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I miss my real baby, not this brat my ex keeps sending me back!

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So me and my son's father split up a year ago. We finalized the custody.

I have a wonderful 3 year old boy named Logan, and a boyfriend named Nick who is so wonderful with him. We will be together for a year in September.

My problem?

Logan has always been such a sweet boy. Nice and caring. When I tell him not to do something, he obeys, and runs off to play with something else. He has seriously been the BEST behaved 3 year old ever!

However, he is having a hard time adjusting. Whenever my ex brings him to me, I can tell he does not get disciplined there. He comes back and is screaming. Is sucking his fingers (has NEVER done that before) and EVERY time i tell him not to do something he screams "no. no. no."

I hate it. I love my son so much. But this isn't him. I hate to say it but he is acting like a brat. And he is not. He knows better than to act like this. And I just don't know how to handle this at all! I'm so frustrated. This isnt' my sweet baby boy. 

And my ex and I do NOT get along at all. Any advice on the best way to discipline him and handle these mood swings???

by on Aug. 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM
Replies (201-210):
by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 10:25 AM
I agree with this. You also have to consider that your son is adjusting to the divorce and the fact that he now has two homes, and his parents are no longer living together. If you and your ex do not get along he may sense that. My husband and I do our absolute best at not discussing her mom or anything related to her mom in her presence, but there are times she can sense the tension or the frustration and will act out to GET attention or distract from the issue at hand.

Quoting HyperMom38:

I think all kids go through this to some extent or the other.  Just think about it for a moment- as adults we know the way we act in church is not the way we act at a party, or a store, etc.  We are sophisticated enough to make the adjustment from one atmosphere to another quite seamlessly.  A child cannot.  So if there are different rules, or even a different type of atmosphere (more relaxed vs. more structured) the kids have a period of adjustment they go through.  As time goes on and he gets older it will get better.  In the meantime remind him of what the rules are in your home and remind him of what you expect from him. 

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by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM
I have read many of the posts and haven't found many suggestions on what to do that were helpful when my daughter did the same thing. I found that giving a transition time when she got home WAS helpful- do it together if that works best, playdoh, coloring, outdoor activities, movie etc- let him choose every time. This will help reconnect in a positive way. Another thing is that he might not recognize that he WILL be going back home, or to see dad or both. A good book (though not on this subject-but you could tie it in is the "kissing hand" it's usually used at pre-k or kindergarten) its about seperation and missing someone. Read him the book and instead of a kiss you could do matching temporary tatoos. They usually have no problem staying on for a few days and are cheap in bulk at oriental trading co.
Good luck it is a long road when you split while children are so young. My dd was less than a year and is now just about 16 [YIKES!] so I feel you!
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by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM


by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Ok so I am frustrated with some of these responses. I am a step mom. For this whose exs actually want to have their kids around be thankful many men and women just drop their kids after divorce or break ups. My husband has been fighting for 3 years to get his kids more and his ex won't agree. There's no reason for him not to have them more she has taken him back to court 3 times asking to get child support modified and he has asked to see his kids more. If you ask me its obvious what she's wanting $$$$. This has been going on for 3 years I've been there the whole time (I'm not the other women just to clarify, She cheated on my husband when they were together with his best friend at the time, so someone the kids saw as an uncle figure is now their step dad along with his 2 kids so his kids have gone through a lot in this divorce).

To get back to advice on this topic: His kids have gone through this also especially the boy who is now 6. The kids do not know exactly what is going on so they act out in different ways and also regress some. Trust me kids will adjust to it but it takes time. At our house we have stricter rules than at their moms house and she has flat out told us that she doesnt get on this kids for things and that they do what they want, so we get them overnight every other weekend and by the time its time to get picked up they are back to saying thank you and please and not running in the house just for it all to get ruined. It gets better as they get older they adjust to mommy house and daddys house but when its new be prepared for regression to happen and talk to your kid, they are not as naive as people think as long as things are appropriate and on their level they will understand.
by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Something that helped my sons through difficult times was play therapy.  My youngest got very hostile when his oldest brother got arrested.  After play therapy, he did fine.

by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I have had similar experiences, except I have a girl. She gets zero discipline at her dads. Not that she needs it, but limitations, and boundaries. Kids need those. There are none, however. You will always struggle, but if he is a good boy, he will begin to adjust. Remind him that how he acts at his fathers, is not how he should act with you. You might, just this one time, talk to the ex and let him know how you parent and what you expect, make kind suggestions about how to handle him. He probably won't listen, bi maybe in the back of his mind he will hear what you say. Good luck!
by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 1:11 PM
My girls do the same thing. They are 12, 10, and 5 1/2. The 5 yr old is the hardest. Gets what she wants for meals and rule at his house is "give her what she wants so she stops crying" my house its you get what you get, you cry you get time out. My oldest was having an issue too but her father doesn't believe that she is add and needs a special diet. Usually only takes a day to get her back on track though. Stay firm in your rules and mention what is going on to your ex, if he seems to get worse then ask your lawyer if you can do anything about it. I can't aford a lawyer so I just have to deal with it. She is starting to realize at mommy's she can't do what she does at daddy's.
by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 2:36 PM


hi my dear, i know what yo going thru' coz i waz  once single mum, we try our best to bring up a child in away he  fits  in the society in future but if some1 is not appreciating that instead he  does the opposite its real annoying coz even the bible tells us a little spanking wont kill a child. BUT PRAY FOR YO SON EVERY DAY HOUR MINUTE OF YO LIFE, LET THE HAND OF THE MIGHTY LORD JUSES CHRIST HELP U,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  at least that you can do without interruptions....he is still yo real baby  4ever,,,,

by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 2:42 PM
My son is 15 - after a night or two with his asshole deadbeat father he comes back as a version of him. Smart mouthed, yelling at me and his sister (13), short tempered, demanding, the list goes on. My daughter wants nothing to do with her father because she sees him for who he is, unlike the boy. I flat out tell my son that he is acting like his father and to knock it off. I left his father 3 years ago because of the way he was and I don't need him to pick up where he left off- and I tell him that. I also tell him that I want him to grow up to be the man that he can be, not the asshole his father is. Don't start to bash me for that either. He is old enough to hear the truth and I don't want him to be the self centered, mentally abusive, alcoholic, selfish, prick that his father is. I know you are wondering why I let him go with him? We are still legally married. I don't have money to start divorce proceedings and if I was to the courts would open up the floodgates for visitation. I don't want him anywhere near the girl and even though she is 13 I don't want to risk her being forced to see him. He would force the issue so that he could lower the child support. She's just a dollar sign to him. The boy is the only one he is truly interested in. As long as he sees him he's happy. All he would do if he managed to pick up the girl is dump her off at his sisters which is a scary place to be. He isn't paying the support that is ordered now as it is but he would rack up less if he saw her. All I get is 25% of his unemployment while he works under the table and keeps it all for himself. When my son complains about how things are under my roof I tell him if he doesn't like it he can pack his shit and move in with his dad. He hates it when I say that because he doesn't want to live with him but I don't care. He needs to behave so I don't lose my sanity. I went from 95-97 lbs (I'm fun sized) to 85 lbs from all the stress his father caused. I don't need to go there again.
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by on Aug. 5, 2012 at 2:59 PM

This is normal. He has a lot of change that has happened to rock his little world and a tantrum is how you express that feeling. When my daughter went through this phase, I had a heart to heart with her. She learned real quick that her behaviour was not going to be accepted. I let her know that I understood her feelings but she wasn't going to be good girl for daddy and come to my house and act an all out fool! It takes time but start the conversation now! 

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