My 2.5+ year old daughter is very well behaved for her dad/my husband. He is SAH Dad and runs things very smoothly while I'm at work. The problem is when I walk in the door. My 2 year old begins whining, disobeying and throwing tantrums. I have not set up as strong of boundaries with her behavior as he has. My difficulty is that when she is crying/sad I don't know if I should send her to the other room like he does. He tells her it's okay to cry and be sad, but she needs to do it in the other room (alone). It works for him, but somehow I feel like I'm not allowing her to express herself around us. I want her to feel safe to feel a wide range of emotions, so we can help her work through them. But it's making our days together miserable at times. If I pick her up and hold her, she figures out that she will receive the attention she wants and she seems to market on that, setting up a pattern for the future. The same thing happens at naptime/bedtime...she'll cry until I come check on her. Usually she's half asleep or has no expressed need, but she just wants me to come and talk to her/"snuggle" when we've already finished that part of the routine. I'm not sure how to help her learn to feel her emotions while learning to express them in appropriate ways. Any suggestions?
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11/30/10 at 10:42am