Question: my ex left me when our twins were seven months old. immediately he moved into his sister's basement and began taking the girls half of the week. i was extremely weak both emotionally and physically from the very long and hard pregnancy and delivery. i was unable to keep the girls at home with me for i knew i didn't have the energy to give them the care they needed nor did i have the emotional stability to fight with him and his sister who seemed to have the law and literature on her side. after 3-5 months seperated i started to feel stronger and dad and i got back together somewhat on and off for the following year. during this time i was at his place (still his sisters) alot and i was able to be with my kids almost 7 days a week in one way or another. recently he left me abruptly for a new woman and i could not continue to stay close to him, i lost all trust and i am quite concerned about my kids now. Now one of my girls if having deep tantrums at night in her bed whenever she first returns to my house and she is doing the same at his when she returns there. we are sharing them 4 days to 3.
i don't trust him to tell me the truth about anything anymore, i know that every child handles seperation differently. i suspect that this arrangement is not good for my girls. we have a legal agreement to share custody and guardianship. i would like to change this to give me sole custody with liberal access to him. from what i have told you, what is your opinion of the existing situation?
Answer: Dear Mary:
An order can be changed if the judge deems a good reason to do so. I would suggest having your girls evaluated by a qualified infant mental health specialist. Having an evaluation will assist you in finding out what is going on and how to best assist your children with the adjustment.
I would also suggest getting some books to read to them on how to identify and appropriately express their feelings. Often children do not have the emotional vocabulary to find the words to express themselves and therefore they act them out.
M Kay Keller