Lying with Kids at Bedtime is Not a ”Bad Habit” – It’s a Blessing


Many parents avoid lying with their children until they fall asleep, because of misconceptions that are sprat around that cause confusion. With attachment parenting parents create a healthy relationship with their children. While the child grows, the attachment whirls around developing the parent-child bond rather than detaching it.

Over the years, critics argue about attachment parenting, claiming that it can make children weak, or as they say emotionally unstable and not being able to handle their emotions. It is believed that if separated from their parents, overly-attached children will get emotional, even if they are separated for a short period of time. Some parents tend to limit the time spent with their children to decrease the attachment. They believe that lying down together with their children will make them permanently dependent on their parents, and constantly craving for their attention.

Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Susan Krauss, claims that mentally stable teenagers and adults are the children that were well nurtured by their parents. Also, they are more successful in life than others.

Professor Krauss stated: “When you separate the popular exaggerations of AP from the more objectively oriented scientific studies, it’s a sensible approach that fosters physical and psychological health in children,” she wrote on Psychology Today. We do know from extensive research … that securely attached adults have happier and less conflict-ridden lives. There’s even research to suggest they may be better parents themselves.”

Stacey of the Soccer Mom Blog wrote an article that explains the guilt and regrets most parents face when they are not around their children. She writes:  “‘Mommy, will you lay with me? Just for a little bit?’ And many nights that’s how it goes,” she wrote. “My husband and I try to get the girls into bed as quickly as possible so we can finish up our chores before calling it a night ourselves. It’s easy to think that we’re so busy; we can’t take that time to lay with our kids for a few minutes. Or perhaps you’ve heard those who claim that laying with kids at bedtime is a bad habit. But maybe – like me – there is a little voice in the back of your head that whispers: You’ll never get this moment back. That voice is persistent. And it speaks the truth.”

Many parents refuse to sleep on the same bed as their kids because they fear of smothering their child. Some experts call this co-sleeping, which is different from ‘bed-sharing’. Co-sleeping has both risks and benefits, but the most important part is that parents can sing or read them to sleep until they feel safe. Children will become more emotionally confident and stable. Past pieces of evidence convince that children who were abandoned while they were young had smaller brains than those who were nurtured properly, and had a difficult time controlling their emotions. Furthermore, loved and nurtured children have a lower risk of becoming socially impaired as adults and have better results at school, university or work. But let’s be clear; it doesn’t mean that if you don’t co-sleep with your children they will face poor brain development. On the other hand, the lack of nurture can cause some implications in specific situations.

Stacey also mentions that spending time before going to bed is important because one day the will stop asking for it. They may feel that their parents do not love them enough and it will condition their minds to accept a false reality.  She adds:

“One night, I gave in.

I tiptoed back into the bedroom and saw my youngest daughter breathing deeply, eyes closed. She was already asleep. But she almost immediately sensed me there, and a smile spread across her lips. ‘Mommy,’ she whispered. ‘Can I have one more hug?’ ‘Of course,’ I said as I crawled into bed next to her. She sighed a happy sigh and almost immediately went back to sleep. My heart melted into a puddle deep in my chest. It was a moment I wanted to soak in forever. And I’d almost missed it.”

Researchers Patrice Marie Miller and Michael Lamport Commons from the Harvard Medical School, explain that attachment parenting has huge benefits in the future by preventing the children from mental health issues and additional stress. They stated: “Another important psychological benefit is secure attachment, which is the tendency of the child to seek contact with a parent when distressed and to be effectively consoled by that contact,” they said. “The result of more effective emotion regulation and secure attachment … is that children engage more effectively with essential developmental tasks, including peer relationships and schooling.”

Parents need to rebuild the mentality that lying down with their children at night will make them vulnerable. It may seem that attachment parenting is indulgent, but at the same time, it can help parents discipline their children.

These days many parents are busy, or they need to spend all day at work. But the best way to spend even a little time with your children is while they are falling asleep. It will give them comfort and the love they won’t forget.

Don’t forget that co-sleeping is not for everyone. So before you convince yourself to make a change, make sure you are informed.


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