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Sorry in advance for my english, I'm not a native speaker. Some background:

I got pregnant at 20 years old, while I was at the University. My partner was living back then 400 km away from us, so my oldest kid first years, we lived with my parents and my two bros in a litle town, where everything is near and the life it's not so stressful. While I was at classes, my mom takes cares of her, and we spend a lot of time together. When she turn 3 years old, I finished my studies, got a job and moved from my parents house, to live with my child's father, 400 kms away from them. We travel constantly to visit my parents, like one or two times a month (it's a five hours train trip). They love her to pieces, it's their little monster. She's now almost 6 years old, and can't adjust to her new lifestyle. Unfortunately, she haves to spend in the school from 9am to 5pm (I know, it's horrible, but this is how things are in my country) and travel for like one hour to get home. Every time she misses grandparents' home she says: "I don't want to live here, I want to go back to Tita's (grandmother's house)". Last time she cries a lot. I can't go back to that town (even it's my biggest desire), we -me and my husband- are engineers, and the works available there are horrible and depressing. But she simply can't adjust to the fact...it breaks my heart everytime she says that Tita's house is her home, and the apartment we live is her castle. She never called the apartment home. Another "interesting" fact, it's that every time we come back from the town she throws tantrums in a daily basis for like a week or more.

How can I deal with this situation? We go to therapy, but it wasn't much helpful.

Thanks for reading

EDIT: I forgot to tell that my daughter when we move, starts to show some signs of anxiety: bruxism, eats when she's bored and bites her nails. This things make me so nervous, because I have Generalized Anxiety Issues and panic attacks, and I don't want my little kid suffer it when she's old.

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Your daughter was taken away from a safe place and maybe she hasn't yet learned she is still safe and loved. Try to let her know it is okay to feel the way she does - we can't control our feelings, so validate them. Let her know you feel the same way and miss that home. Continue speaking to her about this being your home now. I'm sure you've already done this. So, when she reverts back to saying she wants to move back to her grandparents house just let her know you understand. That is it - I love you honey, I understand. Hold her, help her get through that moment. You shouldn't take it personally, you are her emotional rock.

To break it down the most simple way, my answer is to respond to her in a very simple way.

I understand you want to live there, that was a great home.
We live here now.
I love you.

Everything else she says is just her working through accepting the truth of where she is now. Be patient and steady. This is preparing you for the harder things to come! :)

  • Hi, Adam, and welcome. Can you please cite a reference for this statement? "I personally think men are more suited to provide this type of assurance, we seem to have an easier time at removing our personal emotions from situations like this." I know you state you think so, but it's pretty far out there. A source would be helpful, and you might find out some interesting things while reading about it. – anongoodnurse Aug 5 '15 at 20:09
  • As that statement says, it is a personal observation from my life. There could be culture and social issues at play, and the sample size is very small. I don't want to sound insensitive. I cherish and respect the inherit strengths and diversity found in men and women. – Adam Heeg Aug 5 '15 at 20:17
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    i removed that comment. My goal was to try and engage the father in the process. Another stereotype in my mind is hands off fathers. We all need to be engaged when raising children. If I don't watch myself I end up getting passive too. – Adam Heeg Aug 5 '15 at 20:29
  • Thanks. I think you should know that the majority of our core users are dads, and they are very active parents. Also, there are studies of brain chemistry differences in males and females, and they really don't support a gender difference, but rather a difference in the degree of engagement. Thus, the literature is starting to chip away at such stereotypes. :-) – anongoodnurse Aug 5 '15 at 20:33
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    I always do that, I tell her that I love her, that I miss my parents to...but I have a work here, and that's how the things are. Maybe in a future we can move... Dad it's very involved around, we don't have roles at home. He and I do the dishes, do laundry, pick up the kids at daycare/school. – NicoleM Aug 6 '15 at 12:25
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Try using Skype to catch up regularly - we do it once a week with my son's grandparents but you could do it even more often? Also little children who cannot yet write like to leave voice messages (if you have a smart phone there are some apps likes whats app that let you record messages) for their loved ones. The tantrums are no doubt part of the missing, I'm sorry for you having that situation and for her missing them so much. Hope those ideas help.

  • She always sends voice mails and calls them, but she gets bored quickly. But I think videocall on hangouts may help (the last week we tried with her dad and was so amazed!!) – NicoleM Aug 5 '15 at 20:06

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