"But Daddy lets me..." - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-03-2002, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone else's child do this? Let me explain. Scenario:

Dd sits on the table. I say, "We don't sit on tables." She responds with, "But Daddy lets me sit on the table." Of course, Daddy does not ever let her sit on the table. She'll reverse this, too. With dh she'll say, "Mommy lets me..." We don't fall for this or anything, but has anyone else experienced this? Today she actually got upset because I wouldn't let her TOUCH MY EYE, and she actually said, "But Daddy lets me touch Mommy's eye!!!" It was really funny, actually, but she was upset and when my lips twitched, she shouted, "Mommy, DON'T LAUGH WHEN I'M CRYING!!!!"

The other similar but sort of different thing she does is this, scenario number two:

Dd: Mommy, can I listen to music?

Me: Sure, sweetie.

Dd: (sad face, sniff sniff)Daddy said I couldn't.

Me: Honey, did you tell Rebecca she couldn't listen to music?

Dh: What???? She didn't even ask me about music! Rebecca, are you trying to make Daddy look bad?

What is going on here? It is kind of funny, but is dd weird or is this normal? By the way, she's 3, and she is kind of a riot sometimes!
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#2 of 4 Old 01-03-2002, 03:57 AM
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I'm not experienced in what age this becomes appropriate as my ds is only 7.5 months, but I know that growing up two of the unwritten rules were 1: if we ever asked one parent to do something after already asking the other, we would immediately not be allowed to do what we had asked no matter what one parent had said, and it would be considered the same as lying; 2: lying was the cardinal sin. Again, I don't know at what age "punishment" or whatever for lying comes into play, but my plan is to treat this scenario, as I'm sure I will be faced with it, as I had growing up, as it seemed to work. It never occured to me as a child, that I remember, to play the mommy vs. daddy game, because I knew absolutely that it would backfire one way or another. In the 2nd scenario you gave, when she said "but Daddy said I can't listen to music", maybe respond with "Well, then why are you asking me?" Then she's got to fess up.

Again, I don't know if 3yo is too early or not to be to address in this way, but that would be my only suggestion. She definitely sounds normal though, and sounds like she is testing normal boundaries!
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#3 of 4 Old 01-03-2002, 04:17 AM
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I totally remember doing that, i think.

We had that rule too: If you already asked one parent, don't ask the other or you would get into trouble.

I'd say that it is normal.
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#4 of 4 Old 01-03-2002, 05:16 AM
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Yep, normal.

It sounds like your kido is discovering another layer of complexity in human relationships, and she is exploring what that means. So mommy and daddy disagree sometimes. When there is a disagreement, who gets the final say? What power do I have over this process? What is the cause and effect if I tell mommy something about daddy that isn't true (and vise versa).

Also, your daughter is at an age where truth/"absolute reality" is still a pretty obscure concept.

This is a stage, and it sounds like you are responding well by being a united front for your daughter. We are big on "united fronts" in our house, to the outside world and to kids. We have a code word with each other that we sneak into the conversation when we are worried the other person is inadvertantly diminishing the united front.

You might correct the "untruth" and try explaining to your daughter, when she starts to do the "but daddy says..." bit, something to the effect of (for example):

"Daddy and I decided together that in our house, we don't want the table sat on. We make all the rules of our house together with each other."

And if you want to have your daughter feel a sense of participation and control, you might ask your daughter to help make and enforce rules of the house with you for the future.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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