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My daughter throws a tantrum everytime her dad comes to pick her up... How can I make things better for her??

My daughter is 1 and a half. Her dad gets to have her Thurs while i work, Fridays overnight and all day SAT. But when he comes to get her she throws a huge fit... crying tears, clinging to me, running away from daddy. How can I help?? I feel bad about it. I dont want her to be stressed about visiting her dad. Should I be reminding her all day that she will be going with her dad? Should I be acting more excited or something?? Any advice would be GREAT

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:00 PM on Jan. 14, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (15)
  • I think I would be evaluating why she doesn't want to go with him.... there has to be a reason.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:08 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • I have a 19 month old dd and she just prefers to have mommy instead of daddy. I wonder if your dd is going through the same thing? Once her dad takes her does she quiet down and have fun with him? If so then i wouldnt worry about it. My dd will sceam her head off and then my husband will call me 5 minutes later and say shes fine and playing. It may help to have him call and say hes almost there so you guys can wait at the window together and she can see him pull up.
    emilysmom401

    Answer by emilysmom401 at 2:09 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • how does her dad treat her? is there abuse going on?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:09 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • You are your daughter's primary caregiver. I assume that has been the case all of her life and she has formed her primary bond with you. She is having difficulty with the transition from home to her father's house and therein lies the problem. Is it possible for you to take her to her father's house and stay a few minutes until she is more comfortable? Her father could have some toys out and ready for her to play with the minute she gets there. That might ease her anxiety about leaving you.
    neebug3766

    Answer by neebug3766 at 2:17 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • This would be hard for you but maybe she should see him more often, like every other day. She is going from Sat until Thur without seeing him. Even a couple of hours Mon or Tue may help so he is more of a constant in her life.

    I don't think talking about it would help. When my son brings my grandson over we are brief about exits. No kisses or hugs. He waves to his dad and we say see ya or later. He is 16 mo and once in a while he will wimper and I will just wave again to the door and say bye daddy see ya and he will be ok. Last night we met his dad at Sears parking lot and he didn't want to go with his dad. That was a little hard. Good thing his mother wasn't there, she would have been hurt. My son is very glad my grandson likes being with me.

    Could you drop her off? Could dad have (healthy) snacks or drinks to give her right away as a diversion? Could they go somewhere every time right away that she likes?

    Gailll

    Answer by Gailll at 2:20 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • almost all kids do this at some time or another. i would do just as you suggested, tell her in an excited voice about going to daddy's. tell her daddy will play games and make her dinner (whatever they normally do). ask her dad to start a routine with her that she can be excited about ie a special game or park trip and dinner. things like that.
    angevil53

    Answer by angevil53 at 2:51 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • I agree with the mom's who say talk about it and get them excited. My little one started having fits when i took her to daycare, even tho she loved it there. So we started a goodbye routine. First hugs and kisses, then secrets in each ear and kisses. then we say our good byes while the sitter had a fun thing to distract her. She would get all teary eyed when she went to dads too. Her dad lived serveral hours away so we would meet half way and eat dinner together and she would feel all settled and had enough time with mom and dad before saying good bye to mommy. And she saw him at least every other weekend if not several in a row depending on his work schedule.
    roxyann76

    Answer by roxyann76 at 3:12 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • Try and figure out why she doesn't want to go with him. Is it simply that she doesn't want to leave you or does she not like how he treats her? If you can't figure out why from her, maybe talk about it with her dad. See if there's something he can maybe figure out as to why she's having such a hard time going with him.

    If you can't come to a conclusion .. Then try to talk about it from the moment she wakes up the day before. "Tomorrow you're spending the day with daddy." and be excited, be happy. Act like it's a fun day. Hopefully she'll start coming around.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 3:35 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • Maybe she just isn't ready for overnight visits. I know my little one wouldn't go down for bed on the evenings I worked late until tucked him in. She may be fearful of spending the night, thus crying everytime she has to go. I would try removing the overnight visit, and adding more daytime vistis and see if it helps.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:30 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

  • 18 months is the typical onset of extreme separation anxiety in toddlers. Seeing him more would probably help, but my (now 21 month old) son wouldn't go to his LIVE IN father for about 2 months back then, and his Daddy works from home so he sees him just as much as he sees me and daddy is usually his favorite! lol It'll get better within a couple of months, from my experience.

    I'm also a stepmom and my stepkids have been doing standard visitation with overnights since the youngest with 4 months old. My recommendation is that you make the transitions as simple as possible. Kiss-bye-go. Nothing drawn out at all. The more time they have to think about it the more worked up they get.
    Avarah

    Answer by Avarah at 10:59 PM on Jan. 14, 2010

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