Hi, thanks for reading my message. Short description: My 13 year old daughter stopped going to school from my place (stays in bed until 2pm) but still goes to school at her mum's place. Arrangement is 50/50, alternating each week. More context: - I've been separated from her mother since before she was born. Have always had a lot of contact with my daughter since she was an infant. It's been 50/50 for about seven years. It switched to alternating weeks about three years ago, before that there was more a fortnightly timetable (4-5-3-2, from memory). - I have ADHD and ASD. I have a booking with a paediatrician for July, as this was the first availability. I had a diagnosis for ADHD done for her with a psychologist late last year, but it was inconclusive. Will be doing another session with a psychologist regarding ADHD in four weeks. The psychologist is expensive, I don't know if they would be good for a general consultation but could try this. Could go back to the GP who referred to psychologist/paediatrician to see if they can refer to another support. - I work full time and work from home. Though I am starting a new job in April where I was planning to work more from the office, though working from home may still be an option when my daughter is home. - My relationship with my daughter is reasonable, I think; I could be wrong. She has been spending most of her time in her room since most of last year. She still eats dinner with me and is open to general communication, not disrespectful. I read to her at bedtime. I find it is mostly positive. But the staying home behaviour, I go in at the requested time for the wake up (7:30am) wake her up and now she's sort of grunting/grumbling (like, "I may be awake, I may not be"). And then everything I've tried is not getting her out of bed. I've tried raising my voice, I've tried talking calmly. I've tried reminders every 10 minutes. I've tried leaving her to get out on her own. - The behaviour started at the end of last year when she would stay home maybe one or two days a week. This year it's progressed to staying home the entire week (my last week, she stayed home four of five days, this week, it's been every day, except the school had planned a work from home day and I believe she participated). - Her mother isn't that helpful with giving me information about what's working at her house, other than telling me she has a good routine and my daughter communicates with her and she suggests we change the arrangement so that my daughter spends more time with her. I'm somewhat sceptical about what she tells me and I wonder if the regimentation at her mum's house might be wearing her out so that she uses my house to recover... but I have no real evidence of this other than scepticism and ill feeling toward her mother. - I live alone in my home, so when she is with me it is just her and me.. At her mum's home, she has a step dad, a half sister and a step sister who sometimes stays over. - When my daughter is with me she still goes to her extracurricular activities in the evening, without difficulty. My thoughts: On one hand, I believe there's the idea that when teenagers push you away, they need you the most, meaning that there may be something she needs from me in this; if I simply palm her off to her mother, I may be avoiding something. On the other hand, I really don't know what I can do for her other than be patient and try to show her that I'm understanding and accepting, hoping that she opens up and begins working with me on the issue. In the meantime she may miss a lot of school and establish bad habits. Letting her mum have her more often seems like a solution, but I doubt it will be temporary, it will most likely marginalise me as a parent... well perhaps I already am marginalised and this would just formalise it. Not sure if my daughter is behaving this way to deliberately or subconsciously bring about a change of the arrangement. But, although I could put aside my feelings of feeling like a failure as a parent and feeling that I would miss her, I'm not entirely sure it would be better for her to have less contact with me, because if leads to her becoming alienated from me then she might miss the benefit of a good relationship with me throughout her adolescence. But, perhaps I need to adjust to maintaining a relationship with less contact time. Just wondering if anyone had been in a similar situation? I've known of other separated fathers who have had to relent to having their daughter spend the majority of her time with her mother during adolescence, but haven't heard much of what the experience was like.
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