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She wont even let us talk to each other anymore

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My 33 month old is so jealous of me and her dad. I am with her at home playing with her all day and when he gets home i just want to talk to him for a little while. Or sometimes before he leaves for work i want to chat and she will yell "NO! don't do that! don't talk!" and then start whining and talking  or singing really loud over us and throwing herself on the ground. Or begging me to pick her up and hold her. I know that it must be confusing to have my attention all day and then have to share me with her dad suddenly is confusing but it can't go on like this. She stresses us both out to where we get mad at each other and we are hanging by a thread. The stress level in our home is through the roof and i feel like she is the major factor. Then there is other stuff. Like she is freaking out right now because i am typing this instead of playing. i rarely ever am on the computer when she is awake because of this. And she can also tell that i am distracted by trying to pack for a trip we are going on too so she is getting angry at me when i am not paying attention to her. She asks me for help all of the time with things she can do by herself. Basically she acts like she is starved for my attention and i feel like i give her all of me all of the time. I give her tons of attention. heck yesterday i pretended to be her pet dog for a full hour. I admit i haven't done much with her today but she has been acting so neededy that i just want to do the opposite and get away from her. Someone tell me why she is doing this and what i can do to help her understand that sometimes she can't have mommy ALL OF THE TIME. Is it just a stage? Do i need to let go of everything else and give her 100% or is this a time to teach her that she needs to share me and that she can't get me by throwing fits?

post #2 of 4

I have this problem too sometimes.  It's pretty annoying.  I definitely can't talk on the phone while DS is conscious unless I lock myself in the bathroom, for real...It's a rare day I can use the computer for any length of time when he's awake.

 

Haven't found any magical solutions, but when DS starts interrupting conversations, I tell him that I'm talking to daddy right now, and it's rude to interrupt people who are talking to each other, I'll talk to you in a minute, etc.  At this age, I don't actually expect THAT to work any magic, but eventually he may get something out of it.

 

I'm guessing kids grow out of this because it seems to be getting a little better all the time, and I don't recall any of my older nieces/nephews having this issue when I'm around them, so I'm assuming kids grow out of it at some point.  That being said, I can tell you right now, if you have a class full of teenagers, and the phone rings, they suddenly want to tell you EVERYTHING and start acting up.  Guaranteed.   (So maybe not as soon as you'd like!)

 

In the meantime, I do most of my online time when DS is napping or asleep.  On rare days, he'll be so into whatever he's doing that I can actually do something else.  And I try to save the serious conversations for times when he's asleep or preoccupied.   

post #3 of 4

Gosh, this is hard.  I a big believer in APing.  I was home with both of my kids when they were little.  But I wonder if maybe your daughter would benefit from some time not neccesarily away from you, but in the company of others.  Can you join a playgroup so she can make some friends?

 

Does she get much alone time with her dad?  Can he take her out on a "Daddy-Daughter Date"?  Give her some undivided attention and build his relationship with her?

 

And while you try those two ideas, don't be afraid to offer her some gentle discipline for acting out when you are having a conversation with your DP.  Give her the choice to be polite and respectful or else wait in her room until you are done speaking.  This isn't an infant who nurses all night and and so you and DP sleep in separate rooms temporarily so he can be refreshed for work in the morning...that type of sacrifice in your relationship is perhaps to be expected.  But a 4yo shouldn't be preventing you from speaking...it's ok to talk to her about it and then give a consequence as a reminder.  Best wishes to you!

post #4 of 4

Your situation sounds very similar to mine.  My DD is 34 months old, and is very resentful of any attention that I give to, well, anyone/thing besides her.  Or if I try to have her papa watch her while I do something alone, like have a bath.  She also talks loudly and whines when he and I try to talk, and lately she often hasn't wanted him to talk to her or touch her.  She speaks very well, so it's perfectly clear when she says something like "excuse me papa, but mama and I would like some time alone" the moment he comes in the door from work.  It could be related to the fact that it's a "transition" time when he gets home from work (ie. getting used to having another person in the house - my DD finds every transition of the day difficult), but it is something we need to deal with too, since it's stressful for everyone.

 

My theory at the moment is that to a certain extent, this is a phase that will get easier over time once my daughter becomes more independent (although it's really hard to imagine that happening at the moment - she is also really resistant to doing things for herself).  However, I think that in our case there are also underlying personality traits that will continue to be an issue.  I am an introvert who basically gets no time alone to recharge.  My daughter is always looking for interaction and physical and verbal contact with me.  I am really bad/inexperienced at setting limits with people who push and push - I'm just not used to it.  My daughter is a professional tester of limits - she is extremely strong-willed, and will just keep taking all that I can give her.  I have always had an AP approach with her, and will continue to do so, but the fact is that I can just give and give and give of myself and she will always expect more.  So, I'm trying to focus on gently and respectfully setting limits with her in the hope that it will help both of us in the long run.  

 

I certainly don't feel qualified to offer suggestions to you, since I don't really know what the heck I'm doing either;)  But I think it would be totally OK to work on some boundary-setting with your daughter so that she knows what is and is not acceptable in your family.  Good luck, you have my sympathy!  And I look forward to hearing what others have to suggest too.  

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