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my toddler doesn't like me :o(

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

i have an 18 month old and he is a total daddy's boy. i'll do if daddy isn't there, but if daddy or anyone else is around he never wants tocome to me. and when daddy tries to hand him off to me, he cries like it's the end of the world. i stay at home, and my husband works. he's home during the evening and weekends, and sometimes even late afternoons so it's not like my toddler never sees him.

 

im the one who bathes him, feeds him, changes his diaper, rocks him to sleep every night, reads to him, sings to him, plays with him. i don't drive but i try to take him out when i can. daddy doesnt do any of that other than cuddle him from time to time, and watch tv with him. at first i thought it's because i was being mean when i was diciplining him (yelling NO, or slapping his wrist) so i changed that since there was too much negative energy in the house so all i do is take him away from what he was doing, but he freaks out about that still. i've tried distracting im from it, but it rarely works.

 

i just don't know why he doesn't like me very much. he's more INDIFFERENT to me than anything else. he'll play with me if i play with him, he'll sit and read a book with me for a while, but he's just not all that HAPPY about it. but the second daddy comes home, he perks up, RUNS to the door and wants to be held. if im holding him, he'll lean towards daddy.

 

i know he doesnt HATE me, but it breaks my heart when he doesn't want to be held by me. just wondering if this was normal, or if theres something im doing wrong, or something i can change.

post #2 of 10

It really is quite normal. Soon enough it will turn around and you'll be the one who hangs the moon.

post #3 of 10

kids go back and forth for parental preferences.  hugs as it can be so hard to see!

post #4 of 10

Hugs to you Mama. I know what you are going thru! 

DS is 16 months old and wants Daddy ALL of the time. I'm the one who feeds him, bathes him, changes him, ect, but Daddy is the 'fun parent' right now.  If Daddy is around he wants Daddy.  I think it is just a phase they go though. 

post #5 of 10

Hugs! I feel this way sometimes too.  I work full time while my husband is home with our daughter.  Sometimes she just doesn't seem interested in me at all and it breaks my heart. It makes me wonder if the fact that I am not home with her all day is doing permanent damage to our relationship.  I really really hope not, but some things I just cannot control. It is absolutely not an option for me to be home. My daughter needs a stable home more than she needs me to be home 9-5.  We do spend evenings and weekends together and we co-sleep so I can get some extra cuddles in.  I know how you feel though - and it's definitely defeating.  Everyone I've talked to says this is totally normal behavior and that it will pass. I'm sure they are right, but I hope it passes soon. 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurlypowa View Post

i have an 18 month old and he is a total daddy's boy. i'll do if daddy isn't there, but if daddy or anyone else is around he never wants tocome to me. and when daddy tries to hand him off to me, he cries like it's the end of the world. i stay at home, and my husband works. he's home during the evening and weekends, and sometimes even late afternoons so it's not like my toddler never sees him.

 

im the one who bathes him, feeds him, changes his diaper, rocks him to sleep every night, reads to him, sings to him, plays with him. i don't drive but i try to take him out when i can. daddy doesnt do any of that other than cuddle him from time to time, and watch tv with him. at first i thought it's because i was being mean when i was diciplining him (yelling NO, or slapping his wrist) so i changed that since there was too much negative energy in the house so all i do is take him away from what he was doing, but he freaks out about that still. i've tried distracting im from it, but it rarely works.

 

i just don't know why he doesn't like me very much. he's more INDIFFERENT to me than anything else. he'll play with me if i play with him, he'll sit and read a book with me for a while, but he's just not all that HAPPY about it. but the second daddy comes home, he perks up, RUNS to the door and wants to be held. if im holding him, he'll lean towards daddy.

 

i know he doesnt HATE me, but it breaks my heart when he doesn't want to be held by me. just wondering if this was normal, or if theres something im doing wrong, or something i can change.


hug2.gif you're a good momma!!!!  I know how hard this is.. My almost four years old is like this and always has been... He wont let me give him a kiss or hug or anything , he wants his daddy all the time... He told me a couple days ago "mommy i dont want you, but i need you" . I went to the bathroom and cried in there for like 15 minutes thinking what did i do wrong...We talked about it later that day, and DH talked to him and he said that he loved me but not all the time... I guess that some kids are like this and i will have to deal  with it and respect the fact that he doesn't like to be kissed or hugged ....

 

post #7 of 10

I feel you, Gurlypowa. My son definitely prefers Daddy, and has for the past two years, Ready for that tide to change haha! We're great and have so much fun if Daddy isn't home, but if he's here, forget about it. My son is all about Daddy. He won't even let me push the grocery cart if his dad is there. 

 

But you know, mommy guilt is such a funny thing. SAHMS might feel that their children prefer Daddy because they are always around Mommy. I work and my husband is home with my son during the day, and sometimes I think it's because of that that he is so much closer to his dad than to me. The reality is probably more that kids just connect differently at different stages of their lives with their parents, and it's very much an individual thing. I won't lie, though, I do feel sad about it (and Daddy gets touched out and wants space, so it's hard on both of us, if I think about it honestly). 

 

Also, I am very happy with my parenting skills/techniques/whatever and am pretty assured in it, but like you, I can't help but sometimes wonder where I went wrong. I know, intellectually, I'm doing a great job, but I still self-doubt sometimes. It's a hard feeling to deal with, no doubt about it. 

 

Hugs to you. I feel it's normal behavior, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

post #8 of 10

Yep, you get sympathy from me. My DS1 is/was the same way. And he's 9 years old now! I don't know why, but he just always preferred daddy. There's no rhyme or reason for it. We worked opposite shifts so we spent, literally, the same amount of time with him. And the same amount of time caring for him. He just always took to daddy over me. And then DS2 came along and was completely the opposite. Go figure. 

post #9 of 10

Many have already pointed out that showing preference for one parent is a common thing in toddlers.


I'd just add to what everyone else has said that the same advice that goes for daddys feeling the same way goes for you: whatever you do, please try your best NOT to withdraw or show your disappointment/frustration/hurt in how you interact with your son.  Even the subtlest actions/vibes from a parent can turn the dynamic that is already there into a much deeper, more serious dynamic that can influence future connection/bonding.

 

Even though it's hard, it's important that you try to do what a lot of other parents in the same situation have to try to do: 1) remember it's not personal against you; 2) don't take it out on your kid and be careful that you aren't subtely showing negative feelings, because that can reinforce the preference that's already bothering you; and 3) know that the vast majority of kids outgrow this preference (or jump back and forth many times) in the years to come, and as long as you're as loving as you can be, your time to be The One to your dc will probably come, and then come around again, and again, etc.

 

It's a hard dynamic, and it can feel heartbreaking sometimes to feel rejected or at least not "enthusiastically received" by your own child.  But it's not uncommon, and it's usually not about you, it's just a phase.

post #10 of 10

If he lets you rock him to sleep, he likes you ;) he might not be enthusiastic about it, but it does mean you're doing something right ;)

 

Anyways, DS is kinda like this. But it's not just daddy. It's everyone who isn't mommy. One time, we went to a playgroup, and he literally clung to this mom the entire time. And we had never met her before. Right now, we're living with DH's family, and he is enthusiastic about SIL, and goes to her when he needs a mommy eyesroll.gif and he goes to BIL when he wants a cool guy to hang out with. But, I am the one who can calm him down when he is having a tantrum. 

 

We do GD, but it's usually the inlaws yelling at him(or "spanking" him) -- peeves me out, but he is still in love with them. I say that he only wanted me for the milk, now that we're done nursing, he doesn't come to me. Other people(DH) said that he didn't like me because i didn't play with him enough. I agree with the pp, you will always find something to feel guilty about. it's not worth the effort, IMO.

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