Title: Does cosleeping interfere with my child's development?
00:00:00 Speaker 1
You. Does co sleeping interfere or harm your child's emotional development? Well, let's talk
about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family
therapist and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives. I lead
two organizations teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit at 501 c three organization, child
and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. And every Wednesday at noon,
I jump on Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's answer today's. I saw online
this week that Alicia Silverstone was getting flak for letting her eleven year old son sleep
in the same bed as her. I don't really see why she should be shamed for this. My daughter would
still sleep with us sometimes, almost until she went to college. I think it's pretty normal
and healthy, and it really annoys me how judgmental people are. Do you think letting your child
sleep with you is detrimental somehow to their development? Is there
00:01:03 Speaker 1
a developmentally appropriate age when you think it's no longer a good idea? Thank you for your
question. I think this is a big topic that is never talked about. It's a pretty common thing working
with kids for many, many years. I've met with a lot of families who have different opinions on
co sleeping. And by the way, let me do a precursor here. I am talking about co sleeping or family
bed sharing or whatever you want to call it, in a family home where there's no abuse or sexual
abuse happening. Let's just assume we're under that umbrella. That's a whole other issue,
whole other video. But let's assume for argument's sake, what we're talking about is families
where abuse is not happening. Okay? So up until just a little history on co sleeping, up until
about the 18 hundreds humans across the world all co slept for a variety of reasons. One, you
need it for heat. Your child would freeze to death if they didn't have warm bodies next to them,
just like other mammals. And there was no electrical
00:02:05 Speaker 1
heating or gas heating in houses back then. Also, just for protection, just make sure your baby
is safe, your child is safe. And in most of the world, again, family sleeping, co sleeping is
a pretty common phenomenon. It's kind of what people do. So is it detrimental to your child?
No, it's what humans have been doing for hundreds of thousands or millions of years. When is
it appropriate to have them out of the bed or have them not come in the bed anymore? That's really
going to be up to you and your family. Every family has a unique culture in itself, and it's up
to you decide what that culture is. If for you, you feel like kids should never be in the bed, then
that's your decision. It's okay to have that opinion. And some of you may think, well, what about
you can't have babies in the bed. There's a lot of research done by Dr. James McKenna, who outlines
how to co sleep with a baby. Helps with breastfeeding, helps with actually, everyone sleeps
a lot better when the baby's in the bed.
00:03:02 Speaker 1
But again, there's proper protocols. We're not going to go into all the details now because
that's not the focus of this. This is more about kids and teens and beds, which may sound weird
to you, but for some families, again, it's a pretty common thing. So is it developmentally damaging?
No. There was some research back in the dr spock, Dr. Ferber, a lot of their theories are being
challenged now about how it's important to isolate a child to make them more independent. And
there's a lot of research now that saying the more interdependence independence a child has
early on helps them be more independent later on. And again, that's a whole other video to talk
about, and that's probably a whole workshop series, but it's really important to you to find
out what works best for you. If your kids are calling your bed at three in the morning and you're
just too hard to kick them out, that's fine. If the kids start in bed with you, that's fine. If
your kids never in bed with you, that's fine, too.
00:04:00 Speaker 1
There's no wrong way to do it. Just what works for your family now. When is it right for them to
leave? Maybe as they're teenagers, they just naturally, oftentimes they just naturally pull
away and want to do their own thing, which is normal. So, again, talk to your kids, figure out
what they want, figure out what you want as a couple or as a single parent, and go from there. The
only concerns I have is if you're a single parent and you co sleep and then you start a new relationship
and you want to bring that person in, that's something that has to be talked about and dealt with
very delicately and carefully, because kids could feel they're being replaced. And also bringing
that stepparent into the bed may not be appropriate, so it gets complicated. But make sure you
talk about these things, talk them through, so you're making a real informed choice on what's
best for you and your children. That's our question for today. Thank you very much again. My
name is Kent Tucson from Teen Therapy
00:04:59 Speaker 1
Center and Child and Teen Counseling. If you have a question you'd like me to answer here on
Tips on Teens, email us at tips on email@example.com or direct messages right here
on Facebook. We love your questions. Thanks again. I'll see you next Wednesday. Bye.
Controversy over cosleeping is a relatively modern phenomenon. Parents sharing the bed with their kids is actually really common but yet we hardly ever talk about it. Until fairly recently in history, cosleeping was practically essential. How else were families going to sleep warm and cozy before modern heating? So no, cosleeping is not detrimental to a child’s development. Humans have been doing it for millennia!
How should you do it and when should you stop? There’s a lot to discuss and we don’t sleep on the topic in this Tips on Teens:
“I saw online this week that Alicia Silverstone was getting flak for letting her 11 year old son sleep in the same bed as her. I don’t really see why she should be shamed for this. My daughter would still sleep with us sometimes almost until she went to college. I think it’s perfectly normal and healthy, and it really annoys me how judgemental people are! Do you think letting your child sleep with you is detrimental somehow to their development? Is there a ‘developmentally appropriate’ age when you think it’s no longer a good idea?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.