I'm hurt! My 2-yr old daughter says she only loves her dad :(

Philippines
July 3, 2007 12:47am CST
I posted a few months ago about playing the good cop/bad cop roles in disciplining a child -- http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/1008749.aspx I've talked with my husband about this and we agreed that we both should have an active role in disciplining our toddler. We agreed that we should be consistent. However, there are times when he forgets which makes me the bad cop and him the good cop. This only reinforced my daughter's knowledge that she can get away with anything with her dad but not with me or anyone else in the household (by the way, my parents babysit for us when we're at work . we allow them to have a hand in disciplining our daughter). Now whenever we ask her if she loves her mommy or grandma or grandpa, she'll respond with a resounding NO. Then she'll say, "daddy only". I know kids say things and sometimes they don't mean it. But i really felt hurt. I know I have to make her understand that we discipline her because we love her. But how will I do that? I would really appreciate any tips/insights on this.
7 people like this
19 responses
• Canada
3 Jul 07
Don't take it to heart. Your child is too young to ealize how much those words hurt you, and your child is also too young to know what she was really saying, and what it means. She won't remember it in a few days, and this will all be overwish. Please don't take it personally.
3 people like this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
i'm not taking it to heart. it just stings a bit. but i know she has yet to really understand what love is and that she sometimes says things she doesn't really mean. her hug last night (when i got home from work) but it all go away :) thanks for your response. i appreciate it.
1 person likes this
• India
4 Jul 07
Tell her that you're doing it for her own good. If you explain to her that letting her run amok will only hurt her in the long run (or even in the short term) I'm sure she'll understand.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
thanks for the advice. i appreciate it. :)
• United Arab Emirates
4 Jul 07
I know it hurts a mother. But don't feel bad because children at this age just dont know what they say. They just say that because they feel that person would never hurt them and that they can do just about anything with that person. They show this by telling that. But, they equally love their parents. If you really fee bad and want to change this then you can try this. you be the good cop and let ur husband be the bad cop for a while. Let's see how it works. Good luck
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
now that's an idea! but i don't think i can make my husband be the bad cop. he's too soft on our little girl (but don't tell him that. lol!). but i'll give that a thought. maybe we'll have a try one of these days. thanks for the suggestion!
@SexyMhei (153)
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
Hi dear I believe you do your role well. You have said that you have talked about the good cop/bad cop role to your husband. I guess its about time that you insist to your husband to cooperate, unless ofcourse he really like to "spoil" your daughter because he is pleased when she answered that she only loves her daddy. But don't take this too strongl;y huh,coz there's a possibility too that your daughter is just in her "electra complex" stage, wherein the daughter has deeper attachment to the father, but it does not mean that she will be hostile to you soon. Just try to be extra sweet to your daughter and try not to "compete" with her for your husband's attention. kids her age tend to be jealous of everyone even her own mom at times. I think you're a good mother and you have nothing to worry too much about. This stage will soon passed and your daughter will soon have a more deeper attachment with you too. God bless
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
thank you very much, sexymhei! i appreciate your advice.
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
4 Jul 07
Oh brace yourself, honey. There will be alot worse.Little girls tend to be more abrasive to their mom's as opposed to their dad's. I still remember with clarity the first time my oldest looked at me with such hatred in her eyes and spat out,"i hate you mommy!!!" I was crushed! The teen years make the terrible 2's seem like a walk in the park. I know it is hard but try not to take it to heart. Three of my girls are grown and on their own now.We are all very very close.Even the most rebellious one that excelled in the art of using words as weapons is now very close to me and very remorseful as to how she treated me. Being a parent can be very painful at times and sometimes it doesn't seem to be very rewarding but trust me...you will be rewarded in the end with the very best friend you'll ever find in this world. Big hug for you!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
oh my, there's more?! i better brace myself! lol! just kidding... i know children go through stages and the succeeding stages seem to be harder than the previous ones. i remember when i was a kid myself. anyway, i'm not really taking it to heart. it just stings a bit. but i know in my heart that my daughter loves me as much as her dad. thanks very much for sharing! :)
• United States
3 Jul 07
Its probably just a stage she's going through. When my niece was 2 oe 3 she would often say things like this... especially about her dad. She would seem to think that she could only love one person at a time! It may not even have anything to do with who disciplines her. If you are worried, try to spend some extra quality time with just her... spend a day with her doing some fun things, or even just take her to run errands with you but try to make it fun for her! You'll probably see, when it is jsut the two of you, that she DOES love you and DOES act attached to you. For whatever reason, she is saying "only daddy" now, but that will pass!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
yes, i do notice that she's really attached to me whenever her dad isn't around (she doesn't have a choice anyway. lol! just kidding). thank your for your insights/advice. it's appreciated.
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
3 Jul 07
I think girls are more for their dads anyway. I wouldn't take it to heart what she said. She is too young to know better. Besides reminding your husband of your agreement, maybe you could spend more time playing with her so she could see that you are not such a bad mommy. :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
come to think of it, i am closer to my dad than my mom. perhaps, she's just the same :) anyway, i appreciate your input. thanks!
@mummymo (23707)
3 Jul 07
ctv sweetheart I know that these words hurt but I sincerely believe she does not realise that she is hurting you! Young children learn to manipulate from being tiny - even before they understand the impact this has on those around us! I wouldn't worry too much about the discipline having too much to do with this - although she probably does realise that she can get away with so much more around Daddy as he is the soft touch! I am the main one responsible for discipline in our household and despite this both my children are mommys little angels! lol Please, please do not take this to heart too much - your daughter does love you and as she grows she will appreciate the fact that you do set rules and boundaries! I wish you luck and joy xxx
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
you are right. i know that she loves me and that she doesn't really mean what she says sometimes. thanks for your response. i appreciate it.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
3 Jul 07
An adult who is "hurt" by the words of a 2 yr old! Really? You must be kidding! I notice you use the word, "discipline" several times in your Post.My dictionary defines "discipline" as "control exercised over people or animals,indoctrinate, control, curb, govern." I didn't see anything about "Love, teaching, tender care, kindness, or nurturing," Your daughter will respond to your teaching. Are you teaching gentleness, love, kindness, and respect? Or is it indoctrination,control,discipline,and fear? '
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
no, i'm not kidding. it doesn't actually "hurt"... it stings a bit. but you are right. i think i have to be more conscious of what i teach my daughter. it might be that i am sending/teaching the wrong signals. your response is appreciated. thanks!
@im_anna (718)
• Philippines
3 Jul 07
how do you want your child to be disciplined? on what issues? I suggest you think about what matters to you & how you want your child to grow, talking about these things with your husband so that you and your husband are united with these issues. Playing good cop/bad cop would certainly, in the long run, would make her "not-listen" to you or be disciplined when she grows older. Yes, it is frustrating but your have to be firm with your hubby on certain issues. Also, discipline goes hand in hand with fun-time. You have to spend time with your daughter. If you're working, at least 30 mins everyday either before going to work or after work. Then on weekends, have as much "fun-time" as much as possible. This would allow you to have some "emotional deposits" on your daughter. So that, when "withdrawing" your emotional bank account or disciplining her, you wouldn't have any "over withdrawn" emotional account, thus the words, "i don't like/love you" words. I hope these would help in improving your relationship with your daughter. Have a great day!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
thank you for your advice. i appreciate it. :)
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
3 Jul 07
Don't let it get you down. I have two kids and I can't even count the number of times my kids, especially my daughter has said that she hated me. I always told her that she doesn't hate me and I know that, but that she is indeed angry with me which is fine. Children, especially very young children, have a problem discerning between what anger and hate feels like and most of the time they are just angry. When your daughter says this to you again, and she will, you can say to her "I love you" or "it's okay to be angry at someone you love". This way she will learn that even if she is mad at you, it doesn't mean she doesn't love and vice versa. She also be feeling that your discipline is a sign that you don't love her or she may be learning to push those emotional buttons. Whatever it is, just know that overall, she loves you unconditionally, even when she is mad or even when she won't like you.
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
thank you for your insights. i know she doesn't really mean what she says sometimes and that she still has to learn what love is. i'll keep your suggestion in mind. i'll just tell her "i love you, too" very she says she loves only her dad. thanks again! :)
@charms88 (7541)
• Philippines
3 Jul 07
Aww ctv, so sorry to hear that. Understand though that your girl is just a mere 2 years old and too ignorant of what she's saying. The best step that ALL of you should do is to stop asking her "Do you love mommy, grandma or grandpa?" It has somehow became a game for your daughter and she automatically went with it. Instead, keep telling your daughter "Mommy loves you." While disciplining her, never failed to inject the word "love' to her. You can also ask your husband for support regarding this concern.
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
was i expecting too much from my 2-yr old? lol! just kidding :P maybe you're right. we should stop asking her if she loves us. thank you for the advice. i appreciate it.
• United States
3 Jul 07
That is so sad. But also I would say talk to your husband about both of you doing the discipline thing with her and see if that helps at all. Also I know with my two kids no matter who did the discipline thing they would go through a stage on only wanting one person or the other person.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
i know this is just a stage but it still hurts a bit. though i am sure that she really doesn't mean what she says. and i definitely have to have a talk again with my hubby. thanks!
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
3 Jul 07
Well I don't think the good cop/bad cop is the way to go. I think parents should present a united front when dealing with a child. I wouldn't worry too much about her saying she only loves dad. Children say stuff like that often that they don't mean. I know I did. I would do away with the good cop/bad cop routine at once.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
you are right. we already had a discussion about the good cop/bad cop scenario. it's just that my hubby sometimes forgets that we have to be consistent and united when it comes to rearing our daughter. i guess, i'll just have to remind him everytime he forgets. thanks!
@lovein (345)
• India
3 Jul 07
Girl is for feelings and Boy is the awareness of those feelings. Like Man and Woman. A girl will always try to listen her father and brother. A Boy will always try to teach girls, lessons, if he knows that feelings are powered by him.(in fact feelings are powered by God,you know this). This happens in our day to day life. Thanks
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
thanks for the insight. it's appreciated.
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
3 Jul 07
Aah my son started saying that he only loves his dad when he was 3. He's outgrown it now but on the odd occasion he will say "I hate you" or "I don't love you mom" and then I would give a sad expression and tell him how much that hurts me. He immediately apologises. Kids say the darndest things and don't understand that by saying these things, it hurts those they say it to. I think everytime your daughter says it, to let her know how much it hurts you. Your husband needs to reinforce it too. She will begin to understand that what she is saying is hurtful to you and it will soon stop. As soon as my husband hears anything like this, he talks to my son and has him apologise to me.
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
thanks for the advice. i will definitely do that with my daughter. and i know i have to have that talk again with my hubby. thanks again!
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
3 Jul 07
oh honey, I know that stings something awful - your daughter is at an age where she may be trying to manipulate you, she may also be testing your love for her - will mommy still love me no matter what? she may also not quite understand what love is. I really like the idea of the daddy being the one to discipline and the mommy being the one to soothe. but it rarely works out that way especially when daddy is gone at work so many hours.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
i never thought of it that way -- that she may be manipulating and testing me. yes, it stings a bit but i'm not taking it too personally. i know she has yet to learn what love is and that she sometimes says things she doesn't really mean. thanks!
@cefaz_21 (2597)
• Philippines
3 Jul 07
I agree with danishcanadian, i guess your daughter is too young to understand and don't be to hurt about it. One day she'll know that you love her so you discipline her. But I suggest you have to talk again with your hubby about this, open your heart to him and say that it hurts you to hear your daughter say those words.Maybe he too can help in explaining to your child about this thing.
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
yes, hubby and i have to have that talk again. it just stings a bit when my daughter says she loves only her dad. but i know she has yet to really understand what love is and that she sometimes says things she doesn't really mean. thanks for your advice. i appreciate it.
@buddha02 (128)
• Philippines
8 Jul 07
hey gurl, i also experienced the same thing when my son was about 2 yrs old. it really hurts to hear them telling you that they love their dads more than us moms. but what i did i spent more time with him. everytime his dad is not around, i play with him. i really exerted extra effort to make him feel my presence. children would usually love the persons that they feel are the ones who will always spoil them. well, who says kids are brighter than us??? now, he likes to be with me more than anybody else...