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Husband jealous of child

(37 Posts)
allthingswillpass Tue 17-Sep-13 17:34:58

We are into week 11 of placement.
All going massively well so far.
LO attached very quickly to DH and attachment to me took a bit longer.
I have been at home the whole time with LO with a strong presence from DH but last week I went out and DH was in charge for the day.
They had a fine old time but since then, LO only wants mummy and runs to me when DH appears.
DH is really finding this hard, I don't support LO behaviour and actually walk away but DH can not cope with this level of rejection.
Help pls.

allthingswillpass Wed 18-Sep-13 08:09:11

Thank you.
You are all fab and I really appreciate you taking the time xxx

roadwalker Wed 18-Sep-13 08:15:55

Although this is normal in the general population it has to be seen in the context of adoption and treated accordingly
My DD rejected my husband and BS for a long time.
I never rejected her or turned down any request for comfort or cuddles. I kept her very close to me - treated her like a newborn
DH did a lot of fun and bonding things with her, swimming was good, he did a lot of treats too. so, if she need new shoes he took her
She now accepts him totally and they have a good relationship
Also, dont confuse bonding and attachment. Most adopted children will have an insecure attachment because of the disruption of the first attachment figure
What you are aiming for is a good bond. And remember, a newborn baby will typically attach to BM first- especially if being breastfed
Dont expect too much and try to have fun
good luck

Italiangreyhound Wed 18-Sep-13 09:40:11

allthingswillpass I have had another thought and maybe the others who know about this and are reading will come on and fill in if I have missed a point!

Sometimes children do not attach equally to both parents at the same time. Sometimes the attachment comes first to one and then through that to the other. In that it does not mean attaching to you will mean she will fail to attach to DH but quite the opposite, in fact if she fails to attach to you it will make it much harder to attach to DH.

When you say 'I don't support LO behaviour' it sounds like you think this behaviour may be planned or calculated in some way, like a child who plays one parent off against another to get a better present or to get the answer they want if they need to get permission to do something. You may not mean this at all so of course apologies if I have got it wrong.

I think her behaviour is very normal for a child who has been placed with a family and who has had less than three months there to get used to the adults.

I think, allthingswillpass, that you are a teacher with a lot of experience of working with kids, which is great, and does mean you know what it is like in classroom settings. In the classroom I would imagine it is all very equal, teachers do not show favourites and children would not probably be encouraged to always want to be with a favourite teacher etc.

Also in a standard family we might try and say we all love each other equally, no favourites and parents try and love all their children as much as each other however they came to be in the family. This is indeed something to be desired.

However, for your little one she is in a new situation and finding her feet. in my opinion she must be allowed to express how she feels so she will not learn to stifle how she feels in order to please adults or others. Although we all have to do a degree of people pleasing when we are older (to get on in life) as children I believe they do need to learn to understand how they feel, achnowledge how they feel and be able to say how they feel about things really. It is important to have those feelings acknowledged. The love will come; I am sure, if he is patient and lets her learn to love him in her own time.

This article is fascinating and talks about adoption through the eyes of the child. I found it a total eye opener.

All best wishes, I am sure you are doing a great job and you will all get there sometime!

Devora Wed 18-Sep-13 10:04:03

I put in PM but will repeat here in case it's useful to anyone else: I found it helpful to do a bit of work with 'Mummy goes sometimes but I ALWAYS come back' by reading books like Owl Babies. Particularly good when I returned to work.

JammieMummy Wed 18-Sep-13 12:47:37

I would echo above this is totally normal, my adopted DD used to switch between the two of us as to who she wanted more and it did hurt the other one, even if you knew next week it would be your turn again. This is partly very normal child behaviour and partly attachment, you are her primary carer and you LEFT HER (her perception of what happened)with DH.

Put yourself in her shoes, my FC left me with Mummy and Daddy, I was getting along nicely with them and then one day they just left me! now I am getting along nicely with M & D and M leaves me!!! Ok so she came back THIS TIME but what will I do if she doesn't come back just like FC??? Que panicky child who worries internally that every time she is left with DH you are never going to return. A child's solution to this is to make sure she is always by your side especially when DH is around.

There are some excellent separation annxiety books that I read to DD to help with this, I can dig out titles if you like. But as hard as it sounds you need to go away so your DD can learn that you do come back and the best person to leave her with is DH as she has an attachment to him too.

As an aside just keep your eyes open for if she is playing you and DH, I am not saying that she is but adopted children are especially good at divide and conqure and if they know they are getting an emotional reaction they can play on it more. I would suggest 11 weeks is too early but I don't know the age of your child. It is normally in the form of "I don't was M to do X I want D to do it" we have a rule in our house that she cannot dictate this to us, unless there is good reason. Therefore if M was going to do the bedtime story then M does it or she doesn't get one (her choice) or she would have us running round after her like slaves, something I am sure she would love. smile

JammieMummy Wed 18-Sep-13 13:07:52

I would like to add that I am not advocating walking away from her and that I said nothing about how to cope "in the moment". So here are something's that were helpful attachement wise for us

1. Turn an 'i want Mummy hug' in to a family hug with all three of you.
2. We used to have "fun time" every evening with the three of us, so after her bath she would come into our bedroom and we (all 3 of us) would play attachment games for 20 mins or so (peek-a-boo, rubbing lotion in, a bit of rough and tumble etc).
3. Make sure DH has special things for her that she will be so interested in she wont even notice if you aren't there. Our DD has a veggie patch in the garden where her and Daddy go outside to work, dig and grow (also helps with the eating of veg at dinner time!) but friends of ours the DH takes their daughter to ballet, which she loves and it is a toddler class so he joins in! (the descriptions of his butterfly impersonations with colour scarves keeps us giggling over wine).
4. Don't dismiss TV our DD loves movie night with popcorn, a Disney DVD and a big blanket. She snuggles down between the two of us and gets the "special job" of holding the popcorn.
5. Special jobs with Daddy - it could be as simple as making a cup of tea for you. But they key thing is they are doing something just the two of them for you, because if she is making a cup of tea for you then clearly you aren't going anywhere as she is going to give you the tea! Start with a 3 min job like tea and build up to pictures, then shopping trips for a gift (beware of child chosen gifts though - apparently I love peppa pig!)

Our DD was 20 months when she joined us and we did all of the above from day one (although movie night was 2 episodes of the aforementioned Peppa Pig with a tiny ones attention span).

Italiangreyhound Wed 18-Sep-13 16:42:24

JammieMummy no wonder your DD think you like Peppa Pig, all those movie nights!

I would love to know your attachment books, list please, JammieMummy?

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 19-Sep-13 06:33:36

Jamie - our DD is a master (or would be if we let her!) of "not you, I want X to do it"... I'd always put it down to her personality, rather than linked to being an adopted child, so very interested in your comments about your DD

JammieMummy Thu 19-Sep-13 10:49:10

familiesthat share to be honest it is a bit of both but adopted children seem to be far more in tune with other people's emotions (often more so than their own) than a lot of children and part of them testing attachments is to push you away to see if you come back, what better way to push someone away and still get the thing you want I.e. story/push on the swing etc than to say you want someone else to do it! Without outing myself my family have a lot of experience of adoption including one member who has a masters in attachment theory so unfortunately we often hear a lot of the science behind the behaviour.

italiangrey they aren't books on attachment but books to ease separation annxiety in little ones. But the main titles are

Mama always comes home - while I hate the word mama it does allow the child to regress, it is also beautifully illustrated so you can talk for a long time about the pictures.

I Love You All Day Long - American book which is more about a child going to nursery but it is still DD's favourite when she is feeling wobbly

The Runaway Bunny - a book from the 70's I think confused but is about a little bunny who is going to runaway and do all these things and his mummy gently tells him that she will follow him and always be there (bunny "I'm going to be a rock on the side of a mountain" mummy "I will be a mountain climber and come to find you" etc) again stunning pictures.

oh my baby little one - also about going to nursery and there is a heart hidden on every page, so we say that love is always with DD even if sometimes it is hard to find.

Owl Babies - I know someone else mentioned it but it is truly very good. DD really connects with this book and used to tell me that she was Percy and would say Percy's line ("I want my Mummy") now though she tells me she is no longer Percy as Mummy always comes home (she is combining the two books there!)

I hope some of these help smile

Italiangreyhound Fri 20-Sep-13 03:39:08

Thanks so much jammy

YouAreMyRain Fri 20-Sep-13 03:53:05

Have you tried transitional objects? A personal item of yours (watch, jewellery, photo, keyring) that your dc looks after for you in your absence. This provides comfort and reassurance that you will return,

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 20-Sep-13 13:26:51

Oh yes we did that with my DS when my DH was working away a lot. DS was really struggling and a foster carer friend suggested that my DH give DS something to look after while he was away. It really did make a difference.

Such a simple thing!

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