jtb41990 asks:

My 3 yr old son is so mean and defiant after returning from dads house. What can I do?

My son and I have always had a great relationship. His father and I split up when he was 1 and I had him the whole time. But we have tried to be civil and failed. We are now going through a custody battle. I have heard his father say things like "ill come back for you" or "you dont have to stay with mommy" when dropping him off. He sees him tue and thurs from 5-8 amd then every other weekend starting sat am til sun pm. And when my son returns he hates me. He wont listen to me. He cries saying he wants daddy. Things like "go away" or "just leave me alone". I feel like my son doesnt like me anymore. He just wants his dad. And it hurts my feelings and I cry daily. We used to be very close and now I feel our relationship has been destroyed because I have such a short temper when he won't listen to me he just runs away and says I dont have to listen to you. He also told me "you me". When I asked where he heard that he said daddy. But I know kids have big imaginations.  I just dont want to ruin my relationship with my son by being so mean and making him hate me for disciplining him for being rude and hurtful.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago


Answers (1)

TeacherandP... writes:
It's a very difficult situation to be in. It's natural though that a child would have difficulty with a difficult transition. Regardless of what his father would say, it's hard for any child to go back and forth between their parents.
I don't think your son hates you when he returns - what he hates is the difficult transition - and of course he still loves you. Young children don't just stop loving their mothers. In your son's imagination, he might wish that all three of you could live together but he's too young to understand why that can't be. So he gets angry.
A short temper doesn't help the matter. Maybe it would help when he comes home crying saying he wants his father to gently remind him that he will be back with his father in two days and offer to help him unpack and repack his suitcase so he's ready to go when his father comes and then leave it go at that. Right now he's rude and hurtful because he's confused and angry and young children aren't tactful - they say things they don't really mean because they're not old enough or mature enough to say what's really on their mind or their heart. His heart is with you regardless of what he might say.
> 60 days ago

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