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3 year old and emotional distress

(26 Posts)
crackcrackcrak Thu 11-Oct-12 23:11:25

Dd stayed a night away from me on Saturday. It has taken her 5 days to recover.
On the first day she was very hungry and tired and tearful all day as well as shy and subdued. That evening it took me 4 hours to settle her to sleep (v unusual).
Second day dd falls apart in a swimming lesson and seems plagued with self doubt and again subdued and tearful. She was ok in the afternoon.
Third day better during the day but distressed at bedtime and clingy and unsettled. Fourth day ok during the day but hysterical at night and leading up to bedtime. She was v odd and distant (hadn't been with me during the day). Refused to consider sleeping in her bed and wanted to go in mine (not done this for around 7 months). Slept a little but woke up crying repeatedly in the night v distressed and anxious and clinging to me. That was last night.
This reaction is son out of character I am v worried. Dd has maintained a calm bed time routine for months now and usually only has disturbed nights if she is ill. no temp and or other symptoms. I looked up emotional distress and regression was a common theme. What do you think?

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Thu 11-Oct-12 23:55:42

Well who was she staying with? Did you ask them how she was? What was she doing?

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 06:46:30

1st sleepover with nrp. I am not given feedback.

rumbelina Fri 12-Oct-12 06:49:52

What is nrp?

GupX Fri 12-Oct-12 06:52:49

I think nrp is non resident parent

Are you confident she was well looked after there?

I have (just) 3 year old Dts, one of whom is very cuddly / attached / clingy and we have no problems when they go to stay with grandma.

Can you stick to just day visits until she is a bit older?

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 06:56:27

Gup - well I sort of was confident but I'm not now. Dd reaction was so extreme and out of character.
I have told nrp (through sol) that I'm unhappy about staying contact but exp insists she was fine. I don't think she was sad and I'm in bits over this. I am risking a breach by not allowing her to stay overnight again in the near future.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Fri 12-Oct-12 07:55:42

I think you should go over to the Lone Parents section here...people there have lots of experience with this and will support you in both and emotional.

Sorry you're so upset. sad

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 09:46:49

How do I move the thread?

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Fri 12-Oct-12 10:23:17

I'll report it for you and Mumsnet will do it for you. smile

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 11:06:03

Thanks smile

foolonthehill Fri 12-Oct-12 14:08:10

How old is she?
How well does she know NRP?

foolonthehill Fri 12-Oct-12 14:13:31

Whoops...3 years old [duh]
do you know anything about how her DF's home is set up?
could you try drawing with her and getting her to draw the time she spent with DF, no intrusive questioning just ask her to talk about her picture(s). It will be easier for her and also get round any "promises" not to tell mummy [I have a suspicious mind!! and a nightmare ex].

But there may be nothing wrong, she may be unsettled because it was unfamiliar and she missed you as it was the first time.

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 14:14:49

3. She knows him pretty well. Day time contact seemed to settle after about 6 months and she never reacted like this to it before.
Desperately worried for dd. I need help I'm
Just not where to go except maybe hv/gp?

GetAllTheThings Fri 12-Oct-12 14:16:40

That is very unusual.

I'm an NRP and my dd started overnight's at 2.5 years with virtually no problems at all with me or when back with her mother.

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 14:17:51

Thanks fool that's good idea re the drawing. She already told me she cried a lot in the night and missed mummy. I honestly didn't expect her to struggle so much with this I feel sick writing it

GetAllTheThings Fri 12-Oct-12 14:21:23

The first thing that comes to my mind is 'night time parenting'or possibly the lack of it, which I would imagine would be extremely upsetting for a small child if nobody comes in the night when she's woken up.

GetAllTheThings Fri 12-Oct-12 14:23:44


NotaDisneyMum Fri 12-Oct-12 14:23:54

My DD was very unsettled and stressed when she began living in two homes - vomiting, panic attacks, tears, clingy; it was horrible.

But, we all persevered and now she happily transitions between her two homes and families smile

She had some youth counselling, which helped enormously, and she learnt coping strategies, and used rescue remedy as well.

I don't think withholding contact is the answer - my DD got stressed out at the beginning of each new school year as well - and it never occurred to me to withdraw her from school wink

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 14:25:07

Fool that makes me feel even worse sad dd has been on her own bed about 7 months but comes in to me of she wakes (some nights - not all) and is very cuddly - I always say she is like a cat that way.

It is nigh on impossible to give exp and guidance and he won't give feedback from contact and if he did he would probably lie.

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 14:26:56

Nota - until this dd was v calm about life. She is v outgoing and almost fearless mist of the time. The whole reaction is totally out of character.

cestlavielife Fri 12-Oct-12 14:30:29

go to gp and ask about play therapy

GetAllTheThings Fri 12-Oct-12 14:37:20

Are you on speaking terms with the paternal grandmother ? Is it at all possible she could help ?

foolonthehill Fri 12-Oct-12 14:43:56

Try not to feel worse. All children are different, some are sensitive, some need lots of physical reassurance, others need words.

could you send her with something of yours to cuddle up with in her other bed?

GP for play therapy but probably won't be contemplated after the first visit alone, they will want you to try to establish routines first.

If nothing worrying has come out this far try to set your fears to one side (children are perceptive) and try very hard to set your DD up to succeed, keep an open mind (and ears) and if you can ask her what would help her to feel good .

keep posting if it helps.

crackcrackcrak Fri 12-Oct-12 15:03:17

Get - she's dead, the paternal gran. Exp family will either close ranks or exp wouldn't tell them if there was a problem.

I spent ages preparing dd for over night stays and she chose what to take with her - soft toys and favourite book. He didn't read it up her sad

MagicHouse Fri 12-Oct-12 21:12:26

That sounds horrible for you.
My solicitor has said that if I ever get worried about contact I can always go back to her to rethink the contact arrangements, and that it is never set in stone as the children's best interests are always put first.

Hard though it must be though, I think you do need to give it some time for her to get used to things.

However, I would keep a diary of her reactions.

I also think you should tell him, in writing, how she has reacted and ask does he have any thoughts about why she might be feeling like that. Tell him she's obviously found it very difficult and ask how could things be made easier for her next time. Include in the message about sending her favourite toy/ book and about how her bedtime routine is with you so he can keep it familiar for her.

Even if he doesn't respond, at least you are showing your concern and that you are open to discussing things with him in order to help her. If it did go back to court because it doesn't settle down, that would help if you wanted to try to change contact arrangements.

I also have a very difficult ex, who's parenting I don't like. My dd especially was devastated at first about leaving me (she was 5) and would go off in floods of tears. She's recently more relaxed leaving, although can be emotional, stressed and clingy for a while when she returns, especially after a longer stay in the holiday. On the whole I would say things are better (took a few months) but I can empathise with the worry :-(

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