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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two daughters, one 4 years, one 8 months. And they adore me, which is swell, but I'm getting tired of being the only person in the universe who can do anything for them.<br><br>
The baby, I can at least understand. I have the goods, after all, and she's at that prime separation-anxiety age. So it's understandable that she dissolves into tears the moment I turn my back. The nursing every 45 minutes all night every night is not so understandable, but what can you do.<br><br>
It's my 4-year-old who is driving me nuts. No one else can help her do anything. I have to brush her teeth, I have to help her get dressed, I have to help her in the bathroom, I have to help her with her shoes. If we're over at my inlaws and, say, my SIL tries to get M a drink of water, M will shout, sometimes rather nastily, "No, I want MOMMY to do it!" Compromises (eg "If you will let Daddy help you out of the tub, I will help you brush your teeth after I nurse the baby") don't work. Reasoning (eg "The water will taste just the same no matter who pours it") doesn't work. Whatever it is that has to be done, it's on me. If I won't do it, she cries. And since usually the only reason I'm not readily available is because I'm with the baby, I have to pass the baby off to someone handy, and the baby cries.<br><br>
Heh. That last sentence just revealed the source of the problem, didn't it? It's because of the baby.<br><br>
But I try so hard to be fair. When I come home from work, I make sure to spend five minutes or so just talking to or snuggling with M, before I go get the baby. I read books to M while P is nursing. I arranged her bedroom so that the three of us can all sleep in there together. We do special things together while P is napping. I make sure to make P wait, sometimes, and tend to M first. I praise M when she is gentle and kind and patient with P. Argh, what else can I do?<br><br>
I've read that a need that is met will go away. I'm doing my best just to accomodate M, as cheerfully as possible, in the hopes that this will become true. Because it's wearing my patience, and making everyone else (her daddy, my inlaws, all other adults in the vicinity) feel bad (which is their issue, but still). Should I just keep on keeping on?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> dd, now 3.75 used to be like this. it drove me crazy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
now she prefers dh most of the time.<br><br>
i don't remember when the switch happened, but one thing that dh did was really helpful. he would say he was someone else. "do you want the snail to brush your teeth?" "do you want the lion to wipe your bum?" and most of the time she would agree, and he would be a lion for a while. though she was 2.5-3 at that time. not sure if this would work with a 4 year old. though dd still loves dh to pretend this way.<br><br>
anna
 

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Hi, I'm new to this board and about to embark on mothering a 4-year old girl and a baby (my due date is 3/30).<br><br>
In my parenting, I try my best to hear what my daughter's saying and respect her feelings and thoughts. If she suddenly tells me she doesn't like her grandma (who is her favorite person in the world) I don't negate her feelings by saying, "oh yes you do, don't say things like that". I talk to her about them with a response like, "really. I'm surprised to hear that, you usually like grandma so much, what's going on?" I'm just telling you that to give some background on me and my parenting.<br><br>
When I face a re-occuring behavior issue, I try to face when we're outside of the situation or just about to enter it. For instance, restaurants and markets. Yikes! So, we talk about things on the way there and just before entering. I let her know the rules of acceptable behavior and the consequences if she doesn't follow the rules. She can walk around the market instead of being in the cart if she stays with me and doesn't pull things off the shelves. If she doesn't follow the rules, into the cart she goes. When she does a good job at the end of the venture, I tell her that I appreciate her doing such a good job and that I am impressed that she was able to do so well.<br><br>
Maybe you could try talking to your daughter about why she doesn't like other people to help her. Then you could try setting up some "rules" one at a time, like, talking to her about the toothbrushing at dinner time and letting her know that on that night, daddy's going to help her with it. When the time comes, remind her that you daddy's helping tonight, not you and stick to it. Maybe rotating things could help. You help with the shoes, then the next time daddy helps. The same for toothbrushing, etc.<br><br>
For me, talking to my daughter and letting her know things before hand really helps. Also, I'm hoping that this will open up your daughter to being more flexible over all about who she'll let help her and give you a break.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I could have written your post pretty much word for word. My DD is now 5, and DS is 2, but pretty much from the time he was born we have had the situation you describe. I do work FT, but I spend LOTS of one on one time with each kid, and time with the 2 of them together. When DS naps, DD and I play paper dolls or paint or do a craft together, etc. Daddy can disappear for hours and no one even really notices. I on the other hand can barely go to the toilet. I have to lock the door when I take a shower otherwise I will have visitors.<br><br>
I really have no words of advice for you. The one thing I tell myself is that when she's 14 and wants to have nothing to do with me I'll look bak on all of this fondly.<br><br>
Hang in there.
 

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One more mama chiming in to say BTDT! My kids are 2 yrs and 8 months apart. My ds who is the older one has gone through this phase from 3 yrs to 4&1/2 years old. I have had to be patient with him and kind of play along as the other people whom he rejects do not take to it very kindly (namely my in-laws). My MIL is probably never going to forget his rejections. DH was ok with accepting this and may have used this as an excuse to not do the daily routines for the kids as they want only mommy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
Things started changing from when ds was close to 5 and now he does it himself or is ok with dad or grandparents doing things for him. Younger one alternates between wanting dad or mom to do things for her. Neverthless, still i am the one who does most of the stuff overall. I hope this will phase out once my younger one also becomes more independent (which i expect to happen sooner that it happened with my son based on her individual personality).<br>
I want to add that I also work FT and made it a point to spend enough time with older one (reading books while nursing, one-on-one time when baby sleeps). Please be assured that all these things you do now will make them feel more secure and will help them to become independent or accept other people sooner or later.<br>
I too feel tired sometimes of being the favorite person all the time. So my hugs to you. All part of being an AP mommy??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the input. It does help knowing that she's not the only child to do this! I'll just keep doing what I'm doing...although I do need to try to convince her that she needs to stop being rude to other people, even if she prefers me at the moment.<br><br>
Last night I was venting to my husband about this and said, "Why is it that she prefers me anyway? You're much more fun than I am!" (which is true) He said, "You're the mommy. That's why." Which, when all is said and done, makes me feel pretty good.
 

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I remember that! I have three girls - 9, 5 and 2. Dd1 did it when dd2 was little, and dd2 did it when dd3 was little. And I am sure it DID have something to do with a new sibling taking much of mom's attention. But you know what? Dd3 does it too! I think it is partly just a phase kids go through. Having the new sibling may worsen it for a while but it probably would have happened anyway.<br><br>
I think you are handling it well, trying to spend some one-on-one time with her as much as you can. I remember getting really frustrated with the situation. It will get better; it really will. A really smart woman told me (when I was going through a tough phase with dd1) that the worse they are acting, the more they need your love and attention. But I was the stay at home parent! The worse she acted, the more I needed to get out the minute I had a chance. It was HARD to fake my way through that one! But it is long past now and I can really hardly remember it.<br><br>
Sometimes I gave in and did it (got the juice, etc.) for her, and sometimes I didn't - and she would scream as someone else did it. I tried to be/do what she needed most of the time but I couldn't do it all the time. Doing your best is ok. Sometimes my best was pretty sad. We do what we can. You will all be fine. It helps me to think that in six months this problem will be solved, and I'll have all NEW problems to contend with! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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