March 28, 2008,
R.S. asks from Morrison, CO on March 27, 2008
2.5 Year Old Rejects Her Dad
Hey moms out there... anyone ever have this problem? My 2.5 year old daughter often rejects her dad. He tries to talk to her and play with her and very often she will respond with, "No, No, Daddy. Go Away. Mommy do it. I want my mommy," etc. It doesn't happen all the time, but it really hurts my husband's feelings when it does happen. Anyone have any idea on how I can get her to change her behavior toward him? He travels a lot and works constantly, and I've suggested taking her out for daddy/daughter dates, but other than that, I don't know how to help them develop a healthy relationship. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!
C.L. answers from Provo on March 28, 2008
I had something similar happen with my daughter. I used to be the one to put her to bed and we had a routine. Then one evening, my husband had to put her to bed. He was convinced he did it all wrong and so was my daughter. :D
What we ended up doing was that mommy had one way of doing it and my husband created his own routine. He deliberately made it different and as special as he could so she would enjoy it too.
It helped her see that daddy could do things with her and for her too, but that he sometimes did them differently.
I agree with the other posters who have said that it isn't a personal attack or anything against your husband. Its just what she is used to and is comfortable with. She also may not know how to express these feelings or even understand them completely herself.
The daddy/daughter dates are a good idea too.
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L.B. answers from Salt Lake City on March 28, 2008
My husband also travels a ton. When he is out of town he always calls and talks to each child. We use the computer and a web cam to talk. It is free!!! At 2.5 they won't have a lot to say but try to include him even when he is gone. my kids love to see themselves on the computer. My husband will even help my older kids with homework or talk to them about a problem that happened that day. Even when he is gone he is a very involved Father. My kids adjust pretty good to him traveling. We all hate it but we do what we have to. As your daughter gets older I am sure she will act differently. Hang in there. I love your idea about daddy/daughter dates. My kids all love going on dates with Dad. (& Mom, I want my turn too.) :)
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A.T. answers from Fort Collins on March 28, 2008
aha... The traveling husband. I understand.
It's hard for them to bond with him away. In your child's mind it seems like only mommy knows how to fullfill her needs because mommy is there 24/7.
One of my kiddos actually thought that daddy really didn't know how to make a sandwhich or help get her dressed. Kind of funny but not.
Sometimes we had to make sure mommy was too busy to help her, like in the shower or something, and she had no choice but to let daddy help her. Slowly she figured out that daddy could do things. He would do things differently, but the outcome was the same, so it's ok. :) Good luck!!! Have a great day!!
N.C. answers from Denver on March 28, 2008
Hello! My oldest son is the same age and treats his Dad the same way, and he doesn't travel. He is home every night and weekends. What has helpled us is for me to take a "mommy's night out" more often and let them bond. It had a few bumps at first but now they look forward to their "boys time". Sometimes my hubby tries to make those nights extra special, order pizza (we don't eat out much) or a special movie but not always. He hardly tells Dad to go away or refuses him hugs anymore. Wish you the best of luck!
D.K. answers from Denver on March 28, 2008
This is very normal behavior. Please explain to your hubby that to not take it personally. Kids are creatures of habit and she is just used to you doing things. Have your husband pitch in when he can and be right there while you are doing things for her so she gets the idea daddy can do it too. Having him take her to do special things will help too. Most kids pick a preference and it is usually mommy. It is a phase and before too long she will switch gears and wrap daddy around her little finger.
My kids just did this to my ex who hasn't seen them in a few months. They were so excited to see him and the first few days barely spoke to me, then all of a sudden they were on my lap, following me everywhere, kind of shutting my ex out. I explained to him that they know he is going to leave and I am the constant in their lives right now.
It isn't personal, just security for her and what she is comfortable with.