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Bad behaviour when back from dads

(20 Posts)
Emm980 Sat 28-Dec-19 18:10:53

Just wondering if anyone else experiences behaviour changes when LO comes back from their dads/other parent. My little girl, 2, comes back from her dads shattered, she goes every other weekend 1 night. Recently though it’s been getting worse and she’s not only tired but also pretty naughty. She came back from 2 nights at her dads over Xmas and was hitting, throwing things everywhere, was very withdrawn and just angry. I’ve spoken to her doctor about it as I had to go yesterday for another reason and she thinks it’s just anger that she doesn’t understand she can’t have mummy and daddy together. It’s been like this since she was a baby however so it’s been part of her routine for a long time. I’m just so fed up of it as whenever she comes back I have to give her a couple of days to seem to calm down and go back to normal again.

I try and be calm with her when she lashes out when she comes back and try and get her just to relax and wind down but the other day was awful, she also kept going off and hiding under the kitchen table.

I can’t speak to her dad about it as we don’t get along in the slightest!

Just wondering if anyone else deals with this and what their approach is?


OP’s posts: |
slipperywhensparticus Sat 28-Dec-19 18:17:35

Calm consistent behaviour is the key

My ex used to dope the kids up on sugar before returning them he even gave them four BOXES of haribo two they ate there two he sent home (they had been opened) he then reported me to children's services for it I told them to check my bin because I had thrown them out (my sen son had most of his teeth removed he was accusing me of neglect even though he was the one giving them the junk 🤷‍♀️)

VashtaNerada Sat 28-Dec-19 18:19:59

As a teacher I have one or two children whose behaviour changes after a night at the other parent’s house. Certainly not all of them but for some you can definitely tell.

endofthelinefinally Sat 28-Dec-19 18:22:47

Keep a diary. Document everything. Keep your GP and health visitor informed. She is reacting to whatever is going on at her dad's place and the way he is parenting.

Greggers2017 Sat 28-Dec-19 18:26:00

My two are 12 and 10 and are very hyperactive when they come back from their dads, every week. It's nothing to do with his parenting in our case as we have very similar styles. They've always been like it. I think it's just the change. They calm down eventually.

ittooshallpass Sat 28-Dec-19 18:31:14

My DD would often be really grumpy and badly behaved when she came back from ex.

It turned out that he was very very strict with her and the poor child was on tenterhooks all weekend.

As she got older she was able to deal with him better. All very sad that she had to.

Hopefully as your DD gets older things will improve.

ittooshallpass Sat 28-Dec-19 18:34:45

Sorry. Posted too soon... As hard as it was... I would just stay really calm when she came home. After a couple of hours she'd calm down. I think it was her anger at how he was treating her. She felt comfortable lashing out at me, not him.

Take it as a compliment that she can let it all out with you.

It will get better. thanks

Emm980 Sat 28-Dec-19 18:55:53

Thank you all for your replies. I’ve tried documenting things before but I got so fed up of the constant reminder of negative things I have up, I found it just upset me with how much rubbish was going on.

I hoping she does just grow out of it. But I also dread the day she talks more and tells me what happens. I know he gives her rubbish as it is. Over Xmas whilst she was given chocolate from family she’d constantly say ‘daddy chocolate’ so she must have some association to her dad and chocolate.

Hopefully staying calm with her with lots of cuddles and relaxing time is what is needed.

Other people even notice the difference, say if I go to a family members after picking her up they comment on how different she is. Comments have been made that she seems really clingy to me to.

OP’s posts: |
1moreRep Sat 28-Dec-19 20:02:03

could she stay at his more regularly as every other week is a life time for a young child that age? the more normal the visits become the more consistent her behaviour could become.

Also if you can try to get on with your ex it will make life so much easier for all of you, especially her?

Emm980 Sat 28-Dec-19 22:56:32

I have wondered whether making the contact more regular would be more beneficial to her but then I think she doesn’t get so much time to do things. I work/she’s at nursery during the week and then if it was once a week we wouldn’t get a long time to do much, just as she wouldn’t get much time to do things with her dad.

I would love to get on with him, for her sake but we just can’t seem to! I’m not perfect, I’ll admit that but it just doesn’t work between us no matter how much we try. Obviously there’s a lot of of issues between us that need fixing before that happens

OP’s posts: |
Mintjulia Sat 28-Dec-19 23:10:48

Calm consistent reassurance. Early bed times, plenty of water and as little sugar/junk food as possible.

Keep screen time to a minimum. Read her bed time stories & restore her routine.

Emma861 Sat 28-Dec-19 23:14:52

I had this with my eldest,

Actually found that increasing contact helped.

I found that she would almost be angry at me when she got back.

When she went more often i found the transition less severe. Maybe because she knew she would see dad sooner so did'nt act out as much.

IdiotInDisguise Sat 28-Dec-19 23:22:31

A what time is he bringing her back?

DS was the same, I think the main problem was that his routine was getting totally out of track and small children are very sensitive to these changes.

I would say, yes document everything but do not discard the possibility that your ex may be over indulging her when he is with him (whether it is too many sweets, too many activities or getting her what she wants on every tantrum) and she may be expecting you to do the same.

Personally, I found it helped for DS to have a long warm bath as soon as he got home and a quiet night. He was back to normal as soon as we went back into routine on the following morning.

IdiotInDisguise Sat 28-Dec-19 23:24:54

And I agree that increasing contact helps. Spending a day alone every 2 weeks with someone they hardly know is not easy for a 2 year old (and ignore your doctor, your child cannot miss her parents being together if she has no memories of you together)

dungtwicebother Sun 29-Dec-19 00:27:22

When mine came home from dads at a young age, I had very much the same. I think it is difficult for them to adjust each way and they do have to behave differently at the different houses.

I found they needed unwind and adjust time. No pressure so we used to all sit on the sofa and cuddle and watch a film or TV. Not much chatting. Always cheerful and quiet.

Emm980 Sun 29-Dec-19 10:27:29

Can I ask what people’s patterns of contact are when it’s more regular? Eg every Saturday? She’s at her dads again now as it’s his weekend and not just came back from her dads for Xmas so very short gap this time so I’ll see how she is later and go from there.

OP’s posts: |
IdiotInDisguise Sun 29-Dec-19 20:08:57

Looking at the school gates, I would say the most common arrangement is Wenesday’s evenings and every other weekend (2-3 nights on the weekend) but I would say that perhaps that is too much to start with for such a young child who has not had regular day to day contact with their dad.

2 weeks is a very long time for a young child, if she only see him a day every 2 weeks she may feel as if she is being sent to stay with a stranger every 14 days. Is there any chance your ex would agree to see her at least for a few hours once in a weekday?

Emm980 Sun 29-Dec-19 20:39:12

I tried previously to increase her time fri-sun every other week but he wanted to stick to just the one night so I’m doubtful he would do anymore. Due to work on both sides it would mean only a couple of hours of a weekday evening so again I’m not sure how the practicalities of that would work. I could try suggest an weekday stay over but again I’m doubtful of how he would take to that as then it would mean his responsibility to get her to nursery the next day

OP’s posts: |
IdiotInDisguise Sun 29-Dec-19 20:51:20

This is a bit of a difficult one, as you cannot possibly get them to spend more time with her than he wants or suggest what they can do in their free time to ease the problem. 😕

Emma861 Sun 29-Dec-19 21:08:46

We added in a week day dinner time and that really helped.

Then gradually increased weekend contact as she got older.

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