share a bedroom with one of your DDs (even temporarily)? Ever shared a hotel room with one of them? Was it icky?

As for the rest of the post, meh, she can call DCFS and they can look into it.
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

I think your brother and his family do have serious problems.

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