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sasscekw
sasscekw asks:
Q:

5 year old too cool for mom?

My five year old daughter started Kindergarten this fall.  Recently when her little sister (age 3) and I visited her at lunch, she did not sit with us and practically ignored us the whole time.  I have noticed that in line at choir if I wave she barely lifts her hand in response or musters a smile.  This is a similar reaction to one that she has had a few (maybe 2 or 3) times when her father and I (who are recently divorced) were in the same area and it was "his" time.

I have run a day care out of the home so I am able to be with my daughters full time (except preschool/ kindergarten and the evenings/ weekends they are with their dad).  My daughter seems emotionally dependent on me as I have the primary bond with her.  She is loving, affectionate and stress free 99% of the time.  In fact when she arrives home from school she wants to sit in my lap and have me read to her, carry her around and hold her, etc.  I think that is why this behavior is stumping me.  Not only do I want to understand it so that I can help her through it positively, but I want to understand it so I can determine if I am increasing the stress by my behavior, reaction and presence.  

Thank you for any information, comment, etc
In Topics: Blended families
> 60 days ago

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Expert

ShirleyCressDudley
Jan 10, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

When parents divorce, kids don't understand the new "rules."  It's up to the parents to teach them.  Talk with your daughter about what the divorce means to her personally.  Here are some ideas on conversations you can discuss with her:
"When your daddy and I divorced, we both still love you."
"We will never leave you or divorce you, you will always be our daughter."
"It's O.K. to have fun at dad's house, and at mom's house."
"If you see me, and it's your 'dad's time' it's still O.K. to say 'hi' to me, your dad won't mind."

Divorce is hard of kids.  Your daughter needs to understand that she doesn't need to choose between mom and dad- you both love her, and if the time overlaps (or she sees you during "dad time" it's O.K. to interact with you.

Good luck, your daughter will be processing the divorce for some time, so be prepared to talk with her and help her with this new world.
Kindest Regards,
Shirley

Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC



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Additional Answers (1)

Edu-Katherine
Edu-Katherine writes:
Hi sasscekw,

It sounds like most important of all, you have a good relationship with your daughter. Keeping in mind that I am not a child psychologist or professional in that field, could it be that your daughter is simply showing signs of trying to reinforce some independence, even though she's quite young? I have a niece who did the exact same thing, and didn't want her mom to walk her to class or even get out of the car when dropping her off.

Edu-Katherine
Community Team
> 60 days ago

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