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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 668
Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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I am a single father and I get along great with my ex-wife

Customer Question

I am a single father and I get along great with my ex-wife and her boyfriend. I am the one who left the relationship (disclaimer). The new boyfriend is so good that we get along sometimes better than I do with my ex and I love her dearly. She is a great person. I have my own place, but spend alot of time at my ex's to help with my daughter and she is honestly my world so I love being there. My ex has been very accommodating. My ex still lives in her own place and my daughter likes to go sleep with her alot. I leave late at night to make things easier. My daughter is 5. Lately the boyfriend who my daughter loves has been sleeping over and my daughter doesn't like sleeping by herself. I stayed over the last few nights in her room. When I get up to leave she cries and when either I or my exwife take her to school he hugs us and doesn't want us to leave. She has been biting her nails alot. I bite my nails and I have tried to hide that I have been under alot of stress at work. My exwife has stress in her business to so we support each other to make it easier for my daughter. We are worried about her behavior lately. She is an only child. Can you suggest something?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My concern is that we try to talk with her, but she often looks confused and can act like she thinks she did something wrong, but I try to assure her that everything is fine, but she can share if there is something bothering her. The new boyfriend has kids too. They are close to her age. They love my daughter and her mom and want them to move in. My daughter loves hanging out with them. My daughter doesn't always like when I share time with her and her mom as she instead wants to be with me only.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 9 months ago.

Welcome to JA. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in NYS. I am preparing my reply and will post in one moment.

Expert:  Linda D. replied 9 months ago.

Hello Joel, thank you for your patience in waiting for an answer. First, please let me say your daughter is very lucky to have both you and her mother who are so committed to having a healthy relationship with each other on her behalf. I tend to be pretty liberal when it comes to young children and what they need. In other words she is only going to be this young for a very short time and I believe in giving young children lots of love and listening to what they are letting you know they need. The world can be an awfully big, scary place at this age with an awful lot for a 5 year old to figure out. It is natural at her age for your daughter to be experiencing separation anxiety. she is very young and her favorite and safest place is with one or both of you. Her school and teacher are most likely familiar with this issue in their young students. One of the things that can help is being able to stay with her in her classroom in the morning until she becomes engaged with the activities. Could you talk to her teacher and find out if this is possible? Also seeing you as part of the environment will help her to associate you or her mom as part of her time there. In addition, based on Object Relations theory it would be excellent to give her something to keep with her during her time away that reminds her of you, her mom or home. It can be something small she keeps in her pocket but it will provide her with comfort and soothing when she needs it.
Even writing I love you on her hand or in her palm, anything that lets her experience you or her mom up close with her while you are gone. She will eventually developmentally outgrow her anxiety about transitioning from family to school, so don't worry. The second issue of her not liking to sleep alone is also understandable. Is it possible for one of you to lay down with her until she falls asleep and then put er in her own bed? Again, I think given her young, tender age it is okay for her to get her emotional needs met that help her to feel secure and safe. I hope this is helpful to you, please let me know if you need to discuss this further or have any other questions. I am here for you. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC

Expert:  Linda D. replied 9 months ago.

Hello Joel, I wanted to check in and see how your daughter is doing and if any of my suggestions have been helpful? Linda D., LMSW, CASAC

Also, could you please take a moment to rate my service to you as this is the only way we are compensated for our time. Thank you, ***** ***** it very much.

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