Title says it all. I'm not sure what to do anymore.
She loves to play with him when she feels like it, she talks about him tons when he is at work, saying her art is for him and she loves him etc, but when he's home 80% of the time she continually rejects him.
If I'm not home and she is alone with him she is apparently much better with it, but as long as I'm there it's a constant: "No! Mumma!" for most of the day. If he has food she wants to share, or they'll watch a fav show if they sit together, but otherwise she is often very very harsh.
Example he'll say "Hi, Addie."
Addie: "NO! Mumma!"
Goes to kiss her or give her a hug, she scrambles away and pushes his hands away and cries for me. She makes it look like he's horrible or abusive or something, which he's not, and it's really hurting his feelings and making him feel extremely rejected. He also feels very used since she's nicer when he has food or toys or whatever, as above.
It's been like this since she was a baby. She's always been very mummy-centric. We kept figuring it was just a phase and she'd grow out of it, and it has decreased/increased a little here and there, but never gone away.
I don't know what to do about it. nothing I've tried is working. HELP! Advice??
From one mom to another, a daughter's relationship with her father is complicated.
My son has a similar reaction to his father. Similar MO misses Daddy all day until he comes home then only wants Mommy to do everything. I have tried making myself busy which helps. We also have started having Mommy go out so that Daddy is the only option.
To be very honest, I need a break at the end of the day. Taking a long walk or going for a work out after dinner has helped. Daddy has time to connect with our LO and Mommy has time to breathe.
Every family is different so you have to do what is best for yours.
Good luck to you!
Could it be related to his working? We had good friends who experienced similar problems, which were so bad at age 3 - 4 that we found ourselves not wanting to visit anymore. It was just like you said - she clearly loved her Daddy, but soundly rejected him when he was there. In their case, it really seemed to be tied up in the fact that he was away so much for work. It was like she was mad at him for leaving her every day, or like she couldn't really attach because it hurt her to miss him so much during the day. I think it helped her if Daddy dropped everything to play with her before doing ANYTHING else when he got home. But really, it just took a while to pass.
20 month old DD started doing the same thing a few months back. I do think it's relatively normal, but very upsetting to both parents of course. We have found that there needs to be a certain amount of just Daddy time during the week. Once I'm out of the house they do all of her favorite things together, and that seems to make a difference, but once i get home she's all about me again. I've spoken to parent friends with similar issues, and it corrects itself eventually. One of these days, we'll find that the tables have turned. :)
I don't think Daddy working too much necessarily causes it. DH and I split child care pretty evenly (as much as possible without him having breasts!) and DD still strongly prefers me when she has the option. We've found that the best thing is to just not give her an option. If it's DH's turn to change her that's who does it. She can fuss, but as long as we're firm and not waffle-y about it, she doesn't protest too long. If she's really tired or feeling bad or something I'll help out with whatever DH is trying to do with her - I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, though. It really is sort of hard on DH, even though he knows not to take it personally and that it's normal developmental behavior and all, it still sucks to be rejected.
Work at home, homesteading mom sharing child care 50/50 with my wonderful WAH DH. DD1 born Jan. 2010. March '12. DD2 & DD3 (twins) born Feb. 2013