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Dad and tween daughter show how their family 'co-sleeps' together

Their viral video has people debating when co-sleeping should end.

co-sleeping, bed sharing, family bed sharing, parenting, family, kids
@deal_family/TikTok

Co-sleeping asa family might not be mainstream anymore, but it was once totally the norm.

Like virtually any aspect of parenting, co-sleeping, aka bed sharing, can be a bit of a controversial topic.

Sleeping together as a singular family unit is a much older practice, dating as far back as the Medieval Era—when sleeping separately was both unsafe and unattainable for most.

Today, it is generally recommended to have children sleeping on their own by the age of five, although plenty of parents will still share a bed with their 12 to 13-year-olds from time to time. In other words, there are no hard and fast rules—though many have strong opinions.

And while it certainly isn’t mainstream anymore, some families opt for the more classic sleeping approach.


Take the Deal family, for example.

In a video posted to TikTok, Brandon Deal and his 12-year-old daughter, McKenzi, show their unconventional sleeping layout.

“When people find out that we're a co-sleeping family, they think we all pile up on one bed. That is not the case,” Brandon says, explaining that he, his wife Megan, and their smaller daughter Sarah Grace share a king size bed, while McKenzi sleeps in her own twin size bed placed at the foot of the king-sized bed.

@deal_family Anyone else co-sleep?? #cosleeping #familygoals #parentsoftiktok ♬ original sound - The Deal Family

Brandon asks his daughter why she sleeps in the twin bed in their bedroom, to which she replies, “I don't know, it's a little safer.” It’s unclear if she means sleeping in her own bed feels safer (lest she be whacked by three other pairs of feet) or that sleeping in the room with her family feels safer.

Brandon then says that when Sarah Grace potentially becomes “too big” to share the bed with her parents, that she’ll also get her own twin sized bed.

It wasn’t long before the clip received thousands of views on TikTok, with viewers sharing their bafflement at the arrangement.

“I can barely handle co-sleeping with my husband,” one person wrote.

Others were totally on board with the idea, even sharing their own co-sleeping stories.

One person commented, "You keep co-sleeping until those kiddos decide to sleep in their own beds ♥️”

Another added “We co-slept with our oldest til 12, our son til 10. We lived remote in the woods, my kids are grown and amazing keep doing you guys❤❤🙏.”

Still, others feared that the enmeshment could cause codependency issues long term, and get in the way of parents maintaining intimacy.

One person wrote, “As a child I know how safe it feels to sleep with your parents, but as a married woman I realize how important it is to not let my kids sleep w us.”

And while there’s perhaps validity coming from both sides of this argument, most behavioral experts would agree that neither choice is necessarily superior to the other. As James McKenna, PhD, an anthropologist specializing both in sleep behavior and infancy development says, "location is not as important as relationships—how parents build attachment and love.”

The Deal’s sleep strategy might not be suitable for others, but they have customized a plan that seems to work for them. May every family have the freedom and information they need to do the same.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.
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