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Bad mouthing parent with care

(7 Posts)
mrsmcv Tue 25-Aug-09 11:14:15

My daughter is just three and me and her dad split up when she was 4 months old. After horrible court battle of two years (his choice, not because he was being denied contact) we have contact order which I totally support and dd seems to have settled into very well.
However, about six or eight weeks or so ago, dd started to be withdrawn, wet bed, aggressive and moody. Not like her, but she's just three and I thought it was just a phase. Then she started to say things to me that she was obviously repeating that sounded like what XH used to say to me, about why we broke up and so on. She also started to say she didn't want to see my mum and dad because they were horrible to her dad and that I was dying. When I asked her why she thought these things, she told me her dad and grandmother had told her.
I played it down, reassured her and she seemed to settle.

But this is continuing, and she is now refusing to see her dad and to stay over at his house. Now she is saying her grandmother is going to hurt me because I was nasty to her dad.

I brought this up very carefully to her dad, saying that I thought she may have accidently overheard something she shouldn't, and could they please be careful around her as she is very astute. He just told me he'd only told her the truth about our breakup and that he would explain it to her further.

My XH was violent and is extremely volatile and we broke up because he made our lives unbearable. All I have told dd is that mummy and daddy decided it would be better if she had two houses to live in instead of one. She's only three for crying out loud.

I'm all for being truthful with children but isn't there a limit?

Besides that, in all this, in all this she just thinks something bad is going to happen to me and she's scared. She'll go to nursery ok but when she's with me, she won't let me out of her sight.

DD clearly upset and reluctant to see her dad, but how can I make her feel safe with this if he won't join in in helping her? I really cannot force her to go kicking and screaming because he can't manage her when she's upset and just brings her home anyway. That in itself is making the problem worse.

any ideas?

cestlavielife Tue 25-Aug-09 16:21:25

i think you should bring it up with GP or health visitor as if it ends up going back to court you will need some record of your concerns about your daughters wellbeing.

would he be willing to engage in family therapy sessions for separated parents?

could you ask GP for referral for yourself and daughter and see what they suggest on dealing with it from your perspective, even if he refuses?

speak to nspcc helpline - does this amount to emotiona cruelty to a child? they may have some ideas too.....

OrangeFish Tue 25-Aug-09 16:26:48

Check the NSPCC website, badmouthing the other parent in front of a child is classified as child abuse. Perhaps your ex may benefit of getting a copy of this?

Ring the NSPCC line and ask for advice on what to do.

mrsmcv Fri 28-Aug-09 10:59:01

thanks for your help, contacted nspcc and they said go to GP.I'm going to go on my own at first because if she hears me talking to GP, it might make matters worse.She's coming out with more and more things, she's been told that I'm really ill (which I'm not) and all kinds of things. He's always said he'd tell her 'the truth' when she was old enough. I don't think she should be dragged into it, but he says this is cos I'm scared of her finding out what I'm really like.

The thing is, when we went to court and through CAFCASS, there was no medical or police evidence of his violence and they just didn't believe me, not really. They thought i was a touchy new mum and cafcass officer even suggested we could get back together at one point.so I'm really worried i'll be making a bad situation worse because if this isn't taken seriously, he'll just do it more and more

mmrred Fri 28-Aug-09 14:36:25

I hate it when people use this excuse of 'they need to know the truth' to share innappropriate information with children.

Unfortunately if there is a contact order in place you could get into difficulties if she doesn't go for contact - and courts will not accept that it is appropriate for a 3 year old to decide whether or not to see a parent.

One thing you can do is make light of it 'doesn't Daddy/Granny say funny things?'
If you show you are reacting to it that will panic her more.

cestlavielife Fri 28-Aug-09 15:08:13

yes go to GP. you need to get it recorded, your concerns.

funny my cafcass officer also thought we were going to get back together - after speaking with exP.... i suspect coz the exP somehow makes it like this is just us being a bit silly and how they love us and of course it will all be fine soon ...

mrsmcv Fri 28-Aug-09 19:34:53

thanks for all your help and support with this, it's really hard and heartbreaking to hear some of the things she comes out with and I don't want to grill her about things, especially as I don't want to put things in her head that aren't there just because I'm so upset.

I am so frustrated because I so want contact to work out well for her and it has been going really well until this started.

There's no way I can avoid court, he is determined to take me back and is just looking for a reason - half a reason, even. He loves it in court, i think it's the attention.

CAFCASS very bad in my experience, personally and professionally.

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