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Ms Chase
Ms Chase, #1 Just Answer Parenting Expert
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience:  Just Answer Parenting Mentor, Emotional, Behavioral & Physical Issues. Babies to Teens.
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My daughter is 11years old and in a difficult ...

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My daughter is 11years old and in a difficult situation. Her father and I divorced 7yrs ago. At first I cared for her and he had her on weekends. When she was 3 1/2 I became severely ill with mental illness issues. Finally I''m recovering to the point that I am able to have her, very very briefly, unsupervised, once a week. She and I have always had contact and supervised visits continuously through the peak of my illness. My ex and I have been through court and settled on these "new expectations" recently. My problem is my daughter does not want to spend time with me. I have the support of the court but not my ex and my daughter often gets to make decisions in her life like will she or won''t she spend time with me. She''s angry and distant, and I understand that, but I don''t know how to communicate with her. I try to be honest and open and she''s so shut down. She''s fading further away from me which I understand where she is developmentally, but there''s more. Please help.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 9 years ago.

Hello

When she decides that she doesn't want to spend time with you, do you or your ex give in to that decision?

How often were the the supervised visitations?

What are some of the things she is angry about?

Chase

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The supervised visits were twice a week for an adverage of four hours each visit.

My ex-mil actually has legal custody of my daughter because my ex got caught in a child porn internet sting. Nothing happened legally to him but we both gave up legal custody to try to keep anything from happening to her. So, for now, it's more my ex-mil that I have to deal with than my ex. She is possessive of my daughter and tries to keep us apart. I'm actually still fighting with her to follow courts orders. If my daughter doesn't want to go with me, my ex-mil allows my daughter to make that decision.

I'm not sure what she's angry about she won't talk to me about anything. Perhaps she's afraid I'll "abandon" her again. Maybe its because she has such a weird family situation, although not in direct harm. Maybe its because she's 11...I just don't know.
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 9 years ago.

Hello

The fact is, the court orders have to be followed or she can be found in contempt, which could help you if you went for custody. If you need to speak to one of our legal experts, let me know. As for her anger, you can't make her talk to you, but if she has ears, she can hear, so you keep talking. Don't try and make a big deal out of talking to her, just talk as if you're having a regular conversation. A conversation could go something like "I know you're mad at me, or at least you seem to be. I can understand, I would probably be mad at me too. I never chose to get sick, and I wish things could have been different, everyone wants the perfect family, like the kind you see on tv, but we don't always get that, sometimes what we get is more challenging, and we have to find a way to make it work. I want to be there for you in any way I can even though we don't have that perfect family, we can make what we have as close to perfect as possible." You can also write thoughts like this down and give her letters. Even if she appears to be ignoring you, as long as her ears are not blocked, she is hearing you, and you may have to repeat some of the same things over and over. What will make a difference to her is if you keep your word. Don't ever tell her that you will do something and not do it, trust is very important in a situation like this, as I'm sure you know. Abandonment issues can only be improved over time. Times of seeing you keep your word time and time again, and by you doing consistent things with her. Although you may want to, you cannot baby her, or give her what she wants all the time, because that will be counterproductive in the end. She needs to know that you are still her mother and still the adult. I know it seems hard right now, but this is a case where time will help heal. I don't know if you have the option to use the time you have with her to go to family counseling, it would be helpful, as a counselor might be able to get her to open up more. In lieu of that, all you can do is continue to talk, get to know her as a person, what her interests, hopes, dreams, thoughts, etc are, and just be there for her. I welcome your thoughts, let me know if you want to talk more

Chase

 

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