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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My twins boys are 16 months old. Their father and I are not

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My twins boys are 16 months old. Their father and I are not together and there have been many issues with him and his parents between the back and forth with the babies due to a court order. I am noticing that my son Christian constantly runs to me and grabs me as if I am leaving him everytime the bell rings, and when he sees his father or grandparents at the door he will wave bye to them. I am a little concerned about this as he always cries when he leaves my arms into theirs. Any advice or suggestions?
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. Your son's actions are completely normal for his age. He is manifesting separation anxiety. He feels most safe with mom. To help ease your son's anxiety when he must part from you to see Dad, have him pack a little bag/backpack with you full of a few toys and books and snacks to take to Daddy's house. You may even want to include a little photo album. When it is time for your son to leave with his father or grandfather, make the transition as quick as possible. You need to be upbeat and positive. Kiss and hug your son, tell him you love him and that you will see him soon, give him his special Daddy's house bag/backpack, and then let him go. However, you must ask your son's father how long the crying lasts when he is with him. Also, you need to know what his overall emotional state is when your son is at Dad's house. Hopefully, Dad is not mistreating your son which could make him fearful of going with him.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I appreciate that answer. I do all that you have mentioned. I give him his security blanket, snacks, Barney videos that I pack for their overnight visit with their father. My other son Anthony will turn away from him once in a while but he is more easy going then Christian. Unfortunately, the father and I do not have a great relationship after many attempts of trying he is very demanding and not nice with me. When I do ask questions it seems to him there is never a problem - which, we all know with 16 month olds theres always something that is going on, whether they are climbing, running all over, throwing toys, but he never tells me the truth so unforatunately I will not know anything until my boys are speaking.

Hello and Thank You for responding. Your son, Christian, may be more attached to you than Anthony is. Just keep reassuring Christian that everything will be fine at Daddy's house. You are correct in the fact that you will not really know exactly what is going on at Daddy's house unless another adult tells you or when your sons start speaking. Additionally, your son may feel anxiety and sense tension if you and their dad ever argue in their presence. What you might want to is to pursue counseling for Christian. You can seek a referral from your sons' pediatrician. The counselor will use a technique called Play Therapy to evaluate your son and help him with the transitional times of leaving with Daddy. It may be worth the effort if Christian's behavior does not seem to be improving.

Happy New Year!
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thats my next step. Thank you for your advice. I don't even bother with their father, my parents help and transition the boys over since he has cause many problems. Happy New Year to you too!