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Thread: DD refusing to see her Dad - do I force her??

  1. #1

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    Default DD refusing to see her Dad - do I force her??

    DD will be turning 6 in January - her Dad and I have been separated since she was about 2 so she doesn't really remember us being together although her and I have talked over the years about why her Daddy isn't in the house with us and she is mostly happy with the situation.

    She sees her Dad one afternoon and week and for one day on the weekend - he and I are on friendly enough terms. Recently though we have both moved forwards a bit in our separate lives - he is about to have another baby in about 6 weeks and I have recently got engaged. DD has been happy with these things too as far as I have noticed.



    The last month or so she has become very clingy to me. I am having to force her to go to school which she loved before, she is refusing to see her dad on his days saying that she doesn't want to see him because she will miss me too much, she's suddenly not going to bed happily either which is very unusual for her. Her attitude has changed as well - she is being very aggressive and rude lately and completely over reacting to heaps of situations.

    At the moment her dad is just making her go to his house but I'm not convinced this is the right approach. He let her miss visits a few times since but he doesn't want it to continue and is not letting her miss anymore.

    I'm feeling guilty right now because she was really upset before school this morning because she wanted me to pick her up after school and not her dad - but I just spoke to him and he said he will pick her up and I'm worried about how upset she will get this afternoon.

    I'm not sure what to do with everything - if I play up to her acting this way I'm worried it will continue - but if I don't then I'm worried it might make things worse.

    Help?!?!

  2. #2

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    I've never been in this situation, but wanted to offer some support.

    I don't have any advice, but it seems to me there's an underlying issue causing your DD to exhibit signs of stress and clinginess. Good luck, sweetie. I hope someone wiser than I am can offer some solid advice.

  3. #3

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    I agree with forshelby - there is something else going on.

    She is lashing out because she is upset or hurt about something and maybe she doesn't want to talk to you about it so just says she is ok ITMS?? Does she have another trusted adult friend that can sit and play with her and try to get her to open up about her real feelings?

    I wonder if something has been said to her at her daddy's house about another baby and them being a new family ... or something along those lines. She may "get it" but perhaps she is feeling like she won't be wanted there anymore or that she is not part of "that" family, sort of an "out with the old, in with the new" type feeling??

    Maybe she sees their little unit and is worried about you and your DF having a baby or something??

    I dunno hun these are just things off the top of my head I am by no means an expert nor have I been in this situation.

    I DO believe there is something that has upset her and that its playing on her mind causing her to act out. I also believe that she will not tell you without some serious prompting. Maybe she has been told or she might feel like you or her daddy won't love her as much if she tells??

    Massive hugs hun, I hope you get to the bottom of it.

    Nae x

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    It is a hard one Is she maybe feeling a little worried about being left out or having less attention when you do get married? That would explain her being clingy with you and wanting to be with you all the time. I'm not suggesting for a second that that is what will happen but when you're only 6 who knows what you could think?

    I'm sure it will all be ok Hopefully someone else may post and be of more help than I was

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    Does the school she attend have a counsellor or chaplin of sorts. I know a friend of mine as having issues with her daughter (she and father separated when she was a baby) , her father recently moved 3 hours away to live with new girlfriend and her children. Anyway the chaplin at the school helped a lot.

  6. #6

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    Thanks so much for your replies! It is amazing how just reading your replies has made me think about the whole situation in a different way.

    Her school does have a Chaplain - I might look into meeting with her and having a chat about it all. Other than that I can't really think of anyone except for me that she would open up to.

    I have definitely thought about the impact that all these huge changes in her life is going to have on her. I can't imagine it not having an impact - I just wish she would lash out the way she is because I am finding it harder and harder to react in a calm way when she is so aggressive towards people, especially me. Now that I am thinking about it though she really needs a supportive reaction that she can predict to make her feel safe - and going on from that, my routines around the house have become less stable over the school holidays and I should really get them back into place to help with that.

    I have talked to her Dad again and we have decided that I will pick her up this afternoon from school and then have a talk to her about maybe meeting him at a park for a play instead of her going to his house for the afternoon. If she doesn't want to though he seems OK with leaving it at that - and letting her come around over time instead of forcing the issue - I'm really not comfortable with forcing her but I am not sure letting her make the decision is the right thing either.

    It breaks my heart so much thinking that she isn't getting the love and support she needs right now.

    Thanks so much for the comments - they have really helped!!!

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    I definitely think there's something going on and thoroughly second the idea of encouraging her to open up to someone she trusts who will listen without putting their own spin on things - whether that's a trusted family friend, school counsellor/chaplain or other relative like grandma etc.

    Big family adjustments like a new baby, getting married etc are stressful events for kids and she could easily be feeling a bit insecure and unsure of her place in each family. I don't think forcing her is the way to go, I'd have a quiet talk to Dad without her around and suggest maybe he focus on letting her know how much he enjoys having her around and how important she is to him instead of the "you have to come over" - maybe even make it shorter periods like a day out at the movies or some other activity but she can choose if she wants to stay overnight or go home to your place. Keep reassuring her, keep letting her know that it's ok to talk about how she feels.

    The other thought that crosses my mind, as much as it pains me to think it, is much more sinister and has to with the possibility of something having happened to make her afraid of her dad, or spending time at her dad's place. If it is a very sudden change in behaviour, particularly accompanied by other signs like nightmares, bad sleeping, regression etc - please seek out trained help. Places like Relationships Australia have some great advice on getting kids to open up and let you know what's going on that may be able to help.

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    Ash don't be so hard on yourself! You're on here looking for advice and help for your DD. You love her and are doing everything you can to reassure her and get to the bottom of it Glad your xDH is being understanding too.

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    Thanks for you reply Cranky Kitten - the same thought did cross my mind too - I have spoken about 'private parts' and things like that since she was quite little and have spoken to her a few times about it just recently and she doesn't seem to act any differently when I do but I know that isn't enough to decide that nothing might have happened - although my gut instinct tells me it's not that.

    The other thing that crosses my mind is that a few months ago I went away for a funeral and she stayed with her Dad for 3 days and missed me alot - it was the first time she had really been away from me for more than a day and maybe that made her regress a bit? Maybe it changed her routine all of a sudden and made her feel really insecure because Mummy wasn't there - it was only a few weeks after that she started acting differently.

    Thanks so much for the support!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by NaeNae View Post
    I agree with forshelby - there is something else going on.

    I wonder if something has been said to her at her daddy's house about another baby and them being a new family ... or something along those lines. She may "get it" but perhaps she is feeling like she won't be wanted there anymore or that she is not part of "that" family, sort of an "out with the old, in with the new" type feeling??
    Maybe also with that being a new family she may think you aren't going to be part of her family any more, does that make sense?
    My sister who is 5 years younger than me did the same sort of thing when her mum was having another baby. Clung to dad and didn't want to go home. Just a thought.
    Hope you can get to the bottom of it as for forcing her. No, i was forced to visit my mum as a child and i hated every second of it and it made it worse in the long run. Maybe get her dad to call casually a little while before she is supposed to see him and be like "hey X how are you? I miss you i was just wondering if you'd like to come visit?" So it's on her terms and makes her feel special and loved and missed? I don't know... But like i said hope you can sort things out

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