Posted by judy lavin on August 21, 2003 at 19:02:08:
In Reply to: Getting my daughter to stay over posted by Mike on August 19, 2003 at 22:40:46:
There are so many things that could be going on with your daughter. First of all, have you worked with a social worker or some type of therapist who specializes in dealing with kids from divorce? I think that could be quite beneficial. You mention that your ex-wife is not helpful in getting your daughter to stay with you. Can you ask her why she won't help your daughter accept you. Will she explain and give you an honest answer?
Regardless of the divorce circumstances, your daughter is your daughter, and in most cases (excluding abuse) it is beneficial for her development to be able to accept and love her father. (And have her father accept and love her.)
Can your daughter tell you what's bothering her? Maybe she has some fear at your new house but doesn't want to offend you by telling you what's bothering her. She may have some type of fantasies or traumas from the divorce. You're only divorced a year and that's probably difficult for her.
Your daughter could also have loyalty issues with her mother. Maybe your ex-spouse is making her feel that by staying with you, she is being disloyal to her mother. There might be some manipulation involved and since your ex-wife has custody, your daughter is going to want to do what her mom says. What's more, there usually is a strong mother-daughter bond that is complicated. (Same sex parent-child bonds are complex.)
Maybe your daughter is harboring feelings of anger at you because you got divorced. By the way, I'm not saying you shouldn't have divorced, I have no idea, but I'm trying to give you some ideas of what could be going through your child's mind at this moment.
There are so many things at work here that I strongly advise you to find a professional (you can do that through your local school district, church or word-of-mouth) who can help you and your daughter.
Please let me know what happens. I wish you the best of luck.