Why is my 6 yr. old behaving differently after spending time with her dad & new family towards me?

Rose - posted on 08/30/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hello All!

I am in need of answers since I cannot find one. It's lengthy and I appreciate in advance for taking the time to read and try to answer my question. I just want to give you all some background info. first.

Recently, my 6 yr. old have been acting differently right after she visit her father. The thing is... my daughter is with me about 90% of the time. Her father have started a new family and brought his fiancee' from the Phillipines along with her 9 yr old from a previous relationship and an infant that he had fathered. They came here to the state 3 weeks ago. At this point, I don't care who he is involved with as long as they treat my daughter well ...meaning her health and state of mind etc. Now, as for me, I am currently in a relationship with a man who loves and adore my daughter since they met when she was 2 years old and this man have provided for me and my daughter just like a man would and should do for their own..not only that, my bf does not have any child of his own, he consider my daughter as his. At this point, my daughter already calls my bf "daddy". Under any circumstances, I do not force my child to call my bf 'daddy'. I don't believe in forcing a child to call someone "mommy" or "daddy' because the childs parent(s) is dating that person. Anyway, I strongly feel that my EX is around more often now since is new family is here and because his fiancee have a 9 year old; my daughter is there often at his home on the weekends and twice on weekday...so therefore, her dad "step-daughter" is my daughters playmate. So you know, with any child, they are going to want to play with other kids, it's only natural.

When he (my EX) drops my daughter off at our home, she dont say anything to me or to my bf. She just runs off to her room and act like nothing happen. I then proceed to ask her....how come you don't greet us (me & my bf) like usual?? She just say..I dont' know. This is the 3rd or 4th time it has happened. The first time, my bf and I told her it was rude and disrespectful for not speaking to us since she has been gone 2-3 days and when she comes home to us, we're excited to see her and ask how she's doing. But now, she just sorta ignored us. I dont have any additional children only her but my Ex now have 2 new kids...I"m thinking because she wanted siblings and is trying to adjust with the new family and all; we feel left out. My feelings get hurt and so does my bf but I dont know how I'm suppose to act in regards to this type of behavior. She wasn't like this before she met her new dad's family. She used to always want to stay, beg and cry to be with us and now she's looking foward to be with her dad and his new family. Am I overreacting? I"m not jealous at all, I"m just curious why the changes now when it wasn't like this before until her dad's new family is here. Any suggestion and advice would be very helpful.

Thanks!

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JuLeah - posted on 08/30/2011

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Very very normal for her to act like this .. greet her with a hug, then let her have alone time if she wants it. She will come to you when ready

See it from her point of view. She loves you and your bf. She calls you family and feels safe with you.

Can she say that to her father? No. When there she needs to be there - be loyal to him, fit in, have fun. belong. That is hard to do when you are little. Odds are she feels she can't talk about you or she is being disloyal to him. She wants to fit in there. He has a new family and she has really been replaced, so her standing is weak, you know? She doesn't feel as safe there. I mean if he can just get new kids like that (this is how a little one will se it) She has to be extra good, extra sweet, special to him ....

She comes home and can't really tell you any of this. Odds are she doesn't have the words and she won't risk being disloyal to him. She feels guilt, I assume, loving your bf as her father, but still having a father and loving him too ... so much to process and deal with and she is just 6

She can't think abstract. She think in very yes and no terms, very up or down, one way or another .... there is no real middle ground for a kid this age. Their brains are just not that developed yet. She doesn't know how to deal with feeling happy to be home AND sad to be missing her father ... it sends her little system into overdrive, she overheats ..... age will take care of some of this, keeping lines of communication open, hearing whatever she says wihtout judgement and no hurt feelings ... I mean she has to be able to say, "I like it at my Dad's house" without you feeling bad - she will go out of her way to protect your feelings so if she thinks her truth will make you feel bad, so won't say it .... good luck. Sounds like you have a real sweet kid

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