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Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 87
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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My 2.5 yr old daughter disrespects her father/my spouse. For

Customer Question

My 2.5 yr old daughter disrespects her father/my spouse. For the most part she accepts him and they play, but periodically throughout the day and if he gets her up in the morning or tries to participate in bedtime routine - she puts on such a tantrum that Daddy is in her surrounding space. Her tantrums are generally easy to diffuse with quiet time in her room (time-out), and sometimes a tickle war but then she will resume her tantrum if Daddy tries to enter her personal space.

We understand that this is likely a phase and initially we decided to brush it off as we recognize that being a toddler, it is not her intent to disrespect him and it is natural to gravitate to a certain parent through phases. And even though Daddy isn't a big scruffy smelly man, we respect that Mommy is more comfortable to cuddle and don't force her to cuddle with him, but we are concerned about the behaviour progressing to parental disrespect.

We enrol her into programs so that once a week her and Daddy can have one on one time to build trust. We have tried playing the supportive role and try distracting the tantrum with tickle wars and encourage her to give Daddy a hug or kiss on the cheek with me. We have tried the stern approach and put her in a time-out for not being nice to Daddy. I have tried to find her currency (motivator) to try and deal with the behaviour, but she doesn't react to possessions being confiscated or activities being suspended.

Sometimes I have found a morning currency of with-holding her cup of milk until she ends her behaviour, and at bedtime if she lets Daddy finish the a story I will come in for cuddles. We try to be rational with consequences and try to relate the behaviour to the conaequence, but I am at a loss at how to discourage the behaviour outside of the home because I can't find a currency that she reacts to. Any suggestions or do you think I should relax and go back to step one and see if the behaviour passes?

- Terrific Twos
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the behavior between your husband and your daughter. When do you spend time with her? Do you do many family activities together? Who provides most of the discipline? Thank you.