You are here

Get Answers

Sometimes it's nice to get advice from experts with a lot of letter degrees behind their names, but other times, you just need to hear what another parent (with a M.O.M. behind her name) has done that has worked. You've got questions? These moms have answers.

What is making my 3 yr old act out after being with her dad?

9 answers
We split up back in Aug, and I think its really starting to have an effect on our daughter. He called me at work one day and told me he thinks he needs to move out and the next day he comes and packs up the majority of his stuff. Didnt sit down to explain to our daughter why he was leaving or anything. And in all honesty I was a little distraught that my relationship of 10 years was over, so I couldnt explain it to her. As the months have gone by things have gotten easier, mommy doesnt 'stub her toe' anymore and there is laughing now. But he hasnt been consistent on the time he has spent with her until recently when I basically forced him to have her the same 2 days a week. I have asked him in the past not to bring any girlfriends around her as that would only confuse her and break my heart, but I think he is lying about it and my daughters behavior in the last month after the transition is terrible. All is good for about 15 min then she disobeys or does something mean which results in my trying to talk to her about it and she ends up throwing a fit. Well today she bit me pretty hard and threw herself on the ground. She was sent to her room for a nap/rest time and I called her dad to talk about the issue. We dont talk during the week when she is with me, nor do we really talk when we trade off. He told me today that almost instinctively when its time for her to go home she starts acting out and being a brat. Now I dont know how to take that information. All that really matters is that something is going on in my little girls head that is unsettling. I have been fighting to create a good steady home life for her, but unable to keep a job,consistent daycare and suffering from deep depression( which was an issue long before he left, but made worse). Am I the cause of these outbursts and tantrums? Please just help me be the strong single mom I know I can be for her.

answers (9)

divorces are hard and its really hard on the child to just like your going threw this she is just give her some time
Three year olds are just old enough to see whats going on and not really understand. If you haven't been clear with her on what's going on it could be stressful for her. Make sure she understands that you both love her very very much, but she will live with you, and Daddy won't live in the house. As hard as it is, communicate with your Ex as much as possible, try to make sure you all have the expectations. If he is bringing girlfriends around, you should know that she will always love you more than anything, you are her mother and nothing can take away from that. Try your best to hide all the negative emotions while you're around your child , be grateful you have a precious baby girl in your life and you will never really be alone as hard as it is. I wish you the best of luck.
KayKaysMommy~ I will randomly ask her if she knows how much mommy and daddy both love her and she always says yes. And she understands that her dad lives with his roommate and we have ours. The issue with the other girlfriends is, I am trying to raise a little girl with good morals, respect for relationships and consistency. I dont like the idea of him exposing her to multiple females in his life. His FB profile has opened my eyes to what he thinks is important in his life. At 37 he is playing and friends have commented on his various pics with multiple females. And anytime I have tried to talk to him I dont trust anything he says, so it just feels pointless to talk to him. I just want more for my daughter (like any good mom) then I had growing up and I beat myself up for our split even though he was in the wrong. My parents had an ugly divorce and I was punished by my father for my mom leaving him. I was 8 at the time and I knew my dad beat my mom and that she needed to leave, but I still loved my dad and when refused to see me because he was mad at her I was the one that suffered. 
My oldest daughters father is in and out of her life, Luckily we never lived with him so I can't say I know exactly how you feel. I do understand having a father who doesn't always think first about his child, and I know how heartbreaking it can be to you. I try my best to surrond her with positive role models because there isn't much you can do about who her father brings into her life. Have you considered court? I recently duked it out in court and later settled for mediation, I set clear boundaries on his time with her (safe enviorment, healthier foods, I always knew who she is around and I have veto power to some of the places he takes her.) You may be able to have the same arrangment. If he's posting things on the internet  you may be able to prove to a judge he isn't fit to have her on his own, but it might be a longshot. Talk to a lawyer if you are really concerned, the sooner everything is down on paper the better anyways. Having a lawyer in your corner is better anyways, KKs father wants his 2 weeks of the year in a few months and after finding out the carseat he bought was recalled 8 years ago, I told him he needed to buy another one, he wouldn't budge but after a quick call the lawyer, the judge granted me permission to refuse his visiation until he proved he bought a new carseat. If you go through it try mediation first, you have  way more control over everything, if you go to a judge you're leaving every thing up that person who doesn't know your family or your child. I hope this helps, but I know how hard it is. let me know if you need anything.
Just let time go...girls are capable of realising some issues than boys are. Naturally, girls make stronger relation with, be patient...try to do councelling her but softly...Thanks.babysiitting rates
like rakibinside said, girls do cling more to their dad and august wasn't long ago. just let her know that you love her and your never gonna leave because when you get a divorce at that age shes probably wondering if your gonna leave her to. and naturally when your worried about something it makes you behave differently.<3 good luck! oceana
Like someone else said, you have no say in what your ex does while she is at his house, that's the law. Mediation is the best way, you both end up much happier than if you let a judge make the decisions- one of you will be VERY unhappy if you let that happen. Your daughter may be afraid that you will leave or she may be acting out hoping it will bring you back together. In any case, please don't try to make all the rules. Many women try that thinking that moms control everything and it backfires on them. Try to work it out. It's in everyone's best interest, especially your daughter's.
If her tantrums ad bad behavior stem from his visits, I DO have a say in what happens. And I will control what happens because being a good parent requires knowing and being in control. Im not a control freak, but if this is causing her any pain or the reason for so many nightmares I WILL do what I need to protect my daughter. If that means having a judge figure things out for us because her father doesnt want to accept responsibility or being a right and proper father then that what will happen. If we could talk like two adults and have open communication our relationship would have never failed, but like so many we forget to keep open communication our main focus. He is an overgrown child and needs someone to tell him how to be a good father, thats not my job.
If you feel really strongly, file a suit. Be prepared for what you are getting your self into. While you absolutly have your childs best intrest at heart, a judge may or may not understand what is going on. His or her job is to determine what the law says, so it really is a gamble. My best advice is document everything. Keep a journal or something where  you describe in deatail every situation in which envokes concern included with a date and time if possible. If you say he has things on facebook, save those things and bring them to lawyer. Pick a good lawyer (it may be a bit pricey) and do extensive research on them, I know from experience that they say what ever you want to hear at first and step way back when time comes to fight. I don't mean to rain on your parade but I went into court with a very postive attitude the father of my child would only be granted supervised visitation. He was never around (I was in high-school when she was born), had no clue how to take care of himself let alone my daughter and didn't know a thing about her. I was very mistaken unless he's a danger to the child and preforming illegal acts while with her it's unlikey the judge will do a damn thing. It's a messed up system but with-out someone seeing us in our day to day lives it's all he said she said. I wish I would have known what I was really in for so I could have been better prepared. All kids act up, it's a stressful time for her, the whole world changed for her when he moved out and it's hard to adjust to that. Give her some time and talk it out with her. I really wish you the best of luck, I've been right there and know how impossible it all feels. If you really have something major to be concerned about the courts can figure it out.

*DISCLAIMER's Answers are provided by members of our community. While your fellow moms and our editors have plenty of great advice to offer based on their experience, it is not a substitute for professional medical help. Always consult a medical professional when seeking medical advice. All submitted answers are subject to the rules set forth in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use