Sunday, March 28, 2010

My grandaughter is acting out. Help!

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Timeliness Politeness
10                       10                            10             10

Comment: Thank You so much! You may be right, things do get a little tense when they visit, I think because I'm already starting to react to how she may be after the visit. We've decided to do a rock and story (rocking her while we read a story) before a visit, and a warm shower and baby massage after! I never thought she could be picking up on my stress!! Thank You!!!And, just to set you mind at ease, we do not leave her alone with her parents.

From: Lynn S

Subject: Toddler Acting Out

Question: My husband and I have custody of our 10 month old granddaughter, we have had complete legal and physical custody of her since birth, we have never denied her parents visitation. For the first six months her "baby daddy" never visited, nor contributed to her care, and her "mother" wanted to go on being a 17 year old, so with that being said we are the only parents she knows.


Now, my daughter has turned 18, and left the house, and visits regularly, and the baby has done alot better, she's stopped screaming every time my step daughter comes near her, and will even play with her providing we never leave her alone with her birth mother. She calls my husband and I Mama and Dada, knows kiki (kitty)The babys father now visits whenever he and the mother get into a fight and he thinks he HAS to so that she won't break up with him.

The problem is that when he's here the baby is withdrawn, clings to either myself or my husband, and acts scared, she's not shy, loves people when we go out, and loves all of the neighbors in our building who come to visit, and loves when we go to their apartments to play with their children.

After a visit from the "baby daddy" she will bite, pinch, and refuse to go to sleep unless someone is holding her, or sleeping with her. She will not even sleep in her own room when she does sleep. Luckily he only visits about once every two or three months, but lately my step daughter has been making him come every visit, I don't know how much more the baby can take!

Is this an issue that we can work on, or should we call her doctor?


Answer: Dear Lynn:

It certainly sounds like she has a reaction to her parents visiting her. While it is kind of you to allow them visitation and I would limit the visitation. Try doing things to soothe her before and after each visit like a baby massage or soft soothing music that sort of thing to soothe her environment and her physical system down.

Also check your own behavior. Sometimes babies can pick up on our stress and react to it as well. It maybe that she is not reacting to the parents as much as the tension she feels when they are about to visit. I don't know this is the case I can only make suggestions based upon what you have wrote me.

I also am assuming you do not leave her alone while the parents are visiting? Correct?

Sincerely,

M Kay Keller

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