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1.5 yr old DD avoiding her dad. It's breaking his heart.

(7 Posts)
weebump Sat 11-Jul-09 21:54:55

Our little dd (1.5 years old) has always been quite confident and independent, but recently has started to cling madly to me. I know lots of baby's go through this, so I'm not surprised.

The upsetting thing is my poor dp is taking it very personally. We share staying at home with her, as we each work alternating days (ie He works Mon, Wed, Fri, I work Tue & Thur) so he does a lot of 'parenting' and is always there for her. But when I'm around dd always comes to me for anything, esp spontaneous cuddles.

Tonight was a nightmare. Maybe it was because she was hungry, but at tea time dd had a massive meltdown, the likes of which I had never seen before. She refused her dinner, got hysterical and over heated, and desperately wanted me to comfort her, but at some point I wanted to get on with eating my dinner. When dp tried to comfort her she got even worse and almost made herself sick.

Now, my instinct was to take her and calm her, knowing that she would calm down if I did it, but of course dp sees that as me undermining his abilities as a dad, and sends the message to both of them that dad's no good at soothing dd, which is totally not what I want to do. Aaargh!

Dp got so upset during this meltdown that he had to leave the house! But in the end she calmed down. I held her while he made funny faces, and eventually she let go and gave him a hug (albeit a small one, and came over to me straight away afterwards to give me a hug too).

I feel so upset for my dp. Sometimes I think him getting upset leads to a vicious circle of dd getting upset because he's upset. I'm just afraid of making things worse.

What can I/he do? any suggestions, oh wise mums & dads?

idontbelieveit Sat 11-Jul-09 22:01:06

Ignore it! It'll be the other way round in a few months. My dd1 went through a phase of screaming "NOT DADDY!" at about 18 months whenever dh tried to put her in the pushchair/tell her a story/put her shoes on etc etc. This week (she's now 3) i went to her in the morning dh had already left for work and she cried for 30mins cos she wanted him and not me!
Your dh should really try to ignore it and let you do the hard work cos if she sees it has an impact then she'll carry on with the behaviour for longer. It'll be your turn soon I betsmile

whomovedmychocolate Sat 11-Jul-09 22:03:02

Repeat the mantra 'this will pass' a lot!

DH went through this with DD - they all do. Part of it is attention seeking, part of it is clinginess and part of it I think is that they like their mums better at that age.

We tackled it by getting DH to spend one on one time doing things she loved and also pointing out things only daddy could do - like for example 'daddy is putting your new doll's house together, mummy can't do it - would you like to help him and hold his ruler etc.'

It did pass in a few weeks. Try not to get too worked up.

They get much worse when they get to 2 and a half btw! wink

MollieO Sat 11-Jul-09 22:05:20

Don't know about prefering mum to dad as ds didn't have a choice but the behaviour sounds like terrible 2s starting. Ds's started at 18 months and continued until 3.5 yrs. Good luck!

Frizbe Sat 11-Jul-09 22:05:53

dd1 was like this at that age, by 2 she was a total daddys girl and I've only just started getting a look in again at 5 grin

lilacpink Sat 11-Jul-09 22:06:48

My DD did this the other way around, i.e. if DH was available she chose him. I realised that I tended to take the discipline side over the playing side, and also that I talked about DH a lot when I was with her, so she was anticipating being with him as being more fun. When I was with her I started to make sure we had time where I asked her what she wanted to do more (and asked DH to do a bit more around the house and more discipline). I also ignored her behaviour when she didn't want me, but was always was fair - kisses, cuddles etc. when she did want them.
I think it could be another reason with your DD though - as you say she's looking for comfort - perhaps she wants to be first with you (i.e. a normal phase of jeolousy of you and your DP as a couple). My DD didn't like to see us kiss/cuddle/hold hands for about 4 weeks and then was fine.

weebump Sat 11-Jul-09 22:17:44

Thanks for the quick replies. I've told dp what you've said. Hopefully this will pass. Soon! But it's been going on for about 6 months.

lilacpink, the funny thing is that dd doesn't seem jealous at all. She actually pushes us (dp & I) both together to give each other kisses! Maybe she's picking up on the tension and thinks we're upset with each other? Ah, the complicated emotions of toddlerhood!

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