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Partner's emotional rollercoaster with Bipolar impacting daughter (3.75) Emotional & Social Development
My partner of 20 years was diagnosed with Bipolar around 12 years ago, He is medicated but doesn't like strong meds and does not handle stress well. We are stuck home due to COVID and I am drained (I work full time supporting us all).
Daycare called me yesterday and suggested that my daughter who is not yet 4 is not learning to handle her emotions and may need occupational therapy. Unfortunately I know she is being impacted by the stress in our house and my partner's sudden outbursts and mood swings.
How can I help her deal with emotions? Do I send her to therapy? Some of the "issues" only seem to be on display at daycare where she is in a class with older children (some over a year older).
Hi Mini C,
Thanks for reaching out to the community forums for support where you will find a variety of helpful advice and related experiences.
I understand how you must feel carrying the responsibility for the whole family. Do you have other family to lend a hand, or simply relate to your situation? Talking to others can be a good start for finding clarity without becoming overwhelmed.
Without knowing the full situation, I would be cautious about rushing off to therapy before investigating what is triggering your daughter's emotional responses - particularly given that you mentioned this only occurs at day care and under certain conditions.
There may be only one or two protagonists (or specific situations) causing the behaviour. If you find it difficult to ascertain the source from the day care facility, perhaps you might try changing facilities.
Any repeat behaviour would suggest an underlying issue, affirming the need to seek appropriate attention.
Hi Mini C,
Glad to hear you have an interim plan.
Please don't apportion blame to yourself (or even your partner) - I'd be more concerned if I had a fully compliant and cooperative 4 year old! (Frankly, I don't think they exist).
However, if I'm not mistaken, your daughter is an only child? If so, the virtues of sharing will not have developed to the same extent, so perhaps some 'extra-curricular' activity in this regard might help future encounters;
You are doing fine, but try not to tackle everything alone.