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Overnight visits - 3 year old

(16 Posts)
MilaV Thu 07-Jul-11 09:15:32

Hi, my XP and I have recently separated and we are trying to keep things civilized for the sake of DD, who is 3, almost 4. Well, he's a pretty reasonable chap, and I consider ourselves lucky after reading some stories from other single mums (he keeps up to date with maintenance payments, loves our daughter, wants to spend time with her and is always willing to talk things and do what's best for her). When he moved out, a couple of months ago, he found a small studio near us. Now he wants DD to spend some night there, but I don't know if it would be good for her? I asked the health visitor who came to see us yesterday and she said (it was her opinion) that children should only live in one place. Would really appreciate any views you may have on this.

GrownUpNow Thu 07-Jul-11 09:17:26

My DS copes fine living with two families. He has been between me and his father since he was nine months old, I think that actually children should have time with both families as not having that is more harmful than living in more than one place.

GypsyMoth Thu 07-Jul-11 09:19:41

Of course she should stay overnight with her dad!!

Nothing in your post to suggest not to. She will love it!

Get her her own little backpack/case and maybe a readybed if dad doesn't have one, she can join in packing etc. Your hv isn't listening to you properly, it's overnights nothing more!!

readywithwellies Thu 07-Jul-11 09:24:19

That hv wants retraining. Ignore her completely. Let him have her, if possible stick to the same days (difficult if working shifts). If poss let him be involved in one pick up or drop off from school when she starts nursery/school. My ds was this age and is now nearly 7. Doesnt bat an eyelid it is normal for him

MilaV Thu 07-Jul-11 09:39:08

Thanks girls smile How many nights do you think would be good? Once per week? per month?

niceguy2 Thu 07-Jul-11 09:56:16

MilaV. I echo what the others have said. There's absolutely no reason why your DD should not stay and at her age it's actually going to be a great adventure for her.

As for how many overnight stays, much will depend on the sort of child she is and her bond with her dad. If she's confident and her dad can comfort her if she gets upset then there's no reason she can't stay for a weekend. It might be a good idea to build it up over time.

It's crucial at this age for her to get the best bond possible with her dad. If she does then this will help both her and yourself and make life much much easier as she grows up.

GrownUpNow Thu 07-Jul-11 10:00:06

We do one night during the working week, then every other weekend. This way my DS has a regular visit once a week, his dad is responsible for some of the school time, rather than just the 'fun' time, and we both get equal weekend time to spend as a family. We also split school holidays down the middle.

AandK Thu 07-Jul-11 10:03:55

I think your health visitor is wrong. Your DD will benefit better from spending quality time with just her father. ask your daughter at 3 she will be able to tell you how she feels if she wants to have a sleepover at daddies house and if she wants to come home the next day or stay then ask and she will let you know Xx

WibblyBibble Thu 07-Jul-11 10:33:54

Wow, your HV is a bit odd! Most kids of seperated parents stay over at both houses, and are fine with that- I think 3 is definitely old enough. I used to be sent to stay with grandparents for holidays when I was 3, so it doesn't seem any different.

cestlavielife Thu 07-Jul-11 10:41:04

nutty HV! what century she trained in?

of course if all fine DD should have weekly / or every other weekend overnights with daddy

she will soon get used to two homes

whiteandnerdy Thu 07-Jul-11 10:57:59

wonders if the advice said heath visitor gives to expectant mothers not in wedlock would be to let the jones's down the road adopt child as they've been trying for years and they'll make much better parents ...

whiteandnerdy checks his watch ... nope it's gone the 1950's by some 60 years.

MilaV Thu 07-Jul-11 11:16:01

That's what he said. I do think it'd be good for DD to have her room and feel she has her "home", but if she stays overnight every once in a while at my sister's, I don't see the reason why it wouldn't be the same with her dad (or more, because, it's her dad).

I think we'll start with 1 night a week or two nights (whole weekend) every two weeks. What do you think would work best?

SirGin Thu 07-Jul-11 12:09:59

My dd started staying with me ( dad ) when she was two. The first two visits mum came along and after that she stayed without mum. This was ( a ) so that mum could see the house was suitable and the effort I'd put into making it child friendly and of course to introduce dd to the place before a sleep over.

DD took to it all very well and now stays over three or four nights a fortnight if her mum has other stuff to do. She is 2.5 now and is happy as larry at my home. There were a few moments of ' where's mummy ? ' but usually only when I tell her she can't eat ice cream all day or the like.

What would work best really depends on you and the dad's lives. The 'standard' or usual arrangement is alternate w/e , a visit in the week and 50/50 holidays.

Fifis25StottieCakes Thu 07-Jul-11 12:14:04

What a load of tosh, my 3 year old lives between 2 houses and if am totally honest she prefers being at her dads. The other 2 dd's stay at there dads when they want but not as often as the 3 year old.

gillybean2 Thu 07-Jul-11 16:53:39

Your HV is talking rot and I would be happy to tell her so.

Anyhow, you're not talking about 2 homes, you're talking about her staying overnight at this point! If that eventually leads to her having two places she calls homes then so much the better imo.

Hopefully the overnight stay will go well and you'll be able to agree a regular night a week. In time this will move to her also staying over every other weekend and usually that builds gradually from one overnight and a day, to 2 overnights and then when school kicks in dad will pick her up on friday from school and take her back to school on the monday. You'll then look at sharing the school holidays and she'll spend a week with dad at easter and xmas and maybe two/three weeks with him in the summer. This doesn't happen right away, it builds gradually and allows your dd and you both to grow into it.

Your dd will love staying at her dad's. It sounds like they have a good relationship and will both have a fab time.

For you, it can be tough when your dc is away overnight at first. But it gets easier and you will come to really look forward to your free evening (you can have a social life again!) and the lie in that goes with it.

Ignore your HV and look at what is best for your dd. Having good contact, and a meaningful relationship, with you both is what matters most.

theredhen Fri 08-Jul-11 10:11:26

I think stability is important for kids and one firm base that they can call home, in my opinion, is better than 2 places neither of which, they really see as their home.

Some parents do manage to get it right and the kids can feel settled in both places, but an awful lot don't and kids are carted from one home to another for the parents needs and not the needs of the kids.

I think the health visitor may well have seen some of the latter families!

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