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Overnight Stays with Noncustodial Parents Benefit Children of All Ages

Posted on in Child Custody & Visitation

California mediation attorney, California divorce lawyerDivorce is emotional and stressful for everyone in the family, children included. Many times, children internalize their emotions and wrongfully blame themselves for the divorce. Thoughts such as, “I was bad, so my parent left us” or “They did not love me anymore either” race through their still forming minds. As adults, we know better, but it is tough for children to comprehend that the decision did not come as a result of anything they did, or did not, do. Additionally, if you share an infant child, the first year is imperative for long-term bonding. New studies show that overnight stays for children whose parents are divorced have essential benefits, leading many parents to change their child custody arrangements.

Old Beliefs

For a substantial length of history, it was the idea that younger children, especially under the age of two, suffer emotional damage by staying overnight with noncustodial parents. Psychologists believed that this time apart leads to the breakdown of consistency, trust, and security leading to irreparable harm to the parent-child relationship. Researchers concluded that infants and toddlers needed to understand that you were there for them, every time, without question to build a healthy and lasting bond. They thought that a routine of sleeping in the same place every night with the same routine built trust and a sense of security, promoting better sleeping habits and enhancing self-soothing capabilities.

Arizona State University Study

A recent study being acclaimed in psychological journals nationwide changes these beliefs. The study, titled “Should infants and toddlers have frequent overnight parenting time with fathers? The policy debate and new data” brings about new information. The controversial topic has many reconsidering their parenting arrangements. New findings include:

  • Overnight stays benefit each child’s relationship with both their mother and their father,
  • Children having overnight stays with the non-custodial parent as infants and toddlers had better relationships with both parents when they reached the ages of 18 to 20 compared to those who did not,
  • Every increase in the overnight stays per week as infants and children lead to an increase in both the strength and closeness of the relationship in older years, and
  • The grown children with the best relationships had equal nights stays per week with both of their parents throughout the infant and toddler years.

In the Best Interest of the Children

Children already have it harder than we did growing up. With the rise in social media to point out every mistake and to reinforce consumer spending, bullying is at an all-time high. It may be in our nature to keep our children with us as much as possible. However, we must consider the benefits to the children to have a healthy relationship with both parents. If you would like to discuss your co-parenting arrangement with a San Jose, CA family law attorney, contact the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today by calling 408-395-8822 to take advantage of a complimentary initial consultation.

 

Sources:

https://campus.asu.edu/content/overnights-dad-benefit-kids-divorce-%E2%80%94%C2%A0no-matter-their-age-0

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311088433_Should_Infants_and_Toddlers_Have_Frequent_Overnight_Parenting_Time_With_Fathers_The_Policy_Debate_and_New_Data

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