Since she was a month old, our daughter has cried whenever my husband would hold her. As the months wore on, she would go through periods where he could hold her, then periods where she would cry as soon as she looked at him. Now, at 14 moths, we're still dealing with this. We get a few "normal" months, then out of nowhere she'll turn on him. She'll see him and begin to cry, he'll pick her up and she'll cry, or, now that she's walking, she'll run to me. However, this only seems to be a problem when I am around them. Alone (he cares for her in the am) they're fine. I realize she's very clingy to me (stay at home mom), and probably sees him as an obstacle, or someone who will take her away from mommy, but we're at our breaking point. My husband is thoroughly depressed, I'm at a loss, and we don't know what to do anymore. Should I go back to work and put her in daycare to break this attachment? Should I go away every weekend so they can bond more, or do we just have to ride this out until she outgrows it (we may not last another year of this). If anyone has any real advice (and please don't say this is normal - I've seen a lot of other families and nobody has gone through anything like this) please let me know.
As hard as it will be the biggest bond comes when a child is ill. If she has a bad cold one day or a slight fever- anything you know you can trust him with :-) He can sing gently with her, rock her, medicate her, eat popsicles together, tenderly soothe her......
leave the home next time, mom, and let him bond with her in illness. That is the only tip I have.....
Do more together , when it is possible ,your child probably has a jealous issue when she sees her Dad with you, she simply wants you, and as all is well when they are alone and she doesnt run from him, it shows you are the catalyst,dont feed into it , perhaps there is too much talk and she is aware and runs to you more. Tell him to be more nonchalent with her and not show he cares about her behavior as much as he does.Back off a bit and see what happens.
He needs to do more of the "fun" stuff with her like grocery shopping and vaccuuming etc. Also you need to redirect her to him more when he is home.
Does he carry her on his shoulders? I can give tips but it will help if their are things she can do ONLY with him. What are his hobbies? Can he learn slight of hand? Read stories and do different voices?
When she is going to bed or tired sing with her, or play music or dance like a maniac with her! Make faces and just be silly once in a while.
Thanks babygirl 6152 - Fortunately (or unfortunately) my daughter's never had more than the sniffles, but if she does get sick, I'll definitely try having my husband take care of her - great idea.
Margypops - I think you're right - she could be jealous of my husband. He's the only one that gets almost as much of mommy's attention as she does and she doesn't like it. I wish I could get him to hide his emotions around her, but that's not one of his strengths. Its a good idea, and hopefully he'll be able to do it - thanks!
SeriousSam - great to get a guy's take on this. He doesn't have a beard, but I have found that she's leary towards men in general - it just breaks my husband's heart that he's in the same boat as any random uncle or friend. He does try to get silly with her, and the games he's made up and uses with her I make sure I don't "copy" - but he probably needs to step it up a bit - I like some of your suggestions - he's got to do more than just feed her breakfast and play blocks with her for 20 minutes every day.
Thank you all for the great feedback. This is my first time on a forum of any sort, and I honestly wasn't expecting any replies. Much appreciated!!!
I wouldn't say it is "normal" per se...but i think it's more common than you might think. My oldest sister went through this with her hubby and their daughter, Ella. Ella is now almost 5 yrs. old...but it was a rough start. For the longest time, it seemed Ella definitely preferred mommy over daddy. Anyway, when Ella was about 2 yrs. old or so (possibly a litte younger), her father started taking her to swimming classes that they would do together twice a week and he would get in the pool with her. At first Ella was a little ambivalent but she soon loved it. It became "special time" for her and her father. It was something that she looked forward to doing with her dad. One time, my sister had to take Ella to the swimming because her hubby was sick and Ella had a fit and commented that "it just wasn't the same without daddy."
so, maybe find something special that your husband and daughter can do together on a regular basis. Just a thought...good luck. I really don't think it's personal against your husband, but it would be hard not to take it personally.
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