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Separation Anxiety

(15 Posts)
SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Mon 13-Jul-15 20:19:18

Hi all. Been gone awhile and I think I've nc since posting on here last... Have any of you had the experience if non resident SDCs having anxiety while at yours? DSD adores her DF and is best mates with DD for years. We have a good relationship also and always have a lot of fun together. Recently thought she has become very neurotic about going back to her mum. She asks constantly when she is going home and says she misses mummy, is worried about mummy and looks visibly distressed. This has really gotten to DP who is starting to think we shouldn't have her overnight. However, my opinion is that because DSD is alone one on one with her DM at home all the time (they rarely go out or socialize) that perhaps it is a case of different environments and maybe she's having a hard time not being the number one focusfocus and being part of a larger family dynamic. DP and XGF are not on great terms. He is very friendly and accomdating but she is often abrupt and offers almost no explanation about DSDs life when she isn't with us so it is kind of hopeless to ask for her help with DSD. Basically, I think DP should persevere with DSD and try to get to the bottom of what's troubling her. My concern is that we cut back access time because of her anxiety that she will think (or be told) that her DP doesn't want to have her here as often... She is 6 by the way which I seem to remember being a difficult time for me visiting my dad at weekends in my own childhood.

FluffyBumOnTheRun Mon 13-Jul-15 21:35:14

My dsd went through the same thing at about 6-7y. She slept in with mum a lot too so would hate going to bed. I wouldn't stop overnight contact, I'd just do a lot of reassuring and keeping her busy, it will pass. One thing that didn't help was if dsd spoke to mum, it made her worse.

Husbanddoestheironing Mon 13-Jul-15 21:43:07

Came across similar ourselves years ago when DSD was very worried about her mum. Eventually from other things she said we worked out what the problem was and DH had a long talk with his ex. Turns out she was struggling with a few things but it wasn't as bad as DSD was imagining, it's just no one had explained and talked it through with her and reassured her. Being (as she saw it) her mums only support she was really anxious about leaving her alone. Though really her mum needed the regular break too. It did resolve with time once we all knew how to reassure her. Her mum stopped laying it on too thick about how much she missed her too.
Hope you get to the bottom of what is bothering your DSD flowers

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Mon 13-Jul-15 22:25:00

Oh thank you so much fluffy and husband. Your responses are both reassuring and have given me a bit to think about.

JakieOH Mon 13-Jul-15 22:34:52

My DSD seemed to go through a wee phase like that too but it seemed to pass. The younger one hasn't been like that yet but If I was you I would suggest he keeps the ON contact. I'm sure it will pass as long as her mother isn't making her feel guilty about leaving etc? X

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Mon 13-Jul-15 23:41:16

Well DSD's mum doesn't give anything away... DSD is largely away with the faeries so this is a marked difference. Perhaps part of it is that she's growing up and is sensitive to her mum's needs. She did say recently that DP leaving was the worst thing that had ever happened in her mother's life so one might wonder if there isn't much of a filter in place...

K888 Mon 13-Jul-15 23:45:27

Sometimes they are also picking up on others anxieties? My DS became anxious about being away from his Dad just after hand overs - I was the main carer - particularly whenmy Ex was stressed about things like money.

He was just mirroring a feeling that things were not right with his Dad. His Dad would also give him the impression that it was terrible to spend time away from him. I just tried to make everything as routine and as normal as possible to not heighten any emotions.

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Mon 13-Jul-15 23:53:39

Thanks k8 I think it is definitely possible that DSD is worried about mum.

CandyLane Tue 14-Jul-15 01:22:13

My DS is 6, and although I haven't experienced the problems you have described, I've had problems with his behaviour so I've been doing some reading about 6 year olds lately.

Apparently it's quite a difficult time for them as they are mentally growing up a lot at this age.
Previously they were only really aware of their own feelings and needs, they are quite selfish.
But at around 6 they start to become more aware of other people and their needs and feelings.
It sounds like this is maybe what is happening with your DSD, is she maybe feeling guilty that her mum is on her own and probably missing her?
Maybe it would help if her mum told her what she was going to be doing whilst she is staying with you? It might help her to not worry so much?

crossroads15 Tue 14-Jul-15 07:11:21

I think you've probably hit the nail on the head when you say there isn't much of a filter in place at home OP. Mum could be telling your DSD that she's lonely when DSD is with your DP, that she misses her terribly etc which in turn means your DSD is worrying about her.

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Tue 14-Jul-15 09:31:56

Thanks candy I suspected it might be part of her development at this age to have empathy.

cross I think you're right.

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Fri 17-Jul-15 17:37:02

A little update. It turns out DSDs mum has been turning her against me, DD, and DP. She is not allowing DSD to come to our house on access days and said that if DP makes us move out she will let DSD come back. All of this is allegedly because she I'd having problems with DSD who tells her that she is mean, which she believes has come from my DD! There was an incident last week with DD being uninvited to DSDs birthday and sheand was extremely hostile towards us. DD was going to go outside and beg to go to the party but I stopped her saying that DSDs mum and aunt wouldn't be friendly and since then DSD has been having tantrums and saying she never wants to see any of us ever again. To make matter s more confusing DSDs mum has asked DP to pick up DSD every single day this week from school then insists on the 3 of them spending time together. This is very unusual as she always been very stingy with access on non agreed days... I think she may be trying to really mess with everyone. I had to make DD promise not to say bad things to DSD about her family and say sorry to DSD over text. It is insane, she's done nothing wrong. Has this happened to anyone else?! It is a living nightmare.

swingofthings Sat 18-Jul-15 08:39:22

The whole thing is very confusing. Clearly something happened which upset DSD and in turn upset her mum who is now acting over-dramatically.

I think the best course of action is not start acting like her and making a big deal of it. Something happened and you and DP need to get to the bottom of it. What is it that your DD did/say that created such a fuss? Maybe she is not totally innocent even if it was blown out of proportion.

I would speak with your DD and let DP speak to mum, and just listen before taking any steps of actions that could be the next move towards making things really bad for everyone.

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Sat 18-Jul-15 12:01:54

My DD didn't say anything. It was me who said you mustn't go outside they are not going to be friendly and DD answered that DSDs mum is friendly with her dad and I said that the friendliness was pretend and we mustn't go outside and that to trust me that she couldn't go to the party. I was desperately trying to keep her inside as DSDs aunt is volatile and once followed me round a children's party saying terrible things about DP and freaking out DD in the process. For some reason DSD now believes DD told her bad things about her mummy. One thing I should mention is DSD has very selective memory and only seems to latch on the things she is told by her mum. For example we keep getting a complaint from her and her mum that she doesn't have space for her own things here even though she has 2 draws, a shelf, a separate toy box, her own shelf and rail in DPs cupboard and her soft toys are on the top bunk of their bed and DD never touches them when she is not here. This has always been the case.

SkyWasMadeOfAmethyst Sat 18-Jul-15 12:05:29

Just reading this all back... It sounds totally bonkers blush

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