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to think most children like their dads?

(27 Posts)
sanejane Thu 03-Mar-16 22:11:03

DC are aged 7, 3, 2 and just turned 1. DH works shifts and sees them a lot - at very least 3 hours per day and often three or four whole days per week - a lot more than most dads I know get to see their children. Even still, the children seem to just not like him. The eldest rarely talks or listens to him, he won't let him take him to school or activities, he'd rather miss a party than DH take him etc. The 3 (almost 4) year old also does not want him taking her anywhere, rarely listens to him and doesn't like playing with him or being left with him. The 2 (almost 3) year old will have nothing to do with him and even the youngest has started to fuss to get away from him.

He says it's natural they prefer me because I'm with them 24/7. I think it'd make more sense that they were therefore pleased to see DH as a break from me! I feel like he needs to do more to get involved rather than continue to step down. He can't take the baby to bed because he's breastfed and Co sleeps so every night he watches him while I take the older three to bed, then I have to sort the baby then and throughout the night, too.

Tonight I was brushing my teeth and 3 year old was asking me something from the other room (couldn't see I was brushing my teeth) to which the answer was very clearly no. DH just stood there listening to her repeat herself rather than answer her so he wasn't responsible for her being upset over the answer. Yesterday in town the 2 year old was whining to be carried, I said no and she accepted that but then DH picked her up five minutes later. He carried her for a few minutes then decided she was too heavy so put her down. She started crying and the whining multipled tenfold and he looked bewildered and kept looking at me to tell her off.

I just feel like he has so little input into their lives and leaves everything to me but he thinks that most children gravitate towards their mum. Aibu to think this isn't the case?

Jesabel Thu 03-Mar-16 22:14:48

They aren't interested in him because he isn't parenting them.

On the days he's home, he should be doing bath and bed - or at least 50% of it. He can take the oldest one to school, take the big three to the park etc.

If I were you I'd start taking a morning off once a week where he looks after all the kids.

BarbarianMum Thu 03-Mar-16 22:18:04

I think children do ultimately listen more to and gravitate to their primary carer but not to the extent you are describing. It sounds like he has no confidence in his parenting abilities and neither do his children sad Would he consider spending some one on one time with them away from you and the other kids to strengthen their relationships? Or just go out for the afternoon and leave him to it. I personally wouldn't give my children any choice - if we need dh to take them somewhere/look after them then that's what happens.

ZiggyFartdust Thu 03-Mar-16 22:19:45

My DP works shifts as well. The children are constantly asking when is Dad home, is he on lates, when is his day off. They miss him when they don't see him and run to the door when he comes in.
But then he's an involved, caring parent who puts the work in with his children.

starry0ne Thu 03-Mar-16 22:21:43

It seems to be 2 sides here...

Are you letting him parent? I ask this because the result of him pciking up DC was his to deal with...A 7 year old doesn't get a choice of who takes him to school, party..

Does he want to do this stuff or not?

I agree with the PP... Remove yourself from the situation so they can all learn.. It might not be your way of doing things but it will be better than you doing it all.

HeddaGarbled Thu 03-Mar-16 22:44:11

This is so sad for all of you.

I think he doesn't know how to bond with them, they know that and are rejecting him which is setting up a vicious circle. Breaking that circle after so many years is going to be so difficult.

If it's going to change, it will have to be with very small steps and you will have to be very very supportive, patient and non critical.

Can you think of one thing to start with that would ease your load and wouldn't be too challenging? You mention the bedtime routine so if this is what's stressing you the most, maybe start with that. Perhaps he could read a bedtime story for either the 7 year old or the two toddlers every night, while you deal with the baby. You need to not listen, not judge and not intervene while he does this.

It would also be good for him to do things outside the house with the older ones while you are with the baby. Even if that is only walking to the shops and back, it's an opportunity for him to parent without you there and build up his confidence plus get the children used to relying on him not you.

This isn't meant as a criticism but 3 children under 4 plus a 7 year old is a lot of very small very needy people in the house and there are a lot of parents who would find that very difficult to cope with.

sanejane Thu 03-Mar-16 22:52:22

I plan time one on one for me and each DC but it means leaving the others very upset, which then spoils the experience for the one getting time with me because they're concerned about their siblings. He never asks for or plans time with any of them. He acts like he's done me a favour when I come back after time with one. Last week, for example, 7 year old and I went to the cinema. He told him not to talk about anything to do with the film because it might upset the others and then he won't be looking after them 'for him' again hmm

He only seems to occupy them to stop them crying, rather than actually enjoying being with any of them. 7 year old would be Hysterical if he tried taking him to school.

BillSykesDog Thu 03-Mar-16 23:22:46

OP, I recognise you from before you changed name and would refer you back to the advice given on your last thread....

Bambalina Fri 04-Mar-16 01:21:59

Quite the opposite in our house. I become furniture/invisible when DP comes home. He works full time.
He is total novelty (and the pushover parent!!)

Sounds like a tricky situation for you.

BarbarianMum Fri 04-Mar-16 07:59:31

OP is your dh abusive to your dc? Am struggling to see why a 7 year old would hysterical about being taken to school by their dad, or why they'd be so worried about the little ones being left with him. What's going on?

MLGs Fri 04-Mar-16 08:38:21

Does sound very extreme op.

BillSykesDog Fri 04-Mar-16 08:42:22

If the poster is who I think it is, he's hysterical about him taking him to school because the OP hates her husband, undermines him at every opportunity and encourages the children to do the same.

BillSykesDog Fri 04-Mar-16 08:43:28

And she was told this on her last thread and she's NC because she didn't like being told she WBU.

DontCareHowIWantItNow Fri 04-Mar-16 08:46:45

If the poster is who I think it is, he's hysterical about him taking him to school because the OP hates her husband, undermines him at every opportunity and encourages the children to do the same.

If true then that explains it....

Footle Fri 04-Mar-16 09:03:01

In that case I wonder what the point of posting is. Sad thread.

DixieNormas Fri 04-Mar-16 09:09:50

well yes, it sounds extreme. However if it was me I wouldn't be pandering to the hysterics over him taking them to school/bed unless he is abusive. It would be a case of dad's taking you that's the end of it

NickyEds Fri 04-Mar-16 09:14:19

Any thoughts op? I haven't read any other threads but on the face of your op I'd be deeply concerned. It isn't us usual for dc to gravitate towards one parent but to refuse to go to a party because you dad is taking you, at 7 would ring all kinds of alarm bells.

LogicalThinking Fri 04-Mar-16 09:18:04

This isn't a good situation at all and it won't change unless you do something about it.
I don't know the history but it's very clear there is more to it that you have written. He's not parenting and you're not letting him parent, you have to sort this out between you so your children can develop a healthy relationship with their father.

Shutthatdoor Fri 04-Mar-16 10:14:12

If the poster is who I think it is, he's hysterical about him taking him to school because the OP hates her husband, undermines him at every opportunity and encourages the children to do the same.

If correct, not sure what OP is trying to get from this thread.

BeagBoo Fri 04-Mar-16 10:20:58

Where's the other thread before I bother giving advice and time on this one?

doughnutslikefannys Fri 04-Mar-16 10:29:22

While we were growing up, my mum worked weekends and my dad worked Monday - Friday. From the moment I was born I preferred my dad. My mum said she could have left me with a stranger and I wouldn't have batted an eye but my dad couldn't even go to the toilet without me freaking out.

I like them both equally now though grin

NerrSnerr Fri 04-Mar-16 11:49:05

I haven't read any other threads but there must be a backstory if he's hysterical about his dad taking him to school.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Fri 04-Mar-16 11:57:31

If the poster is who I think it is, he's hysterical about him taking him to school because the OP hates her husband, undermines him at every opportunity and encourages the children to do the same.

If that is the case, then maybe DH doesnt doing any because he knows he'll get it wrong and you'll make him feel like shit for it.

BestOnlineCommentSite Fri 04-Mar-16 13:21:49

The iron of "sane"jane!

BestOnlineCommentSite Fri 04-Mar-16 13:22:05

irony, I mean.

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