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Dd doesn't want to sleepover at Daddy's as he shouts

(13 Posts)
positively9something Sat 15-Feb-14 09:22:27

My dd is 6, her dad is very inconsistent for 3 weekends in a row he said he was having her but let her down each time. He said he's very stressed due to work issues etc.

Last weekend he did have her for a sleepover and also took her out for a fun day, when she came home he said he had been shouting at her a lot. When she went to bed that night she got abit sad and teary and said she missed me and felt like she didn't spend time with me that weekend hmm and the next day when I arrived to collect her from school she was crying saying she missed me all day.

Last night before bed she started getting very grumpy and cheeky and I asked what's wrong she started saying she doesn't want to sleep at daddy's this weekend. She said she doesn't mind seeing him as she knows he is sad when he doesn't see her but she doesn't want to sleep over!

I'm not sure what to do? I have plans for this evening and I get very little time to myself as it is. Should I just make her have a sleepover? Or not? Help

queenofthepirates Sat 15-Feb-14 19:35:31

Talk to Dad about this and try and get him to reassure child.

MissWimpyDimple Sat 15-Feb-14 20:38:10

Mine is 7 and we have had the same thing happen over and over again. She just misses me so much. I feel terrible for putting through it but I know she loves her dad and she does have to go there.

cestlavielife Sat 15-Feb-14 23:34:01

Make it clear to her she is not responsible for dad being sad or not.
That dad is an adult and her job is to be a kid not to look after him or go just to stop him being sad,

She wouldn't miss you if she was happy being with dad.
She should not be made to feel responsible for dad or mum. She feels she should spend time with dad because he is sad and with mum because .....

Is there a court order, is there background to this ? Will dad accept a daytime visit only ? As he has admitted he v stressed ?

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Sun 16-Feb-14 09:17:05

"She wouldn't miss you if she was happy being with dad"
Huh? My DC miss me when they are with their dad. They are happy with him.

OP - would it be possible to have a non-blaming conversation with the father about this? I would be reluctant to be letting her decide what happens at 6 years old without having had a really good go at trying to resolve the problem first.

mustbetimefortea Sun 16-Feb-14 10:14:33

I have this with my ds too. I suspect that as his father lives some distance away and so visits are often for several nights at a time, ds (6) will be crying as he misses me and will then get shouted at for being upset.

Ds will occasionally cry for his dad at mine which is perfectly understandable and I give him cuddles and tell him it's fine to miss his dad and we ring so that he can talk to his dad. This only happens one way as xh and his family insist that ds is never unhappy in their company.

positively9something Sun 16-Feb-14 10:36:05

I did speak to her dad, I didn't say she doesn't want to go as he is shouting at her as she didn't want me to! I told him to speak to her about it and work out what is going on! So he will talk to her today.

Also I did explain to dd that she didn't have to worry about daddy being sad! He is an adult and he is fine etc.

He just has a very poor me attitude so that's why she feels guilty which I'm not happy about.

positively9something Sun 16-Feb-14 10:39:26

Also I know she can't decide at 6 but she was very upset and crying about it and willing to miss swimming which she absolutely loves just so that she didn't have to stay at her dads, which makes me feel that I she felt very uncomfortable at his house.

StartWhereYouStand Mon 17-Feb-14 10:36:36

OP I was about to come on and post a message saying more or less the same thing!

My DDs are 8 and 10 and have said exactly the same. They have just gone to see their Dad and have spent last 24hrs asking me not make them go. They too dislike the staying over.

My ExH also is not great at responding the them emotionally when they miss me. He had told me in conversation that he thinks they are exaggerating for effect when they are upset becuase they are 'really happy all the time' with him & only get upset when they contact me (via their ipod). I don't initiate contact when they are with him, deliberately so as not to upset them, but he & they said they want to speak to me so obviously I am led by them.

He seems to find it unbelievable that kids miss the other parent! (As background he initiated the split after his affair so I think all this minimising the kids' feelings is just par for the course in stopping his guilt. He said to me soooo many times when we were in counselling/thinking about separating that he knew the kids would be absolutely fine.hmm )

I have said to mine that they are too young at the moment to decide for themselves about the overnights (like I dont let then decide their own bedtime or whether to have Haribo for breakfast etc etc) & time with Daddy is good for them and over time they will get used to things. I am honestly not sure if time will really make it better but I can only hope and I think it sends a positive message to them about the future.

I find it heartbreaking and wish I could tell ExH what they say so he could try to reapond and make the kids feel more settled but it is just impossible. He and his family have totally minimised the whole break up and are determined not to see any negative effects at all. I think we just have to hang on in there being the bigger person and playing the long game. Eventually either the kids will settle or they will be old enough to tell him how they feel/vote with their feet.

And throughout it all your DD knows she has you to talk to - hang on in there! You must be doing a good job if she feels she can tell you all this - listening and reassurance go a long way thanks

shey02 Mon 17-Feb-14 22:36:14

What a lot of very loving and sensible thoughts. It's a tricky situation, but kids will miss mom (and sometimes dad) regardless of the quality of parenting in the other household. At the end of the day, the kids cannot decide at this age. Some kids don't want to go to school, but they still have to. I am 6 years divorced and my kids have gone through this on and off over the years and you just deal with it as you go, but ultimately all of that only strengthened my relationship with them. We're very close emotionally and while it's true they don't have that with their dad, what they have with him is valuable to him and them too. The kids will settle if you and dad are onboard with their emotional needs, as teenagers they will make up their own minds. You'll be surprised how quick that time goes. But for you to look back and know you did your best, that's priceless.

mustbetimefortea Mon 17-Feb-14 23:37:20

Start your experience exactly mirrors mine sadly.

Blondie1969 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:04:52

As a father i have a similar issue with the children (daughter aged 11 and son aged 6) staying with me and when things don't go there way they then say they don't want to see me.

It upsets me that sometimes my ex does not help with regards to helping the children understand they have two homes.

ie the older daughter will complain that the toys she wants are at ex's home. Now these are toys i've bought and then end up at other home. When children bring toys to mine that ex has bought I will always endeavour to ensure that they return to other home.

The key thing to work out is what are genuine issues (ie shouting/stressed dad) and what are consequences of having "two homes".

A 6 year old will find it very difficult to articulate this and you do not want to have a conversation along the lines of "what don't you like at daddys" as that may reinforce a negative impresssion.

What can help is find out what your daughter has enjoyed about being at daddys.

If you are on speaking terms with your ex you could see if he could start some traditions that your daughter does at his home

ie my daughter gets to have a hot chocolate once son is in bed .

I bought a blender and my son and I make smoothies with "weird combinations" of fruit and juice.

My daughter enjoys playing candy crush so we play the same levels side by side and see who gets best score.

My son and daughter both play UNO with me.

Now even with those kind of things i still get when things don't go their way (ie when they have to eat at table or have a hair wash they say "i want to stay at mummys instead of seeing you" and it can hurt when they say that. )

Do you have a mutual friend that can maybe help/mediate.

It can be very difficult to have someone else (ie ex) tell you that you need to step up parenting techniques. But you can help by finding out things he does do well (be it nice day out, playing a game, dvd night) and letting ex know your daughter really enjoyed like doing x, y and Z.
Its much better to hear about positive things than negatives (and then attempt to slip the odd negative in with regards a positive spin. ie maybe your daughter complains about the food at your ex's. You could say "daughter is saying she's not enjoying the food as much as she used do you know that shes gone off a,b and c but really likes d, e and f)

The fact that you are asking for advice suggests your heart is in right place and hopefully the support you get will help. i

shey02 Thu 20-Feb-14 13:35:07

Blondie, I know what you mean. Of course it hurts. It is two homes, two separate homes, separate lives. Kids can adjust seamlessly if both parents want them to.

My dp, a strong, assertive, confident man is reduced to tears on fortnightly basis by one of his dc's. He is a very consistent, caring father, who falls over backwards to do things for his children. He is always there for them, always supports financially yet his children still will say 'I'm not coming if...' 'You don't feed us properly...' 'I hate it here'. 'I want to go to Mum's'.

It's heartbreaking, because they feel they have the power and their mother's attitude to their father has 'infected' them. She has no respect or appreciation for him, ergo the children have no respect or appreciation for him. On the other hand my children would never dream of saying those things to me as they respect me and value me. However, the role of the NonResidentParent seems to be one which very often is undervalued and treated almost like a nuisance 'do we have to go...?' And I'm sorry if I offend anyone as I have feet in both camps, as a resident mother I know I have the power and influence. Which is why my kids go off happily to their father and I keep well clear and let him get on with it. Do I really care if he's not as good a cook as me or if the house is untidy or if he's not as patient as me or... whatever... No, not really, it's his time, not mine. Wish more mothers could let go and do the same.

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