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Acting Out
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Acting Out

I have a soon to be 4yr old son. I am a single father that shares joint physical custody with his mother. I am going to be marrying his future step-mother in 1 year. Among these situations, he is currently going to childcare for 2 full days a week and stays 2 full days with my mother and 1 full day with my grandparents. There have been some behaivoral problems I have had with my son wth hitting, kicking, saying mean things to his future step-mother, not taking a nap, and not eating meals. What would be the best approach for correcting these issues? We have talked about placing him in full-time child care 5 days a week.
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535822_tn?1389452880
He is obviously suffering from some anxiety and some jealousy issues as he sees you with someone other than his Mother,it would be a better arrangement for him, to live with his mother and visit with you every other weekend or there abouts, all this too-ing and fro-ing from relatives is very unsettling for a child, Ask your new wife to be to make a big effort to be friends with him, he is quite normal in his attitude as he is feeling left out it is up to the adults to correct that, focus on his positive side and praise him when he does something right.be involved in sports and games with him .
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Margypops,

First let me thank you for quickly responding to my fiance's post.  I am the soon-to-be stepmother of this child and I'm very concerned with what is going on.  I think you may not understand the full picture...therefore your advice can and can't help us.  My fiance and his ex-wife split when their child was an infant.  He has never had a "mother-father household" to his understanding.  I don't think he is seeing me as the "mother" figure and trying to be his mother, because I have not.  I agree with you whole-heartedly on the resentment, however there is a reason why my fiance has joint-physical.  I'm not quite understanding where it would be beneficial to the child to pull him away from his father just because I'm in the picture.  I suppose in my eyes this would simply mask the underlying problem....that he sees me as the enemy.  We desperately want to make this as easy on him as possible, but to take him out of the equation would be much like me giving up on trying with the child and walking away...would it not?

I feel strongly that your line regarding the child being shuffled between family members is correct and a lot of the problem.  I would appreciate it if you could clarify that it has more to do with shuffling between each party rather than just mom and dad?  On a side note, the grandparents and great-grandparents have a habit of giving the child his way for the sake of saving an agrument with him.  I feel that the lessons he's learning in school are being reversed by these care-givers.  Please advise!
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He needs more structure. The post says he goes from daycare 2 days to grandparents and then to great grandparents. Then joint custody. I am assuming this means with dad one week and with mom one week. He is confused. I am sure you are all good at raising him but you all also I am sure have different parenting skills and being in that much change from day to day is probally difficult for him. When the soon to be stepmom is with him does she play with him or does she let him play by hisself. How much interaction does she have with him. I have the same situation with my youngest son the behavior your describing is just like his and we have joint custody. My oldest stays with me the majority of the time except everyother weekend and he has no problems
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Avatar_f_tn
91004,

I try my very best to make playtime with the son.  I have even taken him on 1 on 1 trips with me to try to gain some bond with him.  He is an absolute angel for me when it's he and I.  He listens to me and I rarely ever have to discipline him during that time.  When he gets around Daddy, he changes.  It's as though he knows he can't pull the stunts with me, but thinks he can with Daddy.  I completely agree with the shuffling and I feel strongly that he needs daily preschool, not just 2 days a week.  I think that could really straighten him up with this.
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Avatar_f_tn
And to answer the custody deal - it's actually worse....one day with dad, one day with mom.  It's every other day.
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Avatar_f_tn
There is you problem. They need to try something else. Like mom every weekday dad every weekend. I dont know how long you have been in the picture but I know with my oldest son when his grandmother started watchin him while I worked he was like you said a perfect angel after he got used to going there and getting a routine he acts up with her, before he would never do that.  I think his problem is the juggling around. I think once that is stable he will calm down. He will get use to you being around and will settle down. My son even though it kills me loves his stepmom and always has.
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Avatar_f_tn
How do you feel about creating more stability during the day if the evening schedule cannot be altered due to court order?  What would your suggestion be during the daytime hours?
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Avatar_f_tn
The onlything is that my son is in daycare the majority of the day and most of the time and he still exhibits the same behaviors. I myself am saving up money to take it back to court because it is to hard on my son. I see attachment problems with him, behavior is horrible and I think in my case the only way it will change is if his situation is more stable. You could try either just putting him in daycare or just letting the grandparents watch him.
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Avatar_f_tn
I suppose the problem I see with strictly the grandparents watching him is that he will have absolutely no social development with other children that way.  For one, the grandparents allow the child to get away with whatever, two, they're not napping him nor trying hard to discipline him, and three, they do not have the resources a preschool has to get him up to par on his education.  I'm all for a loving, nuturing family until it becomes to the point where the child just simply won't listen to his parents because he's being allowed to do what he wants with the rest of the family.  We are trying to work out a better agreement on the parents' side and then possibly adding some extra days of daycare later.  Thanks so much for your advice!
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Avatar_f_tn
I totally understand the grandparent thing. My oldest son goes to PreK from 8-1 then his grandmother picks him up and watches him till 530 when I get off work. This way he still gets to see his grandparents but he also still gets to go to school and learn and be with other children. I agree that grandparents just dont punish, I finally had to tell his grandmother that she cant let him misbehave and she has started displining him(just because he has started getting out of control at her house) I hope it all works out for you all. Good Luck
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