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Wanting the 'opposite' parent all the time

(7 Posts)
Tweetinat Wed 17-Aug-11 14:50:21

I'm wondering whether this is a phase (more than likely!) or if there's something else going on here (although no idea what it could be!)

DS 21m has suddenly decided that he always wants to be with the opposite parent to the one he is with.

Mornings start off OK with me getting DS out of bed and bringing him into ours for a cuddle. He then goes down with DH for breakfast fine but as soon as I go down stairs to take over when DH gets ready for work, DS goes ballistic, crying for 'Daddy' and doing everything in his power to get upstairs to follow him. This goes on for a good 10 mins and distraction sometimes works, but mostly doesn't. I tend to throw some brekkie down and then follow up myself to get us both ready where the tantrums start again (if they'd finished) and I normally just let him go find DH. If I insist that he stays with me (or DH has then left for work) then the wailing and crying continues until we eventually go out for the morning. If we're still here when DH leaves for work, then he stands and cries by the door for another 10 mins or so.

Throughout the day he will periodically go 'Daddy?' when he hears a noise and rush to the door and occassionally he'll wake up from naps asking for him and getting very upset if he's not there.

When DH gets home you'd think that he would stick to him like glue, but then the opposite starts. If I go to the office to try and get work done, DS follows me in and insists on sitting with me, and then all hell breaks loose once it's bath and bedtime. DH has ALWAYS done the bath leaving me downstairs, but for the last month I have had to go up with them because he will just cry and scream for the ENTIRE bath if I don't. We have had some days where I've been able to slip away/not go up but they're rare now.

I recently had to spend a couple of nights away from home in an emergency situation and DH got up with DS in the morning. This was the first time in 21m that this has happened so I wondered if this has anything to do with it, but to be honest the whole rigmarole started before that so I'm not sure what's causing it. One other point which may be relevant, is that we've been looking round childminders as he will need to be looked after 2d /week from September and I'm wondering whether he has picked up on this...

Anyone else experienced this? Was it just a phase and passed? Help!

StrandedBear Wed 17-Aug-11 15:13:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tweetinat Wed 17-Aug-11 18:54:44

It's so hard isn't it stranded - it makes me sad and feel like I'm not any fun to be around when he asks for him all the time sad

AngelDog Thu 18-Aug-11 00:25:35

18-21 months is a really tough time developmentally, which IME can often lead to this sort of behaviour. Children are often described as 'clingy, cranky & crying' during developmental spurts, and one psychologist has referred to this age as 'the mother of all developmental transitions' (you can read more here).

DS had a spell of this, although not quite so badly. It seems to have subsided now - he's 19 m.o.

Iggly Thu 18-Aug-11 09:48:27

What happens when you change over? I try and give DS warning a few mins beforehand several times so he knows what's coming up. Seems to help. Also if he calls for me when DH is sorting him out, I'll say yes, mummy's here, daddy's changing your nappy (for example).
We also make a big deal about saying goodbye so he knows we've gone - never leave without saying it otherwise he gets confused!

DS is 22 months.

natwebb79 Thu 18-Aug-11 15:04:56

Apparently when I was about 3 I used to spit at my dad and shout 'i hate you!' if my mum tried to go any where. A year later and I'd morphed into a classic daddy's girl. Kids are just weird sometimes smile

Tweetinat Sun 21-Aug-11 14:06:37

Thanks for the link AngelDog - very helpful. I did wonder if it could be something like that as he hit all the 'WonderWeeks' pretty much at the exact time!

He still gets upset Iggly, even if we pre-warn him what's going to happen. And if try to verbally reassure him when he wants me (or vice versa) it just seems to send him off more!!

That makes me laugh Nat - I don't think there's a truer phrase than 'kids are just weird sometimes'!

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