Need advice ASAP!

Lmartinez_712 - posted on 08/09/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My two year olds father recently took me to court for visitation rights. There was already a supervised visitation order in place until she turns three. I brought that up in court that the previous judge had very good reason not to allow our child into the apartment he lived in with his gf, because of his gfs behavior. She was recorded drinking alcohol with her 14 year old daughter. This order was in 2012. He decided to move to his home town which is 3 states away so the visits stopped. Well he moved back again because his gf got pregnant. Our daughter didn't see her dad in almost a whole year prior to court, however this judge awarded him over night visits every other weekend. I was totally devastated because she doesn't know him and he was basically a stranger to her. I also still breast her, which I'm sure I'll be getting some harsh judgment for sharing that. But she just isn't ready to stop and is a light eater so I feel the breast milk is good for her and makes up for the nutrients she doesn't get. She went to the first weekend visit and did hesitate to go at first, but went anyway. She came home somewhat different. She refuses to go into stores when we go anywhere. She has gotten kind of mean also. So the second visit came and she completely lost it when she saw him. She threw a huge fit and fought not to go. She cried harder than I've ever heard her cry. When it came down to it, I asked for her to just come home with me because she was clearly being traumatized by this. So he agreed but asked that next time she stay restrained in her seat and moved from one car to the other. I didn't agree to that at all, and felt that was inappropriate to do. Basically wants her tied down so he can take her. What can I do to help my baby and get a new arrangement ASAP?!

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Lmartinez_712 - posted on 08/09/2014

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And if her resistance doesn't fade, what are my options? I don't think any parent wants to see their child go into a environment that they clearly aren't comfortable at. I wished this judge could've been more sensitive and started out slow, to help them build a relationship, not force her into one. I feel like she's going to resent me for forcing her into this. Who's to even say he is stable and will be around, because he is in and out of the state depending on his off again on again relationship. Children are very sacred and need stability, how is this even fair to her and her growth and development. I feel their can be something done differently until she is more comfortable being around him. Thanks for the response, but I know her better than anybody and I do not feel good about this at all.

Guest - posted on 08/09/2014

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Unfortunately, he is her father, whether she knows that right now or not. There will be an adjustment period where she will resist going, but she still has to go. As she gets to know him better and builds a relationship and bond with him, her resistance to going with him will gradually fade.

Upon returning to you, she will probably be more defiant and less cooperative for a couple of days or so. You may also notice that she seems more nervous, and has less control of her emotions--more frequent, more intense tantrums over seemingly meaningless issues for a couple of days after she returns. This is normal behavior for children her age switching back and forth between households. The process is emotionally exhausting for them and can put the "on edge" for a few days. During the first couple of days or so after she comes home, try to keep planned activities to a minimum, and try to be "there" for her without hovering or crowding her--let her play on her own, but if she comes to you for attention or affection, be quick to give it to her. Also, try to plan 20 or 30 minutes every day that you can spend focused 100% on her--no phone, TV, computer, chores, cooking, etc. Just play with her.

Also, and you probably have very little control over this, but if her father is willing to work with you, try to keep the schedules and routines at both homes fairly similar--tell him what time you put her to bed and ask that he put her to bed within an hour or so of the same time. Also share with him your bedtime routine, waking up in the morning routines, and any other special things you do together that he can do with her as well. This will give her a sense of control and leave her less on edge.

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