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How to help them feel settled and secure and at home?

(5 Posts)
muchtooshy Tue 23-Jun-15 17:49:51

When I met my partner he wasn't "allowed" the children overnight after a fall out with their mum. This lasted a while but around the time we decided I would move in overnights were allowed again. Now the children are here about half the time. In the past week they have been here 4 nights, the weekend days and nights, and once for tea.

I just want them to feel settled here. They have their rooms as they want them but plans are always so up in the air. For example we didn't know until Sunday afternoon that we had them that night to sleep and we didn't know until this afternoon that they were here for tea. And even know mum hasn't really decided what time she wants them back. Mum just won't agree to any forward planning and often says she misses them but then wants them to stay here. I just don't know what they make of it all as mum will change her mind so fast.

I really want them to feel like they have a stable life but we have no control over their mum and how she acts. I don't know if there is much we can do to balance it out when they are here.

I don't know what sort of impact it all has on them.

heidiwine Tue 23-Jun-15 21:25:27

Been there (still there)
Most effective thing in my view is to treat the children with care and consistency (be understanding). Shield them from any conflict. No matter how hard it is, never let them know that you're pissed of that their mum is flaky. Make out like its a bonus you have them for more time than you thought. And, on top of all that, don't overindulge them with pity - you're helping them to grow up into adults you'd be proud of. IMO that means that they need to learn how to be kind and considerate - which means taking responsibility (owning) their feelings and actions.

Good luck OP - it's hard work and everything I've said is with the benefit of hindsight!

heidiwine Tue 23-Jun-15 21:27:53

And I forgot my second point (blame the second glass of wine!)... Make sure your DP sorts out a fair, reasonable and consistent contact pattern and don't be afraid of using the court system to do that (we were). From the perspective of the children keep yourself totally separate from any parental conflict.

Bonsoir Tue 23-Jun-15 21:29:07

You must get a regular timetable sorted for everyone's sake - if you don't you are all living at their mother's beck and call which is good for no-one, least of all their father and his authority and the respect they have for him.

crossroads15 Wed 24-Jun-15 06:33:16

The best way to get them feel settled is going to be a consistent routine, so they know when they're coming and going. It sounds like you have 50 contact or thereabouts so suggest to Mum a routine that works with that; either week on / week off or 5:2:2:5 or 4:3:3:4 or something.

If she refuses, start with mediation and then if that fails, court. I don't think it will be hard to convince a court that the children need a routine.

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