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Old 08-31-2010, 12:13 PM   #1
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Default How to help child with transitions...

Ok so me and my sitter have been trying to figure how to handle this.

Almost every time after the kids come back from their dads we have attitude and behavioral problems. Its becoming more apparent the older he gets and its getting worse. I hate to say it but for those two days (thats usually how long it lasts) he's a bully. Hitting, taking toys away, back talking, refusing to do things, purposely being mean (like hitting a 1 year old with a ball, ie rolling it into her, shes crying he doesn't stop, kicking a ball into the street, and trying to get the other boy to go get it) Now mind you my sitter stops the behavior i mean shes watching them, but he does these things in front of her. He's saying mean things, like calling the one little boy a poop-stain, (really cause yeah that comes from my house poop-stain, i mean how would he even put those two together?

Now me and the sitter have been keeping track of when it happens. NOW I'm not saying he doesn't have other bad days, but the worst are when he comes back and its more bullyish. I don't know if hes tired, or what is going on. Now me and my sitter are a lot alike, in "parenting" styles, discipline is the same, routines etc. She gives him time outs, and takes toys away, just like i do at home.

Anyways instead of just ragging on the ex, What are some suggestions to curb this behavior? How can i get him to be the sweet boy he really is. I know if i try talking to the ex it will be like talking to the wall. It just sucks cause 4 days out of the month, i'm tearing my hair out and now my sitter is getting to the end of her rope too. NO discipline is working, i think that is our issue now, he used to feel bad, and now rarely does he, although when she did call me ( 10 minutes after he was dropped off) when i asked to talk to him he was crying. Oh and not only how can i spend extra time with him, when i have an older one too....that needs attention. there is just not enough time in the day....PLEASE help. What works with you guys.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

I am not sure how old he is but old enough to talk is a great age ..I would start talking to him about what it was like for him at his dads..could be that something is going on there he dont understand..also ..the transition of leaving his dad and coming home is hard for him ...Clearly..I would talk about how he feels when he has to leave his dads ...maybe he can be a bully at dads but he cant with you and so stopping the behavior is causing problems

It would be important if you could talk to the father..cause there maybe something going on maybe dad is introducing new rules or anthing that information will help you to understand what your child is going through when he comes home....acknowledging what he is feeling will help him adjust to the changes..instead of acting out.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

How old is your son? Here is a book I ran across awhile ago when studying something else. http://singleparents.about.com/od/su...fr/tuesday.htm. I have found with my daughter when she is going through something emotional, that reading books with her opens the dialogue to figure out what is really wrong.

Along with that here is a website I ran into as well: http://singleparents.about.com/od/su...simoneau_2.htm.

I have never had to transition my child A. However, when I was stepmom many moons ago, I remember the transition process clearly. Jacob was just like your little guy. Just like him. And those two days after a visit were ____. We never did figure out how to handle it, but I think those tips above are good ones.

First, know that what your son is experiencing is perfect normal.

Second, think of how hard it must be to have two sets of rules, two different houses, and how unsure he must feel. He must feel out of control. The only thing he controls 100% is his behavior. And that is what is happening. So, it's time to figure out how to get him to express himself other then being mean. Which given his age might be really hard. I think trying to incorporate questions into your discipline like calmly asking, "are you angry about something?" "Joseph was playing nice, why did you kick the ball in the street?" Something that lets you get to the root of what he is feeling when he does something, so that you can instruct him on the appropriate action.

Once he can identify how he is feeling, and how that feeling has him acting mean, you can give him something to direct his anger at. My daughter uses old telephone books. She tears them up, stomps on them, kicks them, whatever. We have a basket in the closet of them. (counselor taught us this trick). I don't even ask why unless she wants to share. Sometimes if I catch her about to do something silly, I will ask her if she needs one.

Hugs to you...I know it is hard.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

J is three, he will be 4 in November....he communicates ok, but still not a big "talker" not able to express.

I did write down a list to share with Dad but....again, how am i to express this, with it actually sinking in. I know that i can never ask him to enforce this stuff, but you would think that for the benefit of your kids you would want to have some stability.

Here are my concerns about what happens when they are there. NONE major but all in all still confusing, i mean these guys are 6 and 3 they are young and need this.

1. Him and his gf have split, in the sense they aren't living together anymore but still are around her. Ok confusing they are at grandparents and A's house, which was "their" house too.
2. Bedtimes. They have expressed they don't have a bed time at daddy's. Ok kids need sleep...I know that on weekends they stay up later, even at my house but we aim to have downtime the next day, if i can't get naps in. I know it isn't ideal but when J is laying down at the sitters at 10 theres a problem. And now that A is in school, it takes twice as long for her to "catch up"
3. Chores (if you can call it that) I think there they can do whatever they want and not have to worry about how things are being treated. I think things get looked over alot cause well "i only have them four days a month" Ex. of our chores...pick up toys, clean their dishes off after eating and put in sink, be nice and no name calling (poop-stain is a new one to me, but there are many others
4. Discipline- from what i see and how he was when we were together, there is none. "They're fine" or they are yelled at....Which me too me too, i can be a yeller....but there are other ways i discipline too.
5. And my biggest...all kids need stability and consistency. And they need to see us getting along and being united parents although seperate. Everytime i try to talk to him about something he stays there for a bit, then walks away...i try hard not to be preachy but how to put this without sounding mean...He's not a dad, he's their babysitter. kwim.....ugh..

Thanks i'm venting but just wish i could just have him see where i'm coming from, I want them to have fun with him. I want them to see him. He's a good person, he's just so immature. And even though we were together (with kids) for almost 3 years, he never really knew what it was like, he was there but wasn't involved. blah...drained....

PS thanks for the links, i've been searching all day

---------- Post added at 02:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:51 PM ----------

PS holy cow its hard to find that book.....found a used copy at amazon...brand new ones on half.com wanted over 100.00 for it....
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

I can totally sympathize with what you are dealing with. In a better world we'd be able to talk reasonably with the other parent and work out what is best for the kids, but in the real world we often just have to deal with it as best we can.

The things that helped M when he was 4 for the 6 months he went every other weekend and again when he was between 8 and 10 and dad was around more regularly:

Earlier bedtime the first evening (or two) he got home, snuggling up and reading extra books or watching a movie (maybe you could do that with both of them?). He needed decompression time and closeness. And rest.

No change in consistency with rules and discipline. I wanted to be more flexible, sympathizing with him having to adjust. The more flexible I was, the more out of sorts he got. He needed those familiar boundaries. You can understand what is behind a behavior without allowing the behavior, if that makes sense.

He also sometimes needed an outlet for excess energy. Like the transition made him, well anxious sort of, even though he was tired too. An hour outside (if he was home early enough) or extra playtime in the bath even - just extra playtime to get back home in his head.

At 13 a lot of this is still the same, but he additionally needs to be left alone sort of, but me present and available too. For instance, when he gets home he doesn't necessarily want me all up in his space, but it is a bad time for me to be distracted, on the phone with a friend or trying to get chores done. Even just sitting in the same room watching a tv show or something. Available but not intrusive if that makes sense. I didn't do such a good job with that this weekend and Sunday night did not go well for either of us. Nor did last night truly.

Hopefully that made a little sense!
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

Totally makes sense...our decompression time isn't a good one. They don't get home until 730. So it's time for bath and bed. But maybe I should try reading a cuddling, then get them off to bed. I think you guys are right as well with him needing an outlet. A may as well but she is a bit older and seems to have an easier time. Thanks so much for the help. I hate this feeling.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

gosh, I just don't have any words of wisdom on this one. My daughter's interactions with "the other side" (ie grandparents not sperm donor) are so far and few between we have gone through phases where she was fine with being pass the football, but once the football got a wee bit older she didn't want people she didn't know just taking her off the shelf and playing with her.

your children are a bit older than my gal and seem to see these people on a more regular basis so I am stuck as to what to suggest.

I think the decompression time is very important....after all nobody likes to walk in the door from a vacation or work or whatever and be hit with time for this, this, this...move it move it move it even if it is the normal routine of that house.

maybe you can find an age appropriate activity for both of them that they don't have to do together, but enjoy or have picked out themselves so they can "unwind" and figure out which house and which set of rules they are operating under.

I know that probably doesn't help much, the other posters who have had to do this seemed to have some very sound advice.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

It's a matter of degrees. The more time he has to decompress the better, and it varies a little what kind he needs. It just makes it less difficult on hi,. doesn't take it away. The girls had some of the same stuff coming home from biomom when they did actually go.

The later it is on Sunday the harder the next couple of days are. I guess there isn't uch chance of getting him to bring them home an hour or two earlier, huh?
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

Yeah no changing that. He fought for it, Maybe when it gets cooler out and the nights come faster i will see if we can compromise. He was for awhile keepign them until monday and that seemed to work a bit better but he's no longer doing that so....we will see. I did talk to him a bit last night and tell him we need to sit and discuss somethings. We will see if he actually will come do it. I have to see when we can work it out where there are no kids around or if they are off playing or something. I guess one day at a time thanks for all the help though, it makes me feel better that i'm doing what i can and truly am not the only "mean" parent, that i'm just being a parent.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

Oh Lyndz, I can so sympathize with you on this. Transitions for us are TERRIBLE. DD is usually exhausted upon return and when she is exhausted she is super cranky. For several months now, she comes home and demonstrates awful behavior. Like yours and "poop stain", DD will come home saying a variety of things that are just not appropriate in my house and anywheres else for that matter. The most latest dog Seriously...Now, she has said this and other things infront of her dad while he was leaving at drop off and he blames it on his dad (grandpa)?!?! Yeah ok... but then as he is leaving he whispers to her dont say dog or whatever all lauging and jokingly to her...He thinks its FUNNY!!! SO then Im out in public and C is either telling people not to walk in chicken poop or dog or she is shouting it at the top of a slide in a park! VERY EMBARASSING. I have no idea how else to handle it other than each and everytime enforce by telling here this is not appropriate C... She KNOWS this. Everytime after she says something she knows I dont like, I get a "sorry mommy" Its so frustrating and it makes me feel like an awful mother cause dumbass dad is never there when she says these things. I feel like I cant talk to him, because he thinks this is funny, and im pretty sure if he knew how much this really bothered me, well then, he would lay it on all the more. Immature for sure but that is who he is. Back to the actual transition, I try to keep things consistent and low key for whatever we have planned for that day, not always easy to do, but I make an effort and try not to plan anything to big knowing full well, that she will prob be a big old bear when she comes home! You are not alone in this girl!
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

Awe Lyndz...I'm sorry you and your little ones are going through this. I do not have to share my E so I don't know what to say, other than you are a great Mom and will figure something out!!
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: How to help child with transitions..

OMG NAT!!! Seriously exactly exactly exactly......I'm hearing the Hallelujah, you explained Chad exactly.

Example at A's soccer game Tuesday, jack is acting up, i looked over and corrected him after him disturbing the other families trying to watch their little ones play soccer. Chad whispers in his ear but loud enough so i can hear, you better stop your going to get in trouble with mommy....SERIOUSLY back me up you ___. Then a bit later he's sticking out his tongue...so GF (they must be working it out) and Chad are like we'll get the pepper out....so J continues...duh of course he does cause who carries pepper around if you're going to say it then back it up...I again, look over and tell him to stop or he was coming and sitting on the blanket.

Seriously THANK YOU GUYS...i feel so much better with all the advice and words of wisdom. Chad and his parents are going to be helping me out when my parents go to FL (my mom comes over every morning to take them to school and daycare cause i work to early) I'm half tempted to be "him" for a week, and just take them to their activities, let him pick them up every day and such and see how it is on the flip side. Esp, since he didnt' use his weeks in the summer. But i don't know if i can only be around them for a few hours a day but i'm seriously considering
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