Thursday, April 15, 2010

toddler won't interact with father?

Questioner: Anonymous

Subject: toddler

Question: The toddler who is 21 months, will have nothing to do with her father. He is always picking her up and will not let her down even when she cries, making her sit with him when she does not want to or force her to eat things she does not want

When he comes home she immediately begins to cry and run to her
Mom. He is a good father but it has become a problem and embarrasses him--he gets angry if you try to tell him not to force her to respond to him!!we need help!! Thanks

Answer: Dear Jan,

The toddler is not the problem. Read what you wrote to me and ask yourself the question as to what the toddler is responding to? The answer is that Dad is not responding to the signals the toddler is sending to him. If all she experiences is him trying to "force" her to do things then of course she is not going to want to be with him. He needs to lead her not force her. Suggest that dad take some parenting courses and even an infant massage class which will teach him to read his daughter's body language and learn to be with her in a positive manner.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller