Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Washington state
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I posted this in the Toddlers section but thought I would post it here too, as this question really needs a Dad's perspective.
Dd has always been a Mommy's girl, but its getting to the point where dh is really getting depressed about it. If I leave, she goes into a screaming fit. Even if I am in the house but she is playing with dh, after 15 minutes or 1/2 hour she is asking for Mommy. She's 20 months now and everyone has been telling dh not to worry, she'll come around, it's a stage, but he is getting really discouraged. He's even starting to blame it on the fact that I still breastfeed, although previously he had been very supportive of breastfeeding.
Some background: I'm a WAHM, so I am with dd all the time. She is not a particularly clingy kid, plays beautifully by herself, is cheerful and sweet and generally a joy to be around (a good thing, since she won't be cared for by anyone else -- if she were a difficult child I would probably be going nuts by now!) We have a wonderful relationship. Dh loves her to distraction but is the type who isn't quite sure what to do with a small child and is nervous about caring for her. He's very good at playing with her however and she really enjoys him. She talks about him during the day and likes calling him at work to talk. But then when he walks in the door, ready for a big hug and a kiss, she yells "NO" and runs for me. Poor dh!
Sometimes I worry that it is because dh has an explosive temper -- he's working very hard to control it -- but has lost it handful of times in front of her. He would never get violent or curse, but he does yell and he looks scary. I don't know if a few times is enough for her to be uncomfortable with him. Also, I should add that we have extended family living with us -- dh's cousin and a young woman friend -- who are very gentle but dd won't accept them either. I once left her with the young woman for two days for about 6 hours each day and she acted traumatized by it for WEEKS afterwards.
So, if you've made it this far... help! Is there anything I can tell dh to comfort him???? Is there anything he can do? Anything I can do? We're planning on weaning her soon, do you think that will change the situation? (He thinks it will but I am skeptical.) Any advice? Stories? Anything???
Thanks so much everyone!