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I need some advice on how to help my toddler deal with seperation

My daughter is five and her father and I have been sperated since she was 18 months. I have been with her step-father since she was 2.5. Recently she has had to deal with us moving 25 miles away from her father and the effects of the move. Not only is she very emotional and cranky but wanting to eat more. I am looking for any advice to help her cope. She also is only able to see him two nights a week.

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Asked by cooktrio at 7:08 PM on Dec. 27, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (20 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • this is tough you just really need to be there for her and talk to her letting her know that even if you moved a little further away she is still going to see her dad that you are not taking her away from him... all the best of luck to you i know this isn't easy.

    Answer by Lynnsae at 7:12 PM on Dec. 27, 2010

  • Can she spend time with him over the holiday? Reassure her that she will see him as much as possible. Easter is coming and summer. Have him call her every day or two so she knows he is only a phone call away. Send things to him in the mail and ask that he sends things to her. Hook up skype so they can talk and see each other.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 7:13 PM on Dec. 27, 2010

  • Kids need love, a lot of love...
    If you give her more affection, start doing some nice fun / artistic activities,
    and her stepdad becomes the male role-model in her life, she will soon
    become used to this new reality, and things will get better.

    Kids need security and love. Ask her what activities make her happy,
    and be her best friend. Ask her how she feels, and assure her that
    you and her dad and her step-dad will always be there for her.

    Good luck !!!


    Answer by lillyblue111 at 7:25 PM on Dec. 27, 2010

  • Don't make a big deal about it. Young children handle things better if the parents are easy going and give names to feelings but don't dwell on things that can't be changed. Goodbyes with the father should be brief  - a hug, kiss, and see you later. If she crys just let her watch daddy leave and wave and say later and then go on with life. I've taking care of my 2 year old grandson since he was an infant (while his mother works and his father goes to school) and we have been able to avoid separation issues. We learned it's better if his mother isn't involved in drop offs, she will try and cling to make herself feel better and it just makes it harder on him. Try and keep transition times as emotion free as possible.


    Answer by Gailll at 7:26 PM on Dec. 27, 2010

  • I was divorced and my ex lived about an hour away. He had our two sons every other weekend, came most Wed. evenings and took them out for dinner, and came to their big events. Healthy kids are flexible and get used to the routine. It's easier now with cell phones, email, and Skype then is was even a decade ago. Wanting to eat more probably isn't related to her relationship with her father. Even if it is, don't let her get away with poor eating habits. You are the adult and you can make sure you have the right kinds of foods for her to eat. Parents often feel guilty for things like moving and then blame their child's problematic behavior on the wrong things.


    Answer by Gailll at 7:36 PM on Dec. 27, 2010

  • If you have a build a bear any where near your ex husband, have him pick out a bear and then instead of doing one of the canned voice boxes, have him create a special message just for her - I don't know something like Daddy loves you or even though we are miles apart my heart is still with you, etc.... then have him send it to her. Then when she misses him, she can hugg the bear and listen to his voice.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Answer by kittymom at 1:54 AM on Dec. 30, 2010

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