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DK Simoneau often receives questions on how to handle situations.  She addresses readers questions about shared custody, parenting, and split family living situations.  To submit a question, please use the form below.

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September 29, 2008
When should the kids sleep over?

DK:  My partner (who I don't live with) is finding it difficult to source any information on whether it is healthy to have his 2 children aged 14 months and 2.5 years sleepover at his house yet.  He curently has custody 2 nights  for 3 hours and two whole days alternate weeks.  He has a very well set up home with good beds for the children and is an excellent fater and very responsible. Him and the childrens mother want to do what is in the best interest of the children and they love spending time with their dad.  Is it too young for them to sleepover or will it be an advantage to set up this routine from an early age?  Wondering in Australia

This is a great question.  I am not aware of any "studies" about this subject, and I
think there are different philosophies.  I can tell you my kids were 1 and 3 and they
started then going 3 overnights at Dad's and 4 overnights with Mom each week.  They are
probably two of the most well adjusted kids of divorce I know, and I've often believed it
was because they started the routine so young, they don't know any better.  I think that
you take your cues from your kids.  If you set it up to be an exciting thing and go that
angle they will adjust pretty well.  If they start having complete behavior changes then
you must reevaluate.  Be warned one year old tromped into our bedroom
every night for years to be put back to bed.  I think because he didn't always know which
house he was at and he needed to be reassured!

Best of luck, dk



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