Must a child have a bedroom

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  • #58753 Report


    I’m wondering if anyone has experience of this as I’ve read conflicting things online.

    My ex is moving her boyfriend in to her small privately rented 2 bed flat. In the process she is taking away my daughter’s bedroom and given it to her boyfriend to use as an office. I have residency so my daughter spends most of the time with me but now when having contact with Mum has a man in the house she is only met a couple of times, has absolutely no private space. She is going through puberty with all that entails and is understandably wanting more and more privacy.

    Does anyone know if there are any rules or laws about this? My opinion is that it can not be right that an 11 year old girl have overnight contact with no bedroom, especially with a new man in the flat.



    #58755 Report


    Hey there,

    i don’t know about laws but this sounds wrong, my boy is only a year old and I’m already looking to get a two bedroom house so he can have his own space. It is maybe early for him when he’s so small but at least it will be a private space and his own world when he’ll want it or need it. I think is very selfish to give the bedroom to a new boyfriend rather than you’re  own kid, And well an 11 year old definitely should have a private space as you said, she ain’t a baby anymore she’s closer to being a teen. It sounds unfair, I hope it’ll change for you’re little one.

    #58758 Report


    Hi Geoman,

    Have you spoken with her about it yet?

    Is the room still useable as a bedroom, but just has office stuff in /used when your daughter isn’t there? – it is possible to do some lovely co-space conversions.

    I dont know the exact laws around this & it seems a bit of a grey area tbh…. It’s not unheard-of for parents to rent a one bed, the kids get a bedroom & parent sleeps on a sofa bed… Or vice versa if contact is temp.

    She likely won’t be breaching any law as she does technically have the spare room on paper… So approach to resolve this could be tricky.

    Maybe it might be worth a chat to say it doesn’t seem fair & if the room could be both?? Give it a chance to get fixed?

    – if this doesn’t go down well, perhaps try mediation

    … Tbh it just doesn’t feel right to me either… Many levels of alarm bells.

    Think this hinges on how often contact is, if the room can be both (tiny house conversions prove anything is possible with creativity!) & How your daughter feels/ what this person is like!

    Do think you are right to have concerns about this!

    #58759 Report


    Thank you for the responses. Tbh my ex and I do not communicate and I only heard of this from my daughter when she had contact. She arrived to find her bed dismantled and has been told she can not have a bed or sofa bed in the room.

    The room is tiny but I’m sure something could be done to the space becomes her private space when she is there. That’s a really good idea, thanks!

    From a safeguarding point of view, I know nothing about the guy and my daughter has only met him briefly so it’s hard to comment but my alarm bells are ringing too. Social Services have been involved due to some physical abuse by Mum but that case has been closed. The boyfriend also has an older son so it will be interesting to see what happens when he has contact with his father.

    Since posting, I decided to call the NSPCC helpline. they felt it was appropriate to refer the matter up and so I should be getting a phone call in the next couple of days to see what the options are.

    #58760 Report


    Hi Geoman…

    Great to read there are amazing dad’s out there!! Especially in this context… At least your daughter has you.

    Gosh, must of been tough for your daughter to see this, especially after everything so far!

    – the bunk / loft bed type things can often work well to co-office space…although, this is another story if mums bf also has an older son & if they expect them to stay at the same time… Housing legislation is very clear that kids over 10 shouldn’t be sharing, legally think this is defined as overcrowded…. Doesn’t seem like much healthy thinking around practicalities, wellbeing or safety is going on here, let alone respect for your daughter.

    Especially after previous safeguarding issues, think you’ve done the best thing calling the nspcc.

    Really hope they can give you the support you deserve to manage this

    #58762 Report


    Hi. Yep I’m a single Dad, was a stay at home Dad for years and seem a bit of a rare breed! I was generally the only Dad in the baby groups and have become used to being the only man in the room as I work in a primary school.

    I knew it was only a matter of time before Mum was in a new relationship given her history and life goes on but children still come first. I know Mum made a silly promise to our daughter that the would never have another boyfriend but that’s another story. I don’t think I can call myself a confirmed bachelor having already been married but I certainly intend to stay single now and focus on my daughter’s future.

    Thanks for the response


    #58773 Report


    most welcome!

    A rare breed indeed, but i imagine incredibly valued in your home & school 🙂 all be it preferred under better circs’ it’s a pleasure to be acquainted.

    Agreed, the kids should come first, sorry to read mums patterns of dysfunction around these things.. my ex was much the same. Although, in many ways thankfully he chased his tail & got lost, so we are blessed with not having to tolerate his antics or lack of emotional intelligence. Respecting it’s never easy & anyone can make mistakes.. it’s sad when people just don’t recognise the need to prioritise their kids wellbeing, i guess so many factors can inform these things, but people always have a choice & opportunity to try to learn or get help.

    haha, we are in the same club of contented singleness now too. I’ve had some wonderful long term relationships & some not so great ones, but a new partner or relationship just isn’t on the radar of want at all & certainly don’t need a relationship to be happy. Even if we have difficult moments, i guess everyone does.. We are a perfect little unit as we are, our independence feels really secure & works for us, wouldn’t change it for the world! feels good to be able to teach the kids we don’t need anyone else to be alright… hopefully this will set a foundation for the kids to have a healthy relationship with themselves or choose healthier relationships with out people in their futures.

    if it helps any, my 10 yr old loves ‘goodnight stories for rebel girls’ – which has 100 stories of empowering women &  Laura Bates ‘girl up’ .. (although might be worth looking at yourself first, as it does discuss some sex-ed type stuff). Might help, if mums influence is a bit lacking.

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