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Author Topic: I want to go to mommy's house  (Read 4854 times)


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I want to go to mommy's house
« on: Apr 14, 2004, 12:17:46 PM »
I would like to know how to help my husband as well as ss5 with this issue.  Bm and dh have joint primary custody and ss stays with each parent half the time.  For quite a while now, ss tells us at bedtime that he wishes he was at mom's house.  We know why he says this (or at the least we suspect we know why).  Mom sleeps with him, or lets him climb into bed with her (he is expected to sleep in his own bed at our house), she lets him stay up until he falls asleep on the couch (he has a bedtime at our house), gets to watch tv from the minute he gets home until he goes to bed (he gets 1/2 hour at our house), etc, etc.  

SS never says he wants to go to her house at any other time of day, he actually told me that he wishes he could stay at our house all day and go to his moms at night.  Although we understand why ss is saying this, I think that it is really taking its toll on my husband.  I tell him that this is how it is going to be with the bm, we are going to be the ones that have rules and she is going to be the fun one.  I would just like to know how I can help my dh with this situation.  Also if you have any advice as how I can help ss deal with this situation I would appreciate it.


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RE: I want to go to mommy's house
« Reply #1 on: Apr 15, 2004, 02:23:24 PM »

My 3 year old daughter went through this phase for a month, so I can understand how difficult it is to try to instill some structure (important!) and routine (important!) in a child's life when the other home is very permissive.

I don't necessarily agree that your house is necessarily the un-fun home if it is the structured one.  My daughter's mom reports that daughter hits her, has tantrums, fusses at bedtime, complains about eating, etc.  

We don't have any of these issues because we've instilled some expectations mixed with making even routines fun.

If you haven't start building some nurturing routines prior to bedtime.  The bath, then snuggling together on his bed to read some stories, then tucking him in and doing a special final thing.

If he needs a nightlight, or any other reasonable sleeping aid, of course it doesn't hurt.

Here was the coup d'etat for helping my daughter through the difficult bedtimes she had for a few weeks.  I took her markers, drew a picture of her smiling in her bed (I'm not an artist, so it was just a smiley face with her color hair in a bed that had a blanket like hers).  Beneath the drawing, I drew three empty boxes.  I told her that every time we had a happy bedtime, she'd get a star in one of the boxes, and when the boxes were full, we'd go to Toys R Us to get a little toy that she earned.  I taped that sheet to her closet door, so she could see it.

The first night, there wasn't any change.  In the morning, she wanted a star.  Nope, sorry.  That night, we had a happy bedtime (i.e., no complaints, and when I checked on her 10 minutes later, she was asleep).

After quickly getting her first toy, she progressed to a six-box chart (i.e., make it harder to earn).  After the second time we got her toy, she started losing interest in the star chart, but the new peaceful routine had stuck.

Of course with each toy, we made a big deal out of it... it wasn't just some gift... it was something she should be really proud of because she earned it.

We didn't want to taint her choice in toys by putting a price limit on it (which she doesn't really understand), so on the first one, I took a little checkbox and said she could pick whatever fit inside of it (i.e., figuring it wouldn't be too expensive).  The next time, we took a slightly bigger box, because she had more stars.

You gotta find what motivates him to help him convince himself that he really doesn't need mommy.



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RE: I want to go to mommy's house
« Reply #2 on: Apr 15, 2004, 10:11:32 PM »
It's just a different parenting style.  It happens and there isn't a whole lot that can be changed.  My suggestion to you is to stick what the two of you feel is best.  

Kitty C.

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RE: I want to go to mommy's house
« Reply #3 on: Apr 16, 2004, 07:08:40 AM »
Like the others have said, it's a phase they just have to work thru, with your help.

SS is now 10, but we went thru something even worse when he was that age.  DH would pick him up at 6 pm. on Friday nights and within TWO hours, he'd be begging to 'call Mommy'.  Sometimes this would go on ALL weekend!  We found out later that she prompted him to it.

All it took was a matter of setting some ground rules.  Given that he was only with us for 46 hours every 2 weeks, we only allowed him ONE phone call to the PBFH about halfway thru the weekend, usually on Sat. evening.  Didn't take long for him to both grow out of it and become used to 'the schedule'.  In fact, the ONLY time he asks to call her now is to beg to stay later, LOL!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


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RE: I want to go to mommy's house
« Reply #4 on: Apr 22, 2004, 06:22:41 AM »
Son is three years old and only time he asks for Mom is usually when he's in "time out".  I'm sure there's no "time out" at her place.  Sometimes if we pass by a pick up place, he'll ask if his Mom's coming but that's about it.  

Hopefully he will out grow it too and adjust to being in two households.  I know it will be hard with one that has structure and rules and one that does not, but he will have to learn what the limits are.


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RE: I want to go to mommy's house
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2004, 03:56:17 PM »
I have to agree that stucture and boundaries are very important in a chids life. Most children are happier when they know what to expect. Decent Dad has some excellent ideas and communicationg with your child is so important.

Good Luck,


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RE: I want to go to mommy's house
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2004, 02:09:08 PM »
I LOVE your idea!!!  We have been having a battle royale with the three-year old over bedtimes.  Unfortunately, he shares a room with little sis (almost 2 years) and the past two days she stands in her crib and screams as long as he does.  We are splitting them up today or tomorrow.  And then I think I will draw a little chart.....


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RE: I want to go to mommy's house
« Reply #7 on: Jun 04, 2004, 11:26:43 PM »
Decent Dad:

Great idea/story...."Mommy' permits BOTH my 4 and 6 yr. old boys to sleep worth her and I have been having a helluva time breaking the 4 yr. old (6 yr. old has always stayed in his bed at Daddy's house)

Will put it into action this week at Daddy's house!



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