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Why does my step daughter hate her mother?

Q: My step daughter is 3 years old, her father and mother are going through a divorce right now. In the beginning everyone had kept the baby out of it and now her mother has involved her. About 5 weeks ago, her mother took her from us for no reason and we didn't get to see her for 3 weeks. We did get to talk to her and she always wanted to go home. Her mother is very upset about it and has told her that she could not see or talk to us again. The baby has got very angry at her. Well we just got her back and she has not seen her mother in 2 weeks. We have tried getting her to talk to her on the phone but she refuses. She has even made comments like she hates her mother and didn't like her and didn't want to see her. We are very upset by this and don't know what to do. We don't talk about the divorce in front of the baby at all, and we definitely have not taught her to say it. So my question is why is she saying these things? Why does she not want anything to do with her mother?. Ever since we got her back she has been terrified of us leaving her alone; she throws a huge fit about it. We feel that she gets upset when we have to leave her with a babysitter because she is afraid that we won't come and get her.

A:The child is definitely insecure and perhaps suffering from attachment disruption. When a parent is going through divorce, the pain, anger and stress are likely to get displaced on to the child. The best option would be for you not to make the child self-conscious. Do not label the child as insecure. Your relaxed attitude will pass on a sense of security to her. Talk to her, play with her and hold her to comfort her. Do not force the child to go to the mother if she does not want to. Consult a child psychologist for help in dealing with the situation if the problem persists.


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