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My 4 year old girl wont mind when she comes back from her father's home who has joint custody, what should I do?

My ex husband and separated a little over a year ago & I finally got my divorce papers signed in Feb, which is when his regular visitation started[every other weekend]. My 4 year old girl has recently spent summer visitation w/ him and his new girlfriend[ 4 weeks for 1 week @ a time]. She has been harder to handle after every trip, although this last time she came back she has been unbelievably defiant and and whiny. She will scream & beg as soon as she doesn't get her way, completely ignores me when I give her instructions & constantly backtalks. She has also begin sneaking into my room @ night & getting in the bed with me. It leaves me to believe she isn't made to mind @ her fathers. I know communication w/ him about it would be best, but he can't take criticism calmly & isn't really allowed to talk to me due to his new g/f. I try to explane she isn't going to that @ our home but have had no luck. Please Help!!

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Asked by Embrace_This at 12:10 AM on Aug. 14, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • Wish I had more advice for you as my son is the same way whenever he sees his father (on the off chance he actually decides to see him he lets my son get away with murder pretty much and my son is sooo bad when he comes home) but just stay consistent with her and let her know you have different rules when she is with you. As for the communication between you and her father it needs to be the regardless of whether the new gf likes it or not.

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 12:35 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • I'm sorry. It's not a fun situation. The big thing with your daughter is just consistency. Remind her (often) about the rules you have and that Daddy has different rules. Just keep consistent. It may just be her way of testing you to make sure things with you haven't changed, and in that case, will pass eventually. " )

    As for communication with her father, if he bristles at the idea of criticism, try to bring it up as a problem, and see if he might be up for problem solving it. Ask him if she's doing XYZ behaviors for him, and if so, how is he working around them. If she isn't showing those behaviors, tell him how you have been dealing with them, and see if he can give you any ideas to try. That way he feels part of the solution, not the blame. And just maybe in that problem solving mode, you can suggest/ask if he would reinforce what are rules at his house and that his rules and yours are different...

    Good luck!

    Answer by dimplz125 at 1:02 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Remain consistant, do not allow her to see how frustrated you are, she is dealing with a tun right now. Remind her what the rules are, tell her rules may be different at dads however she is still expected to behave the same at home. When she whines and throws fits calmly say "X, you know how much I love you, it makes me sad to see my good girl acting like this." It allows her to know you are not calling her bad just her behavior and that you still expect her to act the same way. It may take a bit of time however she will eventually learn Home has rules, dad's does not. Persevere and remember in the end kids thrive on rules and expectations, when she is older and looks back she will see "mom loved me and did not just try to buy me by letting me do any thing and by giving me everything." Also watch, because the g/f may be pushing for a close relationship and she may feel torn between liking her and being loyal to MOM.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:47 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

  • Again, you cannot control the situation and the parenting styles of other people. If you consistently have the same expectations and rules with your daughter, and the same consequences for her not following them, she will begin to learn that the expectations are different at each place. You will probably have a need to "reprogram" her each time she comes home from a visit.
    When you have behaviors like whining and defiance, you need to make sure that you "catch her being good" and praise or reward that behavior. At first you may need to praise her quite often so she gets to hear what behavior your like and expect. Children really do want structure and guidelines for their behavior. It is probably unsettling to her that at dad's there are no guidelines. When she comes home, she is testing you to see if you are going to have any expectations for her behavior. Show her you do and praise her when she behaves well.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 9:51 AM on Aug. 14, 2009

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