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DD(2) being horrible to DH

(11 Posts)
gryffindorwannabe Thu 07-Jul-16 21:10:18

Advice needed please - at the end of my tether!

2yo DD is being horrible to DH (her Dad) every evening when he comes home from work. She won't kiss him, cuddle him, play with him and screams if he goes near her. He is an excellent Dad, he plays with her all the time and when he is here he looks after her equally. She is absolutely fine with him at weekends and when we go away on holiday, in fact she gets rather clingy to him and would rather be with him than me.

I worked PT (3 days a week) until a couple of months ago when I went on mat leave, when I was at work she would only do this occasionally, but now it is every day. She is not normally clingy to me, and she is quite independent and sociable. She does occasionally do this to my DF too, but he just picks her up and kisses and cuddles her anyway until she laughs. DH does do this sometimes, but doesn't want to force himself on her.

Today we had a full blown temper tantrum because I wouldn't give her a cuddle unless she gave DH one first. DH is finding it very upsetting and got very angry tonight and she ended up going to bed without any cuddles or stories because both me and her refused to give in.

I'm after any advice really. Any opinions on why she is behaving like this, what we might be able to do to prevent it, or how we cope with it if/when it happens!

MummyTheTramEngine Thu 07-Jul-16 21:15:34

I don't think you should coerce her into cuddling someone she doesn't want to cuddle- just ignore the behavior. DS did this and at 4 he is now daddy's biggest fan :-)

ImaginaryCat Thu 07-Jul-16 21:23:46

Both our DDs went through similar at around this age. Not sure why, I'm sure there's some psychology behind it, but suffice to say it really hurt DP. It was bloody annoying for me too, as I was the only one who could settle them.
But they've both come out the other side and are now totally in love with him. You need to not get cross with her for it. Whatever's going on in that little head she thinks it's completely rational. And as hard as it is for him it really will end one day, unless you handle it badly now and cause serious problems down the line.

EverythingWillBeFine Thu 07-Jul-16 21:30:30

I would say 'don't force it' and make it as light as possible.

You need to remember that she isn't like this at weekends, so doesn't actually have an issue with her father as such. It could be the transition from being with you only to her dad being there or whatever.

The best thing you can do is to ignore it but keep involving him in the evening, eg him giving her her bath, something that she really enjoys and that her dad will be able to do.
In the mean time, make yourself unavailable/'hidden'

Last thing, stop looking at it as her 'being horrible to her dad'. Saying that is sayng that she is doing it on purpose to hurt him. I'm sure that is very very far from the truth, even if it feels like it to your DH.
She is only 2yo, trying to work things out. She will NOT be set to go and hurt someone on purpose.

gryffindorwannabe Thu 07-Jul-16 21:38:16

Thanks for your replies, I agree that ignoring it is the rational response, but that is so bloody hard to do sometimes!
She is also a very stubborn and headstrong character and I try to be firm and not give in to her. I do feel that she is manipulating us by refusing to cuddle DH and then coming to me whinging that she wants a cuddle.
Glad to hear that it is a normal stage and I'm really hoping that it doesn't last long!

EverythingWillBeFine Thu 07-Jul-16 21:49:56

No no no. A 2yo is NOT manipulative!
If she was 5 or 10yo, yes you would have some grounds for that but not at that age. She is only a toddler not a child yet.

Ime with head strong children, the best way to deal with is to avoid direct conflict. Forcing her to do something will create the opposite reaction. The ore you will ask her too do xx the less she will do it.

Learnt that well from dc2 who could have spent 2 hours sat on a bench (and did) refusing to tidy one toy.... Following time, I used another way to ensure he was indeed tidying up the toy wo 'forcing him' which meant direct conflict and me 'loosing' the battle.

This could well be what is happening there. She knows that you are going to ask her to give her dad a cuddle. She doesn't want to so is refusing 'in principle'. You are forcing her to do it so she is digging her heels even more. And it carries on.

AnecdotalEvidence Thu 07-Jul-16 22:53:54

Stop trying to push the issue, it will just make it worse. Never force a child into showing affection to a person when they don't want to - regardless of who it is. And never withhold your affection because they won't do what you want them to do.

She's probably getting a bit tired by the time he comes home and just wants the familiarity of mum.
Give it time, it will pass. As long as he's spending plenty of time with her at other times then there won't be a problem.
Tell your DH to hang on in there and not take it personally.

Maz2444466 Fri 08-Jul-16 18:49:42

gryffindor I'm having similar issues plus my little monster likes biting me as well as DH. I've tried calmly saying 'Stop' and I've also shouted but little monster just giggles! It's very frustrating. I'm hoping it's just a phase!

gryffindorwannabe Fri 08-Jul-16 20:09:05

No I know we didn't handle the situation correctly. Yes everything that's exactly what keeps happening. The situation escalates because neither one of us backs down. I am only just learning how to get her to do what I want without actually asking her!
She was a lot better this evening and DH is going to take her out without me tomorrow so fingers crossed all is OK this weekend.
Oh no Maz sad Thankfully we've had no violence from DD -yet- but she does laugh when we tell her off which is very annoying!

TooTweeOrNotTooTwee Sat 09-Jul-16 23:17:03

My DC are a bit like this - prefer me to DH for everything and fight over who gets me. I feel bad for DH but he's quite philosophical about it saying its natural with him being at work so much.

We ignore it as much as we can, but I do try to model 'good behaviour', making sure DC know I am happy DH is home from work, and being kind and supportive of him myself (I'm sure you are too!).

Kalispera Sat 09-Jul-16 23:20:01

Me and DH were just talking about this!

When both our kids were 2 they weren't interested in DH at all, but now DD is older he is her favourite person in the world. And DS is getting there, although it's much more of a 'beat each other up as a way to demonstrate affection' type relationship. Which means I still get all the best hugs. smile

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