My daughter is 2 and lately is having some behavioral changes. Me and my husband are going thru a divorce and she has not seen her father in almost 3 months by his choice. She has recently started a new daycare. And since this time she has started fighting and being mean to other children, even children older than her. She constantly disobeys where before I could brag about my daughters mild manner and how well behaved she was. Lately she throws a huge crying fit if you try to lay her down. For example, to wash her hair in the bathtub or clean her bottom after a potty accident. Just last night she kept saying she wanted to go to her room when I tried to wash her hair and refused to let me lay her down. My sitter did tell me that one of the other boys at daycare was disciplined for pulling her pants down (panties and all). I did not think anything of it at the time because this behavior had not really started and the boy is only 3 himself. What are the signs of abuse? Should I be concerned over a personality change like this? This was not gradual but rather a sudden change. Please help. I am worried that someone may have hurt my daughter.
Your daughter's behavior change is probably not due to sexual mistreatment, but it certainly makes sense to talk with the daycare provider about this possibility, particularly whether the boy you mentioned has behaved in any other inappropriate way with your daughter (in addition to the episode when he pulled down her pants).
It is more likely that the pressures around the family situation, coupled with the transition to the new daycare arrangement, have combined to result in this instability. Such changes in any one sphere, let alone two spheres (home and school), in a child's life is tantamount to having their world turn upside down.
Consider consulting with a pediatric mental health clinician, chiefly to guide you in how to manage the situation, but also to evaluate your daughter.
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