Transitioning your step-child from home to home
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Sarah - posted on 10/29/2012
Hi Stacey, sorry for the delayed response. That sounds like a lot of action. I am not a professional, so I can only give my opinion of what I would think about doing in your situation. Have you thought about counseling for her? Maybe this could reveal why she's having such anxiety. If there is a lot of stuff "wrong" happening at her mom's house, maybe the effort is worth it to try and get her with you more on a permanent basis. Either way, I wish you luck and positive thoughts, this sounds like a very difficult situation.
Stacey - posted on 10/19/2012
There is a long list of things "wrong", but I don't want to go into it too much out in the public. She will not even kiss her mom goodbye when we come to pick her up. I've actually had to ASK her, because she won't if my soon to be husband asks her to. When she comes to us, she is attached to my hip.. I can't even go to the bathroom by myself without her right behind me. We don't know what to do.
Also, it's very consistant. Every other weekend. Used to be every weekend, but my fiance and I are the only ones doing all the work. They live an hour away from us and it was becoming too much on gas, so we went to every other weekend somewhat recently, but she was like this already before I even came along.
Sarah - posted on 10/16/2012
Stacey - Oh man, we've only run into this once and it was terrible. The talking (a lot) prior to the change seems to help. Sometimes we hear "I don't want to go" (and I'm sure his mom does too) but we try to tell him, "your mom misses you, it's her turn to see you now and you'll see us again soon". For now this seems to satisfy him, but I expect some changes as he get's older (he's 3). I remember really struggling sometimes and I didn't always have a reason either. As an adult I can look back and say it was because I was just stressed out and not wanting to physically change spots at that moment. Nothing was wrong at either house, I just think sometimes we all want to stay put. I guess my questions would be: How long in advance do you start talking to her about the transition? We often start right at pick-up, which is more like - "guess what we're doing this weekend?" and we go on to list all of the things we're doing including when he's going home. Also, is there any bad situation at the other house that you're aware of? Is the back-forth schedule consistent? Right now, the only advice I can think of is continue to reassure her that she's coming back shortly....but if this isn't the situation I'm not sure. If the transitioning is inconsistent (not a set schedule) this could be part of her anxiety.
Stacey - posted on 10/16/2012
What do you do when you drop the child off at the mothers house and they do a screaming/crying situation?
I always feel so sad whenever we drop my stepdaughter off because she cries and cries. We talk to her about the transition, but it actually seems to make it worse.. she will make excuses not to go (she is four), and get very whiny and clingy and say she wants to stay with us and doesn't want to go.. but when we ask why, she can't really tell us why (obviously - she doesn't know why).. what can we do to make it easier for her?