What should I do about my childs behavioral problems?

My 5-year-old daughter has been having behavioral problems at preschool for the last 4-5 months. I have noticed a pattern to it, but I do not want to put the blame anywhere. I just need advice on how to fix this or help her. She is with me Sunday night through Friday afternoon. Her father picks her up from school Friday and keeps her until Sunday evening. for a while, I was allowing him to keep her Sunday night as long as he got her to school Mondays because He just moved into a new house closer to us. I noticed her behavior changing around that time. I know change is hard on kids, but what has me confused is the fact that when she is with him all weekend and goes straight to school, I get calls after calls from the school. When I keep her all weekend, she has minor to no issues at school. Tonight she came home from her father’s being very aggressive to her brother. mean to the animals. She had a horrible attitude with me and my bf. I don’t understand it. I have tried to reach out to her father about it, but he thinks I am making it all up even though he also receives emails from that school, but he doesn’t see it as a problem because she doesn’t act that way with him. he and I do not often communicate as he makes me go through his GF if I have anything I need to tell him about our child.


Sounds like she’s just acting up because she’s confused and upset. Maybe she likes being at Dad’s and doesn’t know how to work out her emotions and feelings about having to constantly go back and forth every week.


More than likely the routine break from your house to his is a lot for her to handle. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s doing anything wrong, but it’s different and different can be intimidating to young kids.


Sounds like you need to sit down and have a talk with your daughter. It may not be her father it could be his girlfriend… to young children moms and dads are suppose to be together and when that doesnt happen and then other ppl are brought into the mix and two different houses it tends to be more then the child can handle… A conversation is needed between you and your daughter by yourselves so she can be comfortable enough to let out her feelings and emotions.

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Counseling and therapy… those trained professionals can get to the bottom of it. Best wishes.


What kind of environment is provided at her dads? Is it aggressive? Does she have step sibling or half siblings that misbehave? I would think she is mirroring some type of behaviour


You know where the problem is wake up


If you ask her and she refuses to communicate what’s going on with her then you will have no choice but to bring her to a professional specializing in separate households sharing custody. Crazy that the school hasn’t helped her or either of you which says to me that just can’t be bothered :rage: kind of “your kid your problem.”Don’t let this go on much longer because it could really spiral out of control.


Look up PCIT and follow it regularly, it’ll change everything for the better I promise.

Sit down and talk to her. If that doesn’t work and she doesn’t want to talk about it with you maybe seek outside help? A lot of schools have counselors that can help without seeking out a professional outside of the school. If you use a counselor they would have access to school records and teacher/witnesses to the said problems. I know change is hard and scary - it could be as simple as not getting enough sleep or something in her diet. It could also be something more serious and need to be addressed differently. She may be having issues communicating this due to her age and or lack of knowing the issue. It could also be for fear of communicating the actual problem whether it is fear from a threat or fear from consequences :woman_shrugging: first step is to sit her down and try to talk. Gather the information and move forward using your best judgement!

Just for your comfort, most kids who act out towards a parent is usually towards the parent that they trust the most. They trust the fact that you will love them unconditionally and they can let their emotions out without fear. Little ones have big emotions, they have no idea out to control yet.
If your arrangement is not through court I would make it so and I would request that all information and communication be through text with her father only. It’s his child and he needs to handle it not his girlfriend!
Two party messages and information, a lot gets lost. I also agree with counseling. It would not only allow her to get her feelings out in a neutral environment it will also help you with tools and understanding To help her cope and express her emotions.


Is it the morning routine of getting ready for school at dad’s?

Is it not adjusting to mom and dad not being together?

Is it dad’s gf?

A combination of all of the above?

How is her sleep schedule over there? My daughter acts out more and is more aggressive when she doesn’t get enough sleep. Also, is he actually spending time with her or letting screen time babysit her? My daughter has adhd and her psychiatrist told me kids can act out more if you let them have to much screen time because of over stimulation. My daughter is addicted to it like it’s crack and I didn’t even realize it. I was guilty at letting her tablet babysit her so I could get stuff done. But not anymore lol Lesson learned! No judgment at all because these little turds don’t come with a manual haha Just trying to be the help I had :kissing_heart:

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Are your bedtime routines consistent from house to house? If they aren’t, I would start there. A lot of young children display behavior problems when they are over tired and not in a solid routine.

Sounds like separation anxiety i seek with the doctor to get a psychologist

Maybe they fight and are controlling and she feels trapped???

The fact that you have to go through his girl friend to speak about your child speaks volumes. There may be an issue there that you are not seeing. Take hwe to a professional therapist of she wont talk to you about it. It may be just a transitional thing… but it has been quite some time. Find the root of the problem early on.


Paddle her little butt

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First if you have to go through his gf then apparently his gf doesn’t trust him to talk to other girls so he just has it set that way so he doesn’t get accused or caught talking to another one in process but she is acting out towards you bc u love her and your there for her and while she is there he or someone is probably mean to her or won’t even pay attention to her so her only way to show is it to act out on someone she loves

Transitional period. When my son comes home I remind him he is home and that my expectations and rules at home are different than dads. The first day is tough but then he bounces back. Its hard for a 5 year old having so many different rules and expectations. Each teacher at the school has different expectations for a child, then dad then you then your bf. Nothing is really consistent so its hard for them to know how to act. Talk to the school about each morning reminding your child they are at School and these are the expectations and you do it when your child comes home. It jas worked for my son

You have some serious issues brewing. I would start talking to your daughter and slowly get all the events that happens at dear old dads house. You need to really listen, because whatever is bothering her will be tangled in between all the words in her story, but she will repeat them several times. Then get her professional help, tell the doctor what you learned and see what she finds out. If she blames something is happening at dads, then dad can pick up that tab and your daughter is getting the help she needs. See what happens after a bit and maybe taking the father of the year back to court would be in the child’s best interest and get his visitation cut. That’s my two cents, it doesn’t buy much these days…

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Parents need to work together for the common good of their children. You need to have non negotiable rules/consequences you both abide by. It’s ok to be different for somethings but things like bedtime, respecting adults, basic manners need to be the same. Also they need predictability. Make sure and let them know today is mom’s day or dad’s day etc. Also does dad have anyone knew at his home? That could make a difference.

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Talk to your child, notify the school and request counseling. I’d also look into finding a trained child therapist to see if they can get to the root cause of the situation.

Have u asked ur child?
I would also reach out to the school and tell them whats happening.

I wouldn’t let her there if that keeps happening

I would definitely talk to my child. I would ask questions like “so you have fun over the weekend?” If no ask another question like “oh what made it not fun?” How do you like your dads gf?. Something is going on. The only way to find anything out is through your own child.


Anyone who is mean to animals will also be mean to children. THIS IS AS WARNING SIGN.

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Something is going on with your daughter personally.

Document, document, document. Record her behavior both good and bad. It sounds like you need to make modifications to her visitation, and you will need proof. Plead to the court it’s in her best interest and that’s only temporary until she is more emotionally mature to handle the transition between school and dad’s house.

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Counseling… There is something bugging her (not blaming anyone :heart:) kids act out when something is not ok with them (been there) only thing you can do is express your there for her and she can talk to you about anything (and if she opens up you need to keep calm!!! No matter what it is!!!) Good luck hun


Well if she sees this behavior from the dad she is mimicking what she sees his gf should have no say or input & there should be no reason for the 2 of you to communicate with each other I get if he doesn’t want to speak on the phone but you should at least be able to text civilized therapy ic you want to know you can start by having asking her to draw you pictures about her adventures at dad’s house

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You all need to sit down as family for your child and discuss this. Therapy or counseling is also ideal in a situation like this

Counseling definitely don’t let the school push meds on to your kid. They tried that with mine same issue.

She is imitating behavior forced upon her. The only way to fix it is with consistency. If you only have her Sunday through Friday then she is not getting consistency. This is crucial to a child’s development.

the problem is not her behavior. she is reacting to something that is hurting or confusing her. if she could talk to a child therapist they can work with her to see what she is reacting to. kids can have difficulty putting words to their concerns.


My kids do this as well. They have no structure at all at their dads house and pretty much get to do whatever. It takes them a few days to “reset” if you know what I mean.

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I would seek a counselor… there might be something going on that she’s not telling you or that the other house isn’t telling you… and even if there isn’t anything going on a counselor can help show her how to release her frustrations in a healthy manner

It sounds like she’s frustrated having a hard time communicating so she’s lashing out ,maybe some is going on at her father’s that upsets her and she doesn’t know how to put it into words

How she gonna learn how to communicate if you and her father cant even start there :joy::joy:

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I would have her checked out by a doctor

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Whoa whoa whoa there daddy blamers!!! All these ppl saying that this is learned or imitated behavior chill out!!!

Maybe she is acting out because she has to change houses? Does dad’s house have other siblings? Does GF have children? Have you asked the GF or Dad if daughter treats them the same way when she first comes to them? How long has this been going on?

There is a lot of missing info for everyone to instantly be jumping to therapy and she’s getting it from somewhere… goodness!


Maybe his gf is treating her bad. I had this same problem with my now 22 year old son. When he was this very same age his step mother was terrible to him dumped hot sauce in his eyes and mouth made him stand in a corner on one foot burnt his hand on a furnace too many horrible things to list. It took a while through the courts but with proof from his dads family and me taking him to the police station to document injuries and burns we finally proved she was abusive to him and I got full custody. He still hates that woman to this day and barely has a relationship with his dad yes she controlled that too and still does.

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Im a step mom, so I tend to hope a step parent isnt the problem and gravitate towards bio parent communication issues being to blame, but considering the way you phrased certain things, I have some questions…

Does dad’s gf control who talks to who because shes insecure and a bully or does conflict between you and dad dictate that the gf has to be involved because the 2 of you can’t communicate?

IF dads gf is an insecure bully, the child could be picking up that behavior, emulating it and then not understanding why it gets results for gf, but gets the little one in trouble.

Maybe she’s angry she only gets to see dad on the weekends. If he is close enough to get her to school, then share custody 50/50. It’s not about you or dad or your feelings. 50/50 is typically what is best for children with 2 fit parents. He’s obviously not unfit.

Are you a BM on a power trip, throwing your own tantrums because dad isnt doing what you want and you dont like his gf? “I allowed” is a HUGE way to say something regarding a man seeing and keeping his child.

ANYTIME children are in the middle of seperations and multi parent houses, they need a counselor. A neutral 3rd party who would hopefully speak to the child and all the adults involved and figure out whats causing her to act out.

Best of luck.

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Not to scare you my daughter was the same with her behavior all through elementary school, middle ,school and high school. When she was 14 she was diagnosed with bi polar depression and anxiety. Now she sees a psychiatrist and takes medication. When she was 5 years old I took her to a psychiatrist who specializes in children with behavioral problems and hit it on the nail and diagnosed her. But I didn’t expect it . Then when she was officially diagnosed at 14 I helped her and supported her. She was also a cutter which is extremely difficult to deal with. I am so glad she at least tells me when she has done it so I could help her. She is very open with me… I love and support her with all my heart unconditionally :heart::heart:

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This is a big change for your child, have you thought about play therapy for your child also parenting classes for the both of you. If he is unwilling then go to mediation and request them. Take all the emails and letters from the school showing when the behavior started to help you. Let them know in mediation that your child’s well-being comes first and that if counseling and parenting class need to be done to help your child succeed and you will not settle for anything less.

Theres a dad, a mom, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, at least one other child in the picture. And how many teachers? And a child who has little control. My humble opinion is that parents and school get together and decide on rules and consequences and encourage her talk time, “writing” time and coloring time while discussing feelings, households, etc. But hurting animals and others is unacceptable!