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Visitation ex doesn't understand the tough time our 2.5 year old is having!

My ex (of only 3 months, since separation) is having an EXTREMEMLY difficult time understanding (or wanting to understand) how hard of an adjustment our son is having with all these life changes. I had been a stay-at-home mom for his whole life and now not only did we move (twice in 2 months) but now I'm going to work, dropping him off at daycare, AND he doesn't get to see me for THREE WHOLE DAYS during the week every week (for his father's visitation).

My ex is being EXTREMEMLY stubborn and doesn't understand how hard of a time he is having adjusting. He doesn't understand it's too much too soon. Our son doesn't know if he'll see me again, hence night time, for me, are TERRIBLE! He goes to bed no problem for Dad but he doesn't have the emotional attachment to him that he does to me. My bedtimes are just off the charts terrible!

How do I get him to understand I'm not "taking his son away" I'm trying to HELP HIM COPE!

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Asked by EBeauty03 at 9:21 AM on Dec. 30, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • If your son isn't seeing a counselor yet he needs to, they will help him cope w/ all these changes & transitions. Insist that ex dh be a part of counseling, put it into your divorce papers that he will attend individual & family (your son) counseling so he will understand & be told by someone else what he's doing will damage your son. He's not gonna listen to you.

    Answer by Nyx7 at 9:24 AM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • This is part of that "shared parenting" thing the courts seem to think is best for the whole family, and in the best interest of the child. I have been complaining about this since my granddaughter had to go through this at 9 months old. From our experience the courts will not help with this, they say each parent has equal rights therefore equal time. Honestly, this arrangment seems to be in the best interest of the parents more so than the children. You could ask your ex to bring your son home at night and put him to bed there, but he doesn't have to agree. Try explaining to your child that it's just his time with daddy, and that he'll be back to you soon, that'll you'll be waiting for him. That's really all you can do, your ex is going to be taking him those 3 days a week until he's grown. I know how much it hurts a momma's heart..........

    Answer by robyann at 9:37 AM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • BTW consider moving a bed into your room for your son for a bit, if he can be near you he'll feel more safe, that's why he's fighting you @ bedtime & not dad. He's afraid when he wakes up you won't be there. Get a stuffed toy you can record your voice in & record a message for him special for bedtime when you're not there, sleep w/ it for a bit to make it smell like you. He needs xtra attention from you right now to reassure him that everythings okay, those are alot of changes for a little guy to cope w/. Get a bedtime routiene that works for your son, put it in writing for dad so son has consistency between both houses. If you are friends w/ xdh's mom get her involved in explaining to xdh how your son feels, again xdh isn't gonna listen to you.

    Answer by Nyx7 at 9:52 AM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • If he's doing so well at Daddys, then maybe it is you who is having the issue. Does he go to day care OK and do well there? If you feel upset becuase you are not seeing him as often, then that will affect him and how he goes to sleep. If you were truly trying to help him cope you'd try to figure out why he's so upset with bedtime with you and does so well with daddy. Talk to daddy and figure out the routine. Work on the same or a similair one at home. Be tough. If you say it's bed time, then it's bed time. Don't let him stay up later or get that extra drink. Be consistent. I like the supernanny approach. Put to bed, say good night. If he gets out, say It's bed time and put to bed. every time after that, no words, just straight to bed. My guess is your son won't have too hard a time adapting, just keep up with what's going on rather than changing it on him yet again. continued.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:36 AM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • continued. I'd also be willing to bet that your son knows your upset and is using it to his advantage. Kids are waaay to smart when it comes to these things! Be strong, you all we get through this.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:40 AM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • Well he has a right to see him but yeah if you were a SAHM this is all drastic and very confusing to your son. I feel for the little guy because for him is world is tumbling.I agree a strict consistant routine is necessary one you and dad can both do. If he is doing good there he may just be testing you because he can and can sense how emtoionnal you are. I would be just as emotional so I can feel for you! The beginning of a seperation is always the hardest. You guys will get through this and adjust:)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:18 AM on Dec. 30, 2009

  • I understand your side of things - I went from being a SAHM for 8 years to being separated then divorced. But for your son's sake it is a good idea for him to have a continuing relationship with his dad. If the two of you can set up a routine that is maintained at both houses, it would be in your son's best interest. You could also make a "calendar" that he can take with him in a duffel bag, backpack, whatever he carries between the two houses - that shows the days of the week with pictures of who's house he is at on what days. Each night you or Dad could talk about it with him showing the calendar - about who's house he is at that day, who's house he will be at tomorrow, and what day he will be with the other parent.
    You need to stay calm for your son's sake. If you are upset, he will be too. He can sense that and will play off of your emotions.

    Answer by missanc at 12:23 PM on Dec. 30, 2009

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