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Please Help with Bonding with DD1 age 5

(9 Posts)
Shortcircuit Mon 01-Sep-08 15:11:55

I am suffering from depression/ anxiety & I think some of it stems from my inability to bond with my 5yr DD1.

I realised this when DD2 was born & I fell instantly in love with her.

DD1 has started asking, why does XX love mummy so much ? I think it's because she doesn't see me in the same light - because I react differently to her.

Without going into the why it all happened. I am desperate for advice on what I can do to repair this hole.

DH is excellent with her & she has a fab relationship with him.

I am off to the drs later this week & I am hoping to get referral for my depression. I am hoping to be able to talk this over woth someone.

In the meantime, are there little things that I can do to help bond ? DH always does story time, so I am going to do that in future (or at least every other night)

DD2 loves cuddles, whereas DD1 isn't so keen, squirms around etc

Any advice very much appreciated

ActingNormal Mon 01-Sep-08 15:37:13

I have the same problem with my DD (also firstborn) but no problem with my DS. I try to do a few activities and trips out with just me and DD when I really try to focus on her and interact with her fully. I'm not sure if it is helping me feel more for her or not but she seems to benefit from it. I often don't feel love for her but tell myself that it is my job as a mother to show love to my children regularly whether I feel it or not.

Do you have any issues in your childhood which could be triggered by your DD? I do, and I'm seeing a therapist because I felt my relationship with DD was going wrong because of my childhood issues. Anger at people who hurt me comes out on my DD because I never expressed it properly to the people who actually hurt me.

Also with your first child it is so frightening when you first have a baby and don't know how to be a mother that the fear can get in the way of loving feelings and hinder the bonding process I think. I never had this fear when DS was born and bonded with him instantly. DD's birth was also very difficult whereas DS's was straightforward in comparison.

taipo Mon 01-Sep-08 15:47:42

I find it quite difficult to get dd to talk to me and sometimes think I've never really bonded with her properly.

One thing that does work (and something I really should make an effort to do more often as it's really very easy) is going in to chat to her just before she goes to sleep. It is about the only time she really opens up and I know she appreciates it.

Shortcircuit Mon 01-Sep-08 16:07:40

actingnormal, yes I know how you feel.

In fact, I do have childhood issues & I'm holding onto alot of anger. My parents argued terribly when I was a child & there were also times where my parents would completely ignore each other.

What sort of therapist are you seeing ? How did you find them ? I have seen a physchiatrist who said I was emotionally deprived (I think lack of father being involved)
My mum has always told me how much she loved me, but I feel that she has stifled me.
With DD1 I had all these ideas which where almost the opposite of how my mum brought me up...I was much more detached. But, as I said, when DD2 was born, I just loved her, so I know I have it in me.

TAIPO, my dd does open up too, she has lovely little chats with DH, which is great for them. I find that I don't have the patience, because there is always some sort of battle going on with DD2. I hear what you say though, & will make EXTRA effort.

flyingmum Mon 01-Sep-08 18:14:51

A lot of bonding can happen when they are in the bath. I find mine (uesed to in the case of the eldest and still do in the case of the youngest) tell me stuff about their day and also we play and go through spelligns and learning the time - that sort of thing. I sit on the side and the toy sharks and whales all have funny voices (me!) and they have conversations with DS2. I dunnno why but it just seems to work. When DS2 was born I decided that for DS1 bath time was sacrosanct. DS2 therefore was in bed and settled and then I could go in to DS1 and spend one to one time with him. I think I managed this for a couple of years (DS1 was 5 when DS2 was born).

If your hubby has a close relationship with your daughter then maybe try doing something with her when he is not around - something that makes her feel important and helpful - like baking or cleaning the car together. I just think that if she knows that he is about and girls in particular are very clever and knowing that you want to be with her - she might try and play you off against each other.

Sorry. This is probablly not much use.

All the best

ActingNormal Mon 01-Sep-08 18:46:29

ShortCircuit, I got my therapist off the internet! I typed in something like therapists, psychotherapists, counsellors, Town Name. I chose the one with the most qualifications and experience listed and the best website. He would probably call what he does with me pyschotherapy as it is mainly about how issues from the past affect me subconsciously in the present.

You said something that reminded me of a thought I had recently - that I so wanted to do things differently from my parents as I feel they got it so wrong that I might have gone too far the other way which has also had a bad effect on my children's behaviour. Extremes at both ends seem to be bad, a moderate and balanced middle way is needed.

Shortcircuit Mon 01-Sep-08 20:13:01

thanks for replies - welcome more of course.

Will make the effort with bathtime - that is also something that DH does all the time.

Ref the one extreme to the other, I have DEFINETElY done this with DD1. Agree on the balance...but just don't seem to be able to get there at the moment..

ActingNormal Mon 01-Sep-08 20:25:56

ShortC, re balance and knowing what is 'normal' parenting - Therapist says watch how your friends do it and copy the good bits. If your parents weren't normal and you didn't have good role models then you can't be expected to know what is normal and how to do it! We have to learn it by observing other people as well as thinking about it a lot and trying to give our children the things we found lacking in our own childhoods (I made a list of what I wanted but didn't get and tried to come up with an action plan of how to give my children what I didn't have in simple practical ways)

Shortcircuit Wed 03-Sep-08 10:22:58

Grrr ! just written an massive paragaph & lost the lot.

One of the problems I seem to have with DD1 is that she is a bit grumpy with me. Whereas DD2 is all smiley & giggles, DD1 tends to be a bit of a pouter & is also very bossy, so when I have/do try to do things, it doesn't always get off on th right foot.

I'm feeling quite worn down bcause I had a 1 1/2 hr moaning & wailing & groaning about returning to school this am, then the same this am.

She is now at school, having cried & wailed with the new teacher. I do wonder that she is a sensitive little girl & that whilst things I do with DD2 are fine, it just dosn't work with DD1 & so I need to learn new tricks.

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