Close Close
Mother and Baby

‘Don’t Let Preschoolers Stay Overnight With Daddy’, Says Parenting Expert To Co-Parents

The psychologist claims under-fives are damaged by ‘sleepovers’ with their separated fathers

One of Britain's leading parenting experts Penelope Leach, whose parenting books have sold millions, has angered fathers' rights groups by claiming that young children of separated couples should not be allowed to stay the stay the night with their fathers.

We all know how brutal a break-up can be, but when you throw children into the mix, the emotional toll can be even higher so no wonder psychologist Penelope Leach has angered many co-parenting families.

In her new book, Family Breakdown, she claims that, as a general rule, children aged four and under should not be separated from their mother by having a ‘sleepover’ with the father, when couples have separated.

Ms. Leach, the former president of the National Childminding Association, writes that attempts by separated parents to ‘share’ young children is putting ‘adult rights’ above those of children.

She added that there is ‘undisputed’ evidence that separating children from their mothers ‘reduces brain development’ and creates a tendency toward ‘unhealthy attachment issues’.

And Ian Maxwell, of Families Need Fathers, said her advice went against ‘common sense’ and that ‘the bond between fathers and children is just as important’.

It’s never easy if you and your partner decide to go your separate ways, but if there’s anything that you’ll both agree on, it’s that you want to make sure your child isn’t affected too much.

Do you co-parent with your ex? How do you make it work? Let us know in the comment box below.

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Subscribe to Mother&Baby!

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Win £1,000 of Carpetright vouchers
Win £1,000-worth of Carpetright vouchers!

Create a fantasy world on your floor with your baby for your chance to win £1,000-worth of Carpetright vouchers!

Win an Abeille cellular blanket from Hippychick
Win an Abeille cellular blanket from Hippychick

Abeille Cellular Blankets, available fromHippychick, are delectably soft, made from 100% cotton and now available in six super-stylish colours. Click for your chance to win!

Win a year’s supply of Blueiron liquid iron supplement
Win a year’s supply of Blueiron liquid iron supplement

Blueiron is Scandinavia’s fastest-growing liquid iron supplement and has already helped thousands of women low in iron during pregnancy, breastfeeding and those with intense fitness regimes. Click for your chance to win!

Win a bumper box of Kiddylicious Super Snacks
Win a bumper box of Kiddylicious Super Snacks

Made from quinoa, lentils and chickpeas, and packed with vegetable protein, Kiddylicious Super Snacks help to keep your little ones whizzing about. Click for your chance to win!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator

Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.

Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.