little.girl at nursery spends week between three homes?

(38 Posts)
sweettooth99 Fri 24-May-13 09:25:53

Scenario is a little girl at nursery who I guess is the stand out child whos fights and cries and seems very unhappy, while all the other kids seem really happy as it's a lovely nursery with great staff. I saw her mum on the way out yesterday and ended up having a chat about it all. Her mums a bit scary, quite defensive, obviously struggling with money etc and always looks stressed and sad. Her mum told me she lives three nights a week with her, one night with one granny, one night with her other granny and two nights with her dad. Every week. I'd have thought the little girl doesn't know if she's coming or going and all the change can't be good for her. But we are from different social and ethnic backgrounds and I'm worried I'm judging on what I've been brought up to think is the 'right way'to parent. AIbu? Also, Id like to be more friendly with her but she didn't look very interested when I suggested coffee and I felt like a bit of a twit sad

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 24-May-13 09:28:05

What do you want to do? You've offered a hand of friendship...she's not interested. Invite the child to play perhaps? Plenty of children throughout history have lived like this...between grannies and Aunts....it's not always a recipie for disaster.

Its hard to say.

My DD1 spends two nights at her dads, one night at my mums and the rest with me. Sometimes it does feel too much for her. But she doesnt act out.

I think that the mum being stressed, lack of money and all that brings, and whatever other issues the family have (all families have some) are probably having more effect than three houses.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 09:30:11

You've made so many assumptions it's difficult to know where to begin.

Lots of kids at nursery play up/fight/cry etc. Kids tend to go through so many stages when growing up.

You have no idea whether it's a phase or anything at all to do with her home arrangements.

But why do you want to be friends with a scary Mum, whose child you're judging?

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 24-May-13 09:30:40

Isn't that 4 homes?

sweettooth99 Fri 24-May-13 09:31:02

Sorry title of thread should have said four homes!

Finola1step Fri 24-May-13 09:31:17

If the mum is struggling, it could well be the best thing for the child to spend time with grandparents as well. It's really none of your business.

I suspect the other mum detected your catsbumface and decided she did not want your pity sympathy.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 09:32:15

And the kids 'who seem really happy', could have an utterly shit home life for all you know.

xylem8 Fri 24-May-13 09:34:58

YANBU. Poor little thing being passed around like left luggage sad

HandMini Fri 24-May-13 09:39:35

Ignore Hobnobs, it sounds like (in contrast to many "oh my gosh, I can't believe people live like this" threads) you didn't give her the catsbum and did offer a chat and a coffee which is what I would always try and do with anyone who I felt had a problem/might want someone to talk to. I would just keep an eye on the little girl and try and chat to the mum as and when you see her. It's likely that the little girl is fine and well (and children are astoundingly adaptable to their own unique situations).

dipitydoyou Fri 24-May-13 09:42:08

My neice is the the same. Spends the week between my ex sister in law, her Dad, and both grans, she's at school now and I always wonder how they manage to do the homework, gym bags, after school activities etc on all the right days, but they do.

She's a very happy well adjusted and impeccably mannered little girl too so [shrugs]

Whatever works for some people.

raisah Fri 24-May-13 09:43:30

Thats lovely that you are trying to reach out, she might not be interested now but she might be in the future. She might be trying to figure you out hence the defensiveness etc.

I think you are right about her girls behaviour being linked to her unstable living arrangements. If she split her week between just her parents that would provide more stability than the current set up. Her grandmothers can visit her but there is probably more to it. Could be that her behaviour is too challenging to deal with for one parent which is why they have split it. The drawback to this seems to be its made her feel more insecure.

The nursery should step in by referring her to a behavioural specialist if she is too disruptive.

Who are any of you to say that she is being passed around "like left luggage".

I have just become a step Nan, i have my SGC overnight once a week, so does his other Nan.

This will continue, the child will have his own room at mine and his other Nans. He has been much looked forward to, by all of the family and couldn't be more loved, he will want for nothing.

I was raised in an extended family, as was the norm 40 years ago, in the area that i lived in, we slept out, as much as we did at home.

I have lots planned for my SGC, including trips away, lucky for him that myself, parents and other Nan have different interests, he will get to experience lots of different things.

My SGC isn't less loved because his Mum isn't joined at the hip with him.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 09:45:18

All that love and attention from Mum, Dad and Grannies

Perhaps the poor little 'left luggage' enjoys every minute of it?

People live alternative lifestyles. Some travel around in caravans, some live on canal boats that you couldn't swing a hamster in, some live with extended family and some don't.

Just because it strays away from 'the norm', doesn't mean it's making the child unhappy or affecting her behavior.

Just to add, a Child Psychologist/Psychiatrist wouldn't make the assumption that they know what is causing the behaviour that you witness very briefly, as you have.

Most people appear "angry and defensive" when others cannot MTOB.

mrsjay Fri 24-May-13 09:56:47

you are assuming loads here while it is lovely you are concerned you can't assume the child is crying and fighting because of her 4 homes, it is maybe not ideal but least the child is being cared for you have chatted with the mum so you have offered a bit of a listening ear which is a good thing, but the mum might think you are judging and prying into her life,

CorrStagnitto Fri 24-May-13 10:01:11

passed around like left luggage? oh ffs hmm

lots of kids live their week spilt between two parents, it might have fuck all to do with it, i agree she probably saw your catsbumface coming a mile off

mrsjay Fri 24-May-13 10:03:58

I know kids who went between GP dads and mums <shrug> they were and are fine

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 24-May-13 10:07:39

The poor little kid is obviously finding some aspect of her upbringing difficult, if she is fighting/crying so much sad

But unfortunately there is nothing you can do and you certainly have no right to raise the issue with the mum.

I understand that your emotions must go out to the little girl. But all you can do is to be totally smiley and lovely whenever you encounter her at the nursery. Just be a nice presence in her life, however distant.

You can't do anything else.

WorraLiberty Fri 24-May-13 10:11:45

Perhaps like 1000s of other kids she's just finding Nursery difficult?

It's a huge leap to assume it's anything to do with her upbringing.

Of course it might be, but equally it might not.

mrsjay Fri 24-May-13 10:15:23

what worra said it could be something and nothing children behave in all sorts of ways when they go to nursery

Not all children go into Nursery happily, they can be just like adults and not be "a morning person", or act out around their Mum.

My DD works in a Nursery (i have experience of lots of children, some "damaged") and there are children who do that when Mum brings them, or is around, but for no-one else.

I am going to mark the MN bingo card, but my eldest was the same, she went on to get a diagnosis of SN, no doubt i looked stressed a lot of the time, she hardly slept.

OP, how long are you hanging around watching this child, or is this for 10 mins, out of a 8 hour day?

As someone who carries out family assessments, you cannot in any way think you know what is going on, by the limited contact you have with this woman and her child.

Have fun taking your judginess to the school gate, though.

sweettooth99 Fri 24-May-13 10:37:37

Thanks everyone, lots of food for thought.

williaminajetfighter Sat 25-May-13 15:28:18

I don't understand why a child would have to stay at grandparents one night per week and other grandparents another night per week. Surely mom and dad, even if separate, should be able to divide the time.

I appreciate that some parents work evenings etc but my observation is people use grandparents as sitters just to give themselves a break....not a great thing if its unsettling for a child.

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