Rejecting Daddy's Nighttime Parenting - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-25-2011, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else experiencing a child rejecting (rather harshly) another parent's attempts to soothe him/her?

I've always been in charge of nighttime parenting. I have no issue with this. As I progress along in my second pregnancy though, DH has been offering to help throughout the night. DH has been trying to offer his help but last night DD outright rejected him.

Recap: I had just finished re-tucking her in. (She's been waking up asking to be re-tucked in.) I kissed her goodnight and told her that Mama's belly is getting bigger and the baby needs some sleep too. She said ok and then as I was laying on my side trying to get comfortable with the pillows she said quietly, "Rub my back, please."

"Honey, Mama can't lean over to you right now."

At this moment, DH came into the room to check on us. He sat next to DD's bed and said, "Daddy's here. I can rub your back."

DD immediately said, "NO! DADDY GO TO THE LIVING ROOM."

"Daddy is here to help Mama. I can help you rub your back." "

NO! GO TO THE LIVING ROOM!" DD threw her lovey at him.

"DD, Remember if you throw your things, Daddy gets to keep them for awhile. We don't throw things when we are frustrated."

DD throws her flashlight. (She keeps one by her bed.)

"DD, you almost hit Mama and the baby. We do not throw especially in the dark. We can hurt someone by accident." my husband said sternly.


"Mama is here too. Daddy wants to help." "Daddy please go to living room." DD says weepily but not screaming.

My husband felt so rejected.

He left and she fell back to sleep holding my hand.


Later on in the light of day, my DD and I spoke and I mentioned how Mamas and Daddies check on everyone to make sure they are ok. "Remember how Mama says at night that she is going to check on Daddy and T and the baby?"

"Yes. That's what Mama's do."


"And you check on me too."

"Right. Daddy's check on the family too. He checks on Mama, T, the baby and you too."

"Daddy stays in the living room."

"No, Mamas and Daddies check on the family."

"Daddies stay in the living room."


I felt awful for DH. I know this can be a normal thing that toddlers go through preferences but it was hard to watch. I can only imagine what my husband felt. Is there anything I can do to help soothe this phase or lessen the hurt? Is there a reason why kids go through this? (I'm not questioning just wondering on a scientific/learning/developmental level.) Thanks for reading my long post.


Proud mom of an inquisitive, breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping 9 month old boy and a talkative curious 4 year old girl.


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#2 of 4 Old 07-29-2011, 11:49 AM
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We went through and still do occasionally (but with me sometimes now) the same thing.


I just remind my DH to not take it personally, that it is a developmental stage that has to do with autonomy and having some control over a situation they feel they don't have control over (going to bed), and that some day it will be me he is sending away.


about 2 mons after his 3rd birthday DS only wanted his Dada to help him and not me (this also coincided with him weaning) and he would send me out to the living room. I would ask him to ask me in a kind way to have Dada only time "Mama I would like Dada to lie with me" instead of "Not you, only Dada"


Oh and also DH took over the getting ready for bed up to lying down and then we would ask him "would you like mama or Dada to lie with you" He would always say Mama and DH would get a hug and kiss and leave. Then for mons he wanted only Dada to help him with most things when he had a choice between us. This week it has been mostly me, actually the night I was out at a meeting I came home just past 10 and DH was in the living room and said that DS had cried to lie with me and had sent him out of the room. DS wasn't crying but he did call for me about 20 mins later. The mext night it was me who was sent out of the room nut.gif  

Scarlett bfinfant.gif , DH Boris geek.gif , DS 1/29/08 Julian kid.gif DD2 6/7/12 babygirl.gif missing our DD 1/06/06 Sonja angel3.gif and MC @ 9 wks 11/18/06 Satchel  angel.gif

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#3 of 4 Old 08-11-2011, 06:51 PM
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One of my twins has consistently rejected my husband's nighttime parenting since she was an infant. In fact, that's how we ended up with the sleeping arrangement we have. Both kids want to be next to mommy, of course. But her sister would accept comfort from either me or my husband, and so she ended up in-between us in bed, and the one who would only accept me ended up on the other side of me, with a bedrail, starting around 10 months or so. 


Both of them looooove Daddy to pieces and adore playing with him when he is home. But the one who rejects him at night (now 5.5 years old) says it very plainly to him: "I only like you during the day, Daddy. At night I only like Mommy." Five-year-olds aren't known for diplomacy. 

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#4 of 4 Old 08-14-2011, 02:15 PM
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IME it's just a matter of them getting used to it.  With my second (and 3rd) there really is no option.  We remind ourselves (young and old) that it's OK not to like everything and we all relax about it.


The rude throwing/yelling etc would get a consequence after a warning. 

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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