June 27, 2008,
S.L. asks from Castle Rock, CO on June 25, 2008
My Daughter Wants Only Daddy
My 2.5 year old only wants her daddy! Everyday...daddy daddy daddy. I get her up in the morning and the her first words are daddy here? When we are in the car she doesn't want me to put her in or get her out. She will not let me do her hair she wants daddy to do it. I know you all are going to say it's a phase but this has been for over a year now. It hurts my feelings to no end. I'm so glad that she loves him so much but I want her to want mommy too. Any suggestions???
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all the help. I decided I just need to spend more one on one time with her. Letting Daddy play with our 10 month old and mommy have time with 2.5 year old is long overdue!! Thanks again.
S.L. answers from Boise on June 26, 2008
I'm sorry you're going through this. I've had the opposite problem, because I couldn't get my husband to do anything to take care of our kids, and he was having some anger issues, so the kids would cling to me and shy away from their Daddy.
I tell you that because sometimes hearing other people's problems makes you appreciate your own. As the saying goes, "if all of our problems were hung on a line, you'd take yours, and I'd take mine."
Keep being the best parent you can be. Don't try to bribe her to like you, or try to buy her love, and she'll come around.
Another thought I had is that I watched my sister's kids grow up to be brats. They SCREAMED because the "wrong" person buckled their car seats, or sat next to them at dinner. And this was until they were 5 and 6! So when my son started demanding his preferences on things like that, he got told, "it doesn't matter who buckles you in. All of us love you and can help take care of you." We haven't had any problems like that, thank goodness! So maybe if your daughter just insists that Daddy do it, you can tell her that you love her just as much as Daddy does, and you can take care of her, too, so you're going to do it.
I hope something helps. It must be really tough!
K.D. answers from Denver on June 25, 2008
I understand. As a little girl (and a mommy) you always dream that your children are going to adore you. After all, you are mommy. Our first had very little to do with me once he realized daddy could feed him. I, too, had a hard time not having hurt feelings. As time goes on, you'll find you have a very special bond with her even though it may not be the type or timing you would like. My now 4 year old is so open with his hugs for me. Hang in there, and don't let it become a thing of his and hers kids. We've had a hard time fighting that, but it only makes it worse if you get that. I wish I could give you more encouragement, but I have found it to be something I have to deal with on my end. Thankfully, my second thinks mommy is the best! It is fun.
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L.C. answers from Denver on June 26, 2008
I have the same issue. My now 6 year old didn't want to have anything to do with me starting at 3 months. Only my husband was able to console her when she was crying and she only wanted to be held by him. Both my husband and I work so I am not sure what caused this. I work alot of overtime so my theory is that I wasn't around much during her 2-4 months of age and she formed a bond with her daddy. My feelings were very hurt as she was my first born. She is still a daddy's girl but now she comes to me when she needs some mothering. From what I have read, as girls grow older and into teen years, it will be the mother they will attach themselves to. Now my second daughter is complete opposite, she won't leave my side! Just enjoy your girls because they know you love them and your daughter will show her love back in different ways.
J.L. answers from Denver on June 25, 2008
I went through the same with my now 4 year old. I was so afraid of her being clingy to me that I "passed her off" when we were at friends and family's and she was in childcare. From about 18 months to 2 1/2 she only wanted any one but me. I had a second and became stay at home and now she loves me just as anyone else. I know you didn't want to hear "its just a phase", but it is. I maybe would suggest some alone time with her. Do something special just the 2 of you, a few times a week and things may change. Hang in there. I'm sure she loves you just the same. Good Luck
B.M. answers from Salt Lake City on June 27, 2008
Perhaps your daughter is feeling uneasy about her connection to her Dad for some reason and is worried that at any given time he won't be there. Maybe she isn't understanding why Dad leaves (when he goes to work) etc. I also noticed that you have 2 daughters. Is your 2.5 year old the oldest? Maybe she has decided that you are the baby's caregiver and that Dad is hers. She is probably old enough to have some kind of a schedule explained to her. Maybe you could make her a chart of when you are home and "in charge" and when Dad is home. It could say "Mom wakes me up and does my hair.Mom is home and in charge until lunch time. Dad will be home at lunch time." Let her pick some things for you to do together like read books, play games etc. By mapping out the day for her perhaps she can calm down a little and not feel so anxious about where Dad is. This could also help to minimize the fights over car seats and hair brushing if she is informed ahead of time who will be doing those things.
Try to remember that this has nothing to do with her "loving" him more than you. For some reason she is stuck in a cycle of needing to be in control of who takes care of her. Since it is you most of the time, choosing Dad is the only option she has of taking the control. If she says, "I want Mom to comb my hair" when you are already there to do it then that isn't much of a struggle. Try to fix this through finding a balance in the control between the two of you.
I hope you find an answer to this issue. Take care,
S.G. answers from Cheyenne on June 26, 2008
Are you a stay at home mom? Does your husband work outside the home? Maybe she is craving attention from him more because he's not always there. It's like...if you eat an apple every day, sooner or later, you're going to want a pear! She sees you every day all day, so when the pear is home (daddy)she is going to take advantage of it. Also, for some reason, girls kind of automatically cling to daddy and boys to mommy. When my son was born, I couldn't so much as look at my daughter without her screaming "papa!!!!" He couldn't walk to the bathroom without her following, screaming "DADDY!!! PAPA!!!" It took a few weeks before she would let me change a diaper, comb her hair, get her dressed, etc... She is still a daddy's girl, but I figure it's normal and I WANT her to have a good relationship with him because I didn't have one with MY father. She will snuggle up in my lap if daddy's not home, so I know she loves me. But if Daddy's home, she only has eyes for him. I know it hurts, but try to be happy that SHE is happy and just enjoy watching them together enjoying each other so much. It's very heartwarming! Sorry I can't help more. It just sounds like a case of "She can't miss you if you're never gone." Maybe if you left her with him for a weekend and went somewhere by yourself for a couple of days, she'd be the same way to daddy that she is to you. It would be "mommy here?"