My daughter comes back home from her dads mean to me...advice?

My daughter just turned four but the last year every time she goes to her dad’s house she comes back to me mean. We seperated when she was 4m old and hes gotten her every other weekend. Now She comes back from dad’s and tells me how she rather be with her dad. She’s like this the first day and we get back to routine but every other weekend I get so sad because I know she’s going to do this. I call her when she goes with him and she doesn’t want to talk to me on the phone and when she does she gives me mean faces. I noticed if we are all together she’ll ignore me and be with her dad and his gf but once they are gone she’s back to normal.


It’s normal. You are the primary parent, he’s the fun vacation. It will pass momma.


Feel like it’s normal, rules are different at dads house than at moms, at least in my experience. It’s a transition for them especially that young. I let my kiddo see his dad whenever he wants as long as hes not working and that helped alot. Try not to impose on their time together, as 4 short days a month is so little amount of time.


That’s very common. We see the bad side because we are with them 24/7 and they feel comfortable around us to do so. We are the ones who care for them, make them get up, get dressed, go to school etc. The weekend parents are the “fun parents” because they are not with them 24/7, and usually they do fun stuff with them.


I know it hurts your feelings. Don’t take it personally just support her. You don’t know what is going in that house, and what is being said. You can only control your house. You are her safe place, she gets to be herself without feeling guilt or scared. He may be the fun dad due to little time he sees her and she has more freedom. Just be consistent and her foundation. They will see it for themselves when they get older.

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When she’s with her Dad try not calling her and see what happens. Maybe she’ll want to call you, maybe not. She’s probably having a lot of attention that she doesn’t get at home doing fun things. It’s pretty age appropriate is my guess, but must still hurt your feelings.

Well teach your baby girl to have respect! Never to young for these kids to know manners. She is a little young to see you do allot for her :saluting_face::white_heart: maybe :thinking: you can do more fun things with baby girl at home or other gatherings!

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Sadly this is normal . It will get better :mending_heart:! It’s hard on them to change routines and rules . Hang in there !

Talk with dad and see how y’all can get on the same page with some things like rules and discipline see if they do or allow something that stands out to her? Is bedtime the same or drastically different between houses? Do they take her more places or just spend more time doing things together? Are they having negative discussions where she could hear? Are there siblings that she can play with there? Many different options for why but it definitely starts with having a conversation with dad and probably stepmom too! Respect all the way around!

He’s the fun parent unfortunately. It’ll pass eventually. My kids are older now and say that even though they live with me, I’m the fun parent because I do fun things with them. :woman_shrugging:t2:


Give her more time with her dad. I know it sounds nuts but every other weekend isn’t much. She’s not got her fill, I believe. She’s mad she has to come home bc she gets so little time with him. Which also makes you the main disciplinarian etc… he gets to get her for a couple days and have fun.
Worth a shot. :woman_shrugging:


It’s normal. I’ve been on both sides. They expect the weekend to be fun at dad’s house and he doesn’t want to upset them if weekends is all the time he gets so he makes it fun and then they wonder why it can’t be as fun back over in the reality of the primary parents house. I’m sorry. It takes a long time but it will pass


My mediator told me it’s a detox from that parent. I’m the main parent. My kiddo does the same

Mine is 6 and she is progressing through this. It is hard but you need to understand that she is trying to get her own bearings and trying to understand. This does not mean allow her to do bad things because you feel bad that she is going through all of this. It will change and she will see the difference. But remember this momma, you are her SAFE PLACE. She knows that she can have a bad attitude and misbehave because she knows that she is safe enough to do that with you. She is able to cry and throw tantrums because she knows that you have her. The hardest part of being a mom is knowing that she will climb and keep climbing into her own person but take pride in that she knows YOU will always be there to catch her when she falls.

I live this every other weekend with my son. It’s normal. He won’t speak to me when I try to call but he actually does the same thing to his dad when he’s with me

My daughter is 7 & has always done this. They let her stay up; it’s the “fun house” and our home has rules and bedtimes :sweat_smile: ! Don’t worry too much; it’s definitely normal


Look up Destini Ann- she is on Instagram. She goes through this too and has a routine for when her babies come home. It helps the child and parents. Much love


Separation anxiety and transition.

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Because he’s the fun parent & your mommy, structure, rules, bedtimes, bathtimes, schools routines, clean up, brush your teeth, eat all your veggies, etc.
As they get older, they realize the truth, your the parent that Always has their back & best interest at heart…
That’s what I’ve always found!!
5 kids later…

It’s probably because they get to be the fun parents without responsibility. It’s hard because you have to do all the work and they get to spoil her without consequence.
Try to plan something fun to do with her every time she comes home.

He’s the " fun" parent probably not really any rules or punishment and yummy takeout foods …

Since dad only sees her a few days out of the month, his house has become the ‘fun’ house. He probably has less rules since he only sees her here n there and wants to make the most of it. Which is understandable. Is there a way u could do 50/50 custody? Or id say wait it out a bit and if things don’t change maybe all the grown ups get together and talk about rules and try to come to terms on rules, punishments, routines, ect… That could be the same at both houses. Ik it’s gotta hurt ur feelings , but if its any consolation, im almost positive that if it was her dad who had her everyday and u only had her every other weekend, u would be the fun house and dad would be dealing with what u are right now.

It’s not always the case. I had more rules and discipline then my ex did. So my house wasn’t any more fun then at hers. The only difference was that I did things with my son and she didn’t. It’s also about time spent and not just money spent

My daughter is 8 and still has behavioral issues for the first 2-3 days she’s home and then she’s back to normal. She’ll call me sometimes while she’s there too. Hang in there momma. It’s a struggle for sure.

He’s the fun parent. You’re the one who has to do everything. It’s totally normal. If y’all are friendly and non toxic Co parents, maybe ask him if he could help by taking her to doctors or picking her up on a Wednesday for a dinner or night with dad on his off week?


It’s normal for transitioning kids. She doesn’t understand how you feel either. Just keep enforcing that you love her and have fun with dad.

I agree with Robin. My daughter would do the same thing she would just tell me that it would be boring here at home with me because all I do is take her to school to the doctor to the dentist and her dad would take her everywhere so basically, he was a fun parent, and I tried to talk her  so that she would understand that even if she moves with her dad, it will be the same thing but opposite now I would be the fun parent and she stood there and thought about it and she kind of changed 🫶🏼

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It’s easier to resent you than her dad because you are the safe parent. She knows at 4 years old you are always going to be there. You are her security. Dad is the one that’s not always there plus he’s the fun dad. Its equivalent like going to grandmas house because they don’t see each other often so it’ll be treats and good times. It will still hurt but she really just misses her dad. Let them enjoy it because once they are older, all they want is their mom and rarely want to go to their dads.


This is yours fault demand respect and punish her she will thank you later


It’s just the weekend. You really shouldn’t be calling while she is with him. I wouldn’t put to much on her wanting to be at his house. If it’s just the weekends I can see you’re more of the one to sets rules so dads house is fun. Just let her have her time and stop hovering at dads house.

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This is not uncommon - especially if he is “Disneyland dad”. Most dads don’t want to be the strict parent when they only have 2 days with the child - so it becomes more fun at dad’s than mom’s. This was my situation I am only guessing at yours. At 7 my daughter wanted to live with dad. When I asked why, she said they swam all the time, she didn’t have to do homework, or brush her teeth - and they always did fun stuff. Sure - what kid wouldn’t want that??? Some parents don’t even realize what they’re doing - or the impact.

Dad’s probably the “fun” parent.

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Its common that the non custodial gets to be the amusement park while the custodial has to be the “old ball and chain” with structure and normal stuff, but the meanness needs to be directed at the situation not you otherwise you might have an ex an his girlfriend who are poisoning the well


There could be two reasons for this

  1. he’s the fun parent so probably no discipline at his home


  1. he’s telling her to say these things

Shes playing you and her dad against each other


My 10 yr old daughter is like this. She goes to her dads fri-Sun and he’s the no rules no chores no discipline household, myself and her stepdad are the routine, rules, chores house. And it takes a couple days to get her back to our routine

Stop calling her while she is there it’ll give her a chance to miss you.

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Girl wait till she is a teenager

That’s normal for kids of all ages
They seem to think
The grass is better on the other side of the fence
I guarantee you if she live with her dad
She would say the same thing to him
Also they know how to play one parent off against each other

Maybe she wants to be with the alienated parent who she barely gets any time with. Perhaps your relationship would be strengthened by only seeing her 2x a month. You decided on alienation and this is your reward


I have this problem as well. Mainly my son. But both my kids come back fighting and my son has been very mean to me. Here is how I look at it. I’m the parent. I do all the thing all week long. Cleaning, School work activities and I’m the one that if they act out enforce the rules. They go to their dads he is the fun parent. They get to do what they want and get away with way more. I’ve had them both say they want to be with dad but in the end after a long stay with their dad they call me begging to come home cause in some way understand that having structure and routine is better and they get in trouble at some point cause it’s to much for their dad to handle more then a few days. It’s tough and your daughter is alot younger then mine. They are almost 10 and 6. But I split when my younger was 5. I had to get my son in therapy to have him talk to someone other then myself and his father cause he was so angry. Just remember kids will always wanna be with the fun weekend parent and it’s not really personal. I suggest therapy for her. Like mine their father talked nasty about me to them and they came home nasty and question why I left their father.


Let the child and dad have their time together without interruption. There’s no reason to call the child each day, especially if it’s not welcomed or requested by the child. Dad has 4 days a month. Schedules, rules, etc., will be far more relaxed than at the primary home. This type of behavior will come and go until the child is, at minimum, 18.

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Therapy and get to the bottom of it. Is he talking bad about you, is he trying to be the ‘fun’ parent. I would go to therapy to make sure there is no parental alienation happening.

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It’s an adjustment period. If the behavior stayed that way it would be different. Just know in your mama heart she doesn’t mean the words she’s saying. Not really. Just keep loving her through it.

He only sees her every other weekend so he had fun stuff planned and she has his undivided attention this time will pass but understandable how your feeling

Sigh- I noticed this with my teen. She even said, I want to be like my dad he’s free range. No rules and I get to enjoy my life. (Dad’s an addiction that can’t hold a job or stay sober to save his own life.). Within the last year she has seen him for who he is and she doesn’t say that to me anymore (granted she isn’t seeing or talking to him either). Praying for you

Well lots of things shes young so im sjre its the hes thw fun aprent scenario for you… in my case my step son does this to his mom but he’s 11 and has made it clear why he wants to be with his dad. His mom is a heavy functioning alcoholic(yes indicated cps reports etc), and she usually just has her mom raise him. He gets so upset when he goes back because he craves routine and structure and responsibilities and he’s scolded and straight forwardly abused when it comes to asking to spend even an extra hour with his dad or siblings. She is very bitter and fell down the wrong path after the divorce. I’m sure in your daughters case though given her age (and you can both coparent effectivley) that offering dad an extra day here and there so she knows you’re not keeling her away, as well as asking him to maybe even discuss the same routines. Obviously it’s hard in two homes but sometimes it could work out. Best of luck

That IS normal. 2 days w/dad = 1- 2 days of returning to “normal”. Just hang in there - she’ll figure it out is a few years

Maybe just leave her alone while she’s with dad…don’t try calling her and see if she notices Mama didn’t call me…