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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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Old 12-07-2009, 03:15 PM
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Default Should I be concerned?

My ex and I have been separated for 4 months now, sharing our 3 year old about 50/50. I thought by now she would be more used to it. But every time she has to go to her dad's she throws a fit. Every single day she asks me if I am picking her up from daycare. When the answer is yes, she is really happy, but when it is no, she starts sobbing. She says things like "I don't like daddy, I don't love him". And Daddy doesn't love me.

I know it's normal for her to be more attached to me, I did 90% of her care until the split. He tells me he is constantly telling her how much he loves her, how it's ok to miss mommy and love her. I am trying my best to help her, talking about how we both love her, it's ok to love both of us, how it's not her fault etc. After 3 months of this she is still having the same reaction.

She saw fighting, heard it, and I know she remembers all of it. I'm wondering how concerned I need to be. We are on the list for a child counselling session, but it's not until the end of January. I don't want my child to hate going to her dad's, how much of this is caused by her past? I've talked to my counsellor, he thinks it's a normal. But both my family and her daycare staff have noticed that her behavious is horrible after she comes home from being with him. After a couple days with me she is almost angelic.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? What would you suggest??
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:55 PM
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My youngest, who was 3 at the time of the split, and is 5 now, has always preferred spending time with me than with his mum. Primarily this is because I actually sit on the floor and play with him, while she tends to let him play by himself while she chats on the phone.

That doesn't make her a bad mother. It doesn't mean she doesn't care about him, or provide him proper care. It isn't a red flag, and it isn't cause to seek a change in custody.

There have been many days when he cries when he has to go to his mums, and once I dropped him off at the door and tried to refuse to go to her and clung to me. I broke my heart, and I know my ex must have been torn up about it too.

We have stuck it through and he still says he would prefer to spend more days with me, but he is happy enough at each house.

It may take some time. There are many children who hate going to school, who cry when left at daycare, etc. Transition times are especially bad (leaving one home to go to the other, or to go to school).

If I was speaking to her dad, I would tell him to play with her on her level, get down on the floor with her toys, get dirty in the sand at the playground. An especially helpful thing is to go to the daycare an hour early, and spend that hour with her and the staff doing whatever activity they are having. Let her get more used to him as a part of her activities. If they are at home and watching a cartoon, don't walk off and do some adult stuff, sit with her and laugh along with her. The more he is a part of her life, the more she see that he really does care about her.

I've had both my kids throw fits at being left at daycare, or being left with a babysitter, the same way your child has reacted to being left with daddy. She is bonded with you, and she is still a little strange with him. That is something she will get over, she will get over it faster and easier if he does more with her.

Parenting isn't a skill we are born with, it's one we learn as we go along. The skill of parenting a 3 year old comes from a year long course we take called "Caring for a two year old". Your ex probably missed a lot of that course. He is going to have to do remedial work now, but if he does it properly it will pay off when he's raising a 4 year old.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:06 PM
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Transition times are very stressful for children. Listen to your counseller. It is normal. DON'T listen to scared1. She doesn't know what she's talking about it. She's a man-hater.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:51 PM
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this is totally normal.

it will get better, and you can rest assured your child is fine after 6 minutes with Dad.

try not to show your emotions so the child isn't feeding off you. create a routine for the exchange for you kid. keep times and days for the exchange consistant. be firn that he/she has to go, and you'll not pander to their emotions like that. tell them you'll miss them, be thinking of them, and its only x number of sleeps until they come back. give your ex a pic of u and the kid that they can look at when with your ex.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:25 AM
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Thank you for your responses. Most of you have confirmed my thoughts that it is normal and something that she is still adjusting too. I do feel horrible that she is crying so much, but I have always insisted that she is still going to see her dad, he misses her etc. She will still be doing some play therapy come January, but your have reassured me enough to wait until then, unless something changes.

She is getting a locket for Christmas. I will be putting 2 pictures in there, one of me, and one of her dad. That way she will always have both of us with her.
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