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Anne Cawood


Posted by: michelle lawson | 2011-12-08


Staying over at their dads?

At what age should I allow my children to sleep over at their dads? I do not trust my ex, he constantly lies and even tried bullying me into getting my children to stay over and I think they are just too young. I'm letting him see his children 1 day for about 3 hours or more a week but he still keeps asking me to let them stay over but he has no home and is living with his new partner in her house with her 3 children. I don't know what to do anymore can you please help me? Michelle

Expert's Reply


Anne Cawood Anne Cawood
- 2012-01-12

Dear Michelle, I am so sorry that I have taken so long to reply to you - have been away on leave. You do not give me enough information regarding this problem. You do not tell me how old the children are etc. There is no fixed age for children to commence sleep-overs with their Dads - it all depends on how ell they are bonded with him. Some children start sleep- overs when they are still babies. At the time of separation/ divorce, a very child-centred parenting plan needs to be drawn up - and this should include how the process of contact will be increased as the children get older. A 3 hour visit once a week would generally not be considered enough for the parent-child relationship to be effectively developed. Children have 2 parents - and it is really necessary to try to encourage the relationship - no matter what the cause of the separation of the parents has been. There need to be really good reasons to only allow a father 3 hours a week eg that he is a drug addict or alcoholic. Please try very hard to ensure that you are putting the best interests of the children first. You could also get a copy of my book "Adjusting the boundaries" helping children and teens cope with separation and divorce" Good luck!

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