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HELP - 2 year old still won't go to daddy

(10 Posts)
millarandmillar Tue 21-Jul-09 08:04:43

I have two girls 6 years and 2 years old. My husband works five days a week and only sees my 2 year old dd for a few mins each morning. At weekends she won't let him pick her up or just screams when I leave her with him. She has ALWAYS done this and he is feeling very rejected. I tried to get him to spend more time with her and take her swimming for an hour on Saturdays but he did this twice and now finds reasons not to take her. He told me last night to send her to nursery which he thinks is the answer.
She goes to a childminder 3 days a week whilst I work and has done for the last year and goes to toddler group once or twice a week. She won't go to any family members either, although she doesn't see them very often.
Is she too young for a morning a week at nursery? She is two next week. Anyone else had this? Any advice gratefully received.

MyGoldenNotebook Tue 21-Jul-09 10:51:32


idunnop Tue 21-Jul-09 10:56:53

Why does your DH think nursery will make a difference compared with childminder? I don't really follow the logic...

How much time does he spend with her at weekends, either one-to-one, or with you and DD1 as well? If she doesn't like him picking her up, could he do other things like take her for a walk in the pushchair, or take her to the park? What are her favourite acitivities, which he could do with her?

Sorry it's all questions rather than answers at the moment! I do feel sympathy for your DH as it must be hard feeling rejected like this.

millarandmillar Tue 21-Jul-09 14:25:06

He really adores her but he needs a good response to keep trying and he just doesn't get one. This morning he asked her for a kiss goodbye and she said no and buried her face in my pillow. He had two hours with her alone on Sunday morning whilst I went riding and she cried constantly for me (driving him mad!) so that when I got back he was in a foul mood. I have suggested he take her to feed the ducks or take her swimming but he would rather we did these things together. I am at a loss as I have told him he has to work on his relationship with her and it is absolutely the one thing I can't do. It really is affecting our relationship now.....

januarysnowdrop Tue 21-Jul-09 15:45:13

Don't know if this is any help, but my dd1 (two last month) went through a long anti-daddy phase (shouting 'No!' at him when he came in to say good morning, shrieking if he tried to do anything that she felt was my job, that sort of thing), and she's just recently decided he's the best thing since sliced bread. We've not done anything different! It's bound to be a phase - I know it's horrible for him, but tell him to hang on in there & I'm sure it will change in time.

idunnop Tue 21-Jul-09 16:54:48

It sounds really hard but please don't just make it your DH's problem by saying "he has to work on his relationship with her and it is absolutely the one thing I can't do" - you need to work on this together, and putting him under pressure to solve the problem on his own could just make him feel more negative.

What is your DD like if you both take her out together? If she's OK like that, maybe you could try to spend more time doing nice things as a family rather than putting pressure on them to have father-daughter time if that's not working at the moment.

millarandmillar Tue 21-Jul-09 20:40:16

Thanks for your replies. I guess I am just really frustrated as it is tricky that she clings to me so much. It occured to me that my husband has only put her to bed twice in her life and got up in the morning twice as well since she was born so that I can lie in. Maybe I am trying too hard to shield him from the crying. I think you are right idunnop maybe more things together to take the pressure off for a while. I am just too tired to make sense of it.

nuttysquirrel Tue 21-Jul-09 21:03:22

Err no surprise that you are tired, if your other half doesn't do much to help out. My guess, like yours is that this is all connected - you feeling pooped, him not doing any day-to-day childcare stuff and your DD not wanting him. I think you get out what you put in, i.e. he is really going to have to start spending time caring for her, solo......and it will give you a break.

My DS wants us 50-50, and it relates directly to whichever of us has been doing the majority of care at that time. i.e my DP picks him up from Nursery three evenings a week, does tea, bath and bed, and its "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy". and when I've spent my two days off doing most of the caring its "Mummy...etc.
Only difference is when DS is sick then its mainly me he wants. DS is two.

idunnop Wed 22-Jul-09 12:04:53

I do think it's important to solve this (to give you a break, and so that your DH and DD2 can improve their relationship and relax around each other and enjoy spending time together) - I just think you need to do it in a gentle way as I think the situation sounds hard for all of you.

How much does your DH do with your other daughter? Does he put her to bed, take her out, etc? I'm just trying to understand whether he is generally uninvolved, or just with DD2.

Are there other things he can help with to make you feel less tired - cooking, housework etc?

Cheepz Thu 23-Jul-09 16:02:35

I think alot of kids do this and have phases where they are totally orientated towards one parent, my dh works long hours and doesn't see ds much in the week and sometimes our ds does push him away as has a preference for Mummy to do things, but if i am out of the picture then its all Daddy but generally best if they go out on bikes, or to ducks or play ball, or do puzzles - so ds is distratec from the fact i am not there. in the last 6 months this has improved their relationship alot

like you i tried to shield my dh from the crying by doing most well actually all of the night waking and mornings even after i went back to work, this nearly broke our marriage and now he does every sunday so i lie in and he takes ds out or at least goes and plays / watches TV or whatever with him. sometimes ds tries to come upstairs and find me but i ignore him and it becomes clear to him that Daddy is going to be the one to take him downstairs and do fun stuff. it has taken me losening the reins and dh feeling more confident in handling ds alone to get to this point though

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