My turning to 5 yo girl is behaving abnormally. Advice needed.

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My girl has been going to both parents' places for a week each for the past year or so. We have had regular Skype sessions, almost on every day for 3.5 years. Her father suddenly stopped and reduced the contacts into 2 per week since mid May and she has been behaving abnormally soon after that happened.  She was so close to me before but the recent Skype sessions have become my nightmares because she started to say things like I don't like Mummy, I don't like this and that of all from mother's side. When she returns to my place. she says she misses me and wants to talk with me every day. When she returns to her dad's, she is again like this. Her regular Skype sessions with me were so good before all that was stopped.  It just broke my heart into pieces when she says that she does not like me and does not wish to come back to me, and all the people she always loved to be with on my side. Her behavioural changes have been my concerns. Anyone could help explain why she's behaving like this?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Eddie,

    How sad, it must be really hard on you but for your daughter as well. she might be reacting this way because it might feel safer to her to express her feelings to you and not because she means them directectly against you.I hope this helps to clear some of the uncertainty. 

    all the best,

    Penny

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    • Posted

      Thank you Penny for your advice. I just need to know more how to deal with the situation when she has Skype sessions with me. It just seems impossible now to have talk with her over Skype. But she is quite ok when she is back to me.

      Thanks again, 

      Eddie

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    • Posted

      You are very welcome. I think as hard as it might be, I would take a break from skyping with her. It might help her to be able to adjust better. She is probably being fickle like Aveline mentioned can be normal for that age. but if you take a break and explain that it is hurtful to be spoken to that way it will help her to understand that your feelings are hurt too. I wish you well,

      Regards,

      Penny

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  • Posted

    Oh, I'm so sorry, Eddie - no parent wants to hear that!

    I think some of this is "normal" for her age. And, she could be overwhelmed by the arrangements even though she's done this for a while now.  She may not know exactly what she's feeling or how to process it and she just knows she's not totally happy, but that you love her no matter what she says. 

    If you can't do daily Skype sessions, can you speak with her on the "off" nights before bed or at another arranged time?  Does she speak with her father daily while she's with you?

    There is a chance that someone on her father's side is saying things that don't flatter  you and your side or that she somehow feels like she has to choose sides. Assure her that she doesn't and all of her family loves and wants to be with her very much.  I also think that choosing sides and very black-and-white feeling is normal for her age...look at the way that children play with each other around this age - it's not unusal to hear 5 year olds say "You're my best friend" one moment and "You're not my friend" the next. 

    You shouldn't allow her to speak disrespectfully to you or anyone, and you can teach her that words can hurt. She'll know you love her and she'll probably grow out of this stage in time. If you feel like it's getting worse, you may want to talk about counseling either for her or even for you to help her.  

    Hugs and Good Luck to you!!

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks Aveline for your advice and hugs. Her father is restricting my right to talk with her, so I do not get a chance to talk with her on 'off' nights at all. She is also showing some other behaviour problems such as hitting other people (not me), throwing things to others. I have concerns about the changes over the lack of regular contacts she has with me. Is that possible that she is experiencing adjustment difficulties as she has demonstrated her unwillingness to go back to her dad's for almost half a year. Her dad could not have good interactions with her over Skype although I always inisisted that she should talk with her dad even she did not want to. Is it possible that she feels that I do not love her because I do not have the usual contacts with her? She knows that her dad has reduced the times for us to talk with each other, but her little mind may not be able to process that?
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  • Posted

    Hi Eddie

    just wondering how things are between you and her dad? He has reduced the times he has her stay with him, so she may feel rejected by him. In which case ,when she is with him, she may be saying things against you to try to win his affection back. Then when she is back with you she does not want to go back to him. She has been telling you this but she still is made to go. Perhaps she feels no one is listening to her or that what she wants is irrelevant. That could be why she is acting out as she has no other outlet for her emotions. She feels stuck in the middle and torn. I think counselling would be a very good idea. She is too young to cope with all this tension on her own. 

    Just my thoughts, hope it may help .

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    • Posted

      Hi Caroleanne, 

      Thanks for your useful message. His father and I have been in the custody battle for nearly 3 years (which is very upsetting for all). He has reduced the times of contacts my girl used to have with me not his. I guess he does not wish to see me too close to my daugther (which is very sad). I have put my girl in counselling (play therapy) since last year, but recent changes of her behaviour just concerns me so much. I agree with you regarding her feeing stuck in the middle as I know that she wants both dad and mum to be together. I have booked myself to see the counsellor to discuss about how to deal with her changed behaviour and emotions. 

      She is just a kid and should be loved all the time instead of being under such tension.

      Thanks again. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Eddie

    sorry for my mistake, so she still spends alternate weeks with each of you? But he does not like her to skype with you during his week? Is that correct?

    It sounds as if she is trying to appease her father...if he thinks she is not being nice to you that will suit him, she may be picking up on his negativity towards you, so thinks if she is nice to you he will stop her calling you.

    IF this is what is going on here then he is not looking after his daughter's welfare and happiness. But only interested in his own agenda.that is very poor parenting in my honest opinion. Whereas you want her to be happy. I really feel for you being in this situation. Good luck with the counselling. Maybe they can help her voice her concerns without worrying about upsetting either parent. If what I am concluding is true it could well help your case for custody and put an end to her uncertainty. Hugs x 

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