SD is 8 and we’ve been in her lives since she was born (me SM from about 18 months) it got very messy when I come as mum must have felt insecure even though she was with somebody new (and is now married to him and has children with). So mum stopped contact for a good 3 months which obviously had impact on SD and everybody else in the family. Other SD is 15 and we have 2 children together. Eventually went to court and got a CAO we see her every other weekend and half holidays although now it’s becoming quite flexible. SD has always enjoyed coming to ours but lately she’s been getting quite upset when it’s her turn to come to ours she gets very clingy with mum saying she wants to stay with her. Mum said her sister at home has moved out and I think she’s only young (13/14) but gone to live with her dad (different dad). Don’t know if this is having an impact on SD behaviour, but when she last come to us yesterday I’ve never seen her so upset, in front of the house screaming crying clinging to mum saying she didn’t want to come. Mum left and she came in and within an hour she calmed down and was back to normal. No idea what’s going on or how to ride this out? She was meant to stay for a week during the hols as grandad was down and we had a few days out planned. We’ve tried talking to SD but all she does is shrug her shoulders so she’s not opening to us, the anxiety is real 😥
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Just keep at it with consistency. My son went through a stage of not wanting to go to his father's. Stepsons also went through a phase of not wanting to come. I wonder if it's to do with sister moving to her dad's. She may feel like she might not come home to mum if she is confused on why her sister has gone to live somewhere else. She may also have seen her sister behave this way if she didn't want to move away. Just consistency will help and although it seems awful in that first hour, you know she will calm down. Just don't take it personally.

@Alice thank you needed to hear this! We’re trying to reassure her when she’s upset saying you know you’ll always go back to mum etc, it’s just so hard seeing her go through that. It must be unsettling for the sister moving out which we think is half the reason maybe. Just wanted outsiders opinions thank you

I don’t think her stopping contact when SD was 18 months old and you came on the scene would be impacting now That said the sister moving out is likely triggering her desire to stay close to mum and ‘home’ and keep everything normal Is maybe her sister ‘home’ when she’s at yours - so she wants to stay to see her It sounds like mum is doing the right thing by still bringing her and leaving etc, could you try doing handover somewhere public? Local coffee shop/cafe and pop in to get a drink before getting in the car to yours Continue to reassure her everything’s fine and she will go back to mums soon etc and continue with stability and consistency of her coming regularly x

@Amy I mentioned the stopping contact at the start as a bit of a background of what mum used to be like. Also I think she messes with emotions (the mum) for example things like saying dad is here, but she’ll say his first name, not dad. SD calls her new partner dad at home. Putting names in her iPad instead of dad but then has her and her partner down as mum and dad. Our routine is to pick SD up from school and drop her back off there but it’s just whilst it’s happened in school holidays! I do think the sister moving out has triggered it a lot and she probably feels unsettled, it’s always got to be difficult going between two homes 😞

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