Daughter doesn't like Daddy very much - what can we do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Dads,

I'm writing for my husband. We need some advice. We have a 26 month old daughter, our first. She seems to have such a difficult time going to her daddy after being with her mommy or our nanny. It makes him very sad. He loves her so much. She was born at home and he was right there supporting me. He cried when she was born.

Here's an example of her behavior - I make supper in our house. When I get ready to do that about 4:30pm, my husband will watch our daughter and play with her so I can work in the kitchen. Nearly every day it's a struggle for our daughter to make the transition from mommy to daddy. She gets upset, and yells when he comes in the room, and sometimes runs away. I have found that I need to make sure she has a little snack around 4pm to perk her up, and then I tell her about 10-15 minutes before Dad comes in that "In a few minutes, Mommy is going to make supper, and Daddy is going to play with you for a bit until supper is ready." Some days are better than others. Some days she is fine, other days, she howls for the whole time I'm making supper. We try to take into account if she is sick or over-tired or hungry, but even when everything seems "perfect", sometimes she stills falls apart.

Another example - today our nanny was watching her and I needed to talk to the nanny for about half an hour. So my husband went in to play with our daughter. When he went in and told her what was going on, she just fell apart. She loves our nanny, and granted, our nanny is a really fun person! But our daughter seems to just not want to be around Dad sometimes. She was just miserable the whole time until myself and the nanny came back into the room.

Sometimes they have a great time together - they go out for pizza every Saturday night. I hear them having alot of fun sometimes. But it's really heart-breaking for my husband when she says things like, "Daddy don't want to hold you!" Meaning, "I don't want Daddy to hold me!" Or "Daddy don't want to be with you!" Meaning, "I don't want to be with Daddy!" His face just falls and he doesn't know how to handle it. Neither do I.

We talked to his parents about it. His Dad readily admits he wasn't an involved father and really doesn't know what to say. His Mom feels bad, but she doesn't have any good ideas, either. His Dad said that it's my responsibility to stand up for my husband - and put my foot down with our daughter, saying that "It's not acceptable to treat Daddy that way. You really hurt Daddy's feelings, etc." Part of why his Dad feels this way is that my husband is a lot like his mother. She is very sweet and doesn't make a big fuss about things - she is always doing for people and lots of times lets people walk all over her. My husband took after her more than his own Dad, who is a bit of a tyrant! His Dad feels that he needed to stand up for his wife, and I need to stand up for my husband, his son. But that feels odd to me. I will stand up for him, but it seems there has to be some point where he stands up for himself.

When I do step in and say, "It's not nice to treat Daddy that way - to talk to him like that. I will give Daddy a hug and kiss and make him feel better, and you should, too," she often will give him a hug and kiss, and seems to try to be making it up to him. But sometimes she doesn't.

How did all of this start? We aren't sure, but our best guess has to do with night-weaning. I nursed her through the night until she was almost a year old. Then I got burned out, and we decided to night-wean her. We decided together that Daddy would go to her at night instead of Mommy. Perhaps that was a mistake. Because all of a sudden, she didn't get Mommy anymore at night. We wonder if Daddy became a big bully in her eyes, keeping Mommy away from her. It took several months and lots of tears and screaming until she finally accepted it. I continued to nurse during the day until she was 22 months old.

Anyway, if that was the beginning of the bad feelings towards Daddy, then we are definitely not going to night-wean that way for our next child, due in February. I will do the night-weaning myself and keep Daddy out of the process so he doesn't have to become the big bully.

So, now we have a problem with our toddler. She seems to really hate Daddy sometimes. We don't know how to respond. I tell her not to treat Daddy that way (saying mean things, etc.) and he responds by just looking like he is going to burst into tears.

We need some advice from Dads! Please help!
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#2 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 04:54 AM
 
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I'm a mom, not a dad, but I have a 2 yr old daughter who adores her daddy time. From reading your post, it sounds like the times she doesn't want to be with her daddy are the times when she is being prevented from being with someone else she loves. I don't think she dislikes her daddy at all. In fact, you said they go out and have a great time together and play together too. But when you insisted he put her to bed in order to night wean or when he is supposed to be spending time with her so mommy can talk to nanny or cook dinner, that's when she gets upset. She loves her daddy and loves spending time with him. She just doesn't like being so controlled or having her freedom curtailed like that.
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#3 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 05:13 AM
 
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My son does his to both of us!

One day, only daddy will do; "No mamma! Go way! I want my daddy" I hate getting rejected like this - it hurts!

Next day, the roles are reversed and daddy is impatiently swatted away in a howling hysterical tantrum while he wails for "ma -mma!" Does'nt make daddy feel great when he's the one rejected.

Try not to take this personally if your the rejected parent. This is what toddler's do. I think that she loves her daddy, but like the above poster said, is used to only playing with him when everyone else is too busy. Toddler's really get theri noses out of joint when they are not getting the attention they want from who they want it! This is normal. Obviously your dh loves her very much and she knows it. She does not need to cling to him because he is always wanting to give her some attention and her behaviour suggests she's secure in this knowledge. Sounds more like a seperation anxiety issue; your dd obviously finds it stressful to seperate from you when you really need to get things done. I suspect she'll grow out of this. Try to help your husband understand that this rejection is not a "hate" based thing or anything like that. He needs reassurance (me and hubby take turns reassuring the rejectee!) that this is not personal in any way shape or form.

Hope this helps,
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#4 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies.

We know this is normal toddler behavior...

But the question is - how do we respond?

What do we say to her when she acts this way? How should I respond vs. my husband? What should I say/do? What should he say/do? Is it different for each of us?
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#5 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 03:54 PM
 
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It difficult to suggest specific responses because I would tailor them to specific situations. If you and nanny needed to talk and daddy was trying to remove her so you could talk, I might take her for a walk, if I were him. Something to distract her from feeling left out so she doesn't take it out on daddy. She may protest at first and he can assure her that he understands she wants to know what you two are talking about and wants to be with you too, but that daddy is right there. Then he can pick her up and take a walk with her. Or some other favorite activity that she likes.
I think acknowledging why she is upset and then moving on will help. I really don't think she's upset or dislikes daddy at all. She just wants to let him know that she's upset at the situation. I think that his hurt feelings are clouding the way he responds and then it turns into a power struggle between him wanting to feel loved and her wanting to see what's going on elsewhere.
As for cooking dinner, maybe there's a way he can hold her and walk her around the kitchen while showing her things you are doing. Or maybe you can put a gate up so they can play while watching you. Maybe let her pretend she's cooking too with a few bowls and spoons. My kids always love to bug me while I'm cooking dinner. Sometimes daddy gives them a bath instead of standing there watching them get pissed that they can't "help" cook.
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#6 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand that each different situation will need a different response.

But in general, it sounds like what you are saying is for Dad to acknowledge how she is feeling, perhaps by saying, "I know you were having fun with Mommy/Nanny and you want to continue playing with her, but she needs to make supper/talk to Mommy/whatever, and Daddy is right here to play with you."

And then he should change the scene by doing something different - going outside, reading, bath, etc...

He pretty much already does this...and it doesn't always work...

AND...what input should I give? I already explain to her that Mommy needs to do such-and-such and Daddy is going to play with her during that time. I already say things like, "That's just the way it is, and we don't want any fussing about it. Daddy loves you and wants to spend time with you, too, just like Mommy."

Is there something else I could say/do to help out with the transition from Mommy to Daddy?

We also have been trying for Daddy to hang out with both Mommy and her during the day - trying to make it so whenever he comes around, it doesn't necessarily mean that Mommy is going away. We don't want her to associate his presence with always meaning Mommy is leaving.
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#7 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 06:59 PM
 
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It's really OK for her to fuss. She's expressing her disappointment or thwarted desire and that's OK. It's an emotion she feels just like being happy.
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#8 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 10:39 PM
 
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My dd is a lot like that. She is also 26 mths. When daddy wants a hug, or a kiss, her response is often the could shoulder and refusal. The other day, daddy called her to bed to cuddle, and she said "No no, I am just hugging mommy!" :LOL

I don't think the line about being nice to daddy or hurting his feelings is going to do much. She is still almost a baby, I don't think that they can be expected to have much empathy at that age for others feelings. Since they do have a good time often, I'd just let her feel what she feels. Right now, she prefers mommy. In two year, Daddy might be the hero. Go with the flow. Everyone has their special comfort person, and if she doesn't want to kiss daddy right now, she should not have to IMO.

Just keep letting them do special things together. MAybe your SO can entice her with a special "Daddy box" filled with stuff only they do together- new playdo, markers, a new book, little people, whatever. I am sure she loves her daddy just fine.
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#9 of 25 Old 12-18-2004, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, we have thought about the idea of telling her she "has to be happy about it!" It's not the greatest thing. If she really isn't happy, there isn't much we can do about it, I suppose. And I don't want to deny her true feelings.

But about the fussing - sometimes it goes on and on and on and on...

To the point that my daughter is really falling apart, and it just doesn't seem healthy to have her go on and on like that. It doesn't seem good for her - to be with Daddy and just screaming and crying the whole time. We worry that she is going to grow up with a general negative feeling towards him that she can never put her finger on. That's kind of what we think happened with the night-weaning.

Tonight is pizza night, and she wasn't thrilled to see Daddy when he arrived. She and I were reading books. We finished our books and Daddy started reading with us, and she pushed him away, and pulled the books out of his hands. We talked about "It's pizza night!" and she wanted to stay home. So I tried acknowledging her feelings by saying, "I know you want to stay home and read books with Mommy, but it's pizza night, and you always love pizza. And Daddy loves you and wants to take you out for pizza, too!" Eventually, she asked for a "honey biscuit" (a roll with honey on it) and jumped in Daddy's arms asking for one from him. So, he took her to the kitchen for the honey biscuit and now they are off for pizza.

Every day is a bit different, each time is different, some easier, some really bad. Tonight was average.

Any more thoughts?
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#10 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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I really don't believe your dd is going to grow up not liking her daddy. When my dd was that age she wouldn't go to her daddy either. My dh actually did burst into tears one day saying how much she hated him and so on.

Dh is actually a workaholic and isn't home all that often. After this incident I had him put her to bed every other night. He would sit and read her a story and tuck her in, I would then go in and turn on her radio and say good night. Every other night we would switch.

DD is 6 now and her and her father are great pals. They act exactly alike. As the previous posters have stated, I don't think it is an issue of not liking daddy. I think it is that she wants to be with you at that moment. This is why some days things are fine and others they aren't.

As for the tantrums, well they are all part of being two. I believe that is why they were named the terrible twos. And this too shall pass. Good luck
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#11 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, they just got back from pizza night, and I hear them in the living room having a good time. I'm going to go peek in there and see what they are doing...

They are sitting on the floor, looking at a sticker book. Daughter is on her tummy with her little feet up in the air and Daddy is sitting next to her. Looks like they are having fun.

Please keep the replies coming. I think the more my husband can see from others that this is normal and everything will be ok, it will help him get through this.

I think he is going to burst into tears sometimes, too...
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#12 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Daddy is putting her to bed two nights a week - Wednesday and Saturday. Nanny puts her to bed on Sunday night. I have the other nights. Maybe Daddy should do more nights.

We also have a baby due in February, so the schedule will change again. That is why we started having Daddy put her to bed 2 nights a week - anticipating that with new baby, Mommy is not going to be able to do that every night.

I don't think the idea of the new baby is causing this problem with Daddy, either, just in case someone jumps on that... She has been this way long before I became pregnant, back during the night-weaning.
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#13 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniT
As for the tantrums, well they are all part of being two. I believe that is why they were named the terrible twos. And this too shall pass. Good luck
aniT - are you referring to what I called "fussing" as tantrums? Just wanted to see if we were talking about the same thing. If so, I know tantrums are part of being two.

But in this case, it seems particularly hard for my husband and I to deal with emotionally, because it's so personal. It's not like a tantrum because she can't have a cookie or something. It's about not wanting to be with Daddy.

Should she really be screaming and crying for half an hour because she doesn't want to be with Daddy? I mean, of course, she CAN do it - but shouldn't we try to encourage her to find the good things about being with Daddy?
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#14 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=Mindy70]
I don't think the line about being nice to daddy or hurting his feelings is going to do much. She is still almost a baby, I don't think that they can be expected to have much empathy at that age for others feelings.
QUOTE]

Well, she certainly gets it if she steps on my toe or bops me with something and I say, "Ow! That hurts!" She always comes and kisses the hurt spot. So I think that she is developing some empathy now.

I don't think it's that much of a stretch to say, "What you are doing makes Daddy feel bad and sad. Can you try to make him feel better?" And then suggest a hug and kiss. And sometimes she does it.
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#15 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 01:44 AM
 
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What you discribe as fussing, I would call a tantrum. If a child is screaming and crying for 30 minutes or more becasue they are not getting their way I would call that a tantrum.

To a two year old, not wanting to be with Daddy right not and not getting that cookie isn't any different. The only thing she understands is she is not getting what she wants. So, she will throw a tantrum.
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#16 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 02:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniT
What you discribe as fussing, I would call a tantrum. If a child is screaming and crying for 30 minutes or more becasue they are not getting their way I would call that a tantrum.

To a two year old, not wanting to be with Daddy right not and not getting that cookie isn't any different. The only thing she understands is she is not getting what she wants. So, she will throw a tantrum.
I agree, that is a tantrum. I just used the word fussing...

I don't agree that not wanting to be with Daddy and not getting a cookie are no different. I hear what you are saying, but I just disagree. I'm not saying you are wrong, just that I disagree. Need to think more about why I think that way...
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#17 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 02:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus
aniT - are you referring to what I called "fussing" as tantrums? Just wanted to see if we were talking about the same thing. If so, I know tantrums are part of being two.

But in this case, it seems particularly hard for my husband and I to deal with emotionally, because it's so personal. It's not like a tantrum because she can't have a cookie or something. It's about not wanting to be with Daddy.

Should she really be screaming and crying for half an hour because she doesn't want to be with Daddy? I mean, of course, she CAN do it - but shouldn't we try to encourage her to find the good things about being with Daddy?
That's the thing. I don't think she doesn't want to be with Daddy. I think she just wants to be with you too!
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#18 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 11:15 AM
 
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I still maintain that it is totally normal to have a preference for one or the other parent. A mom on another board had four girls in a row that were daddy girls- even though they were with mom all day, it was daddy they were crying for when they were little. Then she had a son, and he was a mamma's boy.

If my dd hits me or her sister or brother, of course I tell her that hitting hurts and is not ok. But it is ok for her to feel angry. If she does not want to hug or go to daddy, what you are telling her is that what she is FEELING is not ok. That to me is different than if she hits or bites. You are telling her she needs to produce love and affection she doesn't feel right now. For whatever reason, she wants you.

However, if she fusses and you need to cook, I think it is fine to leave her with your SO and just tell her mommy is busy, that you understand she wants Mommy (you validate her feelings) but that Mommy is cooking now, and she must stay with daddy. But telling her that she musn't hurt his feelings by crying or fussing is IMO likely to cause her to hide her feelings and resent him more.
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#19 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 02:18 PM
 
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Quote:
But telling her that she musn't hurt his feelings by crying or fussing is IMO likely to cause her to hide her feelings and resent him more.
I agree with this. I remember as a child I prefered my Dad putting me to bed because he would carry me upstairs and sing songs and made it fun. I remember one night my mum acting all hurt by this and my Dad telling me that it wasn't nice... hurting my mum's feelings....etc.

I was old enough to understand this and to be "nice" to my mum. But to be honest, I feel like I've been looking after her ever since. It shouldn't have been my responsibility as a child to make my mum feel good. It should have been up to her to build a relationship with me and live with the fact that sometimes I didn't want to be with her. She still does this with my kids and I hate it.

Sometimes my older ds' want to be with me instead of dh, but I won't make them responsible for making him happy. If they don't want to be with him, they don't have to feel good about it. When they were younger and still bf'ing it was more of an issue. Now they are happy to be with him when he is in a good mood and doing something interesting with them.

My dd is only 13 months and still very much of a mummy's girl and doesn't often want to be with dh if I am around, but I know it will pass - and he can always bribe her with chips!

I think its really important to hear your daughter and when possible, give her some choice in the matter. Take some of the pressure out of the situation if you can for a while. Perhaps you could introduce an aspect of choice into the situations. Not between you or your dh, but in what she does with your dh? Like choosing between pizza or something else. Make it sound interesting. Your dh could say something like does she want to do a puzzle or read a book......

I think the main thing is for your dh to get that it will pass, especially with the new baby, and as she gets older and when she is no longer bf'ing, etc. If you are all uptight about it, she will make more fuss.

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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#20 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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with Araciel. Really, my dd would do the same thing if I told her "now you stay with Daddy while I go upstairs and nap/work/read. Ha! Impossible. I have to be very subtle about it, and quietly get her and DH involved in something before I sneak away.

I agree with Araciel that is it not the children's job to make the parents feel loved and secure- especially not at that young age. Really, they are too young to be responsible for how we feel. Today I told my dd to stop whining please, and she said for the first time "I don't LIKE you mommy!" :LOL Was I hurt? No. And your DH shouldn't be either if she pushes him away. Just let him keep trying to reach out to her, and I am sure over time she'll be less of a mommy-kling on.

I would agree with Araciel and relax about it. If you force her, she'll just be more stubborn about it and really see him as the enemy. When I cook, I try and get dd involved with playdo or coloring or yes, a video.
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#21 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 09:21 PM
 
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hm...well, my 20month old DS is that way with Daddy a lot, too...won't let him rock him to sleep EVER these days. it's all me. he prefers being with me to basically anybody else...and there are definitely times when i have to leave the room and daddy stays behind in the room to play with him, and he still freaks out. the best way i've found to ward off those moments is if Daddy starts playing with him well before i have to leave the room, then i sort of sneak out while they're involved with something. i'm talking about when i'm going to the next room to make dinner or something, not when i'm leaving the house. if he sees me leaving he gets upset, but if he doesn't see me leaving he doesn't seem to notice.

i don't think that helped at all. just know that your husband is not alone, and he's a wonderful daddy it seems...sometimes kids are just fickle and moody.
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#22 of 25 Old 12-19-2004, 11:35 PM
 
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Hi- I'm a dad with a 23 mo girl and experienced this a few times.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus

I have found that I need to make sure she has a little snack around 4pm to perk her up, and then I tell her about 10-15 minutes before Dad comes in that "In a few minutes, Mommy is going to make supper, and Daddy is going to play with you for a bit until supper is ready."

When he went in and told her what was going on, she just fell apart.

This sounds like you might be formalizing the transition too much. Do you always announce the transition to her?
My wife and I just switch, without talking about it.
Instead of announcing the switch, perhaps both you and husband can sit together with her and play, then in a few minutes, you just get up and go cook. You could say, "Baby, I'll be back in a few minutes, I'm going to make dinner." and leave it at that. Being very nonchalant about it may help her realize that its really no big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus
he responds by just looking like he is going to burst into tears.
In my honest opinion, this is probably not a good tactic to take with her. She is learning through guilt. That is a really difficult emotion to understand at such a young age, so it may not have any effect on her. Or she may even use that as leverage.
She's a toddler, and with that comes a whole world of uncertainties. Her emotions are all she has and she is of an immature mind (not meaning dumb, but young) she has no other way to express her feelings accept through drama.

With my wife and I, our relationship with our oldest (23 mo) ebbed and flowed. It still does. Some days, she outright wants nothing to do with me, other days, she wants to be only with me. When she is against me and pro mommy, I just roll with it and not take it personally. Simply because, no matter how long she doesn't like me, it's not genuine, not personal and not forever!

Just like your husband, I take my daughter out on Saturdays and have a blast!
Since this is the same with your daughter, there doesn't seem to be any real resentment towards your husband- otherwise, the Saturday outing would never happen.

Are there things that your husband can do with her, like be the one who wakes her every morning, or gives her a bath, read her the bedtime story. Maybe, just like the Saturday outing, they can establish special "Daddy and me" times. These times can just be understood, not announced, just done, because then she may react just like you do and not react at all.

I have always been highly visable, and very involved in my daughter's life even though I work full time. As I said before, some days, she wants nothing to do with me. Not a big deal (even though it can hurt) I still hug and kiss her. Even if she is having a "moment"- I still give her the love.

"Spend quality time at work, quantity time at home."


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#23 of 25 Old 12-22-2004, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

Thank you for all the replies. So, I think what we are getting from you all is to not make a big deal out of this. It's ok for her to feel mad, sad, whatever, and we can acknowledge those feelings, but then just move on. We should make the transition from Mommy to Daddy very casual. Daddy can join us for a bit and then Mommy can just move on, with a casual comment about needing to make supper/clean house/talk to nanny/whatever.

We are going to try to also have Daddy take her completely out of the house sometimes. We've been trying having them stay and play in the house, but often she ends up running back to me. They used to go hiking every afternoon while I made supper and haven't done that for a while. So we are going to try that again today.

BUT - another question:

Last night she got so upset about having to be with Daddy while Mommy made supper, that when he was holding her, she started pushing on his face, trying to push him away or something. She got pretty rough with him and really smacked him a couple of times. He didn't react much, just pulled her hand down and turned his head. But it did hurt him, physically I mean, not just emotionally.

I really felt strongly that this hitting should not be tolerated. It's one thing to be mad about something, but it's another thing to be hitting and hurting someone because of it. Of course, she doesn't understand that, but that is why I feel we need to teach her by telling her that she cannot hit Daddy.

So, I told her that it was ok to be mad, but that she cannot hit Daddy. Then I suggested to him that the next time she hit him, he ought to put her down right away and we tell her that Daddy can't hold her if she is hitting him. The thing is - she wanted Daddy to hold her. Well, she really wanted Mommy to hold her, but we explained that Mommy needed two hands to make supper and Daddy could hold her so she could see what Mommy was doing. So her choices were either to have Daddy hold her and watch Mommy, or play with Daddy, and she wanted Daddy to hold her. But she wasn't really happy about it (which is fine), but the hitting thing started and then we were standing there saying, what do we do now?

So, the next time she hit him, he put her down and boy, did she scream about that! We talked with her as best we could over the screams about not hitting people, and she did calm down a bit to hear us. But the rest of the time I made supper it was off and on, yelling about Daddy holding her and such.

Any thoughts?
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#24 of 25 Old 12-24-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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(Quote:
So, I told her that it was ok to be mad, but that she cannot hit Daddy. Then I suggested to him that the next time she hit him, he ought to put her down right away and we tell her that Daddy can't hold her if she is hitting him. The thing is - she wanted Daddy to hold her. Well, she really wanted Mommy to hold her, but we explained that Mommy needed two hands to make supper and Daddy could hold her so she could see what Mommy was doing. So her choices were either to have Daddy hold her and watch Mommy, or play with Daddy, and she wanted Daddy to hold her. But she wasn't really happy about it (which is fine), but the hitting thing started and then we were standing there saying, what do we do now? end quote)

You handled that well. Children, I feel need constant reminders. By telling her "hitting is not allowed" once isn't going to stick. Be consistant. You seem to be doing that. Our dd started the hitting, and we did the same thing you did. Tell her flat out, if you want to be held, you may not hit. And when she hit, we put her down. Yes, she would cry, and fight. But we held firm that this type of behavior is not acceptable. Of course this may be her only way at the moment to display her emotions, and like you said, tell her its okay to get upset. We learned there is a whole lot of emotion going on in a toddler and sometimes, they explode, without any true malice with violence. We are trying to help our dd do something with her anger when things don't go her way.
We say things like, "Hunny, I know you are upset because you want xyz and that is okay. Hitting is not acceptable, so lets go dance to some music or color ."
We use these outlets because 1- she loves to do these things, and 2- its a way for her to release the anger.
Of course, that doesn't always happen, but we do the best we can.

Also, my wife and I agreed that If I started handling the situation like the hitting or whatever, then I finish it. She doesn't get involved either to scold her, or disagree with me; and vice versa. This creates an alliance at the top. Our dd understands she can't fight Daddy, then run to Mommy for her "side". If my wife and I disagree about something, we wait until we are alone to discuss it.
Sometimes, when things don't go her way, she runs to Mommy. Mommy just says, "What did Daddy say?" and she leaves it at that.

One other thing. It's tough but, she can't always get what she wants. My wife and I need to remind her of this. And remind each other, too.
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#25 of 25 Old 12-24-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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OP;

I didn't have time to read all of the replies to this thread, but I just wanted to say that we too have been through this. My dd is 2.5 years and went through a terribly long phase of disliking daddy and telling him to "go away" and "leave the room" whenever he came home. Amongst other rude and hurtful behavior. He was having a very hard time with this and I kept explaining to her that it made him sad, but she said she wanted him to feel sad. I don't know where it all came from, but it lasted for a couple months and just when we were at our wits end, she got over it. So the good news...it's probably just a phase. Personally, I tend to believe there is a reason for this behavior, but I never figured it out myself. Good luck to you and tell dh to hang in there!

"The best things in life aren't things."

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