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Dealing with attitude when returning from other parent

(15 Posts)
Sandy0914 Sun 01-Oct-17 23:38:15

How do you deal with your children when they come back from the non dependant parent after a visit!?
I have 2 children who go to their father for 2 nights every 3 weeks. The eldest is good as gold on return from a visit but the youngest couldn't be worse!! Tantrums and cheek is only the half of it... I try to bite my tongue and not reprimand them but it gets to the point where I think what have I done to deserve this!?
Does anyone else have this problem and how do you deal with it?

SelmaAndJubjub Mon 02-Oct-17 07:28:14

How old is DC2? It's totally normal for younger children to be unsettled by a change in routine and act up. It's not being naughty, it's an expression of anxiety. I'd also wonder if s/he is sleeping ok at your Ex's house, because tiredness always makes it worse.

Sandy0914 Mon 02-Oct-17 08:21:37

DC2 is 12 and this is not a new arrangement, it has been this way for several years. I do think tiredness plays a part but DC1, who is 14, is also tired but doesn't have this awful attitude when they come home. And I'm sorry, but I'd say it's being naughty as I haven't brought my children up to behave like that towards anyone! It hurts that it is directed at me and it passes when they have been home for a day or so, but I struggle to ignore this behaviour as I feel if I do, it would gradually become worse.

SelmaAndJubjub Mon 02-Oct-17 08:34:55

Understand it's hurtful, but try to remember that DC2 (is it a he or a she btw? Am going to assume a he because it's too hard to keep writing him/her) is acting like this because you are the safe parent. Have you tried asking him whether there is anything upsetting him at your Ex's house? It sounds as if he is bottling things up that then get unleashed on you when he gets home.

Have you tried a winding down routine when they get back from your Ex's? E.g. could you always do hot chocolate and watch an episode of Big Bang Theory together (or whatever)? Basically something soothing that he likes and that helps him readjust to being home.

Starlight2345 Mon 02-Oct-17 12:52:30

I was going to suggest something similiar to PP..

It will obviously depend what time they come home.. If before tea one of the DC faves on return day.

Movie and popcorn... Little demands that day but back to normal next day. Something the makes the transition nicer.

Santawontbelong Mon 02-Oct-17 12:54:02

Tell them they have half an hour to rezone to home. .
My ds took some acclimatising after being days with Disney df then back to rl. .

Sandy0914 Mon 02-Oct-17 15:08:04

Thanks for the advice. I have tried to be as accomdating as possible but it seems even hanging her jacket up and putting her shoes away is too much to expect... It probably doesn’t help that they come home about an hour before bedtime. I try to have everything ready for them when they come home so all they have to do is shower, supper and bed. I don’t even try to engage in much conversation if she’s not in the mood. I thought I was trying all the right things but seems we’ll just have to be patient with each other for that short period before bed. I just don’t understand why it needs to be such a battle... maybe I need to ignore it and hope she wakens up in a better mood in the morning!!

BlackeyedSusan Mon 02-Oct-17 20:07:10

how about you do the shoes and jacket? (just when she gets back) think which hill you want to die on. it may be the attitude, not the jacket and shoes.

at 12 is porbably hormonal and getting effected by that as well.

it may be that dad has different expectations now she is older...

could be anything.

Cinnamal Mon 02-Oct-17 20:17:13

My DD 10 is the same quite often when she gets back from her dads. I pretty much ignore it and it passes quicker then.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 03-Oct-17 04:38:23

I had this I stuck to my behaviour rules through out and was consistent all of time about my expectations. I eventually settled as DD saw that I was consistent and she knew exactly where she was with me.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Tue 03-Oct-17 05:12:28

Have you discussed the expectations at their DF’s house? It might be that they get away with a lot there so your DD thinks she can at yours (bit old for that mentality though). I am going the opposite (although I have no experience of separation at all, not even my parents) way to what others have said and I would be a ‘no tolerance to tantrumming’ parent. You need to remain consistent. If she knows that you won’t react in the first couple of days after she gets back, she’ll keep doing it because it means she doesn’t have to clear up after herself.

Sandy0914 Wed 04-Oct-17 22:42:38

Hallelujah, folk that agree that I should stick to what I have been doing!
I also believe in consistency and would never go back on my beliefs and how I parent the other 19 nights out of 21 that my children are at home with me. I feel the problem lies when they are not at home and how I deal with her when she comes back, is how I would deal with her any other day.
I was starting to think that I was way off the mark but the last couple of posts have only confirmed that I should continue with what I’m doing as she eventually comes around and apologises for her behaviour anyway 😊

Santawontbelong Thu 05-Oct-17 08:06:21

Would just like to add my dc are nc with their df after realising that they actually needed parenting and he wasn't doing it!!
After they left I never heard from him. He moved and didn't even tell them where to!!
He was happy to hand out £££££ but nothing else. No meals, no days out, no family time, . Nothing.

MagicFajita Thu 05-Oct-17 08:16:28

Oh op , I get all of this as well. And yes consistency and routine are key!

My two come back from their dad's house knackered and full of attitude. I get all of the "why do I have to go to bed at 10? Dad let's us stay up as late as we want." And also the chucking of belongings on the floor etc. I stand firm on the bedtimes and if dd leaves all of her belongings on a chair in the living room I just dump it on her bed so that she has to move it herself. Of course I ask politely for her to move it several times firstsmile

It's confusing for them , the change in expectations. I do feel for kids that have to deal with different ways of parenting.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 05-Oct-17 08:26:15

Sandy I firmly believe children ( esp. teens) like consistency. They like to push the boundaries, but mostly to check they are still there.
Ultimately mine got totally fed up with Ex's inconsistency and refuses all, but indirect contact with him.

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