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How can I encourage DS to love his daddy more??

(11 Posts)
Kentishwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 15:00:27

Will try not to make this too long. Basically, I have a 20 month old DS who has always favoured mummy over daddy. Most of the time, when DH tries to do something with him (from playing a game to giving him his tea, or even just holding hands while we walk in from the car), he screams and cries, and wants me to do it. When DS was younger, we used to console ourselves with the thought that it was just separation anxiety - DS would scream if anyone but mummy tried to do anything with him. In the last couple of months, though, the separation anxiety has improved considerably; recently both grannies have done the bedtime routine with him, and have babysat him for several hours, with absolutely no complaints.

In some ways things have got better - DS and DH now have certain things that they always do together (going for a walk when DH gets in from work, playing Lego upstairs while I make tea), and they're fine if I leave them alone for a few hours. But when I'm there, and DH tries to do anything else with DS, we get the howling and crying. DH does bedtime practically every night, but DS almost always cries as soon as he realises daddy's going to put him to bed. The one time I did it the other day, DS got all excited and started shouting 'bye bye daddy' repeatedly sad.

I thought this was just a phase, but it doesn't seem to be getting any better. And although DH tries to remain cheerful about it, I think it's increasingly beginning to upset him, particularly now DS is old enough to express himself more articulately. I feel awful, because DH was initially uncertain about having kids, but I assured him that he'd adore any child that was his own. That has turned out to be the case - but the same isn't true the other way round! It's true that DH is not the most natural with very young kids, and isn't terribly physically affectionate (with anyone, not just DS), but he absolutely loves DS and really tries hard to do fun things with him.

Has anyone else been through this, and is there anything I can do??

georgi101 Mon 15-Jun-09 15:11:31

hi this message is to kentishwoman. i have had the same problem with my son. try not to worry about it too much. my son has always favoured me over his daddy, i have found that if i set up some activities for my son and his daddy to do together and take my daughter out, they get on so well. Also i know this may sound a bit nasty but if my partner is around and my son wants mummy to do something that daddy can do i tell him that mummy is busy and to politely ask daddy then i leave the room. like for instance my son will only let me take him to bed at night, i have had to get his pj s on give him a cuddle and kiss pass him to his dad and go and stand outside. You see while the favourite parent is around the child will on have them. you just have to take a deep breath block out the crying and let the other parent take over, other wise it will never happen. hope this helps.

dooneygirl Mon 15-Jun-09 15:29:07

We had that problem with DD. She was a mommy's girl from the day she was born. DH did everything to try to get her to want him, and it didn't do a bit of good. She continued this way until sometime after her 2nd birthday. And then the switch flipped. DH calls her his "pocket girl", because as soon as she hears his key in the lock when he gets home, she runs to the door to greet him, and he says it is too bad she can't fit in his pocket, because she never gets farther away from him from that. She's told everyone she's daddy's girl, and tells me things like she's my girl until daddy comes home, and then she's daddy's girl.

We tried so many things to get her to like daddy before this all happened. I don't know if she finally was old enough to comprehend all the time daddy spent trying to get her to like him, or what, but I really think it was just something she decided on her own one day. Like it was a phase she was going through, albeit a very long one. I feel for your DH, I saw how badly mine felt for 2 years. Hopefully your son will do the same.

lal123 Mon 15-Jun-09 15:34:06

I think its wrong of you to conclude that your DS doesn't love his daddy, or doesn't adore him (and if you're giving that message to your DP then YABU!!).

titchy Mon 15-Jun-09 16:03:24

You don't need to encourage either of them! It's just a stage - practically all under-two's are the same. Think about it - you're the only one who has always looked after them, so you're theone they trust to do exact;y the way they want. It's just a security, attachmenmt thing. Once he's a bit older and able to detach, i.e. starts to realise he is a seperate individual, he won't be able to leave your dh alone!

Kentishwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 18:03:26

Thanks for all your messages - they're really encouraging. I've always told DH that it's just a phase, but I guess recently it's been starting to feel like it's been going on so long that it's been getting us down. lal123, I've just reread my original post and I can see what you mean - but I didn't mean to imply that!!

wigglybeezer Tue 16-Jun-09 16:41:39

DS3 was alittle like this until i weaned him (at2 1/2!) and then he switched allegiance and i now get upset as he prefers Daddy for just about everything, however Daddy was away on business for a week last week and DS3 warmed up to me and was much more cuddly so I think Georgi101 has a point.

Jazzicatz Tue 16-Jun-09 16:47:08

Kentishwoman, my ds's are 6 and 4 and are both now totally obsessed with their daddy, however, when they were your son's age they were far more mummy orientated. The bond with the mother is very strong when they are little, but as they get older they want to develop their skills as a man and daddy suddenly becomes the focus, I now have to deal with being rejected in favour of their dad sad

TreeTrunkThighs Tue 16-Jun-09 16:54:00

Snap! Think it must be their age! It is slowly getting better. DD2 now at least acknowledges DH when he comes in, but cries when he wants a cuddle.

It is always beter between them when I am not in the vicinity.

Does your DS get upset when you and your DH hug? DD2 goes nuts if I am affectionate to anyone else - she is super possessive.

TBH I am just making the most of it - I know it'll pass and I'll never have quite such an intense relationship with her again.

No use to you, but you are not alone

Kentishwoman Wed 17-Jun-09 08:38:00

Oh no, TTT, it's definitely helpful to know you're not alone smile. In answer to your question, DS doesn't get upset if DH and I cuddle, but he does look at us slightly quizzically. We try to do 'family cuddles' with all three of us, so daddy gets at least half a cuddle from DS sometimes. And I do console myself with the fact that DH is absolutely brilliant with older kids (he's a secondary school teacher), so I think all those skills will really kick in later on (whereas I'm rubbish at talking to teenagers!!). Jazzicatz, you're right, I should probably appreciate all the adoration I get from DS while it lasts!

i think it's an age thing. DS was like this. now at 3.8 he's definitely a daddy's boy!

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