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How to cope when DC come back from NRP?

(5 Posts)
MummySharkDooDooDooDoo Tue 23-Oct-18 21:45:46

DCs go to their Dad every other weekend for 2 nights. When they come back to me on the Sunday they are completely wired and worked up. This is often worse if they've spent a bit longer with him or if he's been impatient or shouted at them when they're there.

Part of it is that they're completely exhausted, which I think is down to emotional exhaustion as well as physical tiredness.

This time when they've come back, DD2 who is usually more clingy, is less clingy but has become completely inconsolable - sobbing and unwilling to let me comfort her. DD1 is very agitated, she seems completely hyped up, everything is happening a million miles an hour and she's bursting in to tears at the drop of a hat, throwing herself to the ground and being very rude and argumentative.

I know this isn't uncommon when children come back from the NRP, however I just don't know what to do to help them and they seem so distressed. I've tried calm activities like reading in low light when they first get back but they're too overexcited for that. I've tried letting them wear off some energy at the park but that doesn't make much difference. I've tried talking to DD1 (DD2 is too young) to ask her about her weekend in case she wants to talk about anything that bothered her. But nothing I do seems to help. They always sleep badly the first night back so the next day is awful too.

I know that as the RP, I am their safe place and if they have to hold emotions in all weekend they're with him, they explode out on me. It is hard, but I'm less worried about that than I am trying to make things better for them. I just want them to be happy and they seem so distressed at times. I'm at a loss.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

OP’s posts: |
Lonecatwithkitten Wed 24-Oct-18 08:42:32

I found that consistency was the key my rule were always the same, the routine was always the same -DD was returned sometime between 3-6pm on a Sunday so there was always a toast for tea.
There is no magic wand it takes time and just keep being the same.

Seniorschoolmum Thu 25-Oct-18 09:07:12

My ds was like that between 4 and abou 8.

I finally discovered my ex would put ds to bed at 7, hand him his tablet & tell him to play on it until he fell asleep. And in the morning, he wasn’t to disturb daddy until daddy came and got him, he was to play on his tablet.angry
Plus endless sweets & bad food, by the time ds got home he was hyper & upset
I had a routine, a cuddle & tell me the exciting events, then bath, pjs, warm milk & bed. No devices for at least 2 days, no sweet treats.
Ds would be back to normal by Tuesday morning.
Later his form teacher said, in her class, she could tell the kids with the Disney nrps because they were unteachable on Mondays.
Can you chat to your ex about it?

fuzzywuzzy Thu 25-Oct-18 09:13:07

God this brings back memories.

My two used to be like this after contact, but we had a routine which was consistent. After contact they knew exactly what to expect at home and I stuck to it, we’d have food and bath and sit and watch calm tv usually bake off or some such on iplayer, and the next day would be a very calm pj day where we’d just eat and is let them sleep or so quiet activities.

Was a horrendous few years tho and they only had day contact at a contact centre.

Maybe tell them what you have planned and what you will do after contact together and then stick to it. So they know what to expect from you at least.

HugeAckmansWife Thu 25-Oct-18 10:48:05

Yeah, I call it re-entry. They're back about 6 on a Sunday so I basically let them choose what to do, TV is OK but not console games. If they haven't had dinner then it's something low key and picnic-y like pizza or toasted bagels with yoghurt, fruit, pitta and houmous, stuff I know. I demand very little of them and try and encourage baths, extra stories and cuddles. The worst is if ex hasn't done their homework with them and I have to try and get them through it. But basically the key to it is planning, be available, so not doing chores yourself and avoid potentially conflict causing situations if possible.

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