3 year old daughter going to dads for the weekend

LindseyShephard - posted on 02/19/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )




My 3 year old daughter has been staying overnight with her dad since she was 1 1/2 years old and it has been very hard for me. We get along and we're best friends for 10 plus years prior. I trust him to watch her but I worry he's not meeting her emotional needs. What conversations if any would any mamas suggest I have with her before going to his house for the weekend. She is only three but I swear she looks at me sometimes confused when she gets home and is very clingy and acts a little different sometimes. What is normal and what is not at 3 years old? My attorney did they don't suggest starting joint custody until child is three but I wanted her and him to have father daughter bonding at that young age. I also have a 17 month old daughter and her father and I are engaged and my 3 year old calls him "daddy Clayton" he has been in her life since the day she was born and loved him to pieces! Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!!!!


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Ev - posted on 02/20/2015




THese ladies are right. Different homes, different ways things are done. There is no conversation you can have with her that she is going to understand what you are thinking as a child's mind and an adult's mind are on two different levels. Just tell her you love her and hope she has a good time with daddy. That is all she needs from you. Hug her and promise to be ready when she gets home. It is common for kids this age to have some difficulty going between homes like this until they are used to it. It takes time. And as for daddy not meeting her emotional needs, if you trust him with her, I am sure she is getting her emotions met from daddy but in his own way.

Michelle - posted on 02/20/2015




Jodi has said it all.
There's nothing you need to say to her before she goes. You let them build their own relationship. It isn't going to be the same as your relationship with her so don't worry.
I do wonder why your attorney said not to do shared care before 3 though. I have been doing 50/50 shared care since my boys were 3.5 and 1 and they are now 13.5 and 11 and are very well mannered, well liked and well behaved boys.

Jodi - posted on 02/19/2015




I don't think you need to have any conversation with her before she goes other than to reassure her you love her. Do NOT say you miss her, or you will have her upset over that the entire time she is away. It may be that daddy just provides for DIFFERENT needs than you do, not necessarily doesn't meet her needs at all. It's okay for things to be different at daddy's house. You would probably find, if you were a fly on his wall, that she is cling to him when at his house too for a while. It is actually perfectly normal for children to have a short period of transition between homes where different rules and different expectations exist.

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