I have happily separated from my daughters father and am in a new relationship w/ a great guy. Unfortunately my 2yr old daughter has no respect for my boyfriend. She will only play with him but will not take him seriously when he tries to get her to listen to him. Ive never been in this situation b4 so i dnt kno how to handle it. My daughter doesnt really have a close relationship w/ her father so i figured she wud be happy to have a male figure in her life but she doesnt listen to him what so ever. I feel bad because i know it must be frustrating for my boyfriend to try and be a father figure to a child that doesn't pay him any attention unless she wants to play. Any suggestions,tips,tricks?
How long have you been in a relationship with your boyfriend?
At two years old, and you in a brand new relationship, I would consider this normal behavior. My son was almost three when I met the man who is now his stepfather; my son will be five in November. My son's bio father was involved in his life almost daily for the first three months of my relationship, then he moved halfway across the country and he is practically non-existent in his son's life by his own choice now. So my son, during the first six months of my relationship, went from having a "father" in his life nearly every day (I exaggerate father because he never made much effort to bond with his son; hence the reason that nearly three years later, he basically does nothing to maintain contact with his son), to that "father" abandoning him (which took my son months to cope with--even now he still has questions), to realizing this new man in our lives was pretty cool, but he was really no more than the guy I liked to my son for about a year.
My son was the same way with my husband (Brandon) then as your two year old daughter is with your bf now. He loved to play with Brandon, but when he was ready to do his own thing, or wanted to be clingy to me, or want absolutely nothing to do with Brandon for whatever reason...we let it be. Brandon was always really good with relating to my son on his toddler level, playing with him, making him feel like he was never left out or pushed aside for the sake of "our relationship," and he never once pressured my son to do anything just because he was an adult taking on a "father figure" or "authority figure" role.
Because honestly, until my son decided himself that he was open to bonding with Brandon as his father figure, Brandon WAS NOT a father figure, nor did he have any right to express authority over him in any way, unless it was a life-threatening situation or something to that extent. But for basic things like listening...no. Neither of us expected my son to give a darn about listening to Brandon for anything; rather, I had a more difficult role to play because I had to follow through with disciplining him with no backup from Brandon. For example, if I said, "It's time to get ready for bed. You need to go potty and get your teeth brushed."
If my son responded defiantly with Brandon sitting right there, Brandon would not jump to my rescue and say, "Listen to your mom. It's time to go potty and brush your teeth for bed." He would just sit there and say and do nothing, and that's the way I wanted it. My son didn't ask for a new dad, and at the time, didn't want a new dad. He just wanted to know that the people in his everyday life cared about him and loved him. He determined when he would return the care and love in the form of a bond, which had to be earned. After all, he'd basically been "dumped" by his father and was too young to understand why (heck, I don't even know why) or how to deal with the feelings of that abandonment, because he was always expecting to see his dad again the next day.
It had nothing to do with him wanting or needing a male figure or father figure in his life. It had everything to do with a man who would be a father figure EARNING his trust and love without pressure. It had to be done on my son's time.
I just married Brandon this month, and my son ADORES him. He calls him Daddy and wants to do everything and go everywhere with Brandon.
Your bf should not be trying to get your daughter to listen to him. He needs to focus on just letting her know he cares about her. You need to be the one who is there for her, because right now, you're the only adult she feels she can trust. You may be happily separated from her bio father, but she can't express how she feels.
Even if her bio father was rotten to her and it's good for her to be away from him (if that's the case, as it was with my son), that doesn't mean she feels relieved and happy to be away from him. Very young kids are like pets--they love their parents unconditionally. If her bio father is no longer involved in her life at all, I'm sure she's wondering why in her little mind. Like I said, my son still asks why he never sees his daddy anymore to this day. He misses him, even though his dad doesn't even deserve to be loved and missed so much. Brandon has more than filled the void for my son, but that hasn't made him forget about his bio father.
This is a fairly new relationship, she is two and her bio father has been in her life for a total of maybe 8 mnths. I never looked at it from her point of view b4 and i truly do thank you for that insight. She does see her father whenever he says he wants to see her (which is about 2 times out of the month) so now looking at it from her point of view i can understand that she still thinks about her father and knows that he is her dad and doesn't know who this stranger (my boyfriend) is. Thank you again!
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