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Does DD hate DH or playing us both for fools??

(6 Posts)
Beeny1980 Thu 01-Oct-09 13:46:41

Hi all

Please can someone help?

DD is 2 1/2 and DH and i split childcare between us (he's full time, i work 20 hrs per wk). DD prefers me to do most things (put her to bed / toilet / bath etc) and kicks up fuss when DH tries to do these things.

This has been ongoing since she was very little and has escalated slowly but surely to full scale riots when DH tries to do anything for her. I try to be supportive of DH, reinforce his authority etc and only intervene when shouting becomes deafening or DH gives up. I try to speak to her about behaving for daddy, etc but nothing seems to work.

DH is becoming more and more despondant - he feels like she hates him and is doing everything to spite him as she behaves for me (with me 'its my way or the highway').

I'm 7 months pregnant now and need DH to help out more than ever but the way it's going i'm going to end up doing everything for everyone and the thought of this has had me in tears and feeling quite hopeless!!

Any advice you could give would be gratefully received.



FimbleHobbs Thu 01-Oct-09 13:58:44

What happens if you are just not there so she can't say that she wants Mummy to do xyz?

Maybe start off with a fun trip out just with Daddy each weekend - even if 'fun trip'= doing supermarket shop/errands, put a fun spin on it like wearing fancy dress.

Then you could start not being around at bath/bed time so she has no choice about who does what.

Then sort of integrate all this into everyday life.

Disclaimer- have no idea if this would work. But worth a try?

euromum Thu 01-Oct-09 14:16:34

Hi Beeny,

I'm not sure I have any really useful advice for you, as my daughter (2yrs 3m) is similar but by the sounds of it not quite as 'extreme' as yours. But I just wanted to respond to what you say about it being "my way or the highway" with you, but not with her dad.

In our case at least that is/was basically the main problem - her dad is a lot less 'strict' than I am and so she plays up with him because she can. It seems to be a form of seeking attention from everyone (because eventually I get involved too, just like you). We have recently found that if he ignores or doesn't respond to any sign of tantrums right from the start, they disappear. It took a few goes before we realised it was working but now she is a lot calmer with him. Basically, when she started to play up, he would first try to find out what was wrong, then fuss over her if he couldn't work it out (because of course he wants her to be ok!), then get stressed and then eventually shouty when it goes on, until they were both furious and I had to do the bath or whatever. If dh never bothered responding right from the beginning, and just looked like he was doing something else while waiting for her to be ready, she realised it was him or nothing and was quite happy with it.

So, I don't know if that'll help, but I hope you find a solution somehow. Congratulations on your next dc too - we also have a ds who is now 4 months, which caused some attention seeking from dd in the beginning. In general we've learned to pay more attention to him when she starts playing up, and she soon calms down and comes to join in which is nicer for everyone. It's not appropriate for every situation but it does defuse a lot of potential tantrums.

So anyway, good luck! And don't worry too much, your dd does love her dad!

euromum Thu 01-Oct-09 14:23:08

Oh yes like fimble says it does help if you're out of the way!

rachels103 Thu 01-Oct-09 14:32:48

My ds plays us both off against each other sometimes if we're both there but is generally fine when only one of us is, so as others have said maybe try slowly giving your dh some time alone with your dd - she'll have no choice but to let him do some things for her then.

Beeny1980 Thu 01-Oct-09 14:43:16

Thank you Fimble - i will try going out or at least telling her i'm going out so she thinks i can't intervene. I'm rarely not there for the crucial times (evenings) so we never really thought about it til now so thank you.

Thank you for your kind words euromum - it has helped greatly simply knowing that i'm not the only one who is experiencing / have experienced these issues. Our DH's sound very similar. Mine is great with her, it's just when she refuses something, he tries to reason with her too much then when he tries to assert himself after she refuses, the moment has gone and she kicks off!! Sounds like he needs to stop trying to be Mr Nice.

Will try to pass on the advice - DH can be somewhat defensive at times, which i think doesn't help, but then i can understand it.

Thank you again - anything else anyone thinks of let me know!!


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