My ex and I initially separated when our daughter was 19 months old. At that point in time, she acted out, throwing tantrums, etc. It was very evident that her little world as she knew it was interrupted. We were separated for 2 months. She was ecstatic to having us live back together. We lived together for another 10 months and have again separated as of last month. She will be 3 in January and I am curious if it is possible that she could be depressed???
She is acting withdrawn at daycare and really doesn't want to go to school. Yesterday her school called to find out if she had any medicine before school because she was very sleepy and not social in general. Her dad picked her up and brought her to his mom and she slept all day long. This morning on the way to school and often a lot of other mornings, as we near the school, she says she doesn't want to go. Today when I called to check on her, they said she is going in and out. Sometimes she participates, laughs and smiles and sometimes she fades out and becomes droopy again.
Do children this age go into depression due to separation? Or is it a normal cycle of behavior?
I'm glad you find this so comical. I have a history of depression in my family, including myself. My father went through extensive treatment, including shock therapy. He appeared to be doing really well and out of the blue committed suicide. Your ignorance in regards to depression and anxiety is evident by your posts.
I don't know if children that young can be clinically depressed or not. Certainly she could be depressed but it may be more situational. Like you said, she had a lot happen in her life lately. She is old enough to know something big has happened and young enough to not fully understand all this. I'd be careful about considering any medication in a child this young. I'm not even sure they'd give medication in a child this young.
I think you need to give this some time and see if she learns to adjust to all the differences in her life. It may take some time. Children thrive on routines. It gives them comfort and a sense of control. When things change drastically, it's very upsetting to them and they don't know how to act or what to think. As you said, her whole world has been turned upside down. Try and keep a set routine as much as possible, like eating at a certain time, reading a book to her at bedtime, these types of things. Things that she can count on and know will happen.
Give her lot's of patience, hugs and kisses. Let her know how much she is loved. Try and explain as simply as possible that her daddy loves her very much too and that she can see him on whatever days he gets to see her. Tell her that even if mommy and daddy aren't living in the same house, that they love her very much and always will. It might help to make a chart with the days circled that she gets to see her daddy. It would give her something to look forward to and let her know that she really will get to see him. You can make it simple for her age. Use pictures, stickers, etc.
Do I believe that children this young can be depressed? Yes. She's grieving over the loss of her father just as much as she would if he had died. I know she gets to see him, but in her little world time has no meaning the way it does to us. A week can feel like forever. Just be patient with her. Give her time to adjust to all these changes. As to her sleepiness, she might not be sleeping well at night. Try putting her to bed earlier and make it a pleasant experience. Maybe give her a bubble bath first to relax her, read a book with her in bed. If she needs a nightlight, let her have one.
You said she's almost three. If you don't already have a pet, now might be a good time to consider getting one for her, perhaps for Christmas. A puppy or kitten would give unconditional love and distract her from the other stresses in life. If you're working full time, a kitten might be best since they can be left all day. It's just a thought. I hope any of this helps. It's obvious you care very deeply for your daughter. She will be ok. Just give her time to adjust to all of this. Children actually are pretty resilient and bounce back better than adults in most cases. Just keep a close eye on her and keep loving on her. I wish you the best. God bless.
I know I agree with you Jenlag... TEKO you seem to be very angry and people that post stuff... why? we are here to get answers or ideas of what people are doing with their kids and you seem to make us feel that we are bad parents or abusing out kids because we have them on meds.. if your decision was not to give your children medication then you know what I am very happy for you. Unfortunantly some of our kids need it really bad... You don't need to put of down because of that.. trust me it was very dificult for me to put my son on meds.. and I signed up on this site to get some good feed back not someone bashing everyone that gives their childrens meds... You shouldn't be so mean sometimes... but that was really nice of you apologizing to Jenlag.. I think she just wanted some advise...
Have a great day =)
JENLAG - sorry I when off to a different subject.. anyways we aren't Dr's here, but advise from other people sometimes help =)
Maybe she does feel sad because mommy and daddy are together then not together again.. being so small she can't really express how she feels.. maybe if you and your husband have a mature relationship why don't both of you do something together with her maybe once a week.. and just try to explaint the best way a 2 yr old can understand that mommy and daddy love each other still and love her very much also... It's hard because at that age she should be running around.. why don't you put a picture of both of you in her room.. might help
Thank you for your awareness. I agree with you that children should not be on all these meds unless absolutely medically necessary. I know as an adult, it is difficult enough to get off of some of these meds. I couldn't imagine a developing brain, mind, and body being dependent on medication.
I am definitely not looking for an answer for my daughter in medication! I am 29 years old and a first time mother. I just want advice on how to approach her. I realize every child is different in how they respond to changes in their lives. I just hope it is a passing phase and something that she will easily adapt to.
I also attribute the excessive divorce rate to the use of anti-depressants. They make you don't care and/or be carefree. (Granted some divorces are warranted because no one should ever be enslaved to another person.)
April, Thank you so much for your response. I think that is exactly what I was looking for. Although deep down I realize I already knew all of this, I just needed it reiterated.
Karina, initially I thought that us visiting each other would be a good thing for her, but I soon realized she wants us both together all the time. Maybe in the future it will be okay for her, but unfortunately for now I think she needs to fully adapt to the separation before we do things together.
That's true... I'm 28 yrs old and have been a single mom ever since... So I really didn't encounter that problem... Anything is worth a try... And I hope anything you try helps her be more happy... I don't think she needs meds either... she's just sad right now... I wonder if she feels like she did something wrong? it's hard to know because she's so small =( I guess just show her extra extra love and daddy too..
OK...my husband and I just seperated. We have a 4mos old boy and a 23 month old boy...who both seem to ADORE their dad. My soon to be 2 yr old cries so hard after his dad sees him and then he leaves. He has started vomitting and it is just like once or twice and started around the time I really became stressed w/ my marriage. My boy is loved very much by both of his parents, but he never sees affection, let a lone, much conversation between mom and dad...then all of a sudden dad isn't home at night...He has woken up at like 4am...looking all over the house for dada. Could he truly be stressed about this situation causing him to vomit and be so clingy lately?
My thread is relatively old, so I just wanted to let you know that my daughter has adapted really well. Children do indeed bounce back! And yes, your little one's world as he once knew has been turned upside down, it has been very disturbed, so it will take adjusting. I remember being a young child and vomitting when I got upset. Now, I don't remember being that young and doing it. But rest assured, he will adjust to all of this change. I would say if there is a good relationship there, just allow him to see his dad often. My current custody situation is 50/50 co-domicile. My daughter is with me for a full week, then with her dad for the next full week. However we are going to trial on April 17th to finalize everything. I am seeking more than 50% because of some of the things her dad has done, brainwashing her basically, calling CPS on me! And the latest, when she came home yesterday after being with him for the week, she says, "Mommy please be nice to my daddy." So the brainwashing continues, not to mention he doesn't want her exposed to Christ! But that is neither here nor there, every situation is different. If you feel it is safe for your children to be with your ex 50% of the time, then that is probably what they need right now.
I am father of 9 children. I have been married 5 times with 1 child by one marriage, another child by another marriage, 4 children by another marriage and re-married 5 years ago and assumed responsibility for my wifes three sons. It's obvious from the above facts about me that I had some real issues when it came to staying married, but regardless 6 of my children are currently in college, the seventh starting next semester in college and my 16 year old a straight A student. All of my children except for one, my oldest are doing extremely well not only in school but in life and have great relationships with me and each other. None of them are depressed, on drugs, in trouble with the law, all have good credit, do well on there jobs, don't abuse alcohol, don't smoke cigarettes, they vote, play sports.
A question could be: how could, with all this diversity in their lives they be doing so well as adults and teenagers?" All of the above conditions with my children weren't easy, it took constant attention to keep them on course. I had to bit my tongue many times when it came to ex-wife and her families interference and disgruntledness toward me and my family. No matter how disgruntled or upset either of you or your families have with each other you must keep the childs confusion at an absolute zero or as near to zero as you can get it. Here's how to do that.
First off you must realize that if you have had a child with your spouse your will always be connected at the hip throughout the rest of your childs life. IE, you may be divorced by law, tax deductions and by whom may be sharing your empty drawers in your dressor but your never divorced from the responsibility you share with each other as there parents. Children are much more intelligent, at any age, than parents give their children credit for.
When it was decided that we would divorce, in my previous marrige of 17 years, we prepared a family meeting to inform the children. Neither of us were sad acting, crying or presented ourselves in a negative manner during this meeting in any way. We had a plan previously worked out with the sole intention of making our inability to live together not a fear for them. I had already gone and gotten me a new residence with a bedroom for each of them. We talked to them with the truth and explained to them that sometimes parents do better living apart and that they are loved just the same. Just because we live in different homes they still have both parents. The meeting went on for about 30 minutes and then we both loaded the children up in our mini-van and drove them to my new home so they could pick out their bedrooms. Before long I'm finding myself drawing straws over disputes over who got what bedroom. Then over which one I would pay to come clean my house once a week.
For the first month I would come and go in my old house and their mother would come and go in my new home helping them with bed spreads, towels, decorating their rooms and so on. I went over a few times and cut their grass, repaired a few broken items and so on making the whole transition as seemimgly, to them, as normal as possible. In other words, in their eyes and mind they haven't lost a father or mother, they picked up another room and home.
We are the adults here. How could our pain and grief serve to benefit our children. As platonic as my above example may appear the proof is in the pudding. Unless a child has some serious brain disorder, or an outside influence such as an evil babysitter, it is never the childs fault if they begin to spiral downward as a result of a divorce. It's always the parents or their families fault if the child is having problems during and after a divorce. If you think just because they are playing with a barbie doll in the other room they don't hear or comprehend what is being said about their other love of their life ( parent) whether in be while your on the phone or with a friend you are sadly mistaken.
The hard cold fact is, you truely don't ever get divorced when you have a child involved. Both parents are always married to that child or children and you must keep it so in their minds. A year and a half later I re-married and my children have a great relationship with my wife and her children. In fact they are best friends.
Lastly, I would like to add its not too late. If you made mistakes they can be repaired. All your child needs to know is that neighter parent is the bad one. Become friends with your ex-spouse even he if had a secret affair with three of your best friends-if he or she is loves their children or not on drugs or some other socially degrading activity. Those are the adults problems and shouldn't be in the forefront of a developing childs mind nor be a posionous concockion of confusion for the child. They must know that their parents love them, put them first, will protect them, be there for them and can see the other if and when they wish to or need to. Over time and its not a long time. it will all even out and the children will adjust nicely. I hope my story has helped. Good luck.
Well, in an ideal world, your scenario sounds great! I begged and pleaded with my ex to be amicable when we split up. And I wanted things to go down just as you described for the sake of my daughter. We would still sleep over at each other's homes while transitioning. Rather, he wound up calling CPS on me and just doing a lot of bad things, stealing my keys and making copies of them, put a GPS tracking device on my car, etc. And I make it a point to never talk about her father in front of her, additionally if anyone in my family tries to talk about him, I shush them up really quick! It is awesome that you and your ex wife were able to do that for your children, but that does take effort from both parents. In the meantime, my ex is literally fabricating evidence against me for court. He is literally changing the HTML of my webpage and making it really evil. You know my response to my baby when she said for me to please be nice to daddy, I told her that Mommy LOVES daddy and is nice to him. Trust me, I try to do damage control every opportunity that presents itself. The problem with him is that he is literally sick. I don't know the diagnosis specfically, but I think along the lines of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I say that because he had to undergo child predator testing because of child pornography I found on our computer, and those tests came back negative as a whole, but did describe him as a self centered narcissistic individual with little affection for others.
So, I guess my point is in the grand scheme of things is I only prayed that we could have been amicable and settled out of court, 50/50. But in the end, I love Christ and I want my daughter raised as a Christian. That may be my difference of beliefs with him, but he doesn't want her exposed to it at all! Speaking of which, time to head out to church...
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