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To feel upset by DD2?

(45 Posts)
ReginaTheVelociraptor Thu 26-May-16 16:07:57

DD2 (5) has always been a daddy's girl right off the bat. DD1 (7) has always been more for me but it's more of an equal split of fondness than with DD2. I've always been a bit jealous of their bond but I don't let on.

Recently DD2 is being more and more vocal in her favouritism. I feel like such a child but it honestly upsets me. DH and DD2 were in the garden yesterday and DD2 said "Let's play families. I'm the baby, DD1 is the big sister and our mummy is dead". DH corrects her, tells her it's not nice to say that about mummy even if it's a game and all the things I would do in the same situation but I just cried into the washing up.

I know I'm being a bit U but I was hoping someone would tell me whether I'm being a total idiot over it or if it would upset you too? Every time she cuddles with me it's like she's being forced to until DH is available again. It's so strange as DHA has never shown any favouritism to either DD and neither have I sad

PPie10 Thu 26-May-16 16:24:39

Yanbu that's really hurtful, why did you not deal with her right there and then. You should have told her that's a really unkind thing to say and how hurtful it was. Don't allow her to get away with saying such things. You can gently discuss this with her.

Witchend Thu 26-May-16 16:31:31

Op says her dh corrects her if it happens in front of him.

Are you sure it isn't just a game though? I remember playing "families" through primary and "mummy" was often dead or absent in various ways, and we were fending for ourselves. I don't think daddy even merited a mention. Didn't say anything about our relationship with our parents.

Buggers Thu 26-May-16 16:32:47

Does your dd understand what death/dead means? Has anyone she's known ever died? If not then try not to take it to heart as I remember saying something similar when I was the same age obviously not realizing what the word meant or wanting anyone dead. However if she has experience of death then definitely sit her down and tell her it's upset you.

imnotalpharius Thu 26-May-16 16:37:31

Most of the time my kids play those games the mum is dead, it's not 'my' mummy it's 'the' mummy. I used to do it as sometimes well thinking back. It's more about being able to take charge and the drama and adversity, without the actual serious responsibility of being actual Mum.

MelB1992 Thu 26-May-16 16:39:02

Do you do most of the disciplining with DD2? I know a child who was the same but it turns out it was just because mummy did all the telling off whilst daddy was the fun one.

ReginaTheVelociraptor Thu 26-May-16 16:46:47

I've had a word with her about it a few times before. She says she loves me but it's her time with daddy now before shooting me a look that makes me out to be totally evil for even questioning things.

She's known death but I don't think she fills grasps it. Last summer her nan died and DD1 gets quite upset about it occasionally so we talk about it, if you see what I mean?

Yes, I'm the primary discipline in the house but only because DH works outside of the home as a civil engineer so works long days and often weekends. I work around school hours and from home so I'm always here and was a SAHM until she went to nursery at 3.

ReginaTheVelociraptor Thu 26-May-16 16:47:19

Sorry. Autocorrect as I'm on my phone. "Fully grasps".

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 16:48:04

if you think about it, an awful lots of children's classic are based on the idea of parents being dead or absent or useless in some way; it's a plot device to allow the child to become the main protagonist

even if it was more than just a plot device, she is very young and won't have understood what she was saying in the way an adult would understand it

my dd was quite a bit younger when she told me during an argument that she wouldn't have to have me for a mummy when she was grown up because I would be dead by then

I am afraid I laughed and told her not to bank on it

dd is now 19, I am not dead, and we have a very good, very close relationship

a small child can be told not to say these things (which your dh is doing) but they seriously cannot be taught to understand in any depth what they are really saying

in terms of your relationship with your dd I think the best way forward is to show as little emotion as you can: tell her what she must or must not say and tell her off if she disobeys, but do not lay your adult emotions on her child shoulders

it may be that part of her partiality for her dad is because she senses that he is less emotionally vulnerable: adult emotion can be very frightening for a young child

a brisk no-nonsense approach always works well ime

ReginaTheVelociraptor Thu 26-May-16 16:53:09

That may be where I'm going wrong. DH isn't very emotional at all whereas I'm more so. I dont lay my emotions upon them per day but I am more openly emotionally loving. If I ever get upset I leave the room and speak to DH about it privately but I can't help but feel she doesn't like me all that much. Her personality is very similar to her fathers whereas DD1 is more similar to me so that's also a factor.

nobilityobliges Thu 26-May-16 16:54:36

"Let's play families. I'm the baby, DD1 is the big sister and our mummy is dead" ouch, I can completely understand how that would hurt to hear. But it sounds like it's a fantasy about being outside of parental control - let's pretend we're kids with no mum and dad. Lots and lots of children's books and stories are about orphans for the very reason that it allows children to identify with a character who is a child, but not subject to the normal controls that children are under. And for a child, it's impossible to imagine not being with parents unless parents are actually gone. Put it this way, your daughter wasn't imagining running away, because she couldn't imagine wanting to leave mummy and daddy.

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 16:54:36

I remember ds going through a phase around 10 when he spent a lot of time trying to portray me as an evil tyrant who oppressed his poor dad. It didn't go anywhere because both his dad and I refused to rise to it.

After that came a phase where he clearly felt his dad was completely clueless and irritating in all ways. Like the previous phase it was obviously more about his own mixed emotions about growing up than about us.

He now, aged 16, treats us both with an amused tolerance which I find quite soothing. grin

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 16:59:04

Do you have a feeling that because she is your daughter and you are her mum, you ought to understand each other and be on the same wavelength in some special way? Because that is very much how my mum felt about me, and quite frankly (much as I love her and though she has been a wonderful mum) it is quite a pressure. Nothing that says you have to be like one person, or have an instinctive understanding of one person, just because you both happen to have been born with vaginas.

My own dd is completely unlike me in every way (but funnily enough, quite like my mum). We have learnt to understand each other through studying each other's reactions and emotional needs rather than through "getting" each other. Doesn't make the relationship any less worthwhile.

RNBrie Thu 26-May-16 17:02:36

Is feeling insecure and testing you to see how you react? Saying something hurtful to see if you still love her and are on her side?

My advice would be to have a Google of the term "love bomb". Not a fan of the term but we use the concept with my 4 year old when we need to, she's very sensitive and can feel insecure easily and responds really well to us hanging out totally on her terms.

Here's a good article but there is also a book - [[

RNBrie Thu 26-May-16 17:03:57

Sorry, total link fail!

Pseudo341 Thu 26-May-16 17:26:27

It's because you're the primary carer so you're the boring one laying down the rules and Daddy time is a treat. My eldest was always a complete Daddy's girl until I became badly laid up in late stages of pregnancy at which point he became primary carer and suddenly it was all about Mummy. Try not to let it get to you, and make sure DH is backing you up on the discipline.

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 17:42:57

I would try to avoid questioning her on whether she loves you: that seems a bit too heavy for a young child. Deal with direct rudeness (i.e. the kind of thing she would not be allowed to say about her dad or her aunty or her teacher either), but ignore anything that is only hurtful because of your expectations as her mother: she is not responsible for those.

Ameliablue Thu 26-May-16 17:50:05

Do you ever spend time just you and her doing something special?
It strikes me that if your oh works long hours, he had the novelty value plus when both of you and oh are together, she doesn't have to share as much attention with her sister, so that all goes to increase the value of your oh in her eyes.

Felyne Thu 26-May-16 17:54:09

Overhearing my kids playing it's always 'Mummy is dead' as well. The way I take it (to make myself feel better!) is that their game involves some sort of hardship and since they see me as the person who is always there for them/problem solving, then to have the 'mummy figure' out of the picture sort of adds to the sad situation they find themselves in in their game.

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 18:00:41

Very good point there from Felyne. Many children love wallowing in imaginary horrors: doesn't make them little psychopaths.

Shelby2010 Thu 26-May-16 18:04:39

Daddy's playing with them in the garden while you're washing up? No wonder he's seen as the fun one....

Justbeingnosey123 Thu 26-May-16 18:05:12

Re the 'game' rember how many films especially princesses films the parents particular the mum is dead. It may not seem such a strange idea to her just a thought

Slowtrain2dawn Thu 26-May-16 18:13:18

My three have always had favourites at different times, please don't think she doesn't love you. There is probably no need for her to really express it because she is so secure in her relationship with you maybe? I wouldn't pursue it with her unless she is actually rude. It will pass I'm sure. Totally understand how you feel though! My youngest wanted DH all the time, I felt like a spare part!

ScreenshottingIsNotJournalism Thu 26-May-16 18:17:44

I find that around 4/5yrs is when there's lots and lots of death talk amongst the kids at school. And lots of creepy role play as they try to come to terms with the concept. My theory is that toddlers feel immortal, and then around 4 they realise they're not and it takes a lot of working through.

I remember DD at around 4/5yrs playing "the baby is dead" with her friend with their dolls… it was well creepy, but there was a lot of death talk going on in the playground, stories about dead pets and dead relatives.

I think it's a normal phase and maybe it's more related to role-playing through the concept that loved ones are mortal, than about the favouritism?

ScreenshottingIsNotJournalism Thu 26-May-16 18:18:35

justbeingnosey disney does like the mothers to be dead, evil or inconsequential don't they hmm

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