My child refuses to sleep by himself

March 17, 2023

Dear Pastor,

I am living with a man, but I have a son. Before I met this man, my son and I were living together and he used to sleep on the bed with me; he is only three years old.

This man has made me very happy. My son's father has not treated me well. He does not support his son. When I met this man, I was not working and he helped me to get a job. He is everything to me. Since I met him, I have been able to give my parents some financial help. But I am having some problems. My son still wants to sleep with me and when I try to put him in his own bed, he cries. My boyfriend says that I have spoiled him, and he is not going to put up with him. Sometimes I allow my son to lie down in our bed and sleep, and when he falls asleep, I take him to his own bed. But then he wakes up, climbs on to our bed and comes between my boyfriend and me.

I have to make sure that I have on my underwear, but my boyfriend doesn't want me to sleep in that. I don't know what to do with this boy; he is so unruly and rude. My boyfriend gave him a spanking one night because while we were in bed, he came into our bed and was forcing himself between us, so my boyfriend beat him and sent him back to his room. I was not happy about that because I do not beat my son.

What do I do to get this boy to stay in his room and sleep in his own bed?


Dear P.F.,

Your letter reminds me of a book that a woman wrote. I think she was from Europe, but I remember the name of the book; it was called The Family Book.

She was interviewed on television and she came in for criticism. What I remembered about the book was that the author felt that children should be encouraged to share beds with their parents. Wherever this woman came from, she came under severe criticism, and those who took part in the interview told her that that was not something they would encourage.

I understand why you allowed your son to sleep with you from the time he was a baby. But he is old enough to understand that that cannot continue, and you should insist that he sleeps in his own bed. Your boyfriend will not tolerate him sleeping on the same bed with both of you. That is not healthy.

You know that there are certain things you would not want to do if your son is on the same bed with you and your lover. Your boyfriend became angry and spanked the boy and ordered him to his own bed, and you did not like that. He is old enough to listen and to understand that he has to sleep alone in his bed. I hope that you will not use this to be a big issue between your boyfriend and you. I also hope that you will not chide your boyfriend for spanking your son.


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