Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does this happen in your house?

Okay, this is one for the two- (or more-) parent families out there:

Z. has serious trouble coping with the transition between spending a lot of time with just one parent and then adjusting to the arrival of the other parent. She ignores, she's flat-out rude, she pushes, she tantrums. We hold a fairly hard line on it, and she's gotten a lot better than she used to be, but the problem hasn't gone away. It's worse when she's spent a lot of time with A. and I enter the scene (A. thinks this is because Z.'s relationship with me is deeper and more intense so her reactions to me are deeper and more intense), but it can go in both directions.

Does this happen in your house? Are there tricks that work for you? Advice would be appreciated.


susan said...

All.the.time. We make a lot of jokes about chopped liver, and I try not to take it personally.

Actually, not so much with the tantrums, more with the rude suggestions, like "Mommy and I can go to the apple orchard together in the car and Mama can walk."

Moishe said...

Yeah, it happens all the time with Amelia. Lindsey spends an order of magnitude more time with her, and many times when I get home from work she says something like, "leave me alone!" when I try to give her a hug.

The best solution I've found is to get a big (multi-hour) chunk of 1:1 time with her to go do something fun -- that seems to give our interactions a huge boost that lasts most of the week.

Furrow said...

Z's dad stays at home with her all day, and she can occasionally get a little whiny and clingy while alone with him, but when I am home -- before and after work and on weekends, she will not let me out of her sight. True, she's only 1 year old, so who knows how she'll change, but for right now, it's all about Mama. It's heartwarming that she feels such a connection, but also a little frustrating at times.

S. said...

I'm interested that this problem has such different manifestations in all our families. In our family we switch back and forth a lot (I do mornings and afternoons, A. does evenings and summers), but it's not often we're all together. It's the switching from one to the other that throws her.