Very unusual behaviour from my child after a visit with dad. Help
22 July 2018 at 11:58 pm #13704
So me and my ex have been back and forth court for the past 3 years. There’s been contact twice a week then reduced to every other weekend (his choice). Every other weekend has been going for the past 10 months. 2 months ago he told me he’d got a new job so couldn’t see our boy on his weekends as he would now be working. We came to an agreement of once a month (again his choice). Now because we’ve been through court I asked that we write and agreement and both sign it so it’s legit. He had his first monthly contact yesterday for 36 hours. He gives no handover and has refused to sign an agreement. That’s a separate issue.
My issue tonight is my son plays up a bit after being with dad I put it down to a usual thing to happen as its been the same since he was 9 months old he’s now 3. I put my boy to bed he was crying alot ( doesn’t happen normally he’s usually quite happy to read some stories then go to sleep). I managed to calm him and he went to sleep. An hour and a half later he woke up hysterically crying I tried to comfort him as I usually do when he’s having a bad night but he just kept hitting me (very unusual behaviour). He didn’t want a cuddle as he usually does or a drink. He just wouldn’t settle. He then started looking at the door and saying no no no over and over. After half an hour he eventually cuddled me but he really wrapped his arms around me still crying. We ended up coming downstairs and he just clung onto me. It’s really weird for him to be like this. Am I right to be concerned? What do I do now? I’ve never had to deal with anything like this before and never felt so concerned as I do now.23 July 2018 at 1:44 am #13708
It’s difficult to say at that age – frankly staying in different homes can be unsettling for them. Does your child explain themselves? Have you asked your ex about it? Is there anyone else staying with him?
I wouldn’t worry unduly yet. Monitor it. If you need professional pointers, try:
Family Lives 9am-9pm weekdays, 10am-3pm weekends FREE helpline 0808 800 2222 http://familylives.org.uk
All the best.23 July 2018 at 6:13 am #13710
I know it’s really difficult at his age. He’s never been this scared before. That’s the only way I can describe it is a fear of something, he’s never acted like this. He’s been so unsettled all night. He’s behind on his speech so explaining anything would be difficult for him. His dad doesn’t talk to me at all. Never does a handover properly even though the court has told him to several times. He believes he’s OK is good enough. I believe he has a girlfriend living with him and his mum and brother visit whilst he has him. Thank you for that I might give them a call. We’re going to the doctors today just to make sure that he’s OK health wise and to narrow it down. He’s had health problems previously but this isn’t the usual signs. I just don’t know what to think or do.23 July 2018 at 9:35 am #13711
Just don’t panic because you’ll read things into things which aren’t necessarily there – my eldest started having nightmares around 3, not very often, but I did notice it happened more if we’d stayed away recently – his nightmares were always about being left/abandoned, or being lost (had a few of those myself). He would wet the bed or search the house looking for us (we were asleep right next door as usual). We had a new baby on the way at the time as well which probably didn’t help. I remember having a conversation (my bad) with him once about how one day he’ll own his own house and go to University and have his own family, etc – trying to explain growing up and babies and stuff, and how I used to be a child living at home with Grandma who is my Mum but now I’m a Daddy myself. Well, I was asking him to run too fast because he got it into his head that when the baby was born he’d be asked to leave home and start his own family and he knew he was starting reception soon and he thought that’s when he’d have to leave and start school, which was a bit like me going to work, etc. Nightmares for a week and very clingy. All my stupid fault, but you can never be sure of what they pick up on or what’s important to them at the time. Call that helpline for advice – unless there’s physical harm I doubt the doctor is going to suggest anything. But if you start freaking out and imagining things then will transfer to your child too, so don’t assume the worst without some kind of idea what’s going on. Have you tried staying with your child until they’re asleep – I went through a phase of that too. Usually, I drifted off at the same time, woke with a start, and got scared cos I didn’t know where I was!