Join Date: May 2003
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Wow, a two and a half year old that has four nights with one parent and three with another? Maybe THAT is the problem!!! Two year old's need stability, security, consistency, attachment!!! Geez, a lot of people think that children shouldn't be with anyone but their attachment figure until age 3. Is she verbal, does she talk about how she feels? Who decided the schedule, and based on what?
Maybe you should consider checking with a child psychologist, to see really HOW this child is doing and how everyone in her life can help her meet her needs.
It makes me sad just thinking about a two year old with such dramatic changes in her life, and I've got a two year old I'm about to send off for a week with her dad, but it's a rare thing and I know she can handle it since her sister is with her, who she's almost as attached to as she is to me. But every week! She'd be exhausted to switch that much, emotionally, physically, even nutritionally if the diet is really bad with her dad!!
As for whether partners should live together (another issue entirely, but maybe relevant if it's your feeling) I DO think partners need their space, and need time to themselves. Not so much maybe that they need separate households, but enough to get recharged and appreciate their time together. So I understand where you're coming from a bit...but it really sounds like your step-daughter's needs are a casualty of this situation, and I'd hate to think that you'd leave because a tiny little two year old is two hard to deal with, rather than help resolve whatever's causing her distress. This is the prime age for attachment disorder to become a problem, and it will only get worse for this child if there is a connection between her behavior and the lack of a secure bond in her life. Attachment disorder is a life-long problem if it becomes real, my ex's family basically sent one of his nieces off to long term therapeutic foster care a few states away when she was an adolescent because of attachment disorder (she'd been adopted as a Russian orphan when she was 3 or 4, and the experience of losing her mother at a little less than two then being in an orphanage destroyed her psyche long term).