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Are you struggling with the fact that your child seemingly hates her dad? It can be exhausting being the “chosen one” your child wants around, sometimes you feel the need to catch a break but your child won’t let her dad take charge without throwing tantrums or requesting your attention.
I’ve had a couple of mothers talk to me about this issue and I must say it tells on them. Lou, one of the mothers, said, “I can tell it breaks my husband’s heart every time he gets rejected but what can I do? I also need a break!”. This made me understand that both parents do not enjoy the circumstance.
While one is sad about the constant rejection, the other gets exhausted from taking full responsibility for the child’s needs. But then, what is there to do about this issue?
When it seems like your child dislikes her father, you can help create a healthy relationship by encouraging them to spend father-daughter time together, this allows the child to warm up to him and build a bond.
Before we extensively discuss how to spark a relationship between your child and her father, let’s get familiar with why your daughter may reject her dad.
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Why Does My Child Hate Her Dad?
Several reasons can cause a child to reject their dads or say the hurtful words “I hate you” to them and tracing the reason can help come up with an adequate solution to the problem so let’s get right into it.
1. Dad isn’t always around
A dad once said “I felt so bad coming back home from work, wanting to have some fun time with my daughter but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. Should I quit work so she can love me?”
Young children are smart and extraordinary beings, they notice when one parent is always around while the other is mostly away. That’s why they get more emotionally attached to mum than dad. And if daddy has always to leave home for work every morning or travel regularly and in the process forgets to make it to school plays or games, it causes some kind of withdrawal or hatred for the dad.
2. Daddy scares them
There’s this natural aura about dads that tends to make their kids fear them especially when they are quite strict. My 3-year-old son at the time was used to fearing his dad. He wouldn’t let me leave him alone with his daddy, although his dad was nicer to him than I was. I guess it was because my husband was an enormous man plus he was not constantly at home.
3. They want to be free
This is most common amongst teenage daughters, they desire to be free and independent and fathers on the other hand have the first instinct to protect, hence the refusal to give them the freedom they demand. This could cause daughters to despise their fathers.
What To Do When Your Child Hates Her Dad
We have to give it to dads, they do all they can for their kids but they end up getting misunderstood and feeling dejected. And if you have a similar situation these tips can help build a father-daughter bond;
1. Have A Talk
As a mother, you have to address the situation with your child, sit her down and have a conversation with her about it. Ask questions, try to get to the root of the issue, and be attentive, patient and understanding.
Now after you must have listened, try to explain things to her. If her dad is hardly around, make her understand how important it is that he does his job, and let her know how much she means to him even if he doesn’t show up for her school plays.
2. Advice Dad To Loosen Up
I know parenting is a tough job, we all never really get a hang of it. Let your husband know you understand why he always wants to be protective of her but it makes her feel restricted by him. And that it would do well if he loosen up a bit and find a balance. He doesn’t have to say no to all her requests as this might make her have some negative feelings towards her dad.
3. Encourage Father-daughter Time
Encouraging your daughter to spend more time with her father can be a whole lot helpful. Plan trips, tell them to go to the park together or do fun things together. If possible, suggest that your husband takes her to his workplace for her to better understand how demanding work can be for him. This passes a strong message to your daughter and it can help win her heart.
A child giving her dad a cold shoulder is a serious issue that must be addressed, as it will in a long run be destructive to their relationship. This most times may lead to years of pain or regret. There are things you can do that are considered helpful to improve their bond.
Encourage dad to be patient with her, it may take time before she warms up to him and he needs not to be discouraged.
Also, have a word with your child, let her know you understand her, and explain things to her. Plan family trips, schedule a lot of family bonding time, have dad read her bedtime stories instead of you, and watch how your child begins to love her dad.