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Don't know what to do... Help!

Posted by on May. 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM
  • 11 Replies

My 7 year old daughter has started acting out recently.  Nothing too major, just out of character for her.  Last Friday I got her progress report and saw she had an 'F' and a 'C' - which is very shocking as she's usually an A-B student, if not straight A's.  I sent a note to her teacher today and she wrote me a note back saying that she has been acting different at school too.  She said she has been round-aboutly not really listening (she said 'putting off doing what she knows she should do'), and that she's been hurrying through her work and/or not finishing it.

I sat down with her today and asked her what is going on.  I told her she wasn't in trouble, I just wanted to know what was going on so that I could help her fix her problems.  She hesitated, but finally admitted that it was because she's been upset and really missing her dad. (quick backstory - her dad and I just recently divorced and he lives in another state so she doesn't see him much and he only calls about once every two weeks to talk to them... plus he has a new family now and I worry she might feel like she's being replaced?)

So here's my problem.  I know what's bothering her now... the whole missing her dad thing.. and I try my best to comfort her and tell her that he loves her and misses her too and that it's ok to miss her dad but that acting this way is not acceptable... but it's not working.  Does anyone have any ideas or has anyone else been through anything similar?  I know her teacher said that it is very common with kids who have gone through a divorce/separation.  If anyone could give me some insight I would really appreciate it.

by on May. 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM
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by on May. 13, 2013 at 8:54 PM

I would maybe try counseling.  also maybe she could write him or call him when she misses him.  try helping her find more appropriate ways to deal with her feelings.  and try to give her extra support - time with you...maybe reward good grades and good behavior.  and if she needs help with school work (more from the not listening issue since it sound like normally academically she is fine) help her....

good luck.  I know it is hard for them.

by on May. 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM
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Are you and her father close enough for you to call and explain to him what's happening?

Maybe he could call her more. Or him just making the effort to try and console her may be what she needs.

Idk? I have never been in the situation.
by Carrie on May. 13, 2013 at 9:24 PM
Counseling. After my divorce my son signed up for a group at his school cause he thought his friend was going to also. But the friend did not but he still attended. They met once a week for lunch and did crafts and short talks and this helped him thru the serious change. I also found he would express himself more in the groups with children who were going thru the same thing, than he would with me.
by on May. 13, 2013 at 9:29 PM
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My daughter is doing the same thing and she is also 7! She is doing well in school but acting out towards me which she never does. I'm thinking about alowing her to see my family counselor a few times a month. Her father showed up in her life for the first time last year and then decided he wasn't interested, I really think that's the root of it. It breaks my heart.

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by on May. 13, 2013 at 9:36 PM
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My daughter has gone through something similar.  Maybe skyping with her dad will help.

by on May. 14, 2013 at 8:28 AM
Well I think seeing a childrens counselor would help as well as speaking with her father. Her dad needs to most likely call more often and even skype if need be. She needs to learn how to express herself in a healtthy manner. If i were you though I would also be giving consequences for her bad behavior. F grades arent acceptable and while she misses her dad that is not an excuse. If her behavior continues I'd start giving her punishments.
by on May. 14, 2013 at 8:31 AM
I agree with counseling. My DD goes through periods like that and its hard BC its pretty much the one thing that I can't fix. :/
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by on May. 14, 2013 at 9:51 AM
My daughter did this too. I was surprised cause she told me I should leave since her dad was abusing me.

One thing that helped alot is I would try to schedule things with her friends alot. She did go to counseling too. But being around her friends helped the most. Also I gave her alot of physical affection too.
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by on May. 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM
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Great advice everyone!  I think the best thing you can do for your child is counseling.  You are now aware that she's struggling with the knowledge of having her family permanently separated.  I would encourage your daughter to seek friendships while she's at counseling sessions.   Opening up to peers with the same problems does help in mental healing. 

by on May. 14, 2013 at 7:02 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the great advice!  I plan on getting her into counseling ASAP... I've told her dad to call more frequently before, but nothing has changed.  He always comes up with some excuse as to why he couldn't call.  I'm going to put all these good ideas to use and see how that changes her attitude.

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