Instability in the home and children - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 03-16-2015, 05:33 PM #1
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Default Instability in the home and children

My 4 year old niece and 2 year old nephew, parents split up. They spend an alternate night with each parent ie Monday mum, Tuesday dad, Wednesday mum etc and then every Saturday night they are sent to a different family member (there are 6 of us on a continually 6 week rotation). They both are emotionally and developmentally delayed and whilst like other children their age, they suffer from separation anxiety, they seem to have it in extreme (ie they will only sleep an hour or two as they are crying and screaming on a Saturday night family stay). Neither of their parents believe that the family stay is causing any psychological issues and it is part of being a child. Some of us believe that it needs to stop and that the children's developmental delays are due to psychological issues caused by instability due to not having a stable home environment between their parents and then being shunted off to somewhat unfamiliar homes every weekend.

Does any one know the impact to children with this kind of set up or if it's just normal childhood behavior? Thanks
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:13 PM #2
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Default Re: Instability in the home and children

Yikes! It's really hard to predict how this will affect kids, but having stability and a routine is super important for children. I would think it would be better on the children to not switch daily and maybe switch weekly. Why can't the parents switch off weekends and maybe have the children go to an extended family member one time per month? Do the parents want every weekend off from parenting? Parenting doesn't work that way.

The parents should really take a parenting class and seek family therapy to learn to navigate maintaining focus on the welfare of the children, even though they are no longer together. Also to help the kids understand their schedule they should have a simple calendar with the days they will be with which parent or family member. That way they understand their is a schedule but that the other parent is coming back for them.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:07 PM #3
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Default Re: Instability in the home and children

Doesn't sound like a typical visitation plan. However will that work come school age? Is this rotation due to employment?

Developmental delays are typically neurological, however, there's a psychological affect from lacking stability.



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