What do you do when dad brainwashes child?

Ann - posted on 07/25/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have been separated a year now. My 12 year old daughter spends every weekend with him. When she comes home on Sunday nights, she's got a big chip on her shoulder. When my husband and I were together, he often treated her like a friend and would talk to her about any arguments or disagreements we had while she was out of the house. She would promptly yell at me for arguing with daddy. I know she seems like an adult because she is very mature for her age but I think this is inappropriate. He's been doing this for years. We broke up because he was talking to another woman and did little to hide it. He ended up dating her for 6 months after I kicked him out and then she dumped him. (Karma!) Anyway, she comes home telling me that she doesn't want to be with me. She loves her father more and that she's a daddy's girl. I have made it a point not to put him down in front of her. Obviously he doesn't have the same respect for me. I've had numerous discussions with him about this and yet he still keeps doing it. My daughter is so confused. It takes me five days to get functioning with her and then she goes with him again. He undoes in two minutes what it takes me five days to accomplish with her. He doesn't want custody of her because he works full time and is living with his elderly parents. He has very few friends and was never in to doing things as a family anyway because he is always on the internet. I want to take her to counseling but he told her she didn't have to go and that it was "her" decision. Anyone going through similar issues and have any advice?

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Number one, if you are the custodial parent, you can make the appointment for counseling. Tell him where, when, and why (the strain of the divorce and visitations). Tell him that you feel she needs an outside person who will remain neutral to the situation to talk to. As a child growing into a young woman, she is going to need a support group outside of family. I have children that are in counseling (for the past several years due to my divorce, and they are younger than your daughter.) It does help with evening out the emotions and dealing with the stresses between households in a positive manner.
My suggestion is to find a counseling center that deals with adult and children. Get her in for individual therapy sessions with one family session a month. (Both you and Dad attend.)

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Kelina - posted on 07/26/2011

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tell her if she wants to live with her dad to talk to him about it and you'll support her. how long do you think it's going to take before she realizes whats happening? he's right it is her choice because she's 12 but let her decide after she's experienced it. tell her you'll make her a deal, she goes to meet with the counsellor and if she decides afterwards that she doesn't want to then she doesn't have to go again until she's ready. it's an awkward stage because she would have started pushing boundaries soon anyway. Support her, don't push her, and be there for her when he fails her because it will happen. Good luck!

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