my 5 year old daughter is seeking "daddy" attention

Michele - posted on 10/17/2015 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My daughters father and I are about to finalize our divorce, and 2 months ago he moved out of state (from NY to KY). although we hadn't been living together for over a year, he was a mere 20 min away and had her every weekend, and usually 1 night during the week.

Since he hasn't been here, I have family and other trusted family friends watch her when I work. One of my aunts who watches her is a rape/molestation victim, and is EXTREMELY over protective of my daughter. When they are out she is like a hawk watching her, and because of this I trust her observations about my daughter bc her attention is undivided.

Apparently, recently, my baby has been trying to talk to men she sees, usually with kids of their own, and ask them to play with her, or be her daddy, or spend the day with her. My aunt has seen her do this 3 times, and before these 3 instances no one in my family has mentioned this behavior happening, and she definitely doesn't do it with me.

I'm worried. For the same reason any parents would be. I spoke to her about it, her aunt did, my father did, my daughters father had a talk with her...and she SAS she understands and then does it again. I need her to understand that 1. She has a daddy who loves her just can't be here. Just because he's not here doesn't mean she has no father. 2. That strangers are NEVER to be spoken to and that it's incredibly dangerous to even go up to one! I'm truly upset/terrified. I don't know how to get her to understand and get her to listen. Advice?

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Dove - posted on 10/18/2015

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My kids have virtually no relationship w/ their father... and yes, when my girls were little they latched themselves on to several men (even called them daddy) that I knew and trusted. I talked to them repeatedly about not calling the guys daddy, but knew they needed that attachment. When my son was a toddler he was pretty much terrified of every woman, but would have gone off w/ any man... so I watched him like a hawk.

She is a little girl who needs that attachment and if she's not getting it from her father she is going to look elsewhere. My daughters are a lot older now, but they are still very attached to the fathers' of their best friends. My son spends every Saturday w/ his Grandpa and loves chatting up some of the men in our church on Sunday.

Your daughter should not be getting too close to strange men, but she is trying to tell you that she NEEDS something she isn't getting... it's up to you to find a way to provide that. It doesn't matter that she 'has a father that loves her' if she isn't getting what she needs from him... she's going to look for it elsewhere.

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2015

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A five year old should know boundaries. You speak to no one but mom and dad, and if you are lost you find a mom with a stroller or go to a person in a uniform . The behavior she is exhibiting may just be play. Does she actually walk up to strange men with kids and ask to join their family? If she is doing this at the playground, what make you so nervous? Maybe she thinks her dad is gone for good and is trying to replace him? She's 5, not completely oblivious to the change in her family dynamic. Also, you have to take this with a grain of salt. Your aunt, the only know victim of sex assault is the olny one seeing this behavior? Is she reading something into an innocent game.
Maybe your daughter needs more time with her dad.

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Dove - posted on 10/18/2015

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I would also like to add... if the only person who has ever witnessed her being like this is the aunt that is a rape survivor... I'd take her words w/ a grain of salt. It is 'possible' she is seeing more of the situation than is really there.

That possibility doesn't negate anything I said earlier though.

Michele - posted on 10/18/2015

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That's what I think, but he works a job where he's 28 days on and 14 off. She has very limited time with him and bc of money she hasn't seen him in nearly 3 months now. I'm hoping when he visits next month it'll make a difference...however I'm also worried it might mess with her head since he's only visiting, not moving home

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