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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My grand-daughter is 14mnths old - live with my daughter and

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Hi - my grand-daughter is 14mnths old - live with my daughter and has been going with the father during the day-time only for the passed two months - she goes willingly, but this last week-end they decided that she should sleep-over with him at his house (not far from hers) Bella went to sleep at her usual time with no problems, woke up once in the night to dad tending to her and went back to sleep. Last night she woke up (in her own cot at her mums) screeming as if terrified! She was consolled and put back down, but consequently woke up 4 more times in the same way!
Do you think this has anything to do with her having slept over with the dad! He is a good father, but also has a son from another marriage who is 5yrs old.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

At the age of 14 months, it is hard for a child who cannot communicate well to tell you what is bothering them. They also do not have the capacity to process feelings as well as adults or even older children do. But there are ways you can tell if a young child has been traumatized. Here are some of the symptoms:

Regression- the child reverts back to behavior from when they were younger

Trouble sleeping- not wanting to go to sleep and/or waking up frequently

Misbehaving- breaking rules previously followed, acting out or hitting

Crying or upset easily

Physical symptoms such as frequent stomach aches, headaches, etc.

Changes in appetite

If you notice any changes that last longer than a week, have your granddaughter seen by her doctor. Any abuse can be spotted by a doctor and action can be taken.

But if this problem as not been going on long, most likely your granddaughter is just having nightmares or having some trouble adjusting to the change in her schedule. Most kids like routine and when you change it, it can cause them to react. Reassure her that she is safe and allow her to take anything with her to Dad's that comforts her. Also, have Dad allow her to call home to hear Mom's voice if she needs to. This will reassure her that she is ok.

I hope this has helped you,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Kate - thank you for you response. Sorry, i migfht have been abit misleading. I do not think of any abuse.

I have read quite a bit on separate anxiety disorder??? Both parents are very good with her - not sure if the dad keepa to a routine, but my daughter likes to keep to a fairly constant with her. He is an attentive dad, but sometimes fathers dont remember things that a mom would do for them. Bella and her mom have just had a week of gastro, so they were both feeling low and drained.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

If your granddaughter was very close to her father she may feel some separation from him, but she does see him daily so probably not. Most likely she is either adjusting to the change in situation between her parents or this is just a temporary stage that children go through as they grow. Give it some time and see what happens. If it continues after a few weeks, take her to see her doctor to rule out any medical issues. Your granddaughter is too young for therapy, but the doctor may have some suggestions to help her behavior besides the ones I gave you.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

morning kate!

Thank you so much for responding to my queries! I have needed advise and you have given it to me.

I appreciate this Just Answer programme as I have used a medical dr and a lawyer out of this programme.

It has all been very helful and immediate answers!


Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

You're welcome! I am glad you found this helpful. Anytime I can help, please let me know.

Take care,


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