please help - DS extremely hostile to DH - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 08-27-2006, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure where to put this, but I welcome input from both moms and dads, fwiw. DS (3) has always had a preference for me, but in the last few months this has turne dinto some pretty serious hostility towards DH. DH has been a good sport about it for a long time but I can see it is really getting to him at this point. And frankly it is really hard on me to never get a break from DS' relentless desire/need to ALWAYS be in my face, climing on me, playing with me, demanding my attention. We have some weird kind of dynamic going on where it's like DS is so obssessed with having to be with me that I think he resents any attempt by DH to divert him away.

Now DH is not a perfect dad, like many parents he could probably improve in some ways in being more proactive and attentive to DS. But there is just no reason for DS to be so hostile. It is really causing problems for us as a family. DH will try to engage DS in something and DS will scream "go away" and hit/kick him.

It is really surprising to me that we've come to this point. DH was actually DS' primary caregiver until he was almost a year old. I went back to work at 8 weeks and they were on their own. DH gave him bottles (breastmilk of course) and carried him in a sling everywhere they went and had all these little dad-son routines and games and songs. DH loves him to a million pieces.

Our routine now is that I leave for work in the morning and DH takes DS to preschool. That usually goes fine and DS does not have a problem with being with daddy then. The rest of the time, though, nights and weekends, DH can hardly even enter the room we are in without DS screaming at him. It is really that bad.

Should we go to a family counselor or something? I am really getting concerned that their relationship is becoming very damaged. DH is starting to pull back and not wanting to even try anymore.

My feeling is that DH ought to make a huge effort to be more fun and attentive to DS, in a more proactive way. I think DS picks up on the fact that DH is like the "fill-in" parent who would rather be doing something else. It's like, when I wake up on a Saturday morning, I think "What are DS and I going to do today?" and I proceed from there. My plans and activities include DS by default. Whereas when DH wakes up, it's like he thinks "What am I going to do today?" and DS is sort of peripheral. I think I really am the more "fun" parent because I plan my days off around (mostly) doing things that will be fun and interesting to DS. DH, if he has responsiblity for DS for a period of time, is more likely to just do what he feels like doing and take DS along for the ride. But when I try to point this out to DH and encourage him to engage more with DS on his level, he takes it as criticism and gets defensive. I don't want to criticize him, I just want them to enjy each other more.

I know I am really rambling here - does anyone have any ideas?
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#2 of 2 Old 08-28-2006, 05:00 PM
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(Sorry I'm away on a trip today and took Annas laptop. rdl2k5 is my normal username for this forum)

What does your husband do/say when your son hits/kicks/yells at him? I have a 2 year old and when she tries something like hitting/kicking/pushing me I come down to her level and tell her that we don't hit in this house and I give her something that she "can" hit like the couch. If she continues trying to do the action, I will stop it from happening. Gentle "force" of course.

We are at a different stage though and typically her tirades are due to not enough sleep or it being time for her to have a snack.

My feeling is that we are allowed to be in the common rooms of the house at any time we want to be (as is she) I am allowed to be in the family room/kitchen etc. And I will make that known. If Rachel wants a quiet/alone place she is welcome to take refuge in her room if she would like to. We've never had this situation and we usually use heavy distraction to get her into an enjoyable activity.

I do have the mentality of "What do we need to get done today" though. I take heavy note of the kids being along with me though. If we need to make a couple of stops, I'll make sure we go to places that she likes. She loves the grocery, the fish store, etc. If we are doing all adult/boring things we'll make a stop at the park on the way home so she can run around.

I'm half way between your 2 stances. We have things to do today and I'm going to make sure they get done. But we're definitely going to incorporate some things for Rachel to do too.
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