Issues with our 3 year old daughter

[deleted account] ( 15 moms have responded )

Our 3 year old daughter Bridget says she doesn't love daddy anymore and wishes don't come home anymore and that she prefers mommy. It all started a few months ago when my husband had to start traveling more for work or even work late. Sometimes he is gone for 2 to 4 weeks, but when he is home and wants to spend time with her or take her places like the zoo, the park, or movies she refuses to eat when he makes her meals, or let him give her baths or read to her in bed at night, she will cry her head off when he does stuff for her, she will only eat, take baths, and read to her when I do it. It got even worse earlier in the year when he missed her birthday party b/c he had business meeting out of town, when he came home with her present which was a nice toy doll she threw it to the ground and it broke, It's breaking both our hearts, she used to be daddy's girl and would always be excited to do things or go to places with him. It also got to the point where we are fighting with each other too. It seems Bridget is more sensitive than our 2 older daughters Tara and Willa and never went through this with them. My husband and I don't know what to do? Is this normal?


[deleted account]

I find that riding in the car with my girl, she opens up and starts talking about things, memories and even asks questions. Maybe the 3 of you need to take a ride, do not play 'her' music because she will just sing with it. Don't bring the other girls either because they may start talking and Bridget will be lost in their conversation. You could talk about hubbies travels and how he misses Bridget TO YOU but loud enough so she can hear. She may start talking....You also may have to drive for a long while. Our talking rides take about 30 minutes before my daughter starts to talk.

I really think she is acting out because she doesn't understand how he can be gone for so long then come back like nothing happened. She is mad at him for it. When he comes back from traveling, her scheduale should not change that much, it seems like it upsets her. I know when my husband travels, he tries to talk to the kids (2 boys )10 + 6), 1 girl(7)) every night over the phone or computer. Skipe is good or on the android phone we have Oovoo Video Chat. Contact, while he is gone is a major key to getting her through this. Maturity will help too but you will need to get her thru this.

At 3 she is having a hard time expressing her feelings and she doesn't know what to call them yet, ie mad, sad, anoid(big one w/girls), jealousy, ect. You as Mom need to watch what you feel when he leaves also. Even though your other 2 girls went through this already, Bridget might be hyper sensitive to what you feel. You say she is 'daddies girl' and he leaves then you are anoid because you have to pick up the slack(I have been there and done that) she is also picking up on those feelings and it may really be confusing her.

Sorry this is so long but I am typing my thoughts and experiances as they come to me. I hope we can help Bridget get thru this daddy separation anxiety. It is a bummer and harder when our hubbies get sent away for work wks at a time. Good luck Megan. (((Hugs)))

Jennifer - posted on 08/19/2011




My daughter went through the same thing but she was a bit younger. It was breaking my husband's heart. He was gone a lot and was going through a lot at work so when he did come home he was in a bad mood. I told him that if he wanted his relationship with our daughtr to change, he had to take time out every day especially for her. I understand that your husband is out of town a lot. Do you Skype? If not, it would be a good way for his to talk to her and so she could see him every day. even if your other girls want to talk to, make sure he sets aside some time on skype just for her. it might help.

Katherine - posted on 08/17/2011




It's sounds like she is really confused. Why did daddy leave? Maybe she is harboring some resentment towards him.
I would slowly introduce him back, but not all at once. That's probably too much for her. I would also ask her why she doesn't want to be around him anymore. The three of you can maybe sit down and talk about it.


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[deleted account]

Next time when hubby goes out of town we will use Skype so him and her can see and talk to each other, and our other children can as well.

Suze - posted on 08/19/2011




LOL! three year olds can be little divas. Heck, so can four year olds. I remember my little granddaughter, now five, preferring one person over another and five minutes later, screaming for someone else. I think she's likely acting normally - what's important here is not to get caught up in her world of the moment. She'll outgrow it. Things that might help when he's gone is a computer link, sending her little things like cards while he's gone - keep that touch going. Even a day seems like a world to 3. And to let you know, when my granddaughter was three - not seeing me for even a day or so meant her clinging to my DD's leg as I came to take her for the afternoon. I took her anyway and before the time with me ended, she was begging her mom to let her spend the night with 'My Nan.' Their emotions are very fluid at three.

Katherine - posted on 08/19/2011




Yay!!!! I'm so glad she told you what was wrong. This sounds like a great turning point.

Julie - posted on 08/19/2011




What we do with our 3 yr old when Daddy travels is have them talk through skype. My husband is a Marine so he travels often. If your husband has a laptop with a webcam that he takes with him and you have a webcam at home you can do video calls for free through skype and she may do better with that. It really helped my daughter and I know it has helped many other military families that I know. I hope you keep having progress. Good luck.

Kyleigh - posted on 08/19/2011




I was going to say have him talk to her to see whats up and what she would like to see out of her BD, and work on to improve it. Thats what we have to do with my kids and my dh being gone 14 hours a day at work.

[deleted account]

Wonderful! So Wonderful! I have never thought of a picture of daddy in her room. I think I will put pictures of Mommy and Daddy in my kids rooms. The boys share a room but I will give each their own picture.

I am so excited for you all. YEAHHHHHA! (((Hugs)))

[deleted account]

I took Bridget on a long car ride and we talked about what's bothering her and why she is acting out this way with daddy. I will list her problems.

1. She hates when he is gone for long periods of time and doesn't call sometimes.

2. He doesn't say goodbye to her when he leaves (When he leaves for the airport in the morning she is still asleep)

3. He missed here birthday and wasn't happy when he didn't come home in time (I remember she was so crushed she cried and of course I was very furious with him)

4. She wants him to quit his job and spend more time with him.

When we came back home and all 3 of us sat down, she told him what she told me. So we discussed it and what we are going to do is that when daddy leaves for a long trip he will say goodbye to her and give her a hug & kiss, when he is in his hotel room he will call her personally or chat via Skipe, he has time off coming so he is going to ask for some time off and spend some more daddy and daughter time, and will go to her favorite places and have one on one time special for her. We also put a picture of daddy on her night stand so she can look at it when he is away. She is so excited about this and we hope this will work.

[deleted account]

Thank you so much Lisa and Katherine. All of us have been really going through alot. I do feel what she is feeling sometime b/c I feel all alone taking care of the kids when he is away. I am going to have a long talk with her and I really appreciate you guys for your help and I will let you know how it goes :)

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