My 2-year-old came back from a weekend with dad yesterday.
He came back home and didn't want me to depart his side at all. He has been clingy before, but yesterday it was excessive. Also he did have a couple of nigthmares during the night.
Many thoughts rushed my head. Had he been scared about something? Was he left with a third person (he reacted that way when left with a babysitter while one a weekend away)? Had he been hurt in any way? What is going through his head?
Having a small child away is very hard - specially when they come home and they don't act "normal". Thoughts will flood your head - but those are the same thoughts that will put you against the other parent, many times unnecessarily.
What we need to understand is that kids go through stuff, some make sense, some don't.
I don't know what went on on dad's house, I will make myself crazy trying to make sense of my son's episode if I decide to link it only to his overnight visit with that - there are many other possibilities.
What I am trying to say is, when we don't know - COMFORT IS THE ONLY THING WE MAY HAVE TO DO - and that will be enough.
Let;s now dwell and the what ifs (only if we have proof that they are in danger from anything we must act).
When they are in a split home situation, they will get affected, no matter how long they have been in that situation or how old they are. We as parents are here to offer understanding, move on their pace and offer love and comfort.
Let's not dwell in the negative, but move toward the positive.
My son is two, and talks up his elbows! but even then we cannot trust a two-year old "confessions" we must attempt to communicate with the other parent. My son tells me when he gets disciplined, but still I need to hear it from the other parent to know what is going on. Ask, the other parent, attempt communication, there is nothing wrong with that. Your relationship with the other parent is not the priority, I think, but your child's well being is - there is no time to be shy!
I have my say about the other parent, but one thing I know, he does love his son, and I need to draw base from that, and know my son will not get hurt on purpose.
Draw your base and seek understanding, if nothing of that can be reached, then write and take notes. but most of all COMFORT YOUR CHILD and assure him/her you are there.
Blessings! and love your children, listen to them!