Reply Sun 5 May, 2019 09:17 pm
My 4 year old daughter is a confused little girl. She lives with her mom on the
West Coast and I live on the East Coast. In the military, I started seeing my daughter once every 6 months when I got stationed on the East Coast once every 6 months. After I got out of the military last year, I started visiting her once a month on the West Coast since I need to take care of my mom who has cancer. But since December of last year when I started the monthly visits, my daughter been getting terribly worse. My daughter's mother and her grandmother has been bad mouthing about me to her which is making my monthly visits difficult. After my December visit, the mother of my child tried to make allegations for sexual abuse through the Child Welfare Services which became unfounded. March my daughter told me that her mother slaps her across the face for punishment so I made a report with CWS which became unfounded due to insufficient evidence. I then learned to coparent through issues like abuse but the mom fails to coparent about anything no matter what the judge or anyone says. Each visit is getting worse because my daughter thinks I'm some bad guy. Each visit for the most part has been going pretty well because I would shower her down with gifts, go to the nail salon, hair salon, massage therapy, Sea World, the zoo, we would paint each others nails, go to the park, pretty much have a good time. But with the way she's been acting towards me lately, I'll still come and do monthly visits, but I don't feel comfortable giving her the special treatment which isn't her fault. Now it's to the point to where she doesn't give me any hugs anymore, doesn't want me to call her any nicknames anymore, doesn't say, "I love you" anymore, doesn't want to do videochats anymore, and tonight on videochat, her grandmother yelled at me in front of my daughter which then my daughter showed me her paintings and then said, "I don't want to go with you anymore." She even said to me last month that she didn't want to go to church because God says bad words like the F word. For my April visit, my daughter told me that she didn't want to give me a hug because I'm dark, yucky, and stinky. She's light skinned and I'm black. So the next day, I got to her emotions by not taking her to the zoo at first because she said that. She threw a temper tantrum, punched and kicked me several times which one of the times she ran into my watch and hurt her mouth. I didn't see anything around her mouth but when she was done, I explained to her why it was bad to say. Also during her tantrum, she tore apart my hotel room and crawled in the opening of the night stand, turned on her back, and kicked the drawer until it came out of the socket and it fell on top of her. I know she's 4 years old but she has a brain of a 6 year old. After that day, her mother sent me a picture of the inside of her mouth which had black markings and asked me what happened. So in detail I told her. At the point, I felt like since I was in the area to go into the Child Welfare Services office to explain to them what happened just in case baby momma wants to start drama. But I didn't because I didn't want to start drama. She made a report last week for physical abuse. I called and talked to the case worker and she understands what happened but will still investigate anyway and make a recommendation for parenting classes which we've done. Recommending parenting classes isn't going to work. My baby mom doesn't listen. Even when we go through Family Law court battles, the judge has to tell her to be quiet because she always interrupts the judge! She would barely let her lawyer talk which now she's representing herself. My lawyer told me that if I stay committed to seeing my daughter once a month, then after this year, I will be able to fly her back to the East Coast. The mother of my child has to pay half per court order of my flights, hotel, and rental car. So maybe she's being conniving because she doesn't want to pay anymore? Her and her mother has been coaching my daughter to not like me since the day she was born. I can't believe tonight she told me she didn't want to see me anymore after all I've done for her. I'm confident that this case will become unfounded too. But how do I save my child? I'm going to talk to my lawyer tomorrow. Can can Child Welfare Services do to save my child if the parenting classes don't work? What can a Family Law judge do to stop her family from putting my daughter in the middle of our custody issues which I never do? Help?
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Reply Sun 5 May, 2019 09:57 pm

Advice hasn't changed since the last time you posted.

You really need to understand quite a few things.

First, and most importantly, this back and forth with CWS is going to ruin your daughter. Not you, not your x. Your daughter. So, you really have to start making this a priority to STOP THE CWS FROM GETTING INVOLVED. What do you mean the kid crawled into a dresser drawer and kicked until it fell out? WTF were YOU doing to allow this to happen? Are you saying you couldn't have handled it more effectively??

So, yeah, you really DO need parenting classes. You need help with strategies that can resolve conflict with a child without them getting hurt in the process. She's four and willful and stubborn - I get it - but jeez, you're the adult here, start acting like one. You're ill-equipped to handle this, and you need to educate yourself on child psychology.

Second, kids don't need a super-hero, they need a DAD. You treat her like a princess then take away for some reason she just doesn't get. Showing her a good time doesn't mean filling every waking moment as if her life is Disney World. What's wrong with building Legos, reading, tea parties or just down time at a park?

Ok, I have to be honest here, a big WTF moment...

I can't believe tonight she told me she didn't want to see me anymore after all I've done for her.

Tell me how a 4 yr old is going to understand what you mean here? Clue: She doesn't. In her mind, you're just some dude that expects to be called "daddy" that disrupts her life once a month.

You NEED help. Start taking this seriously and get it.
Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 09:40 am
Ok good point sir. I'm going back there in 2 weeks so I'll do those activities. I'll also get with my parenting teacher this week and next before I go down to ensure I'm more knowledgable then before. For the night stand, its has 1 drawer and underneath the drawer is an opening to where you would put book or whatever. She crawled in the opening and layed down crying. Then she turned on her back and started kicking the bottom of the drawer which then the drawer slid all the way out the socket is what I meant.Other than coming up with better strategies and reading into child psychology, it still will be difficult because she's in the middle of custody issues at her home. Yesterday right when I got on video chat, my daughters grandmother on her moms side yelled at me in front of my daughter right before giving my daughter the phone for not calling at the right time when it was poor communication between the mom because she was supposed to have her. Then after my daughter showed me her paintings, she said, "I don't want to see you anymore." It hurt but I know it's not her fault. So other then getting trained on child psychology, what can I do to prevent the putting my daughter in the middle of custody issues at her home?
Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 03:01 pm
A four year old would not make those kinds of comments. She is either repeating things she has heard or she is being told to say them. When she says them, remain calm snd say”I love you and want to spend time with you.”

Can you request supervised visitation? For your protection so that another adult can see the interaction between you and your daughter and give you some advice in dealing with her.

And quit trying to be the “Disney Dad” with the presents and over stimulating activities. How about a quiet picnic and just coloring with her? Or a walk in the park?

You need to get to know your daughter better in a calm, supportive environment. It sounds like she is being brought up in chaos.
Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 07:38 pm
There are tons of parents on this forum that can help out. Mostly, 3 key ingredients:

Repetition. The same thing over and over again.
Continuity. The same thing over and over again.
Consistency. The same thing over and over again.

How this can work for you:

Stay at the same lodging every time you visit. This way, she can associate location with you. When you pick her up, have the same routine. Pick a food type experience. Whether it's Friday night dinner or Saturday morning breakfast, she knows what to expect and what time to expect it. Try not to deviate, she needs to learn to count on you. Pizza Nights or Blueberry Pancake Mornings (or whatever your taste buds like.)

There are other things besides video chatting, you know. Like the good, old fashioned Post Office. You know, like letters and post cards and stuff like that there that doesn't cost a lot but sends a message.

How this can work for you:

Something gets mailed every day. Yes, EVERY DAY. You don't live close but you can BE close. A hand drawn heart, a pic of you, a very simple poem, a cd/dvd of her favorite movie, song, place to be. Or just a video of you reading a bedtime story or Bible lesson. It can be easy or as complicated as you want. You're the dad, make it your tradition.

And laugh.

Kids are brilliantly funny. Enjoy the time, it doesn't last that long.

Remember to love your kid more than you hate the x. You spend way too much time focusing on the x and not enough time focusing on your kid. Keep grown up issues to the grown ups and don't forget your inner child. He's in you, let him out.

Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 09:45 pm
Thank you so much. I was actually stressed out at work all day trying to figure out how to be a dad the correct way. We’ve been through supervised visitation with her mom for her first 2 years which I felt wasn’t good after a while because mom was always there. Once the unsupervised visits started, it was easier for my daughter to adapt to me. So it looks like I’m just going to have to become knowledgeable to deviate from future issues. And yea being a Disney dad is becoming quite expensive so I will definitely be doing some quiet fun things. A picnic does sound nice and coloring and walking in the park. I’ve done them before except the picnic but it looks like I need to do them a lot more. We even played with play-doe for an entire day once. Yes she’s being brought up in chaos and she has 2 brothers from a previous marriage that are older including a new guy in the house. Thank you for your help.
Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 09:56 pm
The same lodging actually sounds like a great idea. She likes eating cereal from the complimentary breakfast every morning so that’s good. She knows to be fed before I return her so I usually would get chicken nuggets from fast food or something. And wow the everyday mailings I never thought of that. January of this year I tried to start a once a month gift box but my x wouldn’t sign for it and it ended up being sent back and I gave up on the idea. So this time I can go the cheap route to make it possible everyday and send cards, drawings, a picture of me, etc. and yea she’s a funny kid. She laughs and plays a lot just like me. We do laugh and play a lot which before I felt like it was hard for her to take me serious when it was time to because I would play with her too much. But I can balance it out and not play around when trying to teach her something. She’s adorable so sometimes it’s hard to be serious when it’s time to be serious. And that’s a good point to let my inner child out. You’re really smart man thank you so much. With the mail issue, I think if I don’t have the x sign for it, then she’ll take it. Hopefully she does.
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Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 10:39 pm
Starting in June, I am allowed overnights since I’ve been coming once a month
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