Anti-Daddy Phase?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Anti-Daddy Phase?
5
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 6:03am

Hi y'all,

I'd really like to hear from mums of other older toddlers...

When Bo was born, DH started to help a lot more with Teddy. He did his bedtime routine (dinner, bath and story) and in the mornings got him washed and dressed and gave him his breakfast.

Then it slowly started that when Teddy heard me coming out of our bedroom (after I'd just put Bo to bed) he would call me in to say goodnight and maybe have another story. Soon he started asking for me to read his story after DH had got him into bed and if I was already "done" I would do it. Then DH got into a very busy phase at work and started coming home late, so I had to get both boys to bed simultaneously which actually worked quite well as they love bath time together! But ever since, Teddy now only wants me to put him to bed. He doesn't even want DH to help (like he dries Teddy after the bath and helps him into his PJs while I do Bo in the same room). He keeps saying things like "Daddy go away", "Daddy go downstairs I want to stay with Mummy", and even "Daddy you're not suposed to be here/you shouldn't be at home".

The other night, DH was home early so I asked him to bath Teddy etc as Bo needed an early night (he was very cranky) and I didn't want to wait for Teddy. Well, that was just a disaster. Teddy was crying the entire time, proper sobbing his heart out, not the put-on tantrum crying. He kept crying "I want my Mummy!". It was heartbreaking. In the end I gave in and came out (with Bo in my arms who was still awake) to put Teddy to bed.

Now Teddy even refuses to have breakfast with Daddy in the mornings. Apart from the fact it's not great that DH can't help out more, it's also heartbreaking for my poor DH as he feels so rejected. Especially when Teddy tells him he doesn't even want him in the house. I have no idea where all this comes from - he's had Mummy phases before, but not so pronounced. And it's not like he's jealous of Bo, because he wants him there too, and wants to help with his routine (washing him in the bath, putting cream on him after his bath). You'd think DH did horrible things to him as Teddy really recoils and doesn't even want DH near him in these situations. I am at a loss what to do!

Anyone experienced anything like this?> What can we do?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 6:57am
Wow Anna... I'm sorry for you and specially your DH for this! The only thing I can think of is that maybe he is resentful of daddy about those days when he had to work late. I know a couple of times when I've had to leave Fede with someone for too many hours, he acts kind of "cold" to me afterwards. But I definitely think this is something you could bring up to the Dr or even a child counselor. Good Luck and KUP! OH, one last thing! Try making DH more involved with Bo... maybe old fashioned brotherly jealousy will solve the problem! And in the meantime, you DH won't feel rejected by all his offspring!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 10:50am
Anna it is normal. We haven't gone through it quite as badly, but Eloise is definitely in a Mommy phase right now, and Desmond has been in a Daddy phase for the last year. If given the choice Eloise will chose me to do everything for her, she will let DH put her to bed, but she asks for me to do it.

Desmond prefers it if DH does everything for him. He doesn't mind me being there and helping him while DH is at work, but once DH comes home, he always asks Daddy for what he needs and always wants Daddy to put him to bed.

It will get better, just continue with your normal routines and before long you'll likely be in a Daddy only phase rather then a just want Mommy phase. Also I noticed that Eloise's Mommy only phase got worse when Sully was around 4/5 months old. She didn't mind Sully being there but she wanted Mommy too. So having some solo time with just her when I left Sully with DH and took her somewhere for even just an hour or two helped a lot. It made her more responsive to Daddy and asking him for help as needed, though she still prefers me right now.



Thank you for the sig Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 9:47am
Thanks Mari and Sarah for your replies! DH is away on a business trip now, coming back Tuesday... I'll see how it goes then... Last night he was a bit better but then DH didn't do anything; he was just present.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 2:27pm
Anna- We haven't gone through anything quite that severe, but James has definitely gone through phases where he wants one or the other parent to do things for him, and he also can be quite mean in the way he talks about DH when he's not around. "I don't like daddy", and that sort of thing. One thing I try to do is be really praising of DH when he's not around. Like talk about how much I love daddy, and how nice he is, and what a good daddy he is and that sort of thing. I think it kind of helps.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Sun, 11-06-2011 - 4:08pm
We've in the same phase, Anna. When Charlotte was born, Daddy did the whole bedtime routine for both boys while I nursed Charlotte to sleep. Over time, I started coming back into the routine as Charlotte became easier and easier to put down for the night. Now, Jonah really wants me for bedtime. He doesn't even want Cory to do jammies and storytime; Jonah seems afraid that I won't come back to tuck him in. It's really hard on me sometimes when I'm having trouble getting Charlotte down. I'm assuming it will pass!
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