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Thoughts On "House" Play

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 10:28 AM
  • 27 Replies

My ex and I have joint physical custody of our 6 year old daughter. She is a very well rounded child who loves to play practically anything (art, cars, pretend, video games, board games, etc). When she is in my care we do a variety of activities however when she is with her dad they (her and the other t only play "Mommies, babies and daddies". On top of that she is ALWAYS the baby. I have asked her before if they have anything else to play with and she says no but at the same time I'm sure they could do another pretend game. I see nothing wrong with pretend play but when it's the same thing every time and how she is the baby everytime, it concerns me. I do see her speech start to become more "baby like" after she comes back from her dads. I do believe this behavior is because her dad and fiance recently had a newborn that gets a lot of attention and our daughter has told me she thinks her dad likes the baby more than her. I'm just not sure how to talk to her about this whole sitation. Please help!

by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 10:28 AM
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Replies (1-10):
virginiamama71
by Gold Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 10:55 AM

the baby is getting more attention but doesn't mean he loves the baby more. he just needs to learn how to divide his time between the both of them 

hollyann85
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:08 AM

 But I can't control what he does or does not do with her while she is in his care. So how do I help her cope and get her away from this "baby phase".

Quoting virginiamama71:

the baby is getting more attention but doesn't mean he loves the baby more. he just needs to learn how to divide his time between the both of them 

 

virginiamama71
by Gold Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:13 AM

 Leave it alone. the baby phase can be from the change in the father's home with the new baby. she wanted all the attention she is not getting now. as they adjust to the new baby and having 2 children now in the home things will change to better.

Quoting hollyann85:

 But I can't control what he does or does not do with her while she is in his care. So how do I help her cope and get her away from this "baby phase".

Quoting virginiamama71:

the baby is getting more attention but doesn't mean he loves the baby more. he just needs to learn how to divide his time between the both of them 

 

 

lucky2Beeme
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:23 AM
1 mom liked this

Honestly I think you are over thinking it. Its a phase most likely due to the fact daddy has new baby and she isnt the baby anymore. Just gently remind her when she comes home to use her 6 year old voice and act like she is 6.

Hannahsmommy816
by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:37 AM

i'm guessing she wants attention just like the newborn baby....talk to the dad again and explain how her speech is regressing, and to do other pretend games if they do that

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by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Yes this .. remind her how she is such a big girl :)

Quoting lucky2Beeme:

Honestly I think you are over thinking it. Its a phase most likely due to the fact daddy has new baby and she isnt the baby anymore. Just gently remind her when she comes home to use her 6 year old voice and act like she is 6.


JC2223
by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:55 AM
1 mom liked this

Don't over think it. She was used to being the only child in his house, but now with the baby, it's normal for her to revert a bit for attention. Explain the difference between attention due to needed care and loving attention. Explain how babies need more care because they can't do anything for themselves, but that doesn't mean the baby is loved more. When she is home, she will need time to re-adjust. Just remind her to use her big girl voice and behavior.

hollyann85
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 11:58 AM

 This has been going on for almost a year now (it started when they told the kids that she was pregnant). She's also not the only child in the house, his fiance has two kids as well.

Quoting JC2223:

Don't over think it. She was used to being the only child in his house, but now with the baby, it's normal for her to revert a bit for attention. Explain the difference between attention due to needed care and loving attention. Explain how babies need more care because they can't do anything for themselves, but that doesn't mean the baby is loved more. When she is home, she will need time to re-adjust. Just remind her to use her big girl voice and behavior.

 

WrongWayDiva
by Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 12:01 PM
2 moms liked this

There are some good books out there about becoming a big sister and how it's good and bad.  When she starts with her 'baby talk' I would also remind her of all the cool stuff big kids get to do that babies can't--name some of her favorite things--riding her bike, playing games, eating real food, going to school, etc.   It is a big change in little lives--my granddaughter's dad just had twins with his new girlfriend, so we are seeing some behavior changes here too.  

JC2223
by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 12:55 PM

This is still very normal behavior for children living in 2 separate households. My parents divorced when I was 2-3yo. Both remarried and started having my half siblings when I was 7 and continued adding until I was 14. I've also been a step-mother for the last 18 years. Both myself and my 2 SD's displayed the same behaviors when new children were added to the households. Going back and forth between homes is stressful for children, having more children added to families is stressful for children. So many people think these children have the best of both worlds, twice as much as kids in one home, 2 families loving them, more siblings to share with, etc. In reality, 9 times out of 10 a majority of these kids just feel misplaced, like they don't fit into either home, that they don't matter as much as the kids that live there full time. It's hard for their little brains to process so they act out in ways they think helps them fit in, helps them get attention, helps them feel more included. Then before they know it, they have to go back to the other home and re-acclimate all over again. It's exhausting for them and unfortunately it develops behavior patterns that make them seem not like themselves. 

You can't control what goes on in your ex's home. The best you can do is make sure you have good rules, boundaries and expectations for her at your home. The more consistent and routine the better for her and the faster she will adjust back into your home environment. Spend some real quality time with her when she first gets home, 20-40 minutes playing a game, reading a book, painting her nails, baking, something to give her that little bit of time to breathe. Then go right back to your home routine with simple reminders of what is expected of her.  

My parents never did these things for my older sister and I. When we visited my Mom, the minute we walked into her house, we became the babysitters. When we got back home to my Dads, we became the maids. Neither home made us feel welcome and that they were happy to see us and spend time with us. My SD's mother did the same to them after they had visitation with us. It's hurtful, confusing and stressful to children of divorce, but if given the time, effort and consideration to make the transition between homes, she should adjust back and being daughter you know in your home within a few hours.  


Quoting hollyann85:

 This has been going on for almost a year now (it started when they told the kids that she was pregnant). She's also not the only child in the house, his fiance has two kids as well.

Quoting JC2223:

Don't over think it. She was used to being the only child in his house, but now with the baby, it's normal for her to revert a bit for attention. Explain the difference between attention due to needed care and loving attention. Explain how babies need more care because they can't do anything for themselves, but that doesn't mean the baby is loved more. When she is home, she will need time to re-adjust. Just remind her to use her big girl voice and behavior.


 

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