advertisement
Question
Posted by: ANON2904 | 2009/03/24

3yr old acting up...

i have a lil girl turning 3 in june, her father and i have not been living togteher since november last year and we made a shared residency agreement between us that we have her 2 days on 2 days off and every 2nd weekend etc..... so that we get exactly equal time with her ...she hasnt shown any problems till she started school 2 weeks ago and everytime she is by me she starts screaming at night for me and wont sleep unless im there by her...when she falls asleep she wakes up screaming for me and is only settled if she is holding me or sleeping next to me, i still asked her does she wanna stay by daddy to see if it was me and she said no she wanst to stay by me and she only acts up like this when she is byme and not her dad....is she getting seperation anxiety frome me?? if so why only by me and not the dad as we get equal time with her

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Vould be separation anxiety, maybe spourred by the addition of the new experience of school. I--- now she is bounced between THREE places. ts easy to understand why the regular shifting and sharing of time with her made sense, but it may be really confusing for her. How might she ( and you two ) respond to a slower turnover, say one week with each parent ? And maybe she needs to be able to see one place, probably yours, as her primary home, from which she has pleasant visits with dad, rather than feeling rootless and homeless, like a tennis ball bounced back and forth.
She can have ultimately equal with each of you, but with longer times with each. The Divorce and Parenting forums might produce more ideas.
Purple's story is instructive. It is easy for a hild to feel unwanted and abandoned, or insecure enough to expeect inceasing disruption of routine --- and with such a rapid cycling of where she stays, your child isn't having a chance to set up a routine. Maybe if your ex and his family just can't see the obvious, take the child to see a child psychologist or social worker for an asessment to recommend to them that they should do what is best for the child, not only looking at what best satisfies them. If necessary, if you have a good expert report to back your suggestions, it might be worth going to court for a ruling on this

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

6
Our users say:
Posted by: ANON2904 | 2009/03/24

you hit the nail right on the head there, the way it seems is she screaming for me as if she is scared i go away adn she will only settle when i hold her or sleep with her and even when she sleeps next to me she wakes up 3-4 times in the night and starts screaming for me to make sure im there and when she finds mme she puts her arm around me and holds me down so i dont go anywhere,it feels to me that she is scared im not going to be there and i have tried so hard to explain this to my ex and his family and they just dont seem to grasop the fact that there is someithing wrong because she is fine with him, she just asks a couple times if its mommys turn tonight and apparently the ohter night at her dad she was carrying a picture around of me. they think i just wanna take the child away from everyone but all i wanna do is mkake her feel more stable and clearly she is not feelin that way......when i make suggestions they shrug me off saying im over reacting and she is fine and i must just deal with it....or i get sworn at and shouted at by the ex, he is so difficukt to speak to about anything.....

Reply to ANON2904
Posted by: Purple | 2009/03/24

As much as your daughter and exhusband have a right to see each other, the lack of consistency in where she stays does to my mind appear to be affecting her.

When my son was that age, we went to visit my parents for two weeks and in that time, along with my parents went to visit my sister. My husband had to leave to go home while we were at my sisters as he had work committments. I had explained all this to my son, he' d chosen his clothes for each day of the trip when we did the packing and we' d had bedtime stories about holidays for ages.
The day after my husband left my son started to kick me and bite me and hit me. My mother insisted this was because I don' t believe in smacking. I felt it was unusual behaviour because my son was upset about something. I held him and stroked his hair and when he calmed down he asked if I was going to leave him there and go home. Once I explained that daddy was going to work and was at our house and that my son and I would be going back together after a few more sleeps he calmed right down and didn' t hit or pinch or kick me again.

When we took weekend trips away on ocassion, he would scream all night and not sleep, and would take two or three days to settle when we got home again. ONly now that he is 5 does he seem to fully grasp we' re just having an adventure and we' re coming back.

when I would go away overnight for work once every few months for one night at a time when he was about 17 - 36 momths old, he would sleep through the night without problem when wiht my husband and my husband would insist things had been wonderful in my absence, but my son was extremely clingy on my return. Even at 17 months I used to tell him that I was going to sleep at work and he would be home with daddy and that I would be coming back. My being away didn' t seem to affect him - my coming back seemed to make him worry I would go again.

My child is not a particularly clingy child. He settled in at preprimary ina few days when most children take around 2 weeks. At parties he was off in a flash and never clinging onto my hand. Being away from their mom does affect them.

I know someone who adopted a baby when he was a baby, and he is now 5 and they can' t give him time out unless he is on a chair in the room with her otherwise he practically froths at the mouth in panic. They have had to use withdrawal of priveleges and a star chart for the good moments as their main form of discipline and a chair in the room for severe infractions.

Perhaps your husband should come to your home and bath her and read her bed time stories two or three times a week and have day trips out with her one day each weekend or two days on alternate weekends until she' s a little older and more able to cope with the separation from you. Otherwise you are just going to have to persevere through this and calm her down and comfort her tears each night. I have a couple of friends who are divorced and most have gone this route until their children are aroudn 5 or 6 - and in one case 4 before they have done nights with Dad.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: ANON2904 | 2009/03/24

he loves his daughter veyr much and it would hurt him not to see his daughter as much as he could so i understand his selfishness but i do wish he would see the logic in all this and understand that a child needs one home and if the home she belongs at is with him then so be it i wil have to deal with it. i just want her to be happy again and its hurting me seeing her screaming for me at night.....anyway thanks and i hope i can get some solutions

Reply to ANON2904
Posted by: T | 2009/03/24

I wish I had some ideas. If your ex refuses to see the logic in this, he' s just being selfish at the expense of the child. Hopefully, some people who' ve been in the situation have some ideas. Maybe you can ask around on the Divorce forum.

Reply to T
Posted by: ANON2904 | 2009/03/24

I agree with u 100% i dont think her being shoved around is the best thing to do but the ex-we were never married has been fighting me on this and saysd its the best for her to see us equally but i honestly think she needs one stable home but i cant make the ex understand this. she has no idea where she belongs, i have no idea what to do from here and how to rectify this...please help with solutions ???

Reply to ANON2904
Posted by: T | 2009/03/24

I think the environment is too unstable for her. Imagine if one minute you settle at this other house &  the next at another house &  the next at the previous house, etc. She' s a child, can' t even control the situation, doesn' t make the decisions, she simply finds herself in that situation because of the decision made by you and your husband, as a result, she can' t even predict where/who she' s going to be with next. It' s bound to cause some problems for her.

Reply to T

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement