My toddler

Sepide - posted on 08/11/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi, I have a 2 and half year old daughter. my husband left us 8 months ago to be with another woman. I agreed for him to see E 3 times a week including a full Sat or Sunday. He was smoking cannabis heavily and became aggressive, swearing in front of E and mistreating me in front of her, shouting and being abusive. it got so bad I didn't feel safe with him at home ,so asked him to see E in a different environment and until he stops or cuts down use of cannabis I insisted on supervised contact. His first reaction was to refuse it so he didn't see her for 2 months, finally he agreed, he didn't like it but didn't do anything about the drug use. So he was only seeing her 2 hrs a week in a sure start centre. after another couple of months we ended up in family court, he took a drug test and proved he has cut down. so I agreed to unsupervised contact and he started seeing her 2 times a week, 4 hrs on saturday and 1.5 hrs one evening after work. this recently increased to 5 hrs and will increase to 6 soon. since this new plan started my daughter started refusing to see him, go to him or doesn't even want him to touch her. she cries and screams, tells me before hand she doesnt want to go with him, and afterwards she is not cheered up at all. as soon as I say she's going to see daddy she stops whatever she was doing and becomes nervous. He also picked her up ftomorrow nursery couple of times and E didn't want to go to nursery, again che and screams and not playing with children and not talking which was really not her usual behaviour and staff were surprised too.
Now, I dont know what to make of this, I dont want to ignore the problem, as she has been forced to go with her dad every time and she is getting worse. I also dont trust him at all. he didn't change her nappy for 5 hrs, fed her ice cream and sweets instead of food and she never gets to have her nap when she is with him. so she is nackered. I've given him her routine but he ignores it. he's had other odd and abnormal behaviours as well in the past and lies all the time.
do I need to be concerned about her well being? and where can I get advice and guidance face to face?

thank you

3 Comments

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Candie - posted on 08/12/2015

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I'm sorry, this sounds like a very draining and frustrating situation. I was also going to suggest the possibility of getting her into a psychologist's office. You know her well and if you don't think she's acting normal, that's definitely a sign to get outside help. :(

Becky - posted on 08/11/2015

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Hi Sepide!

What a mess. After having gone through something similar and wishing I had done things differently, the first thing I would suggest is to begin a log. Write down dates and times and exactly what happens on each occasion. Include things your daughter says, times he picks her up, phone conversations - anything that involves him and your daughter. If you can, have someone else corroboate the information and even sign your log after your entry. Then go to your husband/ex and calmly share your concerns. Make an honest attempt to get him on your side to try to solve the problem. No matter how hard it is, don't blame him. Don't allow the discussion to turn into an argument. Try to keep the conversation cordial and positive. You need to come out of these meetings the "bigger parent". Take a COPY (not the original) of your log. After the meeting, add another entry about everything that happened at the meeting. If he makes positive suggestions, make an honest attempt to try them. Give him at least 2 attempts to fix the situation. If things still have not been fixed, my suggestion would be to take it over his head. You can go to an attorney and take him to family court. You can go to a mediator (I personally don't like this suggestion). You can have your daughter assessed by a psychiatrist. If you really want, you can seek assistance at the Department of Childrenand Family Services (although I doubt that you're really ready for that type of intervention yet). Probably getting her assessed by a psychiatrist would give you the most answers. A pediatric psychiatrisy/psychologist would be able to tell if the situation is causing any real and/or lasting negative effects and can probably find out what exactly is going on during the visitations. If the doctor determines the visitations are harmful to the well-being of your daughter, you would have a lot more sway in court instead of just being able to say your ex is a meanie.

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