59

You can't make anything clear to someone who doesn't respect your opinion. Explanations only matter if the person you're explaining to has kind of the same world view as you do. This is where boundaries come in. Clearly things are not ideal for this girl, and it's natural to want to be helpful, but in this situation, true helpfulness is often more than what ...


27

This is actually pretty common. First, lets get some things out on the table. Your talking to her. That makes you her friend, at least a little. Don't think that because you're older you can't "be friends". There need to be boundaries, obviously. But to someone that age "friend" can be anyone that listens. There are structured groups (Boys and Girls Club, ...


26

In my experience it all ebbs and flows. My son exhibited some of the same behavior, though not the same degree, culminating around 2 years old. He is about to turn 4 and things have come full circle. He started coming to me for comfort around 2 and a half and sometimes even preferred my comfort when my wife was pregnant with our second child. Since the ...


19

Not to disrespect your wife, but she needs to get over it. Kids will show preference towards the primary care-giver but this often flip-flops as they age. It doesn't mean anything with regard to love or respect or even enjoyment of a particular parent. My kids may be "daddy's boy" and "daddy's girl" but if they fall out of bed at night, it's "mama".


18

What a difficult, painful and important issue. And congratulations on recognizing the long-term effects that the situation might have on your children. Divorce can affect a child's relationship with their parents, and creates stresses which can interfere with their natural development. While divorce per se does not seem to negatively impact children in the ...


16

The term is "disorganized attachment". It's not a good sign. Your child is trying to build a secure spot to make sense of the world. What typically triggers this sort of avoidance of one's own parents is the lack of needs being met. When your child cries, do you respond to them or are you practicing the stoic method of letting them cry it out? Somehow, ...


14

As a teacher of twice exceptional kids (Kids with both a "disability" such as ODD, Dyslexia, Aspberger's, Tourette's . . . As well as an extreme Gift or Talent usually expressed with a very high IQ fall into the twice exceptional category) I encountered a fair number of ODD kids (I know, unfortunate acronym for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. They really ...


13

One way to encourage her to be a bit independent is try to engage in some less explicitly fun things together. "Well, right now Daddy needs to _____. Do you want to watch/help?" This might be: Fold some laundry. Do light yard work. Cook a meal. Tinker with the car. Write an email. Change a light bulb. Whatever stuff you do around the house that isn't ...


10

That sounds entirely normal to me. Some part of that is because you had her for the first six months; she has very good memories and feels safe with you. That's a good thing! However, it's normal even without that. My oldest loves his grandma and is regularly talking about how he'd like to go see his grandma (who lives 6-7 hours away) regularly. When she ...


10

I have some good news and some bad news. Good news is, this behaviour probably isn't strictly related to the toxic relationship between you and your wife. For the bad news, re-read the good news. At around 2.5+, your child works out that one way to get a little bit more attention is to make you a little less secure about their affection. Anecdotally, my 2-...


9

Nearly every child prefers one parent over the other at that age. It's nothing personal, and it happens regardless of how much time you spend. My eldest two preferred me, and the youngest prefers her mom. I went back to work after a week with all my children, and spent approximately the same amount of time doing the same kinds of activities with each. My ...


8

Regarding the second point, the idea is that it teaches the child to do things in an appropriate setting. Instead of spitting inside, we go outside into the garden and have a game there. It's about positive reinforcement of what you wanted to say anyway. If our kids start chucking stuff around, we tell them that they can go outside and do that which is fine ...


8

Some people believe in attachment theory quite strongly, and would apply it to this type of case. If your child has an insecure attachment, the best approach is to try and secure that attachment. Make sure that you are not expecting your child to grow up too quickly. When mum has to go, she has to go, just step in there and try and comfort your little one ...


8

First of all let me congratulate you on your approach. Many parents would run away and hide in that situation, to withdraw rather than engage, but you did the opposite which was to challenge yourself to become a good and involved father. There are a lot of people that could learn from your example! As for your son, you cannot control these things, you ...


8

I spent the majority of my time in NICU, when I could not hold my son, holding his little hand in the incubator. (Probably helped me more than him, but who knows?) Soon as the docs will allow it, ask for some kangaroo time. Physical contact is a great bonding facilitator. Sing to them. My son, now 30 months old and out of NICU for QUITE a while, still ...


8

The father should leave a newborn for one year (relocation) - do you think the consequences will be irreversible? IMO there certainly will be consequences (there's evidence that having heard their parents' voice while in the womb has influence on newborns, after all) and, given the fact that you cannot go back and do it differently, they are by definition ...


8

As you describe the situation, I would consider Angela as possibly a traumatized child in a troubled home situation, until you learn otherwise. This is not to say that her guardians have intent to neglect Angela, but according to Angela they're old and sick and perhaps unprepared (as you wisely observe that you are not fully confident) to raise her and deal ...


7

Basically, if the child still needs it, it is too soon to give it up. There is no medical or psychological evidence that there is an age too old for comfort objects, eg Lovey's. Many children keep them until they make friends at school. Comfort objects are very important for children. Teaching children to cope with stress will help with transitions. Even ...


7

I don't think there have been any specific studies and each situation would be different. The most important thing is that he is spending time with both of you. The next important thing is routine, if you can have some consistency between both the homes it would make it easier on him. Things such as meal times, bed times and favourite toys. Travel time ...


6

I am a father and also a co-parent and my boy is two years 3 months old. I take him from the kindergarten Wednesdays and Thursdays, and on those days the caregiver of the kindergarten is putting my son into the mood that "Papa will take you today". On the days that she forgot it, my kid was crying when he saw I was there to take him. Otherwise it was all ...


6

I'll partially piggy back off the suggestions made in the comments while adding a bit of my own. These things do ebb and flow, it's very likely that your children are just at a stage where they want to spend more time with the father than mother. You can probably look back at the history of interactions with both children and identify other times where this ...


6

I want to offer a quick couple of points for you. Step 1 - tell her everything you wrote in your last paragraph to us. Kids are not dumb and she will most likely understand. Step 2 - don't feel bad when you tell her you cannot spend time with her. I suspect you feel bad or guilty for doing this. Telling her no is perfectly ok and after you explain step ...


5

I agree with Henry, you need to make sure that someone is there that is compassionate towards the child to ensure he is comforted when mom isn't around. One thing that I did for my little guy was let him carry around a picture of him and mom together. When he would start crying I would let him know that mom had to go to work and would be home before he ...


5

I've seen quite a few articles the last few years like this one that promote the importance of letting your kids have unstructured time, or in other words, to get bored. A lot of our generation worry about quality time so much that they sometimes swing the pendulum too far the other way. A certain balance is important. It's okay for her to be sad about ...


5

I'd say a certain amount depends on how much time the parent spends in the same room as the child, and how much the other parent helps out. The absence of a single mother who cosleeps in a studio apartment would be noticed a lot earlier than a couple in a large house who shares child care responsibilities relatively fairly. My children each have their own ...


5

There are many ways and I'd say that whatever you do has to feel natural and easy for you. It cannot be faked and must be real. This is one idea I used. I'd look for little things to make an honest compliment about. Things she does -- not her looks or belongings. "I like how you helped take your dish to the sink." This will encourage her to please you. If ...


5

Well at this age separation anxiety is rather high & nothing to be unduly concerned about , regardless of how hard it is to get through. If the care provider allows it, perhaps just videotape what is happening after you leave. My children all were like this at this age, the ones that I worked since 6 weeks old and the one I was home with all the time....


4

I don't know the specific lines you're referring to. However, the general approach favored by Dr. Markham is to avoid punishments, in favor of setting limits; and responding with empathy when the limits are broken. For example, how I would interpret the spitting example: I'm sorry, but spitting on the floor/table inside is not allowed, Johnny. It's messy, ...


4

I completely agree with routine, and using the school or daycare as an exchange. Around here, a very common schedule is 2-2-5-5. That is, one parent has Monday and Tuesday, another will have Wednesday and Thursday, and then there are alternating weekends. This makes things much easier for scheduling, and allows the co-parents to do more on the weekend (e.g.,...


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