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Ask Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH Your Ow...
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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Should I take my granddaughter (9 years old) who lives with

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Should I take my granddaughter (9 years old) who lives with both her mother and I (different households) to see a psychologist?
In the past she has enjoyed going to spend Saturday nights with her mother. However, now she is absolutely refusing to go and when I leave her there, her mother has to physically restrain her from running out after me. The child has cried (not a tantrum) but continuously cried for over 3 hours and saying that she does not want to go to her mother.
She has given multiple reasons as to why she does not want to go but I feel that there is a deeper problem.
Thank you for using I'm sorry to hear your granddaughter is going through this. It sounds like she is listed very valid reasons for not wanting to go to her mother's house. Expressing valid concerns is not necessarily something for a psychologist to sort out.

First, I would suggest talking to her mother about the concerns she has mentioned to see if some of these issues can be resolved. (The waking up before noon, mother needs to be supportive of her and communicate with boyfriend that daughter should feel comfortable to watch t.v. there, and why does she feel mother is not as good at taking care of her? Does she have food there for her to eat? A comfortable place to "be"? etc.)

If talking with mother to work out the problem doesn't work, a psychologist would be a good idea but to help her deal with mother not being responsive to her 9 year olds needs and how your grandaugter can cope with that issue better.

I hope this answer helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if you need further clarification about this answer.

Take care,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Both my husband and I have tried to speak with our daughter but to no avail. She believes that our granddaughter is just throwing a fit. I would like to clarify that our granddaughter hardly ever throws a fit so when she does (which is very rare) it always surprises us.

Food is not a problem and she has a nice bedroom now.

When she does go to her mother's house, she is fine until it comes to her bedtime, then she insists on coming back home. For the past 9 years, she has lived with me but usually spends Saturdays and/or Sundays with her mother.

Also this has just began about 3 weeks ago and we're at a loss as how to proceed.

Thank you for the additional information this helps clarify the situation. I would take her to a child psychologist and also, if she doesn't want to stay at mom's house, I would suggest respecting that for now. I'm wondering do you suspect anything going on with the boyfriend that would be making her uncomfortable? Is he a new addition to the dynamic at mother's house?

It couldn't hurt to take her to the psychologist. If your daughter is not receptive to your concerns I think your granddaughter could use support from a professional.

I hope this answer helps as well. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Take care,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

He is a new addition. As to your question about him, I am uncertain. I have asked my granddaughter if anyone comes into her room at night, or if anyone is touching her inappropriately and she says no. She appears to like him.

This is what my daughter told me the last time that we had to pick the child up and bring her home.

Child to boyfriend: I knew I was going to go home. Are you mad at me?

Boyfriend to her: No.

First: This does not sound like the child (she is not a snotty kind of kid)

Second: Why is he trying to discredit her?

hmm, very interesting. It's good that you asked her directly if anything is going on that she feels uncomfortable with and that you didn't lead her to him. It's hard to know if he is discrediting or not. If it doesn't sound like her and you feel something odd is going on, I would suggest following that gut feeling and taking her to see someone, Just in case there is something going on.

Best of luck with this.

Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you