Firstly, I’m not really sure I have any answers for you, but I just can’t leave your desperate question hanging with absolutely no response!
This is a very tough and sensitive one.
I have 50/50 care with my 2 older children which works well, with the exception of dad no longer allowing me to call the kids each night. I think having that chat, even if it’s short, just to see how their day was, say goodnight and basically, let them know you’re just a ph call away and thinking of them is important. Unfortunately, the ex is also controlling and I know this is one of his few ways of waving his controlling wand. I can completely understand how impervious their stubbornness and manipulation is. He is just being a p***k to get at you. Terrible, because it’s the little one that’s suffering.
I thought about this one overnight, and what concerned me was why your daughters anxiety and clingyness was less at daycare than at handover with her own father??? It is important for children to have quality time with both parents and I think you are doing the right thing by trying to facilitate that by talking positively with her about her stays with her dad. But I wonder have you spoken to her a little deeper about WHY she doesn’t like going. Ask her if she has fun with her dad. What do they do together? Is daddy happy when she is there? Does she get in trouble? Do they play? Does she like her room? Etc… Try and find out what exactly she finds upsetting. The fact that your ex can’t handle 2 nights in a row is concerning to me. Why??? He should LOVE that opportunity! If he finds it difficult then I’m wondering if he finds interacting with her difficult too. She is going to pick up on that and feel like she is missing that paternal love and care. His r/ship with her sounds a bit unnatural and awkward to me.
My advise would be:
-Dig a little deeper with your daughter?
-Continue to highlight the positives of staying at daddy’s to your daughter
-identify any negatives (emotional abuse? Neglect? Fears)
-if any negatives exist, then address them with him. Document it. If it doesn’t change and things get worse, reopen the case. He needs to facilitate her happiness too. If he is going to be stubborn and difficult just to spite you at the expense if his daughter then maybe he needs a reality check. Kids do go through phases of adjustment where they will cry on handover. I remember it happening with my kids. Both at different times and with each parent. The whole phase lasted about 2-4 weeks. It is going to vary with each child. Age and personality will be a huge factor in this. I knew though that my kids emotional, mental and physical needs were all being met at both homes (regardless of the manipulation happening in the background) so I wasn’t worried it was anything other than an adjustment phase. I think once you can identify that all is well regarding her wellbeing at her dads, then you can take the next step to help the situation.
Good luck xxx
Published 23rd October 2019