We have really come to a dead end at the moment and DP and I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel - Will try not to drip feed but this could be long ...
Up untill about 2 months ago we had DD8 Every weekend (picked up after school on a Friday - returned back to mums on a Sunday morning - We had a few issues with mum from about the end of June for a month. With things like she was getting burnt/too tired etc. (She wasn't burnt we coat her in factor 50 and she always has plenty on). She has always known what we expect behaviour wise with her i.e. always expected to use her manners/no shouting/no rudeness etc. Even though these rules never seem to be implicated at mums house as apperntly DSD's mum (according to DP/MIL/FIL and a few ex work colleagues of hers) has little respect for anyone other than herself - and still regularly as an adult tantrums when she doesn't get her own way - and talks to people like they are a piece of crap.
So about 2.5 months ago at bed time DSD started crying/playing up saying she just didn't know how to get to sleep - but in reality she was playing with her toys in bed as we caught her on a few occasions. We only ever did the nice approach of removing toys and then DP would sit with her calm her down give her a kiss goodnight and hope she would then attemt to get back to sleep. this went on for a few weeks. And we agreed we were going to re-do her bedroom etc to try and make her look forward to going to bed and always made sure we took her out for a few hours late afternoon/early evening to burn off some energy. We didn't even get chance - One friday we got a text of DSD's mum saying she didn't want to sleep at our house that weekend but she would drop her off first thing and we could take her back an hour before bed time at her mums. so we wouldn't miss out on time. Over the last few weeks the time we get with her has just kept going down. On a Friday we will get her at 5.30 - have to have her at her class for 6pm. pick her up at 7pm. Take her back to ours for mum to pick up at 7.30. On a Saturday she will get dropped off between 9.30 - 10 (even though it was originally agreed for 8.30) then take her to classes for 11 - go back at 12.30 to pick her up and take her to more classes which finish at 2pm and then we have to have her home again by 6 (again originally agreed to return at 8pm)
We have found out that she is allowed to stay up untill 10pm at the weekend with mum and they always have a late night treat (like a mcdonalds or chinese) - But we were told when she was with us she had to be in bed for 9 otherwise she would be too tired the next day. This has now been going on for 6 weeks. I am sick of it we never know what we are doing from one weekend to the next so we can never make plans with or without DSD. For example about 3 weeks ago DP got a text as he was about to leave work to pick her up from school to say "you don't need to get DSD from school - she has been off all week as I've taken her away. Will bring her to you tomorrow, will let you know a time in the morning"
After pushing mum for the real reason behind why DSD doesn't want to stay she said she feels trapped - I have no idea why this is ... She has a night light in her bedroom and the door is open. Apperntly I am always there ...of course i'm there - it's my home too but I also urge DP to take DSD out on his own - And every weekend i will always dissapear for a few hours to give them that precious alone time i know they need together.
This weekend it has pretty much just been awful - We were allowed to have DSD for 4 hours on saturday - Which went exactly like this - DSD and mum turn up at the agreed time. DP is stood waiting for them outside to get out the car - DSD is sat in the car crying saying she wanted to stay with mum because our house is boring and we never do anything (we always make sure we are doing something wether it's going to the park/going on a bike ride/going for lunch/cinema/soft play) Mum get's DSD to calm down and happy to get out the car. DSD comes in the house - is all happy DP and DSD play a few games for an hour whilst i sort washing out etc. We then tell her we need to pop to the shop to pick up something and then we are going to see Grandma and grandad as they would like to see her. Cue major meltdown/strop ... "I DON'T WANT TO GO OUT. I WANT TO STAY IN. WHY WOULD I COME TO YOUOR HOUSE TO GO SHOPPING" She wouldn't get up and leave the house ... But according to what she tells mum we don't go anywhere and that's boring. Anyway finally manage to get her n the car - we get what we need from the shop and then we head to the pub/restaurant place to see GM/GD. Cue another major strop because she wanted something out the machines (we had no cash on us all food and drinks were paid on card) She started screaming at me in the middle of the place. I told her off because i was not being shouted at - i never shout at her so she is expected to not raise her voice at me. She stormed off from me in the middle saying " I don't have to listen to this" so i fetch her back in and tell her if she ever does that again I will come to the door with her and daddy and tell mum what she has done (not even sure if that was the right thing to say but it seemed to work) any way we get through the meal with little drama but we go outside after we are finished to watch her play on the park. She pretends to of hurt her self and starts the fake crying because we were having a conversation and she wasn't the center of everyones attention. GD goes to cheer her up and play with her and she just goes into a massive strop and screaming at him that he's boring and she doesn't want to play with him ... and then she went to hit him. she has never done anything like this before. we were all so shocked ... and then she wouldn't come back over to us because "she knew she would get told off" which implies to me she knows exactly what she did and she knows she was wrong.
She also keeps bragging about mums boyfriend - about how rich he is and how he has so much more money than DP. She gets absolutely spoilt rotten she knows she will always have a present when she get's back to mums amongst other things. DP said it was probably the wrost 4 hours he spent with her - I think he was a little heart broken as he can see that she is changing and not for the better.
Does anyone ... have any advice at all what we can do either behaviour wise or with regards to the contact issue?
GP's seem to think the answer is to also shower her in expensive gifts like mum. However that isn't a game we want or can get into. DSD is getting to the point where she doesn't appreciate anything. And we want her to come to us to see us not because she thinks she is going to get shit loads of presents every weekend...
Thanks for reading if you got this far i know it's an epic post
First off,why is she goin to so many classes?,could that be cut down abit so your dp can actually see more of her on the weekends..secondly do not go out buying excessive gifts just to compete with mum,thats not the answer..i know its hard but you have got to show her that the behaviour wont be tolerated.how old is she?
Showering her in gifts is the worst thing you can do. If you do that it shows her that she can get away with behaving in such a bad manner. How long has mum been with her new DP? Is your DSD an only child or does she have siblings?
I would say to mum that contact time needs to go back to how it was, Friday to Sunday as clearly, cutting out the over night stay has had a negative impact. Also, if mum wants her to go to all those classes, that's fine, just not in your time, maybe cut a few, not all. Dp needs to toughen up with mum, it will get worse the less time dd has with him.