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First Visitation, she is 2. . .??

My daughter will be going to her biological fathers home for the first time, for her weekend visitation. How can i make this easier on her? He isn't helping and will not start slow (like one night and then progress to the whole weekend) I'm afraid she will feel like im abandoning her with complete strangers (which he and his friend are). Its court ordered, so im not trying to get out but i want her to know i'll be back, but she doen't always get it. Like when i leave for work she freaks (only sometimes) even though i always come straight home after work. I'm afraid she will have a melt down, and he wont know what to do, but wont call. I Love my daughter and only want her happy, but what should i do to prepare her? HELP!!

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smilelovesmile

Asked by smilelovesmile at 4:14 AM on Feb. 15, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 11 (526 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • She's simply too young to understand any of this or even that you will return. The best thing you can do is be very happy in her eyes, smile when you drop her off, let her know you love her and everything is just fine. Dont make it a HUGE deal or anything it will confuse her more. Provide dad with all her favorites already to go in a bag. Pack her her favorite snacks, dolly, toys, books, drinks, you name it, maybe even a picture of mommy would help her! Tell dad in a very serious but reassuring voice that he is welcomed to call you no questions asked if she gets panicked. its all you can do at this point. gl mama.
    Bugsmommy1908

    Answer by Bugsmommy1908 at 4:53 AM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • I wouldn't just spring it on her all at once, I would start telling her what is going to happen a few days in advance. ex... You are going to go stay with daddy (or whatever you call him) this weekend he's a really nice person and he wants to spend some time with you and get to know you. You'll have lots of fun at his house and i'm sure he will (something that she loves to do) with you. Just trying to prepare her for it will help ease the process a little bit more. Also explain to her that mommy will be back, and packing some of the things from home that she loves etc... Maybe tell her if she's good all weekend with daddy that she will be given a special treat whatever it may be when she gets home. I know this is going to be rough on you as well as her so explain that to him as well and give him your phone number and tell him if he needs to calm her down to call you and let you talk to you. Good luck hope it works out.
    Bluesdawg02

    Answer by Bluesdawg02 at 6:08 AM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • Give her something of yours to hold on to, a picture, a necklace, ect. Tell to hold on to it until you get back and then she can give it back to you.

    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:22 AM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • Everything above sounds really good, but maybe you could meet him at a park or McDonalds with play area and let her play with him for an hour or two a few days before her stay. It may make it easier if she can meet him with you around and see that you think he is ok. Just send everything she will need and tell him things she likes to do and he can do them with her. Tell him her schedule, it will make help if things can go on like normal. Don't forget all medical information (allergies, meds.). Maybe if you let her start talking to him on the phone, maybe telling him good night, he will call you an let her tell you good night.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:35 AM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • Talk about it alot and be postive. If you're upset or nervous she will pick up on that. Be happy she gets the chance to have another parent, another person to love her. My DDs BF is a huge ahole, sounds like that's what you're dealing with too, you can't let him phase you. I'm sure he LOVES to see you upset, don't give him that satisfaction. Your 2 year old is going to have trouble with the change, this is completely normal. Be patient and know it will take everyone some getting used to.
    camiam81

    Answer by camiam81 at 8:27 AM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • He is wrong for not working up to the weekend visit, but as you said you can't do anything about that. So, you just have to be positive as you drop her off. Remember, even when she cries when you go to work, she doesn't cry the whole time. She does okay when you are at work and she will do okay for most of the time she is with him. He will have to learn to get her calmed down and engaged in an activity with him....He will have to deal with it if she gets upset at any point throughout the visit. You can tell him he is welcome to call you, but he probably won't. And really, if he is going to have her for weekend visits then he should learn to work it through on his own anyway. If he does, they will have a better relationship in the long run. I feel for you and for her, though because an entire weekend is a long time for a first visit and she is young. Still, you have to stay positive.
    BJoan

    Answer by BJoan at 8:36 AM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • I don't envy you at all. If it's possible have bio dad come to your house so that she can see that he's "safe". Do give her a picture (laminated so it's not torn or wadded) of you and maybe a shirt with your smell on it. Sleep in it a few days so that the smell is strong. Send her favorite foods although tell him that her eating habits & sleeping habits are likely to be "off" due to her not understanding what's going on. Ask bio dad if he minds if you call, but try NOT to call right at bed-time as it may upset her too much to sleep. Hopefully all will go well, and just realize that she'll be extra clingy when she comes back, her behavior will be thru the roof, and you will just have to comfort her and reassure her when she's back.

    The idea of the park before-hand, while fun, might give her a fear of parks were you to exchange there. You need to take her to his house giving her the idea that you know that she is safe here.
    doodlebopfan

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 8:38 AM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • If he sees how scared she is...maybe he'll back off a little. Try calling at different points in the day so she can hear your voice. My daugher is 2 as well...but her jerk of a father only gets her for 8 hours once a week.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:29 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • Thanks for all your advice, ill try all of it :) well bits and pieces of each, thank you so much. We are doing a 'walk through' tomarow to make sure everything is safe and babyproof. hopefully that will tamp down my fears :)
    smilelovesmile

    Answer by smilelovesmile at 1:37 AM on Feb. 20, 2010

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