My daughters behaviour after spending the weekend with her dad, HELP.(13 Posts)
I'm in need of some help and advice. My daughter is 8 years old was 2 when me and her dad separated. She goes to her dad's every other weekend always has done but every time she comes home she is awful. She's nothing like the child that left on Friday. She acts moody and just goes off to her bedroom. We spoken to she snaps and then bedtime comes and she starts kicking off crying over anything saying it's my fault that I'm not with her dad. Sometimes she says she wishes she had another mum or lived with her dad. She suddenly hates my husband who she actually calls dad any other time, she hates her little brother, she hates her life. She just wishes me and her dad where still together then she wouldn't be sad. The next day she's clingy going to school and usually crys at the slighteat little thing. Then things go bk to normal and she's all happy again. I've never explained to her why I left her dad but felt last night I had to. He doesn't work. He lives with his mum and dad and until recently my daughter was sharing a bed with him when she went to stay there. He now has bunk beds for him and her. When we were together he cheated, he drank and just played video games with his friends. He never helped with the baby god he never even changed her nappy, never woke in the night never even looked after her if I wanted some time to myself (wasn't very often) I'd have to take her to my mums. I really need some help an what to do to change things. I've tried explaining to her that if she lived with her dad she would have to go school and eat her food and go to bed when told to and basically everything she does here. It's coz she goes every other weekend they want it to be fun. I don't know whats best to do anymore. Do I stop her going for a while to see of that helps, or do I let her go every weekend to see of that's it. Please if anyone has been through this I'm really in need of advice.
She sounds confused. I wonder if she is having a miserable time at her Dads though? Is he still drinking and playing video games? Perhaps she's being neglected there?
Did you tell her all the reasons you're not with her Dad anymore? From experience this is quite damaging. I appreciate it's difficult but she will see these things for herself when she's older, it's really not ok to tell an 8 year old their Dad is kind of useless (even if he is)
I'm also not sure if it's helpful to call two men Dad, could she call your husband something else? He isn't her Dad, and her Dad is still an active part of her life.
Maybe you could give her Dad some of the more boring bits of parenting to do as well, spellings etc., to get more of a balance? The only other thing you can do it make sure home is a safe space with a good routine and she can talk to you about any issues she's having at her Dads.
Best of luck.
My husband has been in her life since she was 3 and always called him by name. We have never ever told her to call him anything else it wasn't until about a year ago she started saying daddy and to be honest my husband didn't feel comfortable with it as we have a son together and wouldn't want him calling anyone else daddy so I spoke to her about it and did ask her if she thought it best to maybe call him something else but she really insisted on it so we never pushed her it to. As for routine we have a routine with everything especially bedtime and I feel that's part of the problem when it comes to her going to her dad's that she doesn't have one and gets away with everything. I've never said bad about him in front of her and as useless as he bloody is in my eyes I would never say that to her. She's always known it was mummy who didn't love daddy that's why I left him but I sat her down last night and acutallu explained my reasons why. Many times she's come home from the weekend with him and said she didn't get to see him coz he went out with his mates and times she's cried saying how she feels he would rather be with his friends other than her. By the way he is a 31 year old man.
Oh and she does go from school on a Friday so she does do her homework there.
My ds1 was a bit like this at times around the same age. He's a couple of years older now and is far better. I always try to be consistent and reassuring to him. He was getting older and beginning to understand adult relationships a bit more. He was also less secure with his dad than dh and me so he had frustration at his dad he didn't feel he could let out to him. I tried to empathise with how he was feeling without bad mouthing his dad. As he got a bit older he was able to articulate a bit better what it was that was bugging him night helped him find a voice with his father who tbh still doesn't bloody listen.
I think it might just be a reasonably normal stage in the toing and froing aspect of separated parents when one half isn't the best at parenting. Try to be there for her.
Ah sorry I must have misunderstood, it's just when you said "I've never explained to her why I left her dad but felt last night I had to" I thought you had explained his failings to her. As someone whose Mum did the same it just makes you protective of your Dad and resentful of your Mum, even when what their saying is true. 8 is far too young to understand.
It sounds like you're doing everything right at home, and she will settle down but going from no routine back into one is hard. He needs to parent properly and that includes a basic routine, even if it's laxer than yours. Also if he's got his daughter with him he obviously shouldn't be going out with his friends.
You said he lives with his Mum, does she help look after your daughter? Do you still have a relationship with her? Could she help establish more of a routine?
It is reassuring to know that it's not just is going through this. My only hope is that the older she gets the more she will understand.
That's what annoys me more about him that he has every other weekend she's not there to go out with his mates or do whatever he wants.
His parents are great. Even though he doesn't work they actually give me money for her. And to be honest I feel if it wasn't for them he wouldn't want her as often as he does.
I'd suggest talking to her dad and grandparents and explaining that DD is unhappy after visiting them. They are the adults in that house and need to look after her wellbeing on those weekends.
I expect if she has no bedtimes there she is exhausted - I know what my DC are like after a sleepover. Picking her up earlier might help so you can have Sunday afternoon snuggled watching a film, just to give her more rest?
Im a bit :S at the bit where your husband was uncomfortable with being called dad, Any bloke worht his salt who pretty much raised that kid from 3 woudl be honoured? Yes we all know hes not real dad but she accepted him as a dad role model.....
Maybe she feels a bit left out. Maybe she feels negeleted as she wanted to call your partner dad and was told not too, just feel thats a bit mean,
Understand what you saying regard to weekend parents, I would speak to the dad and find out what is going on, and explain her behavior is appalling when she returns? How does she behave for her dad,.
Does dad get her for longer in holidays? And does behavior change then???
I never said she was told not to call him dad. Never once have I said that to her. I asked her if she wanted to call him something other than daddy as she calls her dad daddy and didn't want her getting confused. I suggested she maybe call her dad daddy and my husband dad but sheinsisted on calling the both daddy. I would never ever discourage otherwise. He was uncomfortable at first coz it was different but now it's just normal. And she does go to her dads in the school holidays and nothing changes its always the same.
Sorry I misunderstood what you said
I would have a word with dad then and failing that stop contact until behavior improves.
She is old enough to know that the behavior is unacceptable!
I understand its not just as black and white as that.
I disagree Mommasoph30
A man can act like a Dad, as op's DP has clearly been doing, without being called one. Especially if the biological Dad is still around. It's not mean at all. Most mothers wouldn't want their ex's new partner being called Mum. If she has chosen to call him that fair enough, but I can see why your husband was bit uncomfortable at first, even though he obviously loves her.
I suggest the grandparents might be the key here. Anyway you could chat about any issues in front of them and your ex when you pick her up so they know what's going on? Or text or email them directly? They might be able to help your ex parent better if they know you need that help.
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