Behaviour after contact visits

(4 Posts)

DP has a 4yo DD who sees him every other weekend near her home and also 50% of school holidays in our home, over 200 miles away. Her mum says that when the child goes home after an extended stay with us, she behaves very badly....biting, pinching, hair pulling, screaming, tantrums, bed wetting, arguing, refusing to comply etc and that it takes her a few weeks to settle down.

When the child is with us, she is happy, exceptionally well mannered, helpful, cheerful, eats well, sleeps well, no bedwetting or toilet accidents, seems to thoroughly enjoy being here and is always happy to come and talking about her next visit with enjoyment and anticipation.

We cannot tally the description of her behaviour at home with her behaviour here. She lives with her 13yo half-sister and her mum, and when she is with us my two teenage DDs are usually here too. We know that her half-sister is not an easy child to be around and DSD reports that this girl pinches her, pulls her hair, argues with and shouts at their mother and sometimes stays the night at her auntie's (perhaps because of her poor relationship with the mother, we don't know).

Given that our household is generally a peaceful, happy one and she seems content here, we are not sure what to think about the reported behaviour at her mother's home. As well as being a mother of two, I am also an infant teacher so have plenty of experience of children her age and yet I am still baffled. I don't want to jump to conclusions about the fault lying anywhere in particular, our priority is the emotional wellbeing of the child.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 28-Apr-13 23:42:28

Could it just be the upheaval? 4 is very small...she may simply find the change from one routine to another very hard. sad I would think it would get better as she grows.

RambleOn Sun 28-Apr-13 23:47:37

I agree that it's the transition between houses and parents. My DCs were the same at that age, though a bit better now they're older.

RambleOn Sun 28-Apr-13 23:50:07

Oh, and she's probably talking up every perceived flaw in your household toowink

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