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Daughter Becomes Violent... HELP!

My daughter is 20 months, and has been seeing hr father twice a month for a little over a year now. For the entire time, however, she becomes violent the following day starting as soon as she gets up until sometime the following day! Her nowmal tantrums last all of 2 minutes, and are very very mild. On the days after she sees her father, however, tantrums turn into sometimes 20 minutes of sceraming, hitting, throwing things AT people (yes, she aims for you), deliberately possitioning herself to slam against a wall or the table, and throws herself on the floor. She rarely has moments of total giggly happiness (which is her normal self every other day of the month) and is just not herself. It's as though for 1 to 2 days after she visits with him, I have a completely different child!

Any ideas what's going on? I want to take her to a psychologist just in case, but will they even take a child who isn't yet 2?


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Asked by Anonymous at 4:16 PM on Jan. 7, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (10)
  • First, I think psychologists are trained in specific areas for a reason. I think there are probably specialists who, upon a court order possibly, may need to observe her with your husband and possibly with you to see drastic behavioral changes for themselves. If she cannot talk (as my 20 month old cannot), she can't tell someone enough to understand why the problems are occurring.


    Answer by mommy2danica at 4:27 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Secondly, my DD comes back from Nana's (my best friend's mother's) a total monster. She screams, demands, is indignant, feisty, kicks during diaper changes, glares, etc. She is a different child. From my understanding, this is typical if the child is allowed to get away with more or doesn't hear discipline somewhere and then comes home to you, the "mean" mom who she knows will raise her voice if necessary. Perhaps he isn't disciplining her for hardly anything and she naturally prefers that freedom.

    Stick it out- I think it will get better. There are options through the courts, through a mediator or things of that nature if she doesn't settle into a better pattern.

    Answer by mommy2danica at 4:27 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • This has ben going on for a year, and as she gets bigger so do the tantrums. My fiance's parents have watched her for me, and they let her get away with everything! But she doesn't become crazy like this after seeing them. He's starting to ask for overnights, but I'm not sure I want that happening with how drastic she changes after only 12hrs at a time!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:33 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I think it'll pass with time. When she gets three and tantram persist I would then mention it to dr.
    She may like and feel comfortable with the routine you have for her and not like the changes in her routine when dad's got her.

    Answer by summerray5 at 4:52 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Maybe the disruption of her schedule is hard for her, and she is just frustrated.

    Answer by 2-1CavWife at 5:11 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I'm not sure if a child therapist can help your 20 m/o, but it doesn't hurt to call & find out. (And don't stop at one, research several people) Even if she isn't verbal, depending on her cognitive abilitiy, she can possibly be helped to "vent" her frustration in other ways. I know of a therapist who tried (he wasn't sure b/c the boy was pre-verbal) and was successful with an 18 m/o boy in similar situation. And the flipside is, maybe the therapist can help YOU to manage her behavior differently. Sometimes, people on the outside looking in can spot the obvious easy answer, when we are too involved, emotionally especially. And heaven forbid that something improper be happening or someone mistreating her, but I'd rather find out now that in another year. Also, it could continue to escalate & you don't want that. Hope this helps!

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 9:06 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Thanks for the responses. I'm going to monitor it, as well as talk to at least her physician. I did call one therapist and got some free advice to keep a diary of her behaviors before and after she sees him, just in case. Thanks again!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:50 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • You know, when you mention his WANT for overnights, she may resent you for that- she stays with you all the time but gets limited time with her daddy. I know most girls have a special place in their hearts for their daddies no matter what. Perhaps she is longing to have equal time with you both and is resenting YOU because she isn't getting that kind of quality time with her daddy.

    Answer by mommy2danica at 4:57 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • it sounds like you both have different schudlues for her and different rules, both households should be as close to the same as possible, talk to him explain what going on after he drops her off, But do it nicely or he could take it wrong. See if she acts different with him after you drop her off. You both need to be on the same page. after all your both her parents. But if you feel something is really wrong (unsafe for her) talk to your dr. and get thier advise. Don't just forget it happens.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:59 PM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • Unfortunately, I have talked with him and nothing has changed. He also refuses to give me any information about how she behaves over there. He never checks in on her throughout the time without her, and refuses to talk with me about anything.

    And in response to wanting more "daddy time"... when asked "where's daddy" she goes to my fiance. She calls him daddy, too, and did so all on her own. She'll even point to a picture of my fiance when asked the same and shown both his and bio-father's picture.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:07 PM on Jan. 10, 2009

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