my (now) 5 yr old grand-daughter came to live with us a year and a half ago, as her mother couldn't cope with the parental responsibility of being a singe parent and also with the behavioural problems her daughter was displaying (tantrums, wetting herself, violence, speech problems).
my grand-daughter is a lovely child, but structure was lacking from her early years and so consequently she did not know right from wrong. As a result, she has had to take a lot in over the last 18 months. she is doing really well, but she still really misses her mother and is very very troubled after her visits. her behaviour reverts to some of the ways she used to act when she was living with her mother, and she is very disruptive at school the next day.
The school have suggested she has Sensory Processing Difficulty (SPD) and that we should contact a child psycologist to help her, and have also pointed out that she is only badly behaved after she has seen her mother. When she returned to school after the Christmas break (she didn't see her mother as we went away for the holidays), her behaviour at school was completely normal and a marked improvement on the previous term, but two weeks into the term following a weekend with her mum - she reverted to disruptive behaviour in the class.
i am reluctant to appoint a psycologist as i believe my grand-daughter will simply use this as an excuse to be treated differently to the other children in class and i am also concerned that the ones we have spoken to have relabelled bad behaviour into so many different medical sounding conditions and illnesses, that my grand-daughter will end up being put on some drug or another for simply being a naughty child!
My partner strongly feels that we should simply stop my grand-daughter seeing his daughter/her mother and that this will solve the problem of disruptive behaviour at school; as he feels his daughter is no good and a terribly bad influence on our grand-daughter. However, i am really concerned that if we stop parental contact for a significant part of my grand-daughter's childhood, we will do some long term damage to her emotionally and that she might have feelings of abandonment or low self worth when she is older. it just seems intuitively so wrong to stop a child from seeing her mother, and yet my partner is right - she has a terrible and negative effect on my grand-daughter.
Is there any medical evidence to support either of these choices? Is it better to provide my grand-daughter with a stable and consistent environment with rules and support and structure and a loving, caring home without her parents; or is it better to maintain parental contact and appoint a child psycologist to assist in addressing the disruptive behaviour that ensues after contact?
if anyone has any advice, or has any first hand experience of what is best to do in circumstances similar to this - please can you let me know. We are desperate to do the best we can for our 5 yr old, but at the end of the day neither of us are medically qualified and we cannot find any literature to assist us in making a decision to improve matters.