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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 11-30-2013, 12:00 AM
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Default Child not wanting to go or meltdown, at pickup time

Had this issue this week.

S7 did not want to come with me when I went to pick him up from Mom's.
Issue has came up 2 or 3 times prior, but it was "relatively" minor then - pouting. There was a time or two as well, when it came up, when Mom would not be happy with me, because of disagreements about activities for S7. ex. I would have plans with S7 during my weekend, but she would think I should take him to a neighbours birthday party, or such, and tell me at the 11th hour. Son would be worked up about possibly going to a party, and I would have to say "we have other plans"....son: "but I want to go". At time, Mom would say "I don't see why I should force him". I've already talked to her, about why that is not a good stance to take.

Anyway, that is not the latest situation though. Ex hasn't done that in little bit, and has been "assisting" in making sure that son knows it's time to go. Today, S7 did not want to come though, because he had just been pulled out of friend's house (playing) by Mom, because I was arriving.

I have mentioned to Mom before, that this should probably happen before I get there, so he's not being pulled out at my "arrival", but I have no control over if she does that, or not. Sometimes she does, sometimes not.

Today, son had a meltdown at exchange. It was something we have never encountered before. It was pretty intense from a 7 year old. Is this normal? It seems it can be. I was reading through some other threads, and see other posters had some issues too.

Mom kept on board with me and son, needing to go (which I appreciate), because it was son's weekend with Dad, but likely was a bit too clingy with him, which I don't think helped the situation. Eventually got him in vehicle, after Mom made sure to say bye, and then leave into house, because she explained she had to leave too, so "have fun with Dad".

But it was an ordeal having this happen, because son had meltdown. Crying, almost a frenzy of crying, and anger. Once in car, his meltdown pretty much peaked, with him hitting my window, and kicking the seat, and yelling at me. "You made Mommy leave". "You wouldn't let me say bye!" (lots of byes said actually). I hate you. I never want to see you"

I had a talk with him afterwards, once we got left, to make sure he understood that Mom and I did not find this acceptable, and that he said some things that can cause hurt feelings. Told him I heard him, when he says he wants to play with friends, but explained to him, that it was not time to play with friends now and he'll have chance to play with friends after weekend.

Not sure if I did right thing, but honestly, haven't seen an episode like that before with either of my kids.

Told him I wanted him to call Mom later, and that I wanted him to say sorry to his Mom for his yelling, and kicking. He did call, and he did apologize.

By that time, he was his normal self. He actually enjoys it at my house, which is why this was weird. Once we are off, and hit the road, he is fine. He is fine for the weekend, and is happy at return time to Mom's.

I'm not sure what the issue is.
I don't even think it's an issue with him having "two homes" (though I can't say for sure). I honestly think it's just that he's over stimulated at pickup sometimes, and the "exchange" may just add to it?

Any similar incidents, or thoughts?
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:01 AM
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Sorry for the long posting.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:09 AM
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My son used to be the same way (single child by choice) when I'd pick him up from a friend's house. Every time I picked him up after a sleepover at this particular friend's house it was always a big scene. I recall one time, when he was around 8 or 9 yrs old, driving home and he up and slugged me on the side of my head. Before you knew it I had, out of reflex, smacked him back. I was horrified at my reaction. I was in the middle of traffic, merging onto a busy road. We both were crying by that time. Gong show I tell you. However, it never happened again.

My son grew up and is quite "normal."

Don't be hard on yourself and stay the course. Kids learn very young how to manipulate. I see it all the time - kids having meltdowns in food stores because parents won't buy them candy.

I certainly wouldn't recommend smacking him on the head, however, you might have to give some consideration over behavior modification if this continues. Kids are quite adept at pushing the guilt button.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:53 AM
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Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you and would like to know myself what to do to eliminate incidents like this from happening (if it is possible at all), especially if another parent is brainwashing a child (not sure if this is your case). One thing that can be done (I am guessing) is to pick up/drop off your S7 at school. Changing pick up location form one parent's house to a neutral place can help.

Last edited by Mother; 11-30-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:33 AM
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I had a friend who had a child with terrible temper tantrums. She tried many different approaches which failed. Finally, out of frustration, she taped one of the tantrums and showed it to her child. A discussion ensued. Tantrums came to an end. I admired her as in those days we didn't have cell phones, just video cameras.
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
I had a friend who had a child with terrible temper tantrums. She tried many different approaches which failed. Finally, out of frustration, she taped one of the tantrums and showed it to her child. A discussion ensued. Tantrums came to an end. I admired her as in those days we didn't have cell phones, just video cameras.
How old was the child at the time?
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:26 PM
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I think you need to take a step back and not over think this episode. After all the boy is very young and may have acted on impulse. Remember he is being put through this due to no fault of his own, but the parents doing. I think you did the right thing and if it starts to become a pattern, then take the necessary steps to rectify the situation
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Old 12-01-2013, 01:11 AM
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I had many a meltdown with my daughter going to her dad's. I got kicking and screaming and literally running away from him. I did my best to prep her to go, but she just didn't want to. She was a little older. And, there was a definite reason she didn't want to go, it just wasn't reason enough.

It can be very difficult to get kids moving in the right direction on these days, and if she's dealing with other children who don't "have" to go, it could be even worse. Sometimes it's all about "having to" that seemed to bother my daughter.

How is he when he's there with you after that? Does he settle in? Does he kick up a fuss about going back?

I think it's typical that a child of that age doesn't like to have their plans, activity, whim of the moment interrupted by going with mom/dad, and probably going back as well.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:02 AM
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One of my daughters was doing the same thing around the age of 8 every time my ex would show up for pick ups. We spoke about and decided to do drop offs instead of pick ups.

This solution worked for us and we both noticed that it took away from the anxiety that the kids might have. Doing drop offs gave them the sense that they were not being taken away from one parent. It was like silently telling the kids "it's ok to love both of your parents" to the point that I'll even drive you there.

Other advantages....not having to wait around for the other parent. Depending on the age of the kids, you don't have to walk up to the door.
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:35 AM
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last year my friends were doing the drop offs of my son to his mom, his crying would start before i would leave the car and intensify upon seeing the mom. apparently she would take him and show him videos of me (which she had made while we were still together) and reassure him that he would see me again in a couple of days. apparently it worked well.
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