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I want daddy

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Every day i hear from both of my boys"I want Daddy" repeatedly. 

 A little back story - i have been a sahm all of their lives (5 and almost 3) and my stbx and I split up in September, we live in the same city, about 2 miles from each other and are splitting parenting almost 50/50 with me having just a little bit more. 

 

I see a therapist and she says that when they say this they mean that they are missing him and to verify their feelings, to suggest making him a picture or card, looking at pictures of him, and maybe call him...but it is NOT working or helping and its even starting to make me a little sad.  My stbx is pushing for me to go back to work full time and put the kids both in full time day care which will drastically cut all of our parenting time and I fear it will be a lot worse. 

 

What should I say to them?  They are breaking my heart...

gabby

post #2 of 8

that's hard!  my boys are the same age, and their dad and i separated in july, so we are going through similar stuff.

 

why does it break your heart that they miss their dad?  is it because you're sympathizing with them, or because you're hurt that they want their dad when they're with you?  i agree with your therapist's advice.  you said it's not helping because it's making you sad, but putting your feelings aside for a moment, is it helping them?  how do they respond?

 

are you still home full-time, or are you working when your boys are with their dad?  what are your long-term plans for work and your boys' schooling?

post #3 of 8

XH and I are going through this now with my 2 year old. I have been able to diffuse a lot of the episodes by talking about daddy or asking questions. Nothing snoopy - just stuff like do you miss Daddy and your dog? They are at daddy's house. You will get to see them tomorrow. Sometimes I ask her if she's asking to see daddy and she says no.

post #4 of 8

is there some flexibilty in your parenting schedule? my ex has ds much less than 50% of the time but never goes more than a day usually, two at the longest without seeing ds. he picks him up in the afternoons for a couple of hours 3 days a week and has a full weekend day with him. this seems to keep ds pretty happy. but he has never known anything different because ex and i split up when he was 1. but still... perhaps doing everyother day instead of 3 on 3 off or some such would be helpful to them?

post #5 of 8

I have a 2yo and a 5yo. With the 2yo I just say "I know darling and you will see Daddy on the weekend". Reminding him that he will see him soon seems to work. With the 5yo I will say "I know Dude. I know you miss Daddy. It sucks that you don't get to see him more. Shall we try and call him?".

 

Just repeat and repeat and repeat.

post #6 of 8

Totally agree and it will take some time. Be patient and give them extra love while they transition to the new arrangement.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post

I have a 2yo and a 5yo. With the 2yo I just say "I know darling and you will see Daddy on the weekend". Reminding him that he will see him soon seems to work. With the 5yo I will say "I know Dude. I know you miss Daddy. It sucks that you don't get to see him more. Shall we try and call him?".

 

Just repeat and repeat and repeat.



 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you ladies.  Yesterday we drew and colored pictures for dad whenever they missed him.  I would just say, Awe, I bet he missing you when you are at mommys house, lets make him a picture to look at while you are gone.  Seemed to work, plus it warmed up above 30 so we got to go play outside...wahoo.

gabby

post #8 of 8

I just saw this but I'm glad I did. We have the same thing happening over here with my almost-four year old dd. Sometimes it hurts me, too--both that she is so sad and missing her dad (breaks my heart and makes me feel guilty), and also, I guess, I feel a little hurt that she misses him and wants him so much--shouldn't she be happy just to be with me? But I'm talking in the voice of my ego; I know that that is not true, that it's natural and normal that she should miss her dad, and I would never ever make her feel anything less than perfectly safe and comfortable to express all of her feelings about it. I just sort of privately acknowledge my personal feelings about it, then put them aside and move on.

 

So we do what others have suggested. I ask her about what she is feeling, I talk to her about what she is looking forward to doing with her daddy, I remind her that she's going to see him in X number of days, or sometimes I help her make him a card or something. Sometimes she wants to share her chocolates or something with him--like today she wanted to save some of the crackers she was eating for her daddy which is silly, of course, because on the one hand I don't need to be feeding him not to mention that he probably doesn't want to eat those crackers anyway but I helped her bag them up for him and she proudly gave them to him today and he pretended to be delighted and grateful. Last week she made him a card and I told her how to spell "I love you, daddy," which she wrote all by herself. I try so hard not to make her feel guilty about her feelings of loving or missing or wanting her daddy in spite of whatever I feel about it privately. Glad to know, though, that this vexes other mamas, too.

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