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Old 01-16-2020, 12:26 PM
 
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You could also, on occasion, bring the cousins to the park with your daughter. Build some relationships with them as well, so when your daughter spends time at that house, there will be shared memories for all the kids. You will be a part of their discussions, rather than an outsider.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jaredC View Post
I like this idea! She loves the park. Perhaps I can make that a thing of the norm and do fun activities and roll those into the days I pick her up.
Or get a cat!? Dogs would be nice- but high maintenance- walking?
She may like to see the cat...
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Kids of that age crave routine and the familiar. Think about it - they want to watch the same cartoon over and over again (Baby Shark dododododo), most kids eat the same foods for snack and lunch daily (aren't you tired of that pizza Lunchable yet?), arrive to school 10 minutes late and it throws them off.

She's recently had the upheaval of mom and dad separating which at 4-years old, she can't really understand. And then she spends one week in one home and the next week in the other home. Her routine changes weekly, and that's hard on a 4-year old. Really hard.

OP, does she have her own room at your place? Does she have some ownership of the room - did she pick out the curtains or the comforter? Maybe she picked out a picture or two to set on a dresser or hang on the wall? Is it cozy? I guess I'm asking - does it feel like home to her or is it just dad's place?

As far as activities, I think doing something each afternoon may be a little tiring - for you both. Maybe you can find a project or an activity that you two do only when you're at your home - puzzles or a giant coloring sheet. Read to her from a specific book. Friday nights could be movie night - pop some popcorn and make homemade sundaes and watch a movie or show she's picked out.

I'm sorry you're going through this.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Canada
9,337 posts, read 8,706,544 times
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Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
As far as activities, I think doing something each afternoon may be a little tiring - for you both. Maybe you can find a project or an activity that you two do only when you're at your home - puzzles or a giant coloring sheet. Read to her from a specific book. Friday nights could be movie night - pop some popcorn and make homemade sundaes and watch a movie or show she's picked out.
This is such a good point. Being with your daughter is about bonding with her, not entertaining her or feeling like you have to compete to keep her interest.

It’s about the activities of daily life. Some of my best memories of my dad at that age were going to the hardware store, or going through the car wash. He played board games with me, but not every day or it wouldn’t have been as special. He bought me really cool water toys and we’d play while I had a bath.

Take her grocery shopping and then have her help make dinner with you. Sing songs and tell jokes while you fold laundry. Go for a bike ride, swing on swings at the park. Build a blanket fort and play with her dolls inside. After dark, read stories by flashlight. It’s not the big flashy things that we most remember, it’s that we did them together.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:42 AM
 
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OP all kids would rather stay with their grandparents than their parents...if their grandparents are loving...lol.

I think you are taking this far too personally.

Your daughter is going through a big transition. It's good there is a big, loving, extended family around.

Don't disrupt her life further by changing caregivers. It will all work out!
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Old Today, 08:26 PM
 
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This is so common. Children are just naturally attached to their mothers no matter how the mothers act. And many don't act very nicely unfortunately.

Poor babes. It's luck of the draw for us all, and as one who drew bad luck with both parents, I can understand a child's attachment to stable loving grandparents.

OP, what your daughter is wanting is a home. A home is different from a house. A home is where layers of family history and traditions live on in the walls, the furniture, the food, the generational relationships. Grandparents, parents, aunt's, uncle's, cousins. it's how we as a species live and even thrive.

When you show up to take her to your house/apt none of that is there. It's sterile it's not a home. Sorry dearest but that's just the way it is through a child's eyes. Our great-niece said to me so happily "I have a mommy and a daddy and grandparents and a great uncle and aunty--I have a family!!!"

Perhaps you recognize this in your thoughts of wanting to involve your parents. After all they're her grandparents too. Your family. Your traditions. Your walls so to speak.

Are there cousins on your side? Has she met/bonded with them? Let her know there is the same warm loving family interaction on your side as there is on Mum's.

Perhaps you should consider moving back with your parents if they'll have you. All of you should rally for your daughter's sake. She's so very young.

Please let us know what you decide, as children this little are very vulnerable.
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