Newly separated, toddler wants daddy(8 Posts)
I have been separated from my ex-partner for 6 months. Our 2 year old son lives with me in a new house, and stays with his father every Wednesday night, and alternate weekends. The split and subsequent house move seemed to be a smooth transition, and our son hasn't shown any behaviours which I have been worried about-in general he is very happy and well behaved. I have noticed though, in the past 2-3 weeks, when I pick him up from nursery his face falls, and he starts saying he wants daddy. I find this so hurtful, and I know I can't let this show, but it's very hard. I have searched the internet for advice on this issue but can't find very much. I was hoping someone here might have had a similar experience.
Oh, Getupanna, a tough one.
Am in very similar place. I don't have The Answer, but can tell you the angle I took... It's not a rejection of you; I'd take it as he wants you both, together. So not "daddy" instead of you, but as well as.
It does hurt, but from professionals in past years (different situation) I've learnt that kids and adults both kick against the person they feel most safe with. IE, you are his anchor, safe place, and he can happily take you for granted. That's an excellent sign of the brill job you've done, by the sound so of things.
Could be that other dads appear at the nursery gate, or perhaps he would like his dad there, or Wednesdays when his dad comes (?) are treat days with a sweetie in his pocket! Don't be hurt: kids don't yet think about our feelings at this age. We get to see most of what goes on.
Good luck, hope that makes you feel a bit less alone and happier.
I really really understand this Getupanna. DS (2.8, XP left about a year ago) is just coming out of this phase and it seems to have lasted for ages (in reality about 8 months though). I was convinced I was a bad mum as I couldn't find much on the internet about toddlers wanting their absent fathers. However, I had a good look at what I was doing and how I was parenting DS and came to realise that I was doing the best job I could.
Once I accepted this it became easier. I agree with Grinning that children will kick back at those they feel safe with so the fact he is doing it with you means he knows he is secure with you.
It is bloody heartbreaking enough to become a LP but to hear your child screaming that they don't want you, they want their other parent is just overwhelming. Make sure you stay calm in front of him but don't be afraid to have a good cry when he's not around.
It will pass, it's horrible but it will
I made a sort of calendar to go on the wall when DCs were that sort of age. It was a circle with the days of the week round the edge and a pointer in the middle. DS then made little card pictures of his dad which we blue tacked to whenever he'd be seeing him next. We also drew pictures for the days he went to nursery etc. It helped him get some sense of routine and understanding when he'd see his dad and when he'd be with me. Someting similar might help your DS so he knows who'll be picking him up.
And do try not to take it personally if he's disapointed when it's you. It's just that his dad is a rarer treat and suggests he's coping really well with having 2 homes to go to.
No experience I'm afraid, but wanted to give you . It sounds like your doing a wonderful job.
Not sure if this will be any help but I have a similar problem with my dd who is 4. My mum sometimes picks her up from nursery and they go and have fun for a couple of hours. When I go and pick her up she does what you boy does and sometimes even has a full blown tantrum. It helped if I always reminded her in the morning who was picking her up and made sure we sometimes did something extra special together when I picked her up like swimming or trip to the toy shop. Even a bag of sweets.
Thank you all so much for your kind words and reassurance-your comments made me feel so much better and my son actually seems to be coming out of this phase now too. I know it will be replaced by another at some point but it's nice to know these things don't last forever!
Kids go through stages. When my DD was 2yo (and still with her dad), she would have nothing to do with him at all, screamed if I left the house etc.... Of course he blamed me for it! Then things got better gradually, and when we separated she was ok to go to his. By the time she was about 5 or 6, he suddenly became some sort of God who could do no wrong at all! That lasted for some years, but she is now coming back to me being her favourite parent.
It is totally normal, just more hurtful when you are separated as you might feel in some sort of competittion but it really isn't the case.
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