New York, NY
Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 2.9
Problem: My daughter doesn't want to be near her Daddy for the last few months, and she is only 3. He travels a lot. I know this isn't my issue, but it is very painful to see her tell him to go away so much. He knows he needs to spend more time with her, but he just travels too much right now. I know it has to be hurting him and her as well. Any advice?
Solution submitted by Joanna from Stowe, MA: My daughter is almost three and although my husband travels infrequently, he almost never makes it home before my daughter's bedtime. Because we just encountered this problem ourselves my solution is only an idea that hasn't been "tested" for very long! I tried explaining to my daughter why my husband was away, but that did not work. After this morning, when she kicked and screamed when he tried to get her out of bed, my husband was very hurt. Later, he came up with a solution that I think might work for her at least to a certain extent. My daughter has an incredible imagination. She loves playing imaginary games and hearing made up stories. Because of this, I starting telling her stories that have to do with us as a family; these stories depict us all together and show my husband in the positive role he plays with her when he can be here. On our way home from daycare today, I told her a story starting with how we got married, had her, etc.; the story ended with a description of what we do as a family (of 4) now and how my husband plays with her.
I agree there is no substitute for quality time but in the meantime this seems to be working.
Another solution submitted by Supermom2 from Ionia, MI: Well, you have to stop and think of the options you have first:
1. Can the dad stop traveling ?
2. Maybe take child with him on one trip?
3. Spend more time with the child ?
Number one is probably out because it is the way dad provides so maybe another option would be to try and cut the time? take a week off???? or find a new job? these are options to number 1.
Number 2 is it possible to take the child with you? Is your job one where maybe mom and child could go at times??? It's not always fun to do. This may help the child understand if they can go from time to time!
Then you have option number 3. Is it possible to take the time off from work? Maybe spend time as a family, not just single the child out to spend time. If you and hubby were to do something like maybe the park, ice cream, even playing play dough or reading a book together might help the child like his or her dad! Being three is a very trying time in the life of a child, as well as the mom and dad. One more thing if she is saying mean things like, I don't like my dad, or i don't want to go with him, respect what your child is trying to tell you. You can tell him or her that that's ok if you don't like your dad, but he loves you very much, we don't always like the things you do either. You could also say I know your dad loves you, and to push him away doesn't just hurt you but it hurts him as well. It may be the child's way to rebel, it may be a stage the child is going through, just be patient.
Please any more solutions.
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