Parents, this is not an unusual behavior for children of many ages when parents have divorced.
Whether young or teenagers, many of my clients come into sessions beating themselves up and feeling bad that their child has regressed, and that they can’t seem to get them out of their bed.
Regressions are normal during emotionally difficult times.
Your child is just simply seeking comfort with you.
This can occur for the custodial parent and also the non-custodial parent when the child is with them during the week or weekends.
So, do you ever wake up and find children in the middle of your bed?
What’s a parent to do?
- Don’t worry.
- Talk to your child.
- Ease them back to their space.
- Shower them with love and support.
Talk to your child about what you’ve been noticing, and that they’ve been coming into your bed more frequently in the middle of the night. Ask them how they’re feeling. Get them to talk about it. Tell them that you understand and want to comfort them.
When this happens, what you want to do is go and lay with them in their bed not yours.
In the middle of the night if they come to you, tell them to wake you and ask if you can talk. Lead them back into their bedroom and lay with them for 15 or 20 minutes so they feel your comfort and can fall back asleep.
This isn’t 100 percent and you might feel like you’re walking back and forth throughout the night, but over time this will change.
Cuddle with them more frequently during the day. Then, let them be together with you in your bed but only while you talk or read before it’s nighttime.
Don’t beat yourself up if some of the nights they quietly crawl into your bed without waking you and you don’t even know that they are there until you wake up in the morning.
Initially, for a lot of kids it’s during the night when they feel most vulnerable and their emotions are more exposed. They will come and seek this comfort with you. This phase will change.
Just remind them over and over how much they’re loved and know that this time will pass.
As they begin to feel more emotionally secure and safe in their new adaptation to being in a divorced family, their bedroom will become theirs again and your bedroom will become yours.
You know, one of life’s greatest gifts is to acknowledge a child for their place in the world.
Now you can experience that at a whole new level by taking the challenge below…
Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Founder of Empowering Children Of Divorce
P.S. By taking the challenge now, you can start making a difference for someone when they most need it… Now!