Reader’s Question: I have seen my 7-year-old daughter every other weekend since I divorced her mom two years ago. My daughter’s behavior with me is absolutely horrible, to the point where I now dread her coming over. My ex-wife is a real pain and a terrible mother, so I really can’t speak with her about our daughter. Any ideas on what I can do to get my daughter’s behavior under control?
Dr. Ramey’s Answer: Stop whining about your ex-spouse. You can’t solve this problem without talking with your ex-wife. Regardless of whatever may have happened during your marriage and divorce, you need to put the love of your child ahead of your feelings toward your ex-spouse. If your daughter’s mom is unwilling to talk with you directly, ask if she would be willing to go with you to a child therapist to help deal with your daughter’s problems.
These youngsters are among the saddest I treat because most of these problems are caused by selfish and immature parents.
Reprinted by permission from the November 16, 2008, edition of the Dayton Daily News, “For your child’s sake, work with ex-spouse”, Family Wise, Gregory Ramey, PH.D.
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Guest Contributor Gregory Ramey, PhD, Child Psychologist and Dayton Daily News Columnist
Gregory Ramey, PhD, is a nationally recognized child psychologist and columnist who has worked at Dayton Children’s Hospital since 1979. In addition to his weekly column in the Dayton Daily News about effective parenting, Ramey has conducted more than 200 workshops and has recently been quoted in articles in Redbook, Parenting, Ladies Home Journal as well as columns distributed by the New York Times Wire Service.