So, your kid does not want dad, eh? That sucks!
It is a drain, for both parents.
When a toddler only wants to spend time with one of the parents, it leaves one feeling low and feeling tired. You are looking at a lose-lose situation here, but how do you get out of it?
How do you make your kid love dad again?
Why does your toddler not like Dad?
The million-dollar question! Why does my toddler not like Dad?
There are so many reasons, but let’s touch upon the standard reasons here.
Dad Offers No comfort.
This stems from the time they were a baby – especially if mom breastfed your child. Not that there is a problem with that, by the way! Receiving milk is a comfort, are babies learn that poor old Dad can’t give them breast milk.
Babies then grow into toddlers, and the whole thing stays with them.
Dad is always working.
This is a difficult pill to swallow! If Dad is out early and back late, there is probably not much time to play during the week.
Dad is boring
This is even worse…..you are too boring to like. It sucks, but these toddlers pull no punches when it comes to telling people what they really think!
Dad shouts a lot
I wouldn’t want to play with him either! I have discussed the pitfalls of shouting too much in a post about keeping cool when the kids are pushing your buttons. It really is simple, only shout when you NEED to shout, i.e., if they are in danger. Shouting too much makes it normal behavior and reduces the impact. Oh, and if they think shouting is normal behavior, they will do it too.
So, how do I get my child to like dad?
Take a step back and look at how you interact with them. Ask them what they do not like. As I said above, kids pull no punches, so they are more than willing to tell you what they do not like.
The most important thing that you can do is acknowledge it, refrain from swearing at them and improve your stature in their eyes.
I have put together some tips that will help dad be more popular.
Enough already, give me some tips!
Here are some tips for improving Dad’s relationship with your toddler.
As your bond with your child becomes much tighter, you will find that your bond as a family will improve too!
Your partner suddenly becomes much less stressed and has more time to enjoy other parts of life.
Your toddler realizes that dad is a hero, and dad gets that warm fuzzy feeling!
Make time for playtime
Playtime is fun, both for kids and parents.
Find out what games they like to play and spend time playing them. Observe them playing with their toys, look at the way they interact with them. All you need to do is join in!
The key thing here is that you spend quality time doing what they want to do.
Leave your phone in another room, and don’t be distracted by the phone or anything else for that matter.
Teach them something regularly
Teaching them kills two birds with one stone!
Not only do they get to spend some quality time with dad, but they also learn an important skill.
I am not talking about algebra or complex equations here. I am talking about general life skills.
Take them out for a walk and teach them how to cross the road safely. How about something simple like making a sandwich? Careful with the knife, by the way!
Another option is to source a few bits of scrap wood, some nails, a hammer, and a screwdriver. Spend some time teaching them how to use the tools. Make something out of the wood!
Even if it is terrible, it still improves a child’s relationship with Dad.
Be the one to take care of them.
If a toddler is used to Mom looking after them when they are sick, it is time for Dad to step up.
A word of warning, the first time this happens will be a battle of wills with a sick child, so take it easy!
If they are vomiting, be there with a bowl, a towel, a hug, and a drink of water. Do not worry about getting it all over you; it is part of the job (ask Mom).
Sure, they are likely to spurn your advances when you are taking control, but this will change quickly when they learn that you are actually helping them. Speak to your partner to explain what is going to happen and why. They must take a step back and give you space and support to get on with it. Like your child, they may not have the confidence that you can do it, but they will change their minds when you walk the walk.
Learn their baseline temperature and get yourself an excellent thermometer!
Eat with them
Eating with your toddler has some challenges, but it is a key part of building a relationship with them.
You may struggle to find the time, especially if your commute to work means you leave before they wake up, or you do not get back home until they are in bed. If this is you, then weekends are even more important!
If you can, then eat 1 meal per day together. Breakfast is the easiest in a working family environment because it is when you are most likely to be together and awake.
Eating with your toddler also has some stress-reducing benefits!
Make time to engage with them.
This is very similar to tips 1 and 2, but this time you will ask them about their day, about their friends, and what they like.
I play a part in the bedtime routine every day. Before we settle down, I spend some time asking my son what he enjoyed doing that day and what he did not enjoy doing. I ask him about his friends and what he has eaten.
This is an important part of building a strong bond and showing him that I am interested in his life. It also helps to build his vocabulary and conversational skills.
Consider using a toddler hip carrier to help build a bond during walks, etc.
Reduce your stress
I know, another challenging one!
These kids are clever, do not let them fool you. They pick up on things easily, and one of the things they pick up on is stress.
Not only do they not want to interact with a stressed dad, but they also become stressed themselves.
Increased stress levels may result in you taking the stress out on the family. When a person is stressed, they may react by withdrawing themselves or becoming short-tempered.
Both of these scenarios are bad if you want to build a bond with your toddler.
You can do many things to reduce stress so take some time to learn these important life skills. It will pay dividends in the long run!
At first, raised voices will scare your child. Then, the more you shout, the less the impact is.
Over time, your shouting will be white noise.
It means nothing.
Not only does it mean nothing, but it also limits their interaction with you….because you always shout!
It is easy to shout too much, but take the path less traveled and only shout when completely necessary. If they are putting their lives in danger, shout. If they are whining for no good reason, talk to them or walk away.
Make the times you shout count.
Use the tips above to help improve the relationship between toddler and Dad.
When your child does not like dad, it causes a family divide. Dad feels left out; mom feels overworked. Being a parent involves teamwork (and patience), so be sure to stop any developing bond issues.
Only when you have a good relationship with your toddler can you really begin to enjoy life as a parent. You get to play a huge part in your child developing into a fully functioning human being, which is a joy to behold!
Do you have any tips? Does your child not like dad? Please get in contact or leave a message below.