On the whole, children don’t have much autonomy. They rely on us, their parents, to make most of their decisions for them. If we left dinner plans to our kids, for example, they'd probably live off ice cream and french fries. If they were in charge they'd skip naps, avoid necessary immunization shots, and certainly wouldn't dress for the weather. As parents we have to set guidelines and hold our children to them, but there are some areas in their lives where they can be in the driver's seat. That’s why I refuse to force my kid to sleep in his own bed. You have to pick and choose your battles, my friends.
My partner and I used to co-sleep with our son, and even tried our hand at bed-sharing for a couple of years. Over time we weaned him off this habit, but we never pushed for him to sleep in his own bed if it was going to make him uncomfortable. As parents, my partner and I believe in simply encouraging our child to make good choices, rather than forcing him to do something he’s not comfortable with. (And again, sometimes we have to be forceful when, say, it's time for a vaccination.) When we allow our son the space to make his own choices we're building his self-esteem, his independence, and establishing his autonomy. For my partner and I, those lessons are more important than the ability for us to sleep in our bed without a tiny toddler foot kicking us in the face.
I know that every family is different, so one family's sleeping situation won't necessarily work for another's. But for my family co-sleeping and bed-sharing worked great, and we weren't in that big of a hurry to kick our kid out of bed as a result. Even as our son grows older, we still allow for a bit of “regression” now and again. So yes, there are a handful of nights a month when my kid crawls into our bed (either immediately or half-way through the night), and I don’t force him out of it. Here's why: