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How can I get my 2/3 year old step daughter to talk to me?

I do realized that the past year for her has brought many changes, her parents getting divorced and her dad and I living together (we aren't married yet, but I call her my step daughter just the same). She is fairly shy to new people, but she's known me now for 7 months. She used to talk almost non-stop, seemingly well above average, but now she barely says 2-3 sentances a day to us. Not to mention she just looks at us like a deer in headlights if we ask her a question. Her mom reports that she does the same thing to her most of the time. When she knows (or thinks) she's going to get in trouble she hides her face behind her hands, gives her away everytime even if we had no clue what happened. If she does get in trouble she either balls up and shuts out or runs away to her room and slams the door. She is just turning 3 tomorrow. Is this normal behavior, especially for the divorce situation and changes in her life? What suggestions do you have? What has worked for you if you had a similar acting child?

Answer Question

Asked by kicknscreamn222 at 3:09 PM on Nov. 28, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 7 (203 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • You got to get down to her level in order to create a bond, find out if there is anything she likes and go from there.

    Answer by older at 3:11 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • Since her behavior has changed pretty drastically, I would get her into counseling. All kids handle divorce and big life changes differently, she may just need some extra help dealing with everything.

    Answer by Scuba at 3:13 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • Poor baby, sounds like she has gone through some emotional trauma. Why can't mom or dad take her to a child psychologist for a little help and support?

    I think the best you can do is stay as consistent and as rewarding as possible. You should find something she likes to do, even if she isn't talking and see if you can build a little trust in the relationship. You can also try playing dolls or dress up, something imaginary with her where she might be able to express feelings through an imaginary character like the doll. Have a tea party and see what happens, but let her lead the conversation/ activity.

    Answer by spottedpony at 3:14 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • Give her space, be patient. Like others have said, find out what she likes, give her something special that's just between you two.

    Answer by amybaby_19 at 3:39 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • I alled the school board & had my son evaluated for speech now he's in speech therapy & is understandable 80%. He was only at 20% when we started & that was back in June 2010

    Answer by MsWood729 at 5:11 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • I think she should see a counselor.

    Answer by Ashlynnsmommy07 at 6:09 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • It sounds to me like this child had been traumatized and really needs to be evaluated by a professional.

    Answer by KTMOM at 8:02 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • Awwwww poor thing. It does seem as if she is having a problem with the divorce. I really think that counseling is a good idea. They will be able to help out I am sure of it. Hang in there, I hope you can find some common ground and that everything works out for her.

    Answer by Peajewel at 4:04 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • I'd just keep trying to talk to her and be understanding. Hopefully she'll come out of her shell.

    Answer by PhilsBabyMama at 8:37 PM on Nov. 29, 2010

  • I really think that both of his kids need counseling because of the situation and my boyfriend agrees, it's his x that won't agree to getting help for the kids...or herself. :( I know how it is to be a kid in this situation, I've gone through it myself. I think that's why it concerns me and upsets me even more that their mother refuses to think about children's needs above her own.

    Comment by kicknscreamn222 (original poster) at 3:19 PM on Dec. 6, 2010

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