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Old 01-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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Mommy preference -- What do you do?

Both of my boys have big time mommy preference, which is generally just fine as I handle most of their needs BUT sometimes my DH will try to do something like clothe them or brush teeth or buckle a seatbelt and my boys (esp. my oldest since he can vocalize) will get very upset and cry and say "no, mommy has to do it" Normally I just do it to avoid a meltdown but last night my DH brushed DS1's teeth and then DS1 told me I had to rebrush his teeth. He was pretty upset and crying and wouldn't calm down until I took him upstairs to brush.

Is this a phase? How long does it generally last? Does anyone have any ideas to gently get my boys to be more accepting of others doing tasks for them? My youngest will shriek "mama!" if someone else tries to get him out of his carseat, dress him, etc but he recovers quickly vs. my oldest who will cry until we redo whatever task with me.

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Mommy preference -- What do you do?

Also, my DH says it doesn't hurt his feelings, but I can't help but think I would be sad in his shoes
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: Mommy preference -- What do you do?

I might be a meanie but...my DS is 2.5 so he's old enough to understand, and I have a newbie, so I sometimes I give him a choice "Daddy can do it now, or Mommy can do it later" he will usually go with whatever will get him what he wants "now!"

Or I simply tell him that I'm not going to do it, that Daddy has to. If he melts down I walk away and will talk to him about it when he's calm. I KNOW he is fine with Daddy or whoever (he did the same thing to Grandma, etc) when I'm not around, so I know he is not really worried about anything, he's just being picky.

It works for me, but I think sometimes I'm kind of a "tough love" type so I understand if that doesn't work for you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MIpiccolo44
I might be a meanie but...my DS is 2.5 so he's old enough to understand, and I have a newbie, so I sometimes I give him a choice "Daddy can do it now, or Mommy can do it later" he will usually go with whatever will get him what he wants "now!"

Or I simply tell him that I'm not going to do it, that Daddy has to. If he melts down I walk away and will talk to him about it when he's calm. I KNOW he is fine with Daddy or whoever (he did the same thing to Grandma, etc) when I'm not around, so I know he is not really worried about anything, he's just being picky.

It works for me, but I think sometimes I'm kind of a "tough love" type so I understand if that doesn't work for you.
I'm fairly similar. Most things, it's like, 'well, daddy isn't available, so mommy is going to do it'. DD is a big daddy's girl.

We never like to hear our children upset, but for me it's about what's guiding them. Real frustration or attempted manipulation.

We also use a 'first this, then this' approach a lot which has helped reduce the tantrums. We found a book 'First the Egg' and since we got it, she's been very amenable to us doing things she doesn't want, knowing that she will get what she wants next. 'first the teeth, then your book', etc. she's 27 months, so I know it's a concept that most kids should be able to grasp early.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: Mommy preference -- What do you do?

Yeah, I guess I'm a meanie too. I don't give my kids a choice. If dad is the one who is going to do it for whatever reason, then he does it. Sometimes if they ask nicely, we will switch, but not if the other is busy. (mine often ask for dad). I don't give in to their tantrum. To me, that just reinforces that tantrums will get their way. When my kids throw tantrums (about anything), all it does is strengthen my resolve NOT to do whatever it is they want. So, even if we could switch, I definitely won't if they throw a fit.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:27 PM   #6
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Re: Mommy preference -- What do you do?

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Originally Posted by HeatherlovesCDs View Post
Yeah, I guess I'm a meanie too. I don't give my kids a choice. If dad is the one who is going to do it for whatever reason, then he does it. Sometimes if they ask nicely, we will switch, but not if the other is busy. (mine often ask for dad). I don't give in to their tantrum. To me, that just reinforces that tantrums will get their way. When my kids throw tantrums (about anything), all it does is strengthen my resolve NOT to do whatever it is they want. So, even if we could switch, I definitely won't if they throw a fit.
Same here. I have quite the mama's boy but sometimes mama needs a break
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #7
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Re: Mommy preference -- What do you do?

Thank you for all of the replies. I generally give him a cool down if he has a tantrum, but this is more like sadness crying. Does that make sense? I am fine walking away from a tantrum and letting him find his equilibrium on his own, but I try not to walk away if they are genuinely sad/expressing negative emotions because I am trying to teach them that it is ok to feel sad/down/etc. and it is ok to express those feelings. So, anyway, I think that is what tears me up the most.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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Re: Mommy preference -- What do you do?

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Originally Posted by JasmineMama View Post
Thank you for all of the replies. I generally give him a cool down if he has a tantrum, but this is more like sadness crying. Does that make sense? I am fine walking away from a tantrum and letting him find his equilibrium on his own, but I try not to walk away if they are genuinely sad/expressing negative emotions because I am trying to teach them that it is ok to feel sad/down/etc. and it is ok to express those feelings. So, anyway, I think that is what tears me up the most.
I agree that it's good for kids to express their feelings, and for you to acknowledge those feelings, but I don't think that they should always get what they want, either. I don't know how old your kids are, but mine are 14 months and almost 3; I give them a hug/kiss and tell them "I love you, I'm sorry you're mad/sad/frustrated, but Mama has to go do XYZ, so Papa is going to help you go potty/brush your teeth/go to bed/whatever" and then I go. It's really quite effective when done on a regular basis. Occasionally one of them will cry/whine for a couple minutes, but it doesn't last long, and they aren't devastated or left feeling abandoned because they know that they can turn to DH for love/comfort/help, too.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
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Re: Mommy preference -- What do you do?

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I agree that it's good for kids to express their feelings, and for you to acknowledge those feelings, but I don't think that they should always get what they want, either. I don't know how old your kids are, but mine are 14 months and almost 3; I give them a hug/kiss and tell them "I love you, I'm sorry you're mad/sad/frustrated, but Mama has to go do XYZ, so Papa is going to help you go potty/brush your teeth/go to bed/whatever" and then I go. It's really quite effective when done on a regular basis. Occasionally one of them will cry/whine for a couple minutes, but it doesn't last long, and they aren't devastated or left feeling abandoned because they know that they can turn to DH for love/comfort/help, too.
Exactly. I will acknowledge feelings, but that doesn't mean I give in. If you give in to their emotions all the time, you will teach them how to manipulate you. Also, they need to learn how to express their emotions appropriately.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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Also, my DH says it doesn't hurt his feelings, but I can't help but think I would be sad in his shoes
My youngest daughter has a serious daddy preference, and only wants him for everything...and it totally doesn't hurt my feelings :-) If anything, it makes things easier because I get a little break from things.

When he isn't available and she is yelling about wanting daddy to do something, I tell her that daddy isn't available right now, then ask her if she would like daddy to do some other thing later (read story, whatever). Then when she says yes, I say "okay, then let me do this right now and daddy can do the other thing later"

That's pretty much the only thing that works for us. He was deployed for 8 months, so he's currently catching up on a lot of things I promised he would do when he got back
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