My daughter is really bad...when I'm gone.

Lindsey - posted on 10/05/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




I'm in college completing my final semester internship. It takes a lot of time out of my life, but it's the final step before I can graduate in December. My daughter and I live with my father, step-mother, step-sister, and half brother at their farm house and they have been generous enough to take my daughter every night (6 days a week and all day Saturday and Sundays) while I am at my internship an hour away. I work 6 hours a week with a company in my field, and I am with my daughter on the week days from the time she wakes up until I leave at 4pm. My daughter is the typical 3 year old, and always throws tantrums and has a little attitude for me but is very well mannered for other people when she is with them. But recently when I leave for my jobs she acts up in the most ridiculous ways for my parents. She is almost fully potty trained and wears pull-ups for pee accidents, but hasn't pooped in a diaper in over a year. She now poops in her pull-up at least once a weekend for them while I am away, and has in the past 2 months (I started school in August) trashed her room by taking every bit of clothing out of all her drawers and throwing them all over, taken my perfume and sprayed it everywhere in our bedrooms, she has taken the urine from her little training potty and dumped it on the floor, squatted and peed on the floor, and poured an entire bottle of baby powder on the floor of her room. Her reasoning for doing all of these things is always "I don't know." and I believe that. I think she is reacting to the fact that I can't be around very often right now, and even though she gets attention all the time from her grandparents and her aunt she still acts like she is seeking attention. My parents call me on the weekends to keep me in the loop about what she is doing, but it's starting to kill me every time I have to leave knowing that the next stunt could be worse. I have until December of this internship and I need to finish it for our future. There is no way I can bring her with me on the weekends because I stay with my boyfriend in his fraternity house and she won't be there when they have people over drinking. I don't know what to do to get her to stop acting up for them, and I feel so guilty that things have to be this way right now. I feel like I'm ruining her life by not being there for her. How can I talk to her about these things and make her understand that this is only temporary and that she has to stop acting out like that for other people.


Michelle - posted on 10/05/2014




It sounds like she is acting out because she misses you. Unfortunately, a 4yo doesn't really understand that it's only for a few more months either. She doesn't really have a concept of time so she won't understand when you tell her it's temporary.
I would suggest that all of you sit down and discuss her behaviour with her. Let her know that she needs to be good for everyone, not just you. Reinforce that you love her and very soon you will be able to spend more time with her but let her know that the rules you have are the same when you're not there.

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