My son asked me a question: In some families, this is almost anathema

Must I come home and sleep? The questions asked my big son me the other day. Immediately a bit of a strange question, for why should a 13-year-old be allowed

My son asked me a question: In some families, this is almost anathema

Must I come home and sleep?

The questions asked my big son me the other day. Immediately a bit of a strange question, for why should a 13-year-old be allowed to sleep at home. And what parent would ever say ’no’. But what if familiesammensætningen is a little more complicated than that.

Then it becomes not so black and white. In skilsmisseland with deleordninger, papforældre and many different values and needs in play, it can suddenly become a somewhat more complex issue.

the Situation was the fact that my son was with his father, who then had to go out. And therefore then he asked if he could come over to me and sleep the night. It must be said that we share the children, how about 7/7. And when I say about, is it, because we are reasonably flexible about, if one must travel or have a work project that must be taken into account.

I just got a stab in the heart, within, of course, I replied: 'It is always in order! There are not any fatter than that you come here and sleep. So we see the movie and eat a lot of candy.' For the idea that he would ask about such a thing, and that I could potentially say ’no, it fits not so good’ hurt, right down in the big toe.

And it sounds all fine and good and in the best interests of the child. But was the reason it was so easy to answer 'yes', because I still not had anything? Or because I don't live with someone who turned out had looked forward to a nice kæresteaften after a long work week? Or because I'm just the type who would throw (almost) everything for my ungers needs?

And it has perhaps also something to do with the fact that we live on the door and, therefore, it is logistically easy and possible?

of course, There are many things that come into play. Not least, the age of the child, as this situation most likely occurs with older children, where both parents and children can ’flex’ a little more. Young children have the best of a more regular rhythm.

But I also know for skilsmissefamilier with older children, where it really is broken down and almost banned that the children come home to the parent, as the ’not being with’ the week in question. And then it's just too bad if you've forgotten fodboldsokkerne or penalhuset.

For some children it will give more tranquility and peace of mind with as clear and firm framework. But the flip side may be that they will miss more, and that life is going to feel even more divided than it already is. That, in this way coming to live two very separate lives. For the parents it can give more freedom and discretion over their ’alenetid’, which of course also is important.

And it is well that that it becomes a bit more complex than when the mother, father and children live under the same roof, for that would such a question never arise. But in skilsmissetidsalderen, there are many more persons that need to be addressed (children, parents, papforældre, papsøskende). All within a ugeopdelt schedule. And it is this that can be so immensely difficult!

Fortunately, there is not only one solution for this situation with my son. Of course, it had been okay to say ’no’ if I had been prevented. But two things are surely particularly crucial in this context. And it is the relationship between the parents and that the child always feel welcome and safe in both homes.

Whether it is an even or an odd week. For even if there are many needs to take a position as to two home to navigate between and alternating weeks, so there is only one child. But one reality. And what is best for the child, is not always what is most convenient for the adults.

Sarah Zobel

Sarah Zobel is a psychologist and author. She is the mother of three children and the author of three books. Find her on Instagram: sarah_zobel9.

Updated Date: 04 December 2019, 17:01

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