18 month old rejects Daddy.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Let me preface this with some background - my husband and I are in our mid-twenties, our daughter is 18 months old and we are a deliriously happy family. I stay at home, little Lotus still breastfeeds, Mister Thorn comes home in the afternoon from work. He's a wonderful, loving, devoted father and is so in love with our little one. We are so blessed to have one another.

I can't leave for a run, I can hardly leave the room without her screaming, and she will not be comforted by my husband. She will scream for three hours straight with him trying to read her books, distract her with toys, everything. Her immediate needs are always met before I leave, and yet she screams, pushes him away.

It hurts him so deeply. He wants so desperately to have a close relationship with her, like his friends have with their (mostly formula-fed, daycare attending) toddlers. He cries often, feeling rejected by her. It's been almost two years and she's only wanted him for cuddles and comfort a handful of times.

It's hard for me to feel like promoting such deep, loving attachment with her comes at such a high cost - Daddy doesn't want to always play second fiddle to Mommy, and yet, he doesn't have the boobs, the soft voice that she screams for when I'm gone. I know we've done what's right for our family, but how can I help my daughter grow to be more comfortable with Daddy?

Artist and DIY enthusiast on a happiness quest, I'm a crafty Mama to my sweet girl, pos.gif #2 due Dec 2013

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#2 of 7 Old 01-04-2013, 10:34 AM
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Hi there! We were so there a year ago..,,I know just how hard it is for the daddy when this happens! Fast forward a year......our son is 2 and a half and worships his daddy. Just the other day he said "daddy is funny, mommy is regular." Two things happened to bring about this wonderful change. Our son got older and learned to appreciate things his daddy was better than mommy at giving, like rough housing, car noises and general funniness. It wasn't all about the nurturing anymore. Second, daddy watched a video "happiest toddler on the block." It really helped him relate to our son in a better way, and transformed their relationship overnight. I highly recommend it. It teaches some of the parenting skills that come more naturally to moms. Good luck! Tell him to hang in there --- it gets better!
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#3 of 7 Old 01-04-2013, 04:04 PM
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This is happening with my toddler as well.  This is typical behavior for attachment parented children.  In about 6-12 months, Daddy will become her favorite!  Trust me, I'm on my 3rd child...  It will turn around!

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#4 of 7 Old 01-04-2013, 08:46 PM
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While she wasn't quite as extreme, my DD wanted very little to do with DH from about 12 to 18 months or so. Just like yours, my DH was busting his hump trying to get DD to go to him but she was very very clear that she wanted mommy. Now at 21 months, she loves spending time with him and will ask for him while he's at work. She still wants me for bedtime and naps (nursing to sleep) but will happily play with DH without me for a couple of hours. If I go to run an errand, she will come to the front door and say "mommy" a few times. DH tells her I will come back soon and she is ok with that. Your DD's daddy refusal does NOT mean she doesn't love or value him and it is in no way indicative of the long term relationship that will develop. She is developmentally stuck on you for a while but it will blow over soon. So much changes around 18 months and she needs the nurturing to adjust. Soon she will get over this hump and will be ready for the fun and excitement that daddies are so good at! In the meantime, remind DH that it's not personal or permanent and be ready to offer him sympathy through this hard phase.
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#5 of 7 Old 01-04-2013, 09:03 PM
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Another mom of a former super mommy velcro baby/toddler saying that 18-20 months was when the all mommy, all the time thing started to fade. Now, at 6-1/2 years, she and daddy are as thick as thieves.  


He wasn't able to even hold her for more than a few minutes without her screaming for me until she was well over 6 months old.  I wore her almost constantly for her first year, for awake times and naps.  We coslept.  We nursed.  I didn't bother trying to go anywhere alone until she was 18 months old. Not an exaggeration. I remember it distinctly because it was a Foo Fighters concert with friends, and I was SO NERVOUS I was gonna get a phone call from him with her screaming in the background.  Se was very unlike our firstborn in this area, who we joked would go with the mailman every day if we let him.  lol.  So it took some getting used to for both of us....she just wasn't our first, so we knew it was a personality thing and not a parenting thing.


Now, he and I are tied (with her big brother) as her "favorite-est" people in the world. 


I'm sorry he's hurting, but you guys are so close to the developmental leaps she is coming to to make things a little easier on you, and a little more loving for him. Just keep doign what you're doing, making sure he has a role when you're all together, and it will come.  Hugs to all of you!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#6 of 7 Old 01-04-2013, 09:09 PM
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Don't feel bad about your choices,Mama! Both of our girls went through that even though we did the tag team thing by that age; he had them alone while I worked and vice versa. He calls it the NOT-THE-MAMA phase....didn't matter what he did, he was just not Mama!

It did hurt his feelings but by the second kid it wasn't so bad because soon enough they moved into daddy's girl mode. smile.gif
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#7 of 7 Old 01-05-2013, 08:39 AM
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It's not the attachment parenting thing! Kids go through stages; this is one.


You keep mentioning about how your daughter is with her dad while you're not there. What about when she's with him when you are there? Like, if you're both sitting in a room, but he has her, not you?

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