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the past two nights DH has let the kids talk to their mom right before bed..
they cry and cry as soon as they get on the phone saying they wanna go home, when all day they've been fine and having fun, then they cry and get upset and won't go to bed because they want to go home.
I think it really hurt DH's feelings to hear that after he hadn't seen them for 10 months.
I sat them both down and tried to explain that them saying they don't wanna be here hurts daddys feelings, but I'm not sure they got it.. I know they're just homesick but DH finally agreed with me that calling her before bed is not a good idea and he told her that she can call them when she wants, once a day during the day so they don't get upset anymore.
I think scheduling a call during the daytime instead is a good idea. Most kids resist bedtime enough to begin with, and adding in a phone call that will likely upset them is probably not helping anyone. Let your dh know not to take it personally; homesickness is pretty normal and it isn't about him.
On that note, I would also try not to say things like, "It hurts Daddy's feelings when you say you want to go home." I understand that it's true, but they aren't saying it with malicious intent and so saying that kind of places them in a position where they're responsible for your dh taking their homesickness personally and it isn't really fair to them. They're just expressing that they miss home, which is okay.
I would just let them know that Mommy is going to be calling them at x time instead of bedtime. That way, if they do feel sad or miss home, you can say something like, "I'm sorry you're sad. How about we (insert fun activity here)?" and redirect them.
They might understand that them crying to go home makes mom feel good and they want to please her cause they miss her. It's not that they aren't happy visiting you all, it's just that mom knows how to manipulate them, kwim? Seen that here.
Anyway, I think a scheduled call when they aren't tired makes more sense anyway. I hope it goes well!
I don't know that it's necessarily manipulation on the mom's part. The kids live with her 10 months out of the year. I'm sure they do miss her. At bedtime kids are tired & I'm sure that's when it comes up the most. They stop their busy fun play & think of their own beds. Remember it isn't just their mom they are missing but their rooms, beds, toys, friends etc.
I too agree that you shouldn't make them feel responsible for their dad's feelings. My parents did that to me growing up & it totally messed me up. I still feel responsible for everyone's feeling even though I know I'm not. Your dh has to be the grown-up & suck it up. I know that isn't easy but it will get better. I'm sure they will be crying when it's time to go home to their mom.
My 2 miracles: Lucinda & Noah
Last edited by My2miracles; May 29th, 2012 at 10:51 AM.