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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My four year old daughter suffers from what appears to be some

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My four year old daughter suffers from what appears to be some type of separation anxiety when it comes to parting from her mother. I recently learned that my daughter's mother (my ex-wife) often does not inform or prep my daughter for any kind of separation i.e sleepovers, visits with relatives, weekend visits with father, etcetera to avoid my daughter's tantrums and often suprises her by suddenly leaving. Subsequently, my daughter feels she's being abandoned by her mother which in turns heighten's my daughter's anxiety. I have brought this to my ex's attention to no avail. My ex and I are also in the middle of a custody battle largely because of my ex's questionable actions as a parent, I have every reason to believe I will gain custody when everything is said and done. I do my best to console her, redirect her, and distract her with various activities inside and outside of my home and believed at first this was a behavioral thing due to not getting her way but now suspect that this may be more along the lines of some type of trauma for her and presents as almost hysterical. My question his: how can I best address this in the short run (weekends with dad) and long term (changing of child custody)?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems that you are having. Your daughter is young so explanations of any kind to her are not necessary. However, all that you can do now is to tell your daughter that you love her and continue to shower her with affection, time, and care and concern. When she is with you on the weekends, treat her as the princess that she is. Make her times spent with you now as fun as possible for a four year old so she will associate you as the fun parent. Then when you get full custody, she will want to stay with you unless her mom poisons her mind with negative thoughts about you. If you do get a sense that such actions are happening, never bad mouth your ex to your daughter. You may want to seek professional counseling for your daughter in which a technique called play therapy would be utilized to assist your daughter with her feelings.

Hope this helps. Have a great day.
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