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single dad needs advice

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Thanks for the great forum.. Wink

from time to time - Ive come here & searched the articles & read the
advice (as a guest) but lately I've needed more direct support & thought I'd sign up.

Im a proud dad of a 3 year 9 month old daughter. I am currently in the divorce process
w/ my daughters mother, we have been separated for over 8 months now.

My daughter spends equal time between her mom & myself.
We both share joint legal & physical custody of our daughter.

Ive really had this feeling since before we seperated - but it really has started to dig in / cut me
more so that I'm seperated. Confused

Our daughter really seems to prefer spending time w/ her
mom than w/ me.

I UNDERSTAND ITS NATURAL..
l - but I just really need to know Im not doing anything wrong on my end & what I can do to help ease things?


Tonight really hurt me. I picked up our daughter from preschool & she was obviously not feeling well. I managed to coax her into taking some medicine & some dinner.
She was really "whiny" & complaining about everything - but I was extremely patient & understood she just wasnt feeling well.

when I tried to give her a hug, she moved away & said "NO, I WANT MOMMY"

it wasnt that she wanted her mommy that really hurt - but that she didnt want to show me any affection.

She seems to do this quite a bit w/ me - I try & snuggle her & talk to her
but she doesnt seem to like the affection & gets an "attitude" and says NO...

I called her mom & told her that our daughter wanted her to pick her up
(even though tonight shes supposed to stay with me)

Looking back I probably should've ignored it - but I really am hurt inside that my daughter
says things like that & doesnt want to spend time with me.

Sorry for the long post - so much to get off my chest.... Sad



any comments / suggestions? am i just overreacting?
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replied January 6th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I can understand how it must make you feel, but it is completely normal. When a child doesn't feel well they want their nurturer, which is in many cases the mommy.
One thing you should always remember with parenting is don't take what they say personally. Even at 3 if a child can see that they get a reaction out of something they say or something they do it will only make it worse. This advice will carry over until she is around 25! LOL Smile
You could try just saying, "when you want to daddy would love to have a hug" and leave it at that.

She is going to go through stages and one day she'll only want you.

Good luck to you
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replied January 7th, 2008
thanks for the great reassurance...

i really do believe you are right - some days are just harder to deal with than others,
and that day everything seemed to be going wrong - & it was just the worst feeling to
hear the light of my life say she didnt want to be w/ me.

I've bounced back - today was laundry day & we had a blast. Very Happy

thanks again & ill definitely not let the things she says get to me especially
since i think she does do it to get a "reaction" from me... Rolling Eyes

thank you again for your advice yes
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replied January 7th, 2008
Community Volunteer
I have this problem all the time and I'm not even separated from my husband. All my kids do/have done this where they go through a stage where they only want one parent and won't look at the other. It is harder when that other parent isn't around, so the child is inconsolable.

But they do grow out of it. When she is older she will remember that no matter how moody she was, you were still always there for her, and that's what's going to count. Smile
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replied January 10th, 2008
thanks - it definitely has shown in the past few days..

if I dont let her see that its affecting me - she doesnt "use it against me"

kids are toooo smart sometimes eh?
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replied January 10th, 2008
Community Volunteer
Oh, more than we will ever know lol Wink
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replied January 25th, 2008
I'm sorry your daughter seems to rely on her Mom more, but it is very normal for kids to do that. When my son is sick he doesn't want anyone else touching him, he wants to cuddle with me, sleep on me, and if someone else even kisses him he cries... And he's only 12 weeks old!

I wouldn't take it personally at all, most children seem to prefer their Mothers as a source of comfort. She's just at that age...
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replied February 9th, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
J-daddy
Your daughter is still young and as you said that she is more attached to her mom than yourself give her time and all the support she need. In time don't be so hard on yourself you are a great father already when you try to coax her into taking her meds. I know it somtime can be hurtfull especially when it comes from someone who you cares a lot. Meantime take care of yourself and try not to think about it too much take this as part and parcel of parenting life.
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replied February 11th, 2008
I know it hurts
My daughter just turned 3 and she spends equal time with me and her dad. When I tell her no she throws a fit and says she wants daddy. If I ignore her she stops but it gets you in the gut!!! When she does that I also tell her daddy isn't here but if she wants mommy here I am!! Good luck its hard:)
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