Question: Dear Luise: About 6 months ago my family and I moved 6 hours away from our home town. My family includes myself, my husband, my 8 year old daughter, my 3 year old daughter, and my 1 year old son…. my husband is stepdad to my girls 8 and 3 and is an amazing stepdad…. however my 8 year old is very unhappy here and wants to go back to live with her dad… 🙁 she is a smart amazing child but is very depressed and cries all the time… I have taken her to counseling, spent time alone with her, talked to her, eased up on rules even…. but nothing seems to work…I considered letting her go live with her dad but he is very irresponsible he doesn’t make sure she is dressed, bathed or taken care or properly and it would not be in her best interest… however my parents live in the same town and I have considered letting her go live with them…they are great and would make sure she is well cared for…I’m just not sure I would be making the right decision…. I feel as if I’m a bad parent or like I’m just giving up..I don’t know what to do please help…S.
Answer: Dear S.: I am going to refer you to my Web-forum because I think you would benefit from more feedback than just mine. Often in such instances, my take is that no matter what you do, the child will hold it against you later on. She wants the whole family to move back home. No other solution is going to be acceptable. She thinks living with her bio-dad or grandparents would be the answer. She is too young and inexperienced to know that isn’t true. She is choosing her friends over you and that is simply not her decision to make. She is a long way from being an adult and self-directed. Please come over to www.WiseWomenUnitel.com where a community of amazing women will share similar experiences with you.
I think your daughter has to face this. It is a learning situation she is choosing to pass on and she thinks she can pull it off. It’s not her call. She is trying to gain control through her behavior.For you to let that work wouldn’t be in her best interest. She would learn from that to demand compliance from others instead of how to adjust. We all have to learn to adjust. Life doesn’t adjust to us. She is choosing to be miserable. I would let her know I understood and sympathized and at the same time I would stop babying her. You have tried everything and she still intends to win. You are the adult in this scenario. Let her cry and wail and pound her pillow and suffer and hate life. On the other side is a lesson learned. Blessings, Luise