My neighbor got upset when I let her 3-year-old daughter spend the night in the same room with my sons, ages 5 and 7. I think she’s overreacting. Should I have let her sleep somewhere else? When should boys and girls stop sharing a room?
A: Of course, you and I both know that neither a 5- nor 7-year-old boy is going to do anything inappropriate to a little girl just because she’s sleeping in the same room with them. When my daughters spent the night with their male cousins, Miles and Cole, at ages 8 and 6 respectively, or vice versa, all four of them sleept together on pallets on the floor without incident from them or worry from me and their mom (my sister-in-law), Angelou. They were kids, for goodness sake. Experimentation with the opposite sex is sure to come, but I’m betting not this young.
Still, that was my decision for my kids. If Angelou decided that she didn’t want her boys in the same bed with my girls, I’d honor her request to put them in a different room, because she’s their mom and she has her own views on what’s appropriate and what’s not for her children. Same thing goes for your neighbor.
Next time you have a sleepover at your house with children of the opposite sex, it would be a good idea to have a quick conversation with the parents to hammer out sleeping arrangements, so that there’s no misunderstanding or overreaction on either of your parts.
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Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.