Looking for some ideas. My kids love going to their dads, because he is the ultimate disneyland dad— all fun, no rules, no structure or boundaries. Thankfully its only for 3 nights out of 14. UNFORTUNATELY for me, they just spent a week with him and oh my god, Im not even sure if these ferals he dropped off on my doorstep are my kids! They have taken a whole day and half to get back to routine. We have a little bit of this behaviour after our usual handover – but this was ridiculous. Talking back, fighting, rudeness and disobedience, tantrums (theyre tired, over stimulated too).
So, I need to do something to get them back into the mindset of being back home after dad visits. For both their sanity and mine!
What do you guys do when your kids come back from their fathers house? Rather than just expecting them to transition to a new set of rules immediately, how to you reintroduce? Hope that makes sense! Thanks!
Firstly it is great that you are of the mindset that you cannot change your ex’s parenting and are not at war with him. Maintaining rules and boundaries and following through with consequences is a must for defiant behaviour. Do not make it about their dad – they will use it as an excuse., Perhaps try getting them to do an age appropriate activity (I don’t know the ages of your children) that require them to focus and ensure you give them lots of positive feedback for correct behaviour. Meditation is really good. Kids actually crave boundaries as they feel safe. Make sure you individually give them lots of love when they do the right thing within the rules.
I used to get this all the time. As they get older they get used to difference between homes and they learn to handle it better. Sit them down in front of movie to calm down. Give them some healthy good, let them rest. That’s possibly all the need. When they are in a better mindset speak to them about how it’s acceptable to behaviour that way with you. And how it can be done better next time. Don’t put Dad down though.
As terrible as this sounds I am so glad to know I’m not the only one that experiences that behaviour when they get back from the ‘Disneyland dad’. I find it soul destroying as i personally so look forward to my child’s return but am also preparing myself for how he will be, he’s either an emotional mess and exhausted or so very angry and frustrated at me, he’s not a violent kid but sometimes when he comes back he physically laashes out at me and struggles so much with his frustration it’s horrible because i know he i going through some conflicting feelings on the inside, sadly his dad does have tendencies to coach, manipulate and say less than nice things about me in the hope he will get his way.
I talked to a counsellor about it and she said to create a ritual when they get home… like they come in you hug them, they have some time in their room if the want, there’s a snack ready and then you can offer 3 options of an activity etc to do together… like movie, game etc… for me it is usually a movie.
This helps them readjust in a no pressure or expectation kind of way which the routine of the ritual knowing how it will be when they get home helps them. And reduces pressure and expectation on them and you