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Hanau's avatar

I am a grandma (meemaw) to a 7 yr old girl. Any councelors?

Asked by Hanau (10 points ) March 11th, 2014

There was an accidental ingestion of something containing alcohol when she was 2. My daughter (child’s mom) took it out on me because she felt so guilty (she was with my grand daughter when it happened) and, after that incident, she began leaving for 3–4 weeks at a time without telling her 2 yr old daughter. My son in law and daughter were having marital problems. They all lived with me. The little one got to where she wouldn’t let me out of her site. She wouldn’t stay at preschool. I took her to my office with me every day and after about 3 yrs she began to gradually be ok without me or someone close to her within sight. Her mom continued to travel a lot. Her dad still lived in my house until a few months ago, staying more and more at his girlfriends house. My grand daughter (now 7) doesn’t even know that they are divorced. I finally got them to go see a councelor to get help with telling her in the least damaging way, because her father just wanted to have her hang out with his new girlfriend (now they are engaged). Anyway, there are more details but the issue here is that she has suddenly regressed to not letting me out of her sight. Her mom left a few weeks ago without telling her (that’s how it happened when she was 2) and suddenly she won’t go to school. She starts crying at school – says she doesn’t know why, she just needs to see me. She has gone to school for almost 2 years and has never once cried! She is obviously having a recurrence of the previous feelings of abandonment. I am mostly raising her. What do I do?! Most say to leave her at school crying and suffering. Won’t that just reinforce the abandonment feelings? Are there any therapists out there?

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5 Answers

Pandora's avatar

I’m not a therapists but I would suggest talking to the dad about her new issues and see if he is willing to sign off on her seeing a child therapists. It does seem that she is probably fearing abandonment but there can be more to this than that issue alone. For now I would just suggest that you always keep your promises. My husband was in the military and sometimes the kids took deployments pretty hard, but I found that by being consistent in everything I did, helped to reassure them that they could always count on me. She may be dealing with the feelings of rejection. I think when my brother and sister in law split up, that was my nephews feelings.

Nothing much you can do there. I’m sure she feels loved and cared by you but if my friends are any indication, grandparents were not always a perfect solution. Children feel most secure in mom and dads affections when given. I have mostly adult friends and it seems that many hold resentment against their parents, despite other family members who try their best to make them feel secure. I’ve even seen a few posts here in fluther.

Get her the professional help that she needs now before it becomes a larger issue of self loathing, and low self esteem.

susanc's avatar

I agree with @Pandora that you should make a good sensible alliance with your granddaughter’s dad, and get help from a counselor for yourselves as well (as a helpful counselor for the child) to help get the adults on the same page. He’s more stable than your daughter and he will need your help to make this little girl feel secure. Good for you. You’re saving a life.

Cruiser's avatar

(I am not a counselor but have dealt with a situation similar to this with my son)

She is dealing with a ton of emotions here and more than likely is a form of separation anxiety. Her biggest issue is her fear of being away from her only environment she knows is safe and that is with you. Her mom abandoning her is affecting her sense of security and you are her only safe zone.

I would request a meeting with the school principal and school social worker and psychologist first just with you to discuss what you are dealing with. I know it will be hard to have to be open about such a personal matter but this is not about you this is all about this little girl and her feelings of feeling safe and secure. The goal of this meeting should be to see what options are available that the school can assist you with in helping your grand daughter feel safe at school. The school deals with this all the time so they should be able to help you here. If you don’t do this now it will only get worse. Good luck. Feel free to PM me to discuss this more.

rojo's avatar

I think it is a sad indictment of our society if, as @Cruiser states, ” The school deals with this all the time…”

GloPro's avatar

If she lives with you and you are the primary caregiver have you given any thought to adopting her?

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