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Shuffling a Child between 3 to 4 different households

(52 Posts)
ChrisEllison Sun 16-Jan-22 18:42:28

I have a Great-grandchild who is 3. She spends two days a week with her father, two days with one set of Great-grandparents and 2 days with me and her grandmother, my daughter. I say she needs to be in her own bed at her fathers house (who has his mom and grandparents there), and has custody. I think it's harmful and I am seeing behavioral issues with her. I love her dearly, but spending two nights a week in my one bedroom home sleeping on the sofa or floor with my daughter is not a good thing. How can I get this thru to my daughter without her feeling I am booting them out? Would appreciate advice from others.

Nonogran Sun 16-Jan-22 18:56:12

Poor wee child, surely something will have to be settled before she reaches school age? You don’t say why all this shuffling is going on but maybe a big family pow wow is required to look at alternatives & come up with a strategy that would be more beneficial to this baby’s security & peace of mind? If you can think of anyway at all that this shuffling could be smoothed out for the benefit of your dear little one, that is something to take to the family gathering for discussion. You could build in some “review dates” so that contributors don’t feel trapped by plans?
It’s hard to know how best to advise you but this is not something to be shouldered alone. The baby’s entire family need to be pulled in yo come up with a better modus operandi. Sleeping on sofas and floors are not good for anyone.
I do hope you can facilitate a better way forward for this dear child. I’m sure the wise ones will come along with better ideas.

paddyann54 Sun 16-Jan-22 19:21:51

One of my grandaughters had 4 homes and 4 bedrooms,

When her parents split he brought her home to us for half of every week ,she also spent time at her mums and her other granny's .When Daddy met someone else 8 years later she stayed a night with dad and his new partner every week until we were all sure the new relationship would work .

When Dads and his new partner were expecting a baby she spent more time with them until her half week with us became half week with dad,stepmum and new sister ,She still splits her week between mum and other granny and her dads house.
It sounds complicated but it worked very well for us all and for her,She is the nicest girl you could meet ,now almost 13 bright ,happy, friendly and polite .You'd be surprised how well they cope with multiple homes ....and 4 bedrooms.Our girl still has a room here even though she rarely stays with us ,She is well loved and you cant ask for more than that ....

trisher Sun 16-Jan-22 19:35:23

My GS now 18 has had three homes most of his life. He knows he is loved and cared for by all of us. He seems to be fine and well adjusted. The only problem I can see is that she doesn't seem to have her own space in the places she stays something I think a child needs. There doesn't seem to be a mention of a mother, so perhaps that is one of the reasons she is becoming concerned. If she is mixing with other children she will become aware of them and their families. I also wonder about the involvement of Great grandparents long term. If you are a young GG it is probably OK but she shouldn't face the prospect of perhaps losing two of her bases through bereavement. Can you look at sorting out a base for her somewhere where she can have her own bed and keep her things? Even if it is just "her" fold down chair in your living room or bedroom for just now. Long term though I think she needs better accommodation. Can you have a whole family discussion about it without acrimony? It would really help.

VioletSky Sun 16-Jan-22 19:36:35

I think the love matters not the sleeping arrangements

But of course you should encourage your daughter to get housed and provide a proper place for daughter to stay

Blondiescot Sun 16-Jan-22 19:44:29

Our grandson lived with us for more than 18 months (along with my son, his dad) and now that they have their own place, he still has to stay with us at least two nights a week, because his dad is a police officer and works shifts. He is perfectly happy and well adjusted, but he does have his own room at our house. Similar arrangements can work well for everyone, but if you are seeing problems arising with the little one, I think everyone involved does need to sit down and talk about the situation and how best to go forward.

crazyH Sun 16-Jan-22 19:59:56

Bless her little heart - fortunately, she’s too little to notice anything. As long as she is loved by all. Btw, am I missing something…..where’s her mum in all this ? I can’t offer any advice, but wish the little one grows up to be a well adjusted young woman and it looks like she will. Lots of hugs for her x

Calistemon Sun 16-Jan-22 20:19:31

VioletSky

I think the love matters not the sleeping arrangements

But of course you should encourage your daughter to get housed and provide a proper place for daughter to stay

I'm not sure, Violetsky.
That is, of course, of prime importance but not having a space to call her own for a good part of each week on a permanent basis is not helping her behavioural issues imo.

The only problem I can see is that she doesn't seem to have her own space in the places she stays something I think a child needs.
I agree; if she had her own room, however small, with her toys and teddies etc with her she would feel more settled.

I wonder why you all came to this arrangement, ChrisEllison?
When she starts school, perhaps next September, it would be better if she is in one home all week, even if she spends weekends at another home.

BlueBelle Sun 16-Jan-22 20:37:22

Children are usually very adaptable and grow happily with arrangements that we think are awful but which are their normal and what they are used to
Why is she sleeping on the floor a little fold up bed even a second hand one should be possible
Where’s the mother ? Why has your daughter her grandmother in the equation ?
There’s obviously a lot more to the story

Hithere Sun 16-Jan-22 20:50:33

What is the custody agreement like? How many days with her father and her mother?

blue25 Sun 16-Jan-22 21:32:16

I think it’s important that a child has a home. One place that is their haven, where they have their own bed & things and they feel safe. As adults we wouldn’t want to live between 3 homes, so I’m not sure why anyone thinks it’s acceptable for a child to do this.

I’m not surprised she has behaviour issues, poor girl.

trisher Sun 16-Jan-22 21:39:07

blue25

I think it’s important that a child has a home. One place that is their haven, where they have their own bed & things and they feel safe. As adults we wouldn’t want to live between 3 homes, so I’m not sure why anyone thinks it’s acceptable for a child to do this.

I’m not surprised she has behaviour issues, poor girl.

Sorry I entirely disagree with this. Many children now have parents who are not together and have two or even more homes. All the evidence says that as long as the adults in their lives provide them with the love and care they need they flourish,

Calistemon Sun 16-Jan-22 21:47:59

trisher but you said this
The only problem I can see is that she doesn't seem to have her own space in the places she stays something I think a child needs.

I agree with you that it is important.
Regularly sleeping on the floor or the sofa with her grandmother is not at all suitable.
Where does her grandmother sleep for the other days of the week? Does she have her own home and if so why doesn't the child stay there?
It all sounds most unsatisfactory. Staying with another parent or grandparents at weekends is fine but there doesn't seem to be a satisfactory home routine for this child.

If a 3 year old is sleeping in the lounge on the settee or floor what happens if the adults want to watch TV etc?

It all sounds very odd.

BlueBelle Sun 16-Jan-22 22:46:37

I agree callistemon there seems a lot more than those few facts given at the start of the thread

trisher Sun 16-Jan-22 22:54:52

Calistemon

trisher but you said this
The only problem I can see is that she doesn't seem to have her own space in the places she stays something I think a child needs.

I agree with you that it is important.
Regularly sleeping on the floor or the sofa with her grandmother is not at all suitable.
Where does her grandmother sleep for the other days of the week? Does she have her own home and if so why doesn't the child stay there?
It all sounds most unsatisfactory. Staying with another parent or grandparents at weekends is fine but there doesn't seem to be a satisfactory home routine for this child.

If a 3 year old is sleeping in the lounge on the settee or floor what happens if the adults want to watch TV etc?

It all sounds very odd.

That is a single problem with this arrangement. It doesn't mean that a child always needs a single home. In fact children who maintain contact with both parents seem to be happier, and a child sleeping on a sofa who is loved and cared for may be happier than one in one home where there is little love and every material possession.

Calistemon Sun 16-Jan-22 23:14:04

In fact children who maintain contact with both parents seem to be happier

I'm not arguing about that trisher and I agree as long as neither parent is abusive, but that doesn't seem to be the case here:
She spends two days a week with her father, two days with one set of Great-grandparents and 2 days with me and her grandmother, my daughter.

When I last checked there were 7 days in the week.
There is no mention of a mother
The grandmother doesn't appear to have her own bed and neither does the child.

a child sleeping on a sofa who is loved and cared for may be happier than one in one home where there is little love and every material possession
I disagree - an occasional visit perhaps but not as a permanent routine.
Every child deserves a bed and a safe, quiet place to sleep and anyone who loves that child would ensure that is the case.

In fact, I'm beginning to smell 🐟

Ali08 Mon 17-Jan-22 02:37:17

I am so confused, and I seem to be the only one!!

You, ChrisEllison, are her great-grandfather & live in a one bedroom place with the grandmother, who is your daughter, where the hell does she sleep when the child isn't there?
Where is the child's mother?

To answer the question, if there is communication between you all to keep things fluent, as in don't teach her opposite things, and she has toys etc there for her needs then I guess she's ok. At least she has a large family that love her and take care of her - some poor lil mites don't get that!!
There must be a reason, however, for all of this and why she's not with daddy most of the time and then timesharing with the grandparents and great-grandparents on odd weekends or so, but I guess that's another thing for you to sort out!

BlueBelle Mon 17-Jan-22 06:59:09

Where do get great grandfather from ali I don’t see anything about a great grandFATHER.?
But I agree it all seems very strange with multi generations having the child various days
Hopefully chrisellison will come back and sort it all out and make it a bit clearer

Hetty58 Mon 17-Jan-22 07:15:25

ChrisEllison, I don't think it's a problem as small children are very adaptable. They often have several homes.

Perhaps you just resent her staying at your place (with her mother) so are keen to end the arrangement and looking for 'reasons'?

What 'behavioural issues' are a problem - and why blame her living arrangements? (Oh, yes, where is she on the 7th day?)

BlueBelle Mon 17-Jan-22 07:49:26

I have a Great-grandchild who is 3. She spends two days a week with her father, two days with one set of Great-grandparents and 2 days with me and her grandmother, my daughter. I say she needs to be in her own bed at her fathers house (who has his mom and grandparents there)

Right I ve been reading this over again and it doesn’t make sense at all
she spends 2 days a week with her father who lives with his mother and grandparents so far ok
She spends 2 days a week with her other great grandparents but her other great grandparents are living with her father ???
And as hetty says where is she on the 7 th day
I think unless the poster comes back to clear this all up we should presume it’s not a genuine post

eazybee Mon 17-Jan-22 08:42:22

A child has one set of parents, two sets of grandparents and four sets of great-grandparents.
That said, it does seem odd they are all still living with each other.
Where does the OP's daughter (a grandmother) sleep normally in his one bedroomed home: on the sofa or floor? She doesn't appear to have a bed of her own.
Very odd.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 17-Jan-22 09:38:35

Weird. A lot of multi-generational living, child being moved around every two days, OP’s daughter sleeping on the floor in his one bed flat? What an unsettling life for this child, nowhere to call home, no space of her own and a couple of nights a week sleeping on the floor or sofa. It seems that no-one wants her for more than a couple of days at a time. She’s constantly moved on. Time for someone to take some responsibility and give her a proper home seven days a week. Assuming this is all true of course.

Calistemon Mon 17-Jan-22 10:51:29

I think it's one of those riddles similar to the ones my little DGD made up when she was fed up with doing Maths in lockdown 😁

paddyann54 Mon 17-Jan-22 11:00:58

Life sadly isn't straightforward for a massive amount of people .In an ideal world this child would have 2 loving parents under one roof and a bedroom of her own.Given the state of housing in some parts of the country that is often unatainable.
Our GD had 2 loving parents ,her mother just played away and her dad left with her in tow.
This family appears to have finance issues and housing problems though and they are harder to sort

,Doesn't make them bad people.
They do what is possible to keep their relationship with the child alive and happy.If that means there are 2 nights where no one is around except her GM and GGm and she has to sleep on a sofa its still better than putting her into care
Other adults in her life may work nights or be unable to care for her because of health issues.Its not ideal but they have to find a way round it .GSM why is multi generational living a problem? It was the norm for me and millions of families in post war UK ,and worked well .

Calistemon Mon 17-Jan-22 11:08:31

Life sadly isn't straightforward for a massive amount of people

But most of us have a straightforward seven days and seven nights in a week.

Yes, both DH and I lived in multi-generational households as did our children too but everyone had their own bed.

The OP doesn't think this is satisfactory for the child and I agree with her/him.