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Toddler clingy to me and rejecting DH(19 Posts)
2.5yo DS has always gravitated to me in preference to DH but it's recently hit ridiculous levels and DH can hardly go near him right now without him screaming "No! No!" pushing him away and shouting for me.
Obviously this is upsetting for DH and hard work for me as I can't get a moment to myself.
There has been a fair bit of disruption recently which has unsettled him (I am on early maternity leave so he's seeing more of me and less of DH, plus DS has just started a new nursery).
I'm not sure if this is a phase we need to ride out or whether there are things we can/should be doing to help his relationship with DH.
Honestly not sure how I will cope with the clingy behaviour if it continues into late pregnancy or when the new baby arrives!
All advice gratefully received.
Hopeful bump - it's only Monday and I am already worn out having had no respite at the weekend.
Final bump - surely someone else has been through this?
Poor you! And poor dh! Hard for everyone. Ds went through this at about 12 months and it was difficult all round - exhausting and stressful. He has grown out of it but it took six months :-(
We have this sometimes. It's so hard. As far as possible we try to take the power out of the rejection- so if ds says "go away daddy" we will make him say please but not react to the fact it's unkind as I think toddlers find that sort drama a bit appealing.
I don't really have any answers but hoping someone will be along who does!
This is totally normal, OP! They go through phases where they seem to want one carer over the other. When the new baby comes you will do the necessary and he will cope. Really, don't worry for now.
I honestly don't know whether we should be humouring him whilst he's going through this phase or forcing him to spend time with DH.
Normally they get some 1-1 time at weekends with a trip to the park or similar but he'd have to be physically dragged off me at the moment for that to happen!
I don't have any answers I'm afraid but lots of sympathy as we are going through similar.
My 4yr ds was never a clingy baby, but the last year or so it's all been about mummy and he constantly rejects dh. It's tough all round - demoralising for dh and draining for me.
madeleine that's interesting about taking the power out of the rejection. We've been sort of doing the opposite (which hasn't been working!!) e.g "that's upsetting daddy", "it hurts daddy when you say xyz". So I'll give your approach a try.
I hope someone has some suggestions as I'm also not sure bubbins whether we should be forcing ds to do things with dh, or if we should just ride it out...
I don't think you should force him if you can possibly manage it. And I agree, don't react at all to the " I hate dad " stuff.
Maybe if you are doing boring things like sitting on the sofa on MN / resting in bed and dad is doing interesting things like baking , then he might be more tempted to join dad. But I wouldn't try to force him.
Of course DH needs to do everything around the house until DS gets through this phase, because otherwise you will be exhausted, esp as you are pg.
I'm sure it will help when DS is more settled in nursery, he obviously has found the change hard.
So I'd make the two options
Mum lying on the sofa reading a magazine ( no TV on as it disturbs her )
Dad doing baking in the kitchen / other activity that DS would like
Don't ask DS what he wants to do or put pressure on him, just do it and see what happens. He may stay in mum on principle but eventually he will get bored .
We had this when I was pregnant- now DS is here it has settled down. It's hard but seems to have resolved itself. DP had 8 weeks of shared parental leave and during that time collected DS1 from nursery and then took him out to the park/ cafe oh the way home. Spending that time together whilst I was kneedeep in newborn stuff helped their bond but also helped DS not feel pushed out by the baby. The baby is now almost 10 weeks old so it's still early days but him and DS1 have a really close bond- there have been no issues with jealousy or anything.
Kr1stina that's pretty much what we tried over the weekend - DH building a train track (DS's obsession) whilst I tried to have a lie down in another room. DS managed about 5mins before we got "Mummy come play track! Mummy come! Mummy! Mummy!!!" etc. We will persevere!
Peppa that is reassuring - DH is using some SPL to take 6 weeks when the baby is born and similarly I'd be hoping he can do preschool run etc whilst I am chilling with the newborn. I was fearing things would get worse when I can't be as hands on. As an aside, how did you find it setting up the SPL? neither of our employers have a clue about it, we're having to hand-hold our HR depts through it!
Bubbins we had the same thing with both of our employers. His manager said they hadn't heard of men taking more than two week. But I suffered with PND with my first and was worried about it happening again so wanted DP at home. Luckily I don't seem to be affected this time and DP being around to support us has been fantastic for all 4 of us!
DP also explained to DS that daddy was having some time off work especially to spend time playing with and looking after him. Making it about DS and not the new baby seemed to help DS not really mind when the baby was taking up my time. DP called doing treat things like going for nature walks or having a cake out Daddy- DS name club. Taking him out after preschool gave me a longer break to catch up on sleep, spend quality time with baby etc so that when DS got home I didn't feel too guilty putting baby in bouncy chair and focusing my attention on DS. We did lots of baking and painting.
Now DP is back at work he finishes early one day a week and picks DS up from nursery. DS looks forward to that afternoon as much as he enjoys me and his little brother collecting him. I never thought we would get to that stage!
DS2, 17 months is just like this. He's absolutley fine with DP if I'm not there or they're out and about but if he knows I'm in the house it's only me he wants. Luckily DP is quite happy to pop him out for an hour or two if I want some time.
DS1 was exactly the same, used to cry if I went for a shower. Now he's 13 and it's all DP, I hardly get a look in!
DD (27 months) is like this now, and has been ever since I was about 6 months pregnant - I wonder if that has anything to do with it? Do they feel more protective of us because we're about to have another baby?
We tend to force her to spend some time with Daddy, e.g. he does the bedtime and naptime routines at weekends, and takes her to gym class. She usually protests violently at first, but when they're actually alone together she loves spending time with him.
Has DH tried spending more alone time with him eg you go out when they build the train track, or DH takes him out to soft play/swimming?
Also remember that children do get upset but you are the parents so you can over rule!
DD, 2.9yrs, is like this at the moment. I think this week is especially bad as I'm off work and she's not used to me being around so much, so is making the most of it.
It's also around the full moon, which makes her batshit quite frankly! Not the best time to take her cot side off, on reflection!!
I am assuming she will grow out of it.
peppa yes it's quite disheartening how little support and info there is around SPL. Glad you seem to have escaped PND this time!
Elle yes I do wonder if pregnancy has something to do with it. DS started being difficult at the drop off to our childminder when I was about 6 months (where he normally shrieked with delight to arrive!)
Will try more DH time this weekend and see how it goes!
We have this, DD 27 months. If we're all at home, she is clingy with me, even with DH trying to play with her, so I am trying to go out more to give them time together, or DH takes her out just the two of them. It is hard though!
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