So your 15-year-old still sleeps with their parents. Is this healthy? Is it normal? You are bound to be full of questions.
It is not normal that a 15-year-old still sleeps with their parents. Co-sleeping is not normal or healthy for teenagers as they need space and freedom to develop into their own person.
Especially if it is every night, chronic co-sleeping can lead to dependency issue that will become painfully apparent down the line.
Consequences of Parents Co-Sleeping With Their Teen
Co-sleeping with your child has shown time and time again to affect children’s development. Children who sleep with their parents into their teenage years typically take longer to develop the independence needed to be a functional member of society.
More teens than ever are sleeping with their parents. There is a wide variety of reasons for this in which I’ll explore below but the harm of sharing a bed with your teen far outweighs the benefits.
If your child is 15-years-old and still shares a bed with one or both of their parents, that could be an indication of deeper emotional issues that may need to be discussed by a professional.
In some cases, the parent shares a bed with the teen for their own emotional support. If that is the case, I would recommend seeking professional help rather than stunting your child’s emotional growth to solve your own issues.
The first step to putting a healthy stop to co-sleeping is diagnosing why you and your teen share a bed. Different reasons have different solutions.
Diagnosing Why Your 15-Year-Old Still Sleeps with Parents
The first goal is to diagnose why the teen is still sleeping with their parents. There are a wide variety of reasons but diagnosing the reason is the first step to fixing the problem.
Here are a few of the most common reasons why a 15-year-old would still be sleeping with their parents
The first and most common reason why a teen would still share a bed with their parents is because of habit. Simply they’ve been sleeping with their parents ever since they were a child and continue to do so into adolescence.
Although it may seem harmless at the time, there is underlining dependency issues which will manifest themselves in the future if this behavior is continued.
If the habit is the reason you and your teen share a bed, stop the behavior immediately. Have a discussion with your teen that it is time for them to sleep in their own bed. If habit truly is the only reason you are co-sleeping with them, then them sleeping in their own bed should not be too much of an issue.
Some families share beds simply out of necessity because space is limited. If that is the case, it can be much more difficult to stop immediately but it can still be done. I grew up with 7 people in a 2 bedroom apartment. I did not chose to co-sleep with my parents but we had no other choice. Up until I was 10 I shared a bed. Then my parents got me my own bed, still in the same room.
If space is limited consider switching a queen-sized mattress for twin mattresses. If space is still limited, you may have to consider getting bunk beds. The point is this behavior cannot continue.
Your Teen’s Anxiety
Some 15-year-olds sleep with their parents because they have anxiety issues.
High school is a very emotional and high-stress time in a person’s life. Throughout all that chaos some people find comfort in sharing a bed with one or both parents.
Although this may make the teen feel better in the moment, it is causing emotional damage to their health and over all well being.
Your teen needs to find a better way to overcome their anxiety than co-sleeping with a parent. Have them consider things like sports or other hobbies to keep them occupied.
If your child has sever anxiety issues, you may want to seek the help of a professional.
Your Own Anxiety
Unfortunately, another common reason why parents will still be sharing a bed with their teen is that they’ve become emotionally attached to sharing a bed. Especially after a divorce or separation, parents will have their children sleep in the bed with them for emotional support.
This is the most unhealthy form of co-sleeping and should be addressed with a professional immediately.
15-Year-Old Co-Sleeping Q & A
Here are some of the most common questions parents have when they are in a situation in which they are still sharing a bed with their teenager.
1. What if my teen refuses to sleep in his own bed?
If you are in a situation where your teen refuses to sleep on their own, this is a sign that there may be a deeper underlying problem with their level of independence. If this is the case, it is your responsibility as their parent to seek out professional 1-on-1 help for your child.
2. What if I can’t sleep without my teen?
After sharing a bed with your teen for a long period of time, it is common for parents to become attached. Same with the teen. Some parents report having anxiety when sleeping without their child. The attachment has become so strong that the parent feels like there is something missing when sleeping alone.
The good news is it will get easier over time. Every night each person sleeps in their own bed, it will get easier. With consistent independent sleeping, sleeping alone will be the new norm.
3. How hard is it to stop co-sleeping?
This really depends on how long the co-sleeping has been going on. If you’ve been co-sleeping with your child since birth, it can be really difficult to start sleeping in your own space. You can start with sleeping on different beds in the same room then move on to separate rooms, if space permits.
Your teen needs to start building their own independence to matter how hard it is for either you or them.
A 15-year-old that sleeps with their parents is nothing to be ashamed of but it does need to be addressed. Teens who co-sleep with parents have stunted development as well as independence issues.
First, identify why the co-sleeping is happening. That is the first step in helping your child sleep on their own. Some teens have anxiety issues, and others just have limited sleeping space. Whatever the cause is, the co-sleeping needs to stop.
If your 15-year-old still sleeps with you it is time to take steps in order to help your teen become the best adult they can be.