Kids acting out during divorce? 

Grayheart and I have had a very amicable separation.  I think we’ve done the best we can to mitigate and diffuse any conflicts during this uncomfortable process.  Not that he doesn’t drive me crazy, of course, but we’ve managed to really share responsibility of our children and co-parent as successfully as possible in a friendly manner.

That all being said, I’ve heard over and over how well my children have adapted to the change.  And I truly feel (felt?) that way.  I think they’ve been used to Daddy traveling frequently and doing things with only one parent their entire existence, which has helped the transition tremendously.  But I’ve been noticing lately that She-ra (my 6 yr old daughter) has been doing some unusual stuff lately.

Here’s an example of what she did at Abuela’s house yesterday while I was working.

She took several tubes of toothpaste from each bathroom and started decorating around the house!  Three bathrooms (she’d say she needed to pee) and just went to town!  Toilet paper, talcum powder, toothpaste, bottles of lotion… anything that was going to create a mess.  She didn’t tell a soul and no one was the wiser until they went to use the bathroom after I’d already picked her and my son up!

My mother called me in a panic worried that this is a call for attention. And I kind of agree.  So I’m calling a child therapist today for a session next week.  I’m not trying to make a bigger deal of the situation than it is but I certainly don’t want to be remiss in tending to her needs.

Sigh… sometimes parenting is such a shot in the dark.

Please share with me anything you’ve found effective or any pearls of wisdom with your kids during a divorce.  I’m welcome to any suggestions y’all have!

Today’s Mantra:  Don’t lose sight of the children.  Spend quality time versus quantity of time.

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16 thoughts on “Kids acting out during divorce? 

  1. Very possible something is going on in her head. I know my daughter has lately done some things out of nature for her. Of course I don’t have that “amicable” coparenting that you enjoy. I still believe it’s a myth! I bring up an issue with our daughter I’m told she’s fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think it’s starting to hit her that daddy is not coming back home. She recently lamented at bedtime that she was sad that daddy no longer slept in our home. Broke my heart. She’s also noticed – even though I don’t mention captain at all to them – that I talk to a friend on the phone with that name. (She reads the caller ID). She also mentioned to me yesterday that daddy has a friend named “raggedy” that he talks to that is a ballet dancer. $&@# (lol). She’s never met her either. I hope we are not being irresponsible with new relationships so soon after separation. Neither of us have any intention of making introductions anytime in the near future. I just hope we are not being inadvertently neglectful even if we are trying our best to be discreet. Kids sense things.

      What sort of things has your daughter done? Since Sloane is in a similar age group as She-ra, I’m looking for any similarities.

      And, also, why does your ex think ignoring the signs will make it go away? When did burying our heads in the sand ever work for anyone?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Have you asked her why? It’s often enough… they just tell me. But I DO have to ask in such a way that they feel safe, no matter what. After I’m done being furious, of course. 😛 I’ll have the offender come over and I’ll clean it up while showing them how to, alongside me… because I don’t often do punishments other than natural consequences/restitution and talking.

    “You know why I was so mad, right? This is a huge mess/it’s broken and I don’t understand WHY you did it. You knew you’d have to clean this up/fix/replace this.What’s wrong – why did you feel like you had to make this choice?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is wonderful advice. I did ask. I wasn’t getting more than a “I wanted to do art” response. I’m hoping to dig deeper with a professional if I can’t get anywhere. Thanks again for your help. Kids can be so challenging to decipher. I just want to be appropriately sensitive to her needs. Sigh… 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 333smp says:

    What a good Mommy you are! I don’t think you are making a big deal out of it at all. It’s so good to tackle things head on and help kids deal with their emotions. I just found a new therapist for my daughter and we are really hopeful she can help get to the bottom of her emotional and behavioral issues. Best of luck for She-ra!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t have children but I know children suffer through a divorce. Good idea to see a child therapist. Maybe can resolve problems before they become real issues. Sounds like she is wanting attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hesitate to offer any advice, but I’all make an observation and leave it to you to decide if it has any merit:

    Young kids have a hard time when they feel angry at mom and/or dad. It can be very confusing and guilt-inducing. It’s important to make it safe for them to feel their feelings, even if we don’t like the way it makes *us* feel.

    In the meantime, encourage her art. It may prove a wonderful outlet for her. Just make sure she understands that toothpaste is not equal to art supplies. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • Good! It’s wonderful that you were able to get an appointment so quickly. What a lucky girl your daughter is to have parents who are so quick to respond to her needs!

        You’re right: parenting is hard; it’s a crap shoot. The best you can do is the best you can do. And you are: you’re giving those kids your absolute *best*. It matters. They will look back and see, and they’re going to be great. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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