My son comes home from his dads very strange

Holly - posted on 07/15/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hey all, so my sons father takes him every Sunday for 5hours and when he comes home he's very strange, won't eat very grumpy, shy, doesn't say much, tired and off with people, this behaviour lasts until Tuesday. The arrangement has been 5hours every Sunday for a year and it's getting to the point that I don't know what to do it starting to affect my self as well now. When his dad picks him up he doesn't want to go with him cries and clings onto me. All this was sorted throw solicitors I've spoke to mine and she says there's nothing she can do for me. I would be happy if my sons dad wasn't in his life, he's another child age 6 a girl from a previous relationship and he lets he's off with blue murder she's his number 1 by far.

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Guest - posted on 07/15/2014

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You are welcome.
I'm sorry if I came off sounding like you should let him see him more, I didn't mean it that way. If the father isn't a great influence, seeing him more often or for longer stretches wouldn't help the child adjust more quickly at all and would probably only make things worse.
In the rare case where both parents are equally loving and equally invested in the child's life, more frequent or longer visits are somewhat beneficial, but even then, both parents usually still complain of a day or two of "off" behavior when the child switches between homes (which really sucks for the dads who only get them for two days a week and really do want to be good parents).

If the father--or not custodial parent--isn't very loving or attentive and active in the child's life (more often the case), it really is best that the child not be forced to spend even more time there because it will only further emotionally drain him.

Holly - posted on 07/15/2014

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Hi,yes that makes sense, thanx very much for answering.
I would let his father take him more but I really don't trust him to look after him I get stressed out big time on the Sunday when he's away that 5hours it actually got so bad I got shingles from the stress off it.

Guest - posted on 07/15/2014

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That is pretty normal behavior for a child his age in his situation. Unfortunately, spending 5 hours away from the parent he depends on with a man he barely knows and cannot depend on can be very emotionally challenging for a 2 year old (any child, really). Also unfortunately, it must be done, and with the visits being so short and so far apart, he will probably never adjust to the point where he will enjoy these visits and come home happy and content, but s he grows and matures emotionally (and intellectually) and this routine becomes a regular part of his week, his readjustment period should get shorter. By the time he is 8 or 9 years old, he will probably only be drained and grumpy for the rest of Sunday evening, and fine by Monday morning.

For now, all you can really do is be there for him for the few days it takes him to adjust. Give him his space, but be there when he wants you. Keep Sunday evenings very low key--no chores or learning, don't go out or try to make him be around others. Cuddle up to read a few books together, play blocks or whatever he likes with him, or watch a movie together. Read his cues, if he struggles when you try to cuddle, let him go and find a more separate activity, like blocks. Avoid activities that require conformity, such as puzzles or learning games, instead, choose activities that allow him to let his mind (and emotions) go wherever he wants to. Drawing is great. If he wants to be with you, be with him, but if he seems like he just wants to be off on his own, don't be offended, just make sure he is safe and leave him alone. The more he is able to sort his emotions without having to use them to satisfy others, the quicker he will recover.

I hope this makes sense. Let me know if there is something more specific you are wondering....

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