Have any of your DSC said they didn't want to visit anymore? Help! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So this weekend did not go very well at all. It started when DH picked DSD up from her Mom's house Friday night. She started crying in the car and said she didn't want to come over anymore. DH asked her if she was sure about that and said that would mean she wouldn't see us or her sister anymore and she said yes she did not want to see us anymore. He called her Mom and told her what DSD said and I guess Mom talked to her and she did come for her visit.

Well, this weekend all DSD did was act out, she peed her pants, drew all over her walls in her room, threw away food and lied about it...

When we took her home last night DH was talking to her and said, "this weekend didn't go so great, maybe next visit we can work on having a better time." To which DSD responded, "I'm not coming back." He asked her again and explained again what her words meant and she said she did not want to come visit anymore.

So we go inside and tell her Mom what happened again and her Mom said she can't mean that and asked DSD why she was acting out over the weekend. DSD said because she didn't want to be there.

Her Mom said she was going to call the peditrician today to see if he had any ideas...

I'm turning to you guys. Is this normal acting out behavior because of a new sibling? Is it something more?

DH has definitely been still playing with his daughter when she visits. My parents came over Saturday night and each took turns coloring with DSD. We took her shopping on Saturday for new pajamas and other things. She certainly is not neglected, nor ignored at our house.

My heart is breaking for my DH... he is beyond upset over this and doesn't know what to do. He is very torn with if he should abide by his daughter's wishes and not push visitation right now or what... But she is only 4.5! What is going on?

Some other notes, most of her conversations with us revolve around going home to her Mom's house, when her Daddy lived with her Mommy when she was a baby (which I'm not sure how she would remember this, they split up when she was barely 2, someone had to have told her), and asking if Kallie is my daughter and if I am Kallie's Mommy.

I'm just stumped... I think a lot of it is confusion and anger... but what do we do about it? We have done our best to make sure she is still treated the same here and that she has plenty of time to play with Daddy...

Has anyone dealt with this before? Help please!

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#2 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 11:41 AM
 
Momtwice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,468
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know how much of this is normal, if this is to a stronger degree than one should wait for it to sort out by itself,

but I do know that regression to behavior of an earlier age (such as the wetting) are definitely normal signs of stress when there is a new sibling. It is so typical for little ones to act younger when a new baby comes (or they have other changes in their lives that stress them out) to do things they have outgrown, or misbehave to test boundaries.

I'm glad people are being proactive about getting help for this.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
Momtwice is offline  
#3 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 11:42 AM
 
Momtwice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,468
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post

Some other notes, most of her conversations with us revolve around going home to her Mom's house, when her Daddy lived with her Mommy when she was a baby (which I'm not sure how she would remember this, they split up when she was barely 2, someone had to have told her), and asking if Kallie is my daughter and if I am Kallie's Mommy.
My dd as a young child could remember things that happened 4, even 6 years earlier. It is possible she remembers and possible she doesn't.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
Momtwice is offline  
#4 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 01:00 PM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wonder if she is doing some processing along the lines of "Kallie lives with her mommy, children live with their mommies, I want to be with mine"? And, as the previous poster said, regression is very common when a new sibling arrives, as is the older child being upset and uncertain of her role in the family.

It's great that you can talk with the mom about this, and that she is encouraging your stepdaughter to keep coming, instead of just assuming there's something 'wrong' with your home, and that your stepdaughter should be 'protected' from it.

I wouldn't stop visits. Even if she is saying that it's what she wants right now, if it's really to do with processing her role in the family post-baby I think it would send the wrong message. Maybe just keep reinforcing how much you all love her and that she is a part of the whole family in both houses. Look over photo albums at your house with pictures of her in it, talk about good times you've had, continue having her have one-on-one time with dad, but also doing things altogether or just with you (so she doesn't get the idea of child-plus-mommy as the way things should be).
mammastar2 is offline  
#5 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 01:24 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also tink this is alot of acting out because of a new baby, especially a new baby that lives with daddy all the time, KWIM? It would be along the same lines as a child asking to send the baby back to the hospital. I think you are all handling it well, giving her special time, especially big girl time is important.

My dsd (4 in March) spends a lot of her time with us saying she wants to go back to her moms, but then spends her time at her mom's saying she wants to come to our house.
mommyto3girls is offline  
#6 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 01:52 PM
 
greenemami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,751
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I'm sorry you had such a rough weekend.
I can't say we experienced exactly that, but I would say it sounds fairly normal in terms of new sibling/blended family dynamics.
I would say it sounds like she is really unsure of her place in this new family-not through any fault of yours, mind you. As to whether or not you should "make"her come-I don't really have an answer for that. Obviously, it is not fun for anyone to have a child be where she doesn't want to be. Any chance you could take her for a shorter visit, or revert back to more frequent shorter visits temporarily (I remember how hard you had to work to get this longer visit, though, so that might not be an option). Maybe dad could take her out of the house for dinner on the next Friday that she visits so she has the chance to get some special time before joining the whole family?
My dsd has had times when she is tired/stressed/etc. where she freaks out and starts cryign hysterically for her mom on our weekends/nights. THis has resulted in Mom coming over for a short visit, although I can't say that that helped the situation at all in our case-perhaps it would work for you.
I remember that your dsd was having a really hard time, and apparently still is, thinking of you as Kallie's mom vs. her "Jen" and it sounds like this is all goign to take a while to sink in. So, I think keep doing what you are doing, talking about the situation a lot, giving her lots of special time with her dad, communicating with her mom, giving her lots of physical affection if that is what she likes (since she might be jealous of all the cuddling/nursing/kisses teh baby is getting).
I hope some of this helps, and good luck!

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is online now  
#7 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 02:10 PM
 
plunky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 750
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the term "visit" should be thrown out. This is a young daughter going to her father's house. His home is her home, too.

Dad to DD 9/2008
plunky is offline  
#8 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 02:41 PM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
The regression and acting out is pretty normal for an older child with a newborn sibling. The extent of it, is a bit over the top, but then again, maybe she's realizing that this new baby sister gets to stay with Daddy and Jsma all the time and she can't and that's causing the emotiona troubles?

I wouldn't stop visits (what if she thought you had the new baby and didn't want her anymore?) and I agree with Plunky- you don't "visit" your family, you don't "visit" your home, know what I mean?

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is online now  
#9 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
My dsd (4 in March) spends a lot of her time with us saying she wants to go back to her moms, but then spends her time at her mom's saying she wants to come to our house.
Her Mom did say that she spends all week talking about how she can't wait to go to our house, and she has cried to come to our house a couple times... which makes it even more mind boggling as to why she cries that she doesn't want to be with us when she is here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plunky View Post
I think the term "visit" should be thrown out. This is a young daughter going to her father's house. His home is her home, too.
We do treat this as her home too. And have always told her she has two homes. She even has her own room here with her own toys and own clothes... but I don't know what else to call it really... she doesn't live with us full time, it's only every other weekend at the moment that she is here, longer over holidays and such. But we always tell her this is her home too.


Greenemami... thanks for all the suggestions. DH work hours are past dinner time on Fridays though. My Mom suggested cutting out overnights for now... but that would mean DH would only see his daughter a few hours a month and that seems like it would really just make things worse.

And for her Mom to come over mid-weekend likely wouldn't happen as her Mom goes to her boyfriend's parents house on weekends we have DSD and that is two hours away, it's like she could just pop by quick.

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#10 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 03:58 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Her Mom did say that she spends all week talking about how she can't wait to go to our house, and she has cried to come to our house a couple times... which makes it even more mind boggling as to why she cries that she doesn't want to be with us when she is here.


.
I know what you mean! Our stock responses tend to be.
*We know you miss mommy, but remember you'll miss daddy when you leave here
*should we all whine & cry together for a few minutes or should we keep painting/singing/playing/etc?
*and we will miss you when you go to mommy's
*mommy misses you too, but I bet she's grading lots of papers so that she can play more with you when you go back to her house. (her mom is a college professor and Madison hates it when mommy tells her she can't play because she has to grade papers)
mommyto3girls is offline  
#11 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We didn't have nearly as much trouble as you are when DS was born, and I'll be honest, I'm not sure why. The only difference would be that DSD was here every other week, so she had a lot more exposure to DS and learned to live with him day-to-day right off the bat. At 4 days/month, the adjustment period could probably take a lot longer, and be more difficult.

We did try to give her "jobs," like picking out the baby's clothes, or getting a diaper. Simple things like that to keep her involved. To this day, she really likes to watch poopy diaper changes.

I would not disrupt the schedule. It is important for both parents to be in a child's life, and 4 days a month is a pretty small amount of time to spend with a parent. I would not reduce that further. It is also important to show her that she is still an important part of the family even though the family is bigger now. Reducing visits could wind up making her feel even more pushed aside in the end. Kids in non-blended families often want to run away or give the baby away when a new sibling arrives. Staying at the other parent's house isn't an option that those children have, but in a blended family, it seems like the natural solution when you are 4.

There have been times in the past that DSD would have rather stayed at her mom's, but DH has always looked at it as DSD being too young to really know what is best for her. At 4, you don't always see the full picture.

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#12 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 05:58 PM
 
smibbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
possibly she's hoping daddy will fight her on this, thus "proving" that he wants her to come over. It's not just that its a new sibling, its that this sibling gets daddy all the time and she only gets "visits".

Does she get to spend time completely alone with daddy when she comes over? Babies take a lot of attention away from adults, even as an adult tries to be balanced. I suggest next time, when she says she doesn't want to visit daddy say to her "well okay, you don't want to come to the house, then let's you and me go do something outside." making it clear that he still expects to see his daughter, regardless of whether she comes to the house or not. I'm betting that will be the cure. because (I could be reading this wrong) it sounds like she's specifically saying she doesn't want to come over to the HOUSE, not stop seeing daddy.
smibbo is offline  
#13 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 06:04 PM
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would say it seems pretty normal, considering all the recent changes. When my sister was born, I wanted to sell her back to the circus (where I got the idea that she was purchased from the circus in the first place, I don't know).

We got two weeks of "I don't want to be with my daddy if my fish are going to keep dying" during the Great Aquarium Collapse of 2008 (at age 5). We did not shift the placement schedule, but she did call her mom more often and have more trouble sleeping at night (sleep regressions are how issues tend to manifest here). She eventually moved on (which I realize isn't at all the same thing as adjusting to a new sibling, but hopefully my point makes sense).

I wouldn't change the visits either (which, in WI, we call "periods of placement" or "parenting time," if you're looking for something else to call them).

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#14 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by smibbo View Post
possibly she's hoping daddy will fight her on this, thus "proving" that he wants her to come over. It's not just that its a new sibling, its that this sibling gets daddy all the time and she only gets "visits".

Does she get to spend time completely alone with daddy when she comes over? Babies take a lot of attention away from adults, even as an adult tries to be balanced. I suggest next time, when she says she doesn't want to visit daddy say to her "well okay, you don't want to come to the house, then let's you and me go do something outside." making it clear that he still expects to see his daughter, regardless of whether she comes to the house or not. I'm betting that will be the cure. because (I could be reading this wrong) it sounds like she's specifically saying she doesn't want to come over to the HOUSE, not stop seeing daddy.
Well, he asked/explained that if she didm't want to come here anymore that would mean she would not see any of us anymore and she said okay she doesn't want to see us.

Also just found out... when DH called her Mom on Friday when she said this she told her Mom that Daddy said she can't come anymore.

So why did she lie to her Mom then? Sunday when we dropped her off she did tell her Mom in front of us that she doesn't want to go anymore.


She has been spending one-on-one time with DH in afternoons when I go up to our bedroom to nurse and nap with DD, this is typically three hours.

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#15 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Proto! Parenting time sounds better.

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#16 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 06:57 PM
 
mamamirranda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Some other notes, most of her conversations with us revolve around going home to her Mom's house, when her Daddy lived with her Mommy when she was a baby (which I'm not sure how she would remember this, they split up when she was barely 2, someone had to have told her)
One of my twin dsd did that around her age. Though more about wanting her parents together rather than just remembering it. She is almost 8 now (I need to update my signature) It was constant: I want my mom and dad to get back together. They need to get married again. Though I am not sure she even understood what that would mean fully or what would happen to me if that happened. She didn't remember it when her parents where together, she was also 2 when they split. But she got that idea in her head for I can't even remember how long but it was every day of every visit. It sucked!

We now have a very strong relationship, stronger than I have with the other 2. I truly believe she got a lot if it out of her system and decided that I was okay. Now we need to figure out how she can love me too without feeling guilty about it (her mom does not help with that one too much

Its hard being a stepmom, but it is hard to being stepkid too.
mamamirranda is offline  
#17 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 06:58 PM
 
AnnieA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First off, big hugs to you. I can't imagine how heartbroken both DH and I would be if one of the kids said that they did not want to come home to our house anymore.

To me, on the outside looking in, it seems as though your DSD is testing her boundaries a lot. There have been a lot of changes in her world this year and even good changes are still changes that can upset a child's world. If you have not already read this book I would suggest "Kids, Parents and Power Struggles". This might help you and your DH to give a voice to the feelings that she has inside. For instance if she says "I don't want to come to your house anymore.", your DH could say something like "it sounds like you are pretty confused about coming home with me." I know it may seem strange to talk to a 4 yr old this way but you would be surprised how much they "get". And you may also be surprised by her response. She may say something like "No, I'm not confused, I'm mad that the baby is there." Then you could talk about those feelings.

My DSC all had some acting out issues when their mom had their two younger siblings. And recently all of their behavior has regressed which leads me to think that either another baby was just announced or some sort of other life-changing news like a move, etc. was announced. Kids are creatures of habit. Even though your DSD is getting to spend time with her daddy in the afternoon, she may be missing the time you read to her in the evenings. I don't think that you should stop her time of coming home to you guys. Perhaps your DH can say something like "I know you don't want to come with me right now but I am your daddy and I love you very much and I miss you when I don't see you and even though you don't want to see me and Jsma right now, we want to see you."

I hope things get better for your family. Would family counseling be an option?

Annie wife v2.0 to DH and joyfully parenting DSS 18 jog.gif, DSD 15 knit.gif, DSD 14 banana.gif, DSS 12bikenew.gifand heart hero DD 2superhero.gif. angel1.gif 8/2010

AnnieA is offline  
#18 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 07:32 PM
 
myra_mcgray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 292
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DSS had some issue when DS was born DSS was 3 and had some issues when DD was born DSS was 5. DS also had regression issues when DD was born.I think this is really normal it is also normal for DSS to cry because he wants to go to his mommy's house, doesn't want to go to to his mommmy's house, wants to come to our house doesn't want to come to our house. That is why we don't leave parenting time decisions up to him. Besides acting out did she seem upset or did she seem like she enjoyed her time there for the most part. I would say if she spent the entire weekend crying because she was miserable her not coming for as long or other visitations alterations should be addressed but if she says she did not want to come but had a fine time while there I would keep the same schedule. Also her response to your husband seemed to me to be more along the lines of wanting to be reassured that he still loves her and has not replaced her with a new baby girl. When DSS says these kinds of things we just reiterate that we love him, everyone loves him, We understand that it is hard to adjust to having new baby brother or sister but we would be so sad if we did not get to see him so he needs to keep coming to visit.

It also seems like she was acting out because of the new baby, which is normal, and then maybe she felt rejected by your DH because he said the weekend did not go well and so was doing the reject him so that she does not feel rejected. Good Luck it gets better. I would also add that your DH should schedule some special Daddy and DAughter time where she gets to pick what they do and who is present. We started this with DSS after DD was born. DSS gets to pick what they do and if little brother can be there or he can just come with me and the other kids to whatever we were going to do. The first week we did this his mom said he talked about it all week. Also if it is possible try to have a little special one on one time with her and you.

Baby Mama, Law Student, Milk Maker:
Mom-type to DSS 10/12/03, Mom to DS 10/05/06 and DD 11/03/08.
myra_mcgray is offline  
#19 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 07:34 PM
 
myra_mcgray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 292
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think you are ignoring DSD but I do think that when there is such a big change they need extra attention, seems unfair because your attention is divided now but its true.

Baby Mama, Law Student, Milk Maker:
Mom-type to DSS 10/12/03, Mom to DS 10/05/06 and DD 11/03/08.
myra_mcgray is offline  
#20 of 50 Old 02-02-2009, 10:35 PM
 
greenemami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,751
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Also just found out... when DH called her Mom on Friday when she said this she told her Mom that Daddy said she can't come anymore.

So why did she lie to her Mom then? Sunday when we dropped her off she did tell her Mom in front of us that she doesn't want to go anymore.
Well, that makes it a little clearer I think. I don't know if this is a four year old behavior, but seems like she is pushing your dh away before he can push her away. Any 4-year-old experts out there?!
My dsd was nearly 6 when dd was born, which makes a world of difference in a kid-although we still had a rough time for a while.
Sounds like your dsd is worried about being rejected by your dh. 4 days a month is so little time (as I am sure you know!) for her to adjust to anything. Heck, it would take me time to adjust to something that was only happening four days a month! No four year old likes to share the spotlight, and in a blended family it is so much harder for kids to not feel unloved/rejected by a baby who gets daddy all the time when they don't. Any chance your dh could go up to her mom's for extra time (in addition to the weekends she spends at your house)? I know he works nights, not sure of your dsd's daycare/preschool situation.
Also, just wanted to add that it was really hard on ME when dsd was having a hard time adjusting to the new baby. All I wanted to do was focus on my new little one and have that special babymoon with dp, and it seemed like all the focus was instead on dsd. While neither particularly fair nor reasonable, I felt a little angry and dissapointed that I didn't get to share that first baby excitement with dp b/c his attention was focused on dsd. How are you handling all this? Obviously that could have just been me, but I can imagine it is frustrating all around!
Again, good luck! I hope next weekend goes better and you all get some bonding time.

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is online now  
#21 of 50 Old 02-03-2009, 02:19 AM
 
JayJay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 2,492
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh gosh, this really sounds just like a regression issue over a new baby sibling. When I was pregnant with Josie we had issues with both DSD and DSS, though their mom isn't in the picture. We had the peeing the pants (and even pooping, sometimes, which at five years old is just mind boggling to deal with), baby voices, tantrums and all sorts.

I honestly think it has less to do with you and your household than her feeling of being "replaced" as the baby. As an older sister (which is a very daunting task), she isn't the little one any more - she won't get as much attention, or as much leeway when it comes to acting out. That's all normal. I think her behavior is as well, TBH. It's frustrating for a child to be in that position, and at 4.5 year old, she doesn't yet have the vocabulary or the understanding of he own emotions to voice what she's feeling properly. Therefore, the only way she can get it out (like a newborn really, screaming it's head off!) is to act out.

Acting out in any way brings attention. That's the goal here - attention. Saying she wants to be somewhere else (where she is probably the baby still, and therefore gets all the attention) is a combination of her feeling frustrated, wanting to run to where she's still the little one, and attention seeking behavior because it brings a rise out of you. And it's going to - that's normal too.

Keep in mind though, that she's still so very little. This isn't a teenager or an adult voicing the opinion of someone more grown, it's a little child who is angry that things have changed. Please, don't try to take it too personally, because actually, in my experience, this is a really normal stage of adjusting to a new child and probably has everything to do with the addition of an adorable little one, and nothing to dow ith your personality, treatment of her or the household you run.

Thing to do is to continue planning nice trips and fun outings with her. Her jealousy of her little sister will pass, in time, especially when little sis gets to play with her. You sounds like you're doing everything right - just keep going. It's such a hard phase to deal with as an adult, the jealousy and acting out, but just keep going, perservering and talking to her biomom. I'm sure things will even out

*BUG hugs to you, mama* - you're doing alright XXXX

Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
and my rainbow baby, Isobella Mai ...born 1/12/2010 ! in profile...
JayJay is offline  
#22 of 50 Old 02-03-2009, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks everyone!

Though now... I am not sure how much it has to do with a new baby.

Talking to her Mom last night, turns out DSD told her she hated her didn't want to be there either. She is apparantly acting out at both houses right now...

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#23 of 50 Old 02-03-2009, 08:16 PM
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh, *big hugs*

Now, there is no baby over here, as you know, but DSD did tell her dad she won't come over if I move in when she was about 9-10(?) year old; she also declared that she will not come over when she was 13, and stuck to it for over a month. I was a nervous wreck during those tough times, but(!) her dad has always had this faith into things working out, and they did. Both were very stressful, but both occasions were just a temporary stages that DSD went through, and worked through.

* DSD threatened it before I moved in, but she never actually requested NOT to be picked up after I moved in (not that we didn't have all kinds of difficulties when she was over here, but when it came to it, she always made a decision to come, and the threats remained empty). She was free to refuse.

* When she was 13, she spent about 1-2 months without coming over. We respected her choice, but kept communication open. He still called her just about every day, they talked, joked, he told her he loves her and misses her, but never guilted her into coming over or concentrated on the topic. She "got over" whatever was hindering her coming over, and eventually asked to be picked up again, and we went back to regular schedule.

In your case, I WOULD pick her up on a regular schedule, just because I think 4 is really young to make such a huge decision not to see your parent. I think while she is asking for it, it would actually hurt her to know that Daddy is spending time with the new baby, but not picking her up (even if she was the one to ask to be left alone, kwim?) I would accept this as a difficult stage that will require a lot of your patience, and will be very demanding of your and your husband's emotions. But I am confident, it WILL work out, and that more damage would be done by not picking her up.

This too shall pass *hugs*

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
#24 of 50 Old 02-04-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Smithie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I have a four-year-old. I don't send him places that he doesn't want to go. Granted, he will sometimes change his mind fourteen billion times and it can be hard to figure out what he really wants - but in this case, it sounds like your dsd is being fairly clear about not wanting to do her EOW right now.

Since you guys are blessed to be working with a co-parent who supports continued visitation and don't have to worry about losing your rights, why not have your dh take her out for some solo time on "his" weekends, and keep asking her if she wants to come back home to stay with your guys, and let her choose whether to do that or go home to Mom? I feel like she's perhaps being ignored because the EOW deal has been working well for both the parents. That's not the main criterion for whether or not it's a good idea right now.
Smithie is offline  
#25 of 50 Old 02-04-2009, 07:33 PM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
I have a four-year-old. I don't send him places that he doesn't want to go. Granted, he will sometimes change his mind fourteen billion times and it can be hard to figure out what he really wants - but in this case, it sounds like your dsd is being fairly clear about not wanting to do her EOW right now.

Since you guys are blessed to be working with a co-parent who supports continued visitation and don't have to worry about losing your rights, why not have your dh take her out for some solo time on "his" weekends, and keep asking her if she wants to come back home to stay with your guys, and let her choose whether to do that or go home to Mom? I feel like she's perhaps being ignored because the EOW deal has been working well for both the parents. That's not the main criterion for whether or not it's a good idea right now.
I agree that paying attention to what a child is expressing about their needs/wants is important. However, everything I've ever read says that it's dangerous and places a lot of pressure (and later, potentially guilt if a relationship is lost) on children in families with divorced parents to ask them to "choose" which parent to spend time with.

In addition, we are also talking about a young child acting out after the birth of a sibling. For the consequence to be no longer spending time with her dad could be very damaging to their ongoing relationship, her own sense of belonging, and her relationship with her new sibling.

Finally, at that age, the more frequent the contact with the non-resident parent the better. If she stops going to her father's house, even if it is only intended to be temporary, it may be much harder to start again later.

I believe wholeheartedly in listening to what children are telling us. However, it's important to try to understand what is motivating them and address that, more so than to literally carry out wishes, when they may not understand the consequences of doing so. If she's hurting because daddy has a new baby, not seeing him won't make it better.
mammastar2 is offline  
#26 of 50 Old 02-04-2009, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Smithie, you may have missed the added update upbove where she doesn't feel like being with her Mom right now either. For some reason she is angry at the world and doesn't want to be at either home... so following your advice of just following wishes do we put the 4 year old on the street? lol

I honestly don't think we can jump at every request of a 4 year old when many times they are illogical.

I know DH has called her every night this week and she has talked to him fine like nothing happened. I think it's just typical kid behavior at this point paralell to when I was a kid and would tell my Mom I was running away from home for some reason when I was mad or upset about something. Only in this case DSD has actual other parents houses to "runaway" to. When she is agitated with Mom she wants to be here, when agitated with Dad she wants to be there.

As some have said... this is likely a phase of the age and this too shall pass... :

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#27 of 50 Old 02-04-2009, 10:44 PM
 
Smithie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I think it will pass, too. I'm just not sure (although I know it's the conventional blended family wisdom) that forcing overnights is ever a good idea. Visits, yes, at this age I can see where that must be done if the parental relationship is not to be risked. But a toddler adjusting to a new baby might have a pretty high need for her mom, ykwim? My son certainly did when his sister was born. It's just that in my situation, I was both his mom and her mom, and we all lived in the same house.

I think you are wanting to gloss over the situation of her 1) mourning the fact that her parents broke up and 2) mourning the fact that her dad now has a new family with another woman. That's not "normal kid stuff" - well, maybe it is in America today, but I don't think any of us are thrilled to death with the divorce rate or think that divorce is easy on children! The loss of her parents as a couple living in her home together is a real and legitimate loss for your dsd - as she seems to be trying to express to you.

I get that you want your dsd to feel at home in your home. I respect that, and I think it's likely to happen if her parents continue to communicate so well and be committed to a two-home model. But ultimately, it's not up to you whether she feels comfortable living in your house EOW and wants to have a typical sibling relationship with the children you have with her father. That kind of thing is going to be up to her, and I don't see how forcing it at four will enhance the situation at 14. Coming to your house overnight should not be a precondition of seeing her father. NOTHING should be a precondition of seeing her father.
Smithie is offline  
#28 of 50 Old 02-05-2009, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do understand that, Smithie. And there is a lot of logic in what you wrote.


However, it has been well over two years since her parents split up and well over two years of her doing EOW... I'm just not sure if stopping them just because she has a new sister is a good idea... I think what others said about that perhaps would really hurt her and make her think Daddy replaced her... totally not what we want to do.

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#29 of 50 Old 02-05-2009, 04:39 PM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 20,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Thanks everyone!

Though now... I am not sure how much it has to do with a new baby.

Talking to her Mom last night, turns out DSD told her she hated her didn't want to be there either. She is apparantly acting out at both houses right now...


Honestly...that is good. That creates a situation where you/dh and her mom can work together to get to the bottom of this.

Contrary to what others have said, I would NOT force her to go to your house if she requests not to. I would work out a plan to see if there was an alternative. Can you and your household head over to her mom's house and all hang out together?

It sounds like she is feeling very confused and a bit displaced. I do not know if it is the baby persay but I think she is having difficulty finding where she "fits" in all of this.

I think taking her feelings seriously will help her feel more confident in this process, even if that means missing a couple overnights.

You need to be very creative.

: for you

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
#30 of 50 Old 02-05-2009, 05:36 PM
 
Smithie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I feel like my previous post was too discouraging. It's not just "likely" that the bonds you've built with your dsd over half her life are going to result in a loving two-home situation and good relationships between her and the children you have. It's really, really, really likely. You've been doing everything right. As PPs have noted, this transition to having a sibling is tough in all kinds of families.

Smithie is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off