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What can I do with my daughter?

My daughter is 7 years old and her dad and I seperated 9 months ago. We seperated on very good terms and we still maintain a very good relationship.

Her dad moved only 15 minutes away so he visits every day.

We had that talk with her- that we still love her the same and we still love each other and we just didn't get along as roommates. We talked to her together and seperately.

Ever since we seperated she's changed a lot. She's been doing really bad at school, she's too bored to do anything else outside of school and she has a bad attitude. She even gave the finger to her teacher for sending her to the principal's office when my daughter wouldn't stop talking in class.

We took her to a psychologist 3 weeks after we seperated but she would stay in her office for 50 minutes a week and not say a word. So we switched doctors 2 months later and the same thing is happening with the new psychologist. Literally, she spends 50 minutes a week in her office and she only said "hello" and "goodbye".

I really don't know what's going on with her. She used to be a perfectly normal and happy child. Her dad and I are even thinking about him moving back in and us pretending we're ok.

Anyone's had something like that happen?

Thank you.


Asked by Anonymous at 2:18 PM on Mar. 5, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • She sounds like she is brimming full of anger. The wall she puts up is a front, inside she is tender and hurt. I think you need to just keep at the psychologist and tell her that you aren't going to back off of that, so she may as well talk.

    Does she have a pet?

    I know this sounds drastic, but I would seriously consider getting a pet for her. It can be a guinea pig or a kitten or a small dog. Give her something that she can talk to and give her secrets to. The animal is non-judgmental, the best listener and something for her to grasp onto. I have a therapy dog who works with children for the last 8 years. I have seen animals do things for children when their own doctors and therapists can not. I highly recommend this, even though I know it might be a big thing for you to do.

    Also, if she is keen on the idea, use it as a reward. Tell her she has to give the psychologist some verbal responses for this pet.

    Answer by spottedpony at 2:24 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • It could be something else going on. My sons 18 now but around 8 yrs old he started displaying anger management problems. Have you tried a group counseling for kids with anger management? We did with my son and it really helped. You can ask your therapist or doctor for a referral. Kids will open up with each other more then one on one, especially stubborn ones who can sit 50 minutes without saying a word (My son did the same).
    Good luck.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:20 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Keep trying to talk to her and just let her express herself with no judgement. It's probably a pretty big change in her life and may take some getting used to. If she won't talk to you or a counselor is there anyone else she might feel comfortable to open to?? Explain that even though she's entitled to her feeling and opinions her behavior at school and home needs to meet certain expectations and if they don't explain what the consequences will be. Your very lucky to be able to continue to get along with your ex, I think it will be beneficial to your daughter to see that you are still on the same page.


    Answer by skittles1108 at 2:26 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Sprry but how would the therapist know if shes angry or not if she isnt saying anything in sessions? This seems like classic anger problems, and at that age they tend to keep it inside because they dont want to upset anyone else. Eventually she will blow up. Its like shaking a coke bottle, we may not see it at first but when it finally opens up it explodes.

    All anger is is hurt inside of ourselves that we cannot cope with or get rid of.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:30 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • @gemgem Her therapist doesn't think she has anger management problems because she's never angry, she's really introvert. She doesn't really get mad. She likes to attract attention though and that's why she talks in class making fun of everything said in there.


    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:23 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • @spottedpony
    Yes, that's a great idea. I don't mind having a dog around if it's going to help her and she used to want one. Thank you, I'm going to do that for sure.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:27 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Have you owned a dog before? I am happy to help with that.

    I would recommend a shih tzu or a cavalier king charles spaniel as a child friendly, easy to train type of dog breed.

    Be sure to use the dog to your fullest advantage...that is use it as a reward. Make a chart and when she has 2 - 5 good sessions with the psychologist (you make the call) she can have the pet. Or you might use the dog for something she does well in school. But make the goal really simple, one step, and really clear and not too many days so she doesn't feel it is overwhelming, and she feels it is attainable.


    Answer by spottedpony at 2:37 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Also, what is great, is that if she does get excited and attached to the dog, you have more built in rewards. For example you can tell her if she does ____ you will take her and her dog to the pet store and she can pick out a new sweater or a new toy or a new leash...etc.for the dog. Hopefully it can help get her mind going in a different direction and working for the positive instead of the negative. I feel bad for her because I know some families who have divorced and their children have all taken it very hard. It is great that you keep a good relationship with your ex and that he can be in her life that much, it should help.

    Answer by spottedpony at 2:42 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I would just say give her time. Pretending that things between you two are back to normal will only make it worse for all of you. You both need to continue to give her love and attention daily. This has to be hard on her even if you two are on the best of terms. Hang in there and good luck!

    Answer by khedy at 4:30 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • It sounds as it you have gotten sound advice. If I were you, I would at least talk to the doctor about anger issues, just in case. It could not hurt. I would not have my husband move back in if the two of you are not happy with each other. That would be worse for your daughter than not being together. I am sure this is hard on her but I would keep at it and I would make sure she knew the way she acts at school is NOT okay and not let her get away with it just because you are feeling bad for her. Good luck to you Momma, I hope you are able to work through this quickly and put it behind you!

    Answer by Peajewel at 5:40 PM on Mar. 5, 2011