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DS being mean to his dad(5 Posts)
I've gone round in circles with this over the last couple of years, reading other posts on the same subject, and googling advice, but I still haven't found the answer... this is a desperation post really as I've totally run out ideas...
DS is 3 1/2 and a lovely little boy. He goes to nursery 3 days a week and is happy and settled, the staff there say he is no trouble at all, a pleasure to have around. At home, with me, he can be a bit of a terror sometimes, like all pre-schoolers testing boundaries, but overall he's great, and he shows me loads of love, and I'm really enjoying this time together before he goes off to school in September.
The problem is that he is so so mean to my DH. He pushes him away, cries, kicks, shouts. Often won't let him sit next to him. Not all the time - they have fun as well, and as I'm a freelancer and have to juggle my work, they often spend weekends together going on daytrips, etc. where they have a great time. I can see that DS has enjoyed himself when they get back.
The rejection stuff has been going on for the last 2 1/2 years. And we've tried to put it down to development, and DS practicing different emotions and relationships out on us, his parents. It just doesn't change though, and it's heartbreaking to see DH being pushed away all the time. I can see him trying to put a brave face on, but he's hurt.
I take DS up to bed each night and read him stories, and then DH takes over for one last story before sleep. When I leave, DS gives endless cuddles and kisses to me, but when DH leaves and tries to cuddle/kiss goodnight, DS tells him 'no'. Last night DH came downstairs looking really despondent and said DS had said 'No. You can't touch me' when he'd asked for a goodnight cuddle. Yet DS actively requests that daddy come up for 'one last story' - so it's not that he doesn't want him there.
I can 100% say that DH doesn't deserve this. He adores our son, and just wants to contribute to the parenting as much as he can. If DS were acting like this with me, I'd be devastated. And we see other friends children who adore their dads. I just feel really sorry for my DH.
I'm guessing that we just have to continue to wait this one out, and that it will pass with time. I just thought I'd try one last cry for help on this.
I'm not sure what the answer is but my DS can be like this too. He's 23mo. If I'm not around, he has a lovely time with my DH, reading stories, playing, colouring, whatever. However, if I'm in the room too he'll favour me and often push my DH away if he tries to cuddle him. It's not all the time and I think it's improved slightly of late but it is hard to see (and probably much harder for DH to bear). I just assumed it was a mother-son thing and he'd grow out of it eventually, which I'm sure he will. I've noticed that I'm a lot more verbal with DS while DH's play is more physical so that could be part of it. I'll be interested to see other posts in this thread...
It's heartening that on occasions (when you are unavailable or as part of an established routine, ie bedtime ritual )DS does get along with DH. It isn't blanket dislike just that it has to be on DS's terms.... People often say it's pure manipulation but I suspect it starts when the child is very young and developmentally cannot switch quickly to focus away from the primary carer to the other parent who gets in from work.
At home, with me, he can be a bit of a terror sometimes not all plain sailing then, and nothing out of the ordinary, but I wonder if DS sees DH as more of a challenge?
While I realise affection has to be spontaneous and unforced, so no chance of changing the cuddle/kiss drought until DS changes his mind, if there's rudeness or temper tantrums I do think it has to be addressed. If the three of you are out together or at home it's up to you as favoured parent to say calmly "Let's include Dad" "Daddy too" etc . If DS wants something and you are occupied and tell him DH can sort it out because you're busy - not inferring because DH is a dogsbody but because he's as capable and trustworthy as you.
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We have this with my 4 year old. She has such fun with DH at times but then wouldn't speak to him for 3 day when she was ill!
I sometimes struggle with having to be the one to be there for her all the time. It's exhausting!
If she is in distress, hurt or ill, she will loose the plot if anyone other than me comes near her.
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