Daughter Seems to Be Acting Out

Updated on September 21, 2009
A.E. asks from Louisville, KY
8 answers

Ok moms I need some advice. My husband and i have in the past 2 wks seprated and he has moved to his own place. My 3 yr old daughter has started pulling her hair when she is punished. i know that her additude is going to change through this.But how do i handel and should she maybe see a counslor.

Please all help would be warmly recived.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Seek counseling asap, and have talks with her about emotions. All therapist have this emotion chart. She can't express what she is feeling and reverts to doing things to seek your help and guidance. If she learns now how to talk through these things and can put the right words to do so, you will be able to have more and more talks and get her to calm down and be a 3yr old.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I usually don't post on these boards, but I felt like I just had to say something to the former poster (Donna)regarding A.'s request for advice. If A. wanted advice on how to make her marriage work, she would have posted asking for just that, but INSTEAD, she posted asking for advice on how to make this devastating transition easier on her child. I am sure you didn't mean any harm and thought you were saying something helpful, but I truly believe that people like you that offer no actual advice, other than to stay in a marriage, do NOTHING but make people who are going through a divorce/seperation feel worse than they already do! I am going through a similar situation and just like A. above, I am worried sick about the effect it will have on my young daughter, and I don't need someone telling me the OBVIOUS, that raising a child in a loving- 2 parent home, is the best thing for her. I already KNOW that- as I am sure A. does as well!! But for whatever reason, for some of us, through no fault of our own, that is not a possibility, and comments from people about the sanctity of marriage and how divorce should not be an option not only DO NOT help, but actually make us feel worse that we could not make it work. I can't speak for everyone, but I would assume that most of us don't purposely CHOOSE to raise our children in a single parent household, but unfortunately- it is becoming more and more of a reality, and for those of us it is happening to, it certainly doesn't mean that we don't love our kids and don't want to do right by them. Like I said before, I am sure you meant no harm in the "advice" you offered, but next time you encounter someone going through this situation, think twice about offering this type of advice, as they have probably already considered every possible alternative and are now at this point for a reason and now just need advice on how to move on and make sure thier kids are ok.

So A..... sorry for the long post, but I wish you the best and the only advice I can offer is to just love your daughter through it. Thats what I am planning on doing:)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Memphis on

I am a counselor and 3 y/o are not able to be counseled effectively. Too young and can't really understand enough about themselves or life issues. However, I encourage you to go without her. The loss of an intact family is difficult on everyone and you can learn how to help her adjust to this change. Separation/divorce is a death of a relationship of sorts and there needs to be time for healing.

God bless,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

It's certainly not unusual for a child to have a strong response when her world is turned upside down. My kids (7, 4, 2 mo) would be devastated without their daddy around. I know of infants who have huge behavioral changes when their daddies are out of town (for the military). Divorce is one of the hardest things kids go through - just ask adults whose parents divorced. Is he really that bad of a guy, when you loved him enough three years ago to make a baby? Is it worth doing this to your daughter? Dr. Laura's book the Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands has turned around many a marriage.



answers from Wilmington on

Dear A.,

I think that hair-pulling is unusual, but not rare. Yes, I think you should take her to a counselor. The counselor could probably help you both through this very difficult time of your lives.

I actually have had no experiences like yours. My first thought while reading your note, however, was to get a rescue pet. A puppy or kitten might help to ease some of her separation issues. It would make life more complicated for you, of course, but you might also both benefit from the distraction.

Good luck. I'm sorry you're going through all this.

PS-This also gives you the opportunity to tell your soon-to-be ex-husband he was satisfactorily replaced by a 20 pound mutt. :=)



answers from Raleigh on

Hi A.,
I am sorry that you and your daughter have to go through this difficult time. My husband left when my daughters were 5 and 3. It does take a long time for them to adjust to this new situation. Remember to keep reassuring her that both her mommy and daddy love her very much. As hard as it may be, you should always resist the urge to say anything bad about her dad in front of your daughter (that's what your girlfriends are for:) The same goes for any discussions that might become arguements between you and her dad. Let her see that you two can still act nicely toward each other, and it will give her a greater sense of security. I know that might be the last thing you want to do right now.
My five year old actually did see a counselor for a while. It was difficult to find anyone that treats children this young. If you decide to go that route be prepared to do a lot of calling around. It is also good to get recommendations from someone you know. It takes a very special counselor to work well with children this young. You might also think about talking to a professional. I know that I saw a counselor for over a year after the separation, and it helped me quite a bit.
Best of luck to you!



answers from Jacksonville on

Of course I know NOTHING about your situation. My best advice though, (as one whose children have benefited immeasurably from it) is to read The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage and do EVERYTHING in your power to fix your marriage and heal your daughter's home. Consider the fact that after a divorce, you will have little/no influence on what she experiences with her father and whoever or whatever he introduces to her. If you can manage to patch things up and refuse to argue or contribute to negativity (until she reaches adulthood- then you can divorce if you still want to) you may well have the power to give her a stable growing-up environment. If you think about it, almost any sacrifice is worth it, to give her that. Unless her father is dangerous or destructive or completely unwilling to stay married, you likely have much more power than you realize to salvage your daughter's childhood. If this is possible for your family, she must surely deserve it. You have my MOST sincere wishes that you all can find some peace, and my prayers for the same. Very best of luck.



answers from Nashville on

That is normal when their little world is rocked. They feel like it is thier fault. You guys need to be mature about this and spend time with her, as a family. Explain things to her the best you can to enforce it is not her fault, you both love her dearly and it is your own faults. A child needs parents and the security that comes with it. Perhaps you guys should seek counseling for yourselves, and go back to what brought you together, and see if your child isnt worth trying to work things out. Good luck and God Bless.

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