I am concerned about the effects of 50/50 dual residence on my 6 year old daughter(she is in 1st grade). I am the custodial parent and my home is her primary residence.Since kindergarten, visitation with her father is every week Wednesday & Thursday and every other weekend Friday-Sunday evening (we live 20 minutes apart).
Since summer of 2004, I have been noticing more frequently her moodiness & temperament. She is easily irritated, frustrated, defiant & overly sensitive. She has also developed some sleep issues, such as; she no longer wants to sleep in her room, always wants to sleep with me,has a hard time falling asleep or wakes up during the night.
She has also clearly expressed that she "feels like a sticker, that keeps getting peeled off", "feels like she doesn't belong anywhere", or "feels like she doesn't have a family".
I have tried to work out a more stable and less disruptive, but a fair schedule with her father, but he does not communicate or cooperate with me. There has been high conflict and animosity between us in the last 2 years.
I encourage a father-daughter relationship & time, but my motherly instinct tells me that my daughter is not adjusting well to these frequent transitions.
Can you please tell me how this schedule could effect my daughter in the future or even in the next 2 years? And what you reccommend would be a fair but appropriate visitation schedule for her age?
Thank you for any advice.
I, nor anyone, can predict with any certainty what will happen down the road. But your daughter is not doing well currently, and it sounds like the post-divorce relationship between you and her father is not good. It's important to recognize that the single most important variable, in regard to how well a child adjusts to parents' divorce,is the quality of the post-divorce relationship between the parents. To be frank with you, in my opinion the current arrangement is not beneficial for your daughter, and her feedback and instability are'proof positive' of that. In my experience, so-called 50/50 shared custody arrangements hardly ever work out well for the child. Young children need to go to sleep and wake up in the same bed every school day, not have interruptions and transitions during the school week. It distresses me that probate court judges approve these arrangemnts for young children. Such arrangemnets can be fine for older children; they have more resilience and can adjust better to such change. An idea for the type of arrangement that might be more suitable for your daughter would be for her to be with one parent during the school week, with the other parent on alternate weekends and to see the other parent for a couple or a few hours mid-week, but not overnight. Obviously, this is a general suggestion, and I don't want to presume that I know what is best for your family.
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