How can I get my 3y/o daughter closer to her father

Ale - posted on 01/27/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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She's always said she dont love daddy ever since she started talking and when he comes near her she runs and when he tries to hug or kiss her she cries. She will kiss anybody else but her dad. Also she always asks me if I love her dad because she doesn't. It's very frustrating for me to see that because I see my husband really trying and she always turns him down I can see that upsets him alot. I've tried talking to her and telling her that mommy loves daddy and so should she i also try to always let her know when daddy does something for her or when he buys her something but she doesn't seem to care. Please help! It has gotten to the point of my husband and I having problems because of it we sometimes argue

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J - posted on 01/27/2013

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Hi there, sorry to hear you are having difficulties. Number 1...you can't really force your daughter to love someone even if it is daddy. Second...kids and their sweet, innocent spirits are very sensitive in that they can sense when something is not right. She may have a reason for this. I know that is not easy to swallow and please don't hear me saying that this IS what is happeing but I know first hand that it DOES happen way too much and sometimes we dismiss it without giving it another thought. Just keep you eye out for anything unusual for them. I hope this helps, sometimes as moms we don't want to think of anyone who is supposed to love our babies harming them.

Hopefully it is nothing more than she just needs some more...just her and daddy time! Does she spend most of her time with you? Is the time she does spend with daddy always involve you?

Just a few thoughts for you! Good luck!! Please let me know if you need any more help with this as I went through it first hand...

Gigi - posted on 01/29/2013

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I know what you mean. I am not in your situation, but I also hold grudges for some things and that doesn't make things better. That is one of those things easy to see, but difficult to change, isn't it? I guess we just have to do our best.
And let him (if he is responsible) spend alone time with her, its very important.
As for peeing, setbacks happen, but if you are sure it only happens in your house try to see why. Maybe she doesn't want to bother you/him with asking for a toilet and in the end pees in her pants. Just ask her reguraly if she needs to go and take her to the toilet when you think its time even if she says no. Whatever you do never yell or punish her if she pees her pants. If your husband does it, talk to him and get him to stop. Yelling/punishment will only result in fear and shame and then she won't know what to do - and she will be afraid to say she needs to go.
Accidents happen ocasionally and when they happen, just change her and tell her "its ok, it happens, next time we will try to get to the toilet".

Gigi - posted on 01/28/2013

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Children understand much more than we think so if you have negative attitude (I am not saying you don't have right for it) towards your husband, she probably picked it up. The fact that she asks you if you love him probably means she got the idea somewhere that you don't or that you shouldn't love him.
As for being unhappy and arguing while you were pregnant, that can not be the reason. Of course while it would have been much better if the only thing she heard in your belly was Mozart and gentle voices, hearing you arguing with your husband did not cause this. She could have only picked it up later on. You mentioned that after your daughter was born,he was away with his other daughter and that now he changed. If that change happened recently, then your daughter almost certainly understands the situation and is reacting to it. Children will often side with primary caregiver so if she sees you are miserable because of your husband (even if you don't talk about it in front of her), she will try to make you "happy" by saying that she likes you better.

I can completely understand that there is residual effect of his behaviour and I admire you for working on your marriage. And I know its hard, but I think that you should definitely come to terms wheter or not you can actually get over this situation and continue with your husband because until your daughter sees that you are ok with him, this probably won't change.
That said, your husband should put unlimited effort in connecting with her, that part is his responsibility and he should understand that her behavior is also caused by his. She is a small child and it is his role to be there for her and get her trust and love.

As for possibility that all this is caused by abuse, that is practically impossible to know from our side and here I would urge you to analyse the situation yourself and trust your instincts. You will need to be objective and forget for that moment what the consequences could be if its true.

Of course its impossible to know for sure what the situation is exactly since there must be more to the story and in this case, small details count.

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Ale - posted on 01/30/2013

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I will do that from now on, I really hope it helps and she starts using the potty again soon(: I'm glad to hear for ur daughter it worked out! I will definitely put alot more effort into it and make it the best for her. Thank you much for helping me out! U really helped me feel alot better! God bless you

Gigi - posted on 01/30/2013

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I'd guess these setbacks happen quite a lot when it comes to potty training. My daughter (also 3 year old) was easy to potty train and everything was going smoothly until one day she stopped asking to go pee and would just pee in her pants. We would just change her (and put her on the toilet to pee more if she had some left) and take together wet stuff to the washing (so she sees where it goes). I also put more effort in paying attention to the signs of potential toilet break. So anyways, it went on like that for about week or a bit more and then things went back to normal.

I am sure your daughter will have good memories, you seem to be actively trying to improve things where possible. As for being tired every week night, you can take turns in playing with her and besides there are always weekends to catch up on it.

Ale - posted on 01/29/2013

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Thanks so much Gigi! Now I feel a little better, I thought it wasn't normal and my daughter was the only child going through this! I will deff have a talk with my husband about this tonight and work everything out. I just want my daughter to be happy I want her to have a very joyful childhood and have good memories when she grows up and sometimes i just feel like we're not giving her that because we're both always at work and when we come home were both too tired to take her out or play with her ur sucks!:/

Ale - posted on 01/28/2013

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Thanks alot. Ur advice really helped. Ur right because I love him but there is moments sometimes that I remember everything he did an it makes me kinda hold a grudge against him and I know I shouldn't. Also I don't really let him spend alot of time alone with her, when he wants to take her out for ice cream or to the park I always have an excuse for him not to I dont know why I know that he needs to spend more time with her alone and I need to let it happen. Sometimes I feel like in being too overprotective with her... Also I potty trained her when she turned 1 and ever since she turned 2 she keeps on peeing her pants, this started when I started working and ever since I've tried everything but she keeps on doing it and that also frustrates me alot because she won't donut all day when I'm at her and her grandma is taking care of her but as soon as her dad or I come home she will start doing it and sometimes is up to 5 times a day. Idk if that is normal but her dad yells at her or punishes her when she does it and idk if he's doing the right thing because its not helping

Ale - posted on 01/27/2013

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Thanks! U know I've thought like that too but ur right it's hard to swallow something like that. I really don't believe that he would harm her... Here's more to the story which will probably help, my husband has an older daughter with another woman. He cheated on me and got her pregnant and then got me pregnant almost at the same time, I found out about this when I was already pregnant and I decided to stay with him for my daughter and because I love him so I forgave him. But throughout my whole pregnancy we kept having problems because of that, we would always argue for one thing or another I was very unhappy throughout my pregnancy always crying and I felt miserable, after I had my daughter we kept having problems because he would always be with his older daughter and not very much with my daughter... Now he has changed alot and he's great to me and my daughter but idk if maybe that could be what's leading my daughter to feel such a resent towards him

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