Children of Divorce Need Overnight Sleepovers with Both Parents

The Australia Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2012 less than half of the minor children whose parents had divorced spent as much as one night with the non-custodial parent.

Unfortunately, I cannot link you to the story I read about this because it’s not yet indexed. It’s a short little blurb that ran on March 29 in The Courier Mail in Australia entitled “Split-family kids need sleepovers.” It recounts data indicating that less than six percent of children spent an equal number of nights with each parent.

The story cites the Australian Institute of Family Studies for the principle that it is vital for parents to distinguish between daytime and overnight contact, as overnight sleepovers encourage emotional bonds. The Institute says its research established that more than 75% of non resident fathers desired more contact and that both fathers and children who stayed together overnight reported more satisfying relationships with each other.

I’m confident that last finding could be a simple example of post hoc, ergo proper hoc reasoning. We can’t know whether the children were more likely to spend overnights with their non-resident parent if they and the parent have a satisfying relationship. One would think that the answer must be yes.

Nevertheless, there’s no question that fun things happen between children and their parents at all hours of the day and night. It stands to reason that overnight stays increase the likelihood that there will be more opportunities for bonding.

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