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Toddler Pulling Away From Father Emotionally










QUESTION:

I met my son, who is now 2 years and 8 months, 2 months ago. At the beginning he was close to me, we would play, and he even slept with me. Now he doesn't want to be with me anymore and everyday that passes he is getting less close to me. Neither me nor his mom know what else to do for him to accept me again. I really need help, I do want to be part of his life.




ANSWER:

The two months was a great start with him and that may have set you up to be overly concerned, which you shouldn't be. You will have ups and downs as he grows (they grow fast!), so every new day is a new opportunity with kids.

You may want to back off some so you are sure not to push it with him, and step up your game as a father with a little creativity. Two- to three-year olds are very inquisitive and showing/teaching him things that intrigue him is generally a good bet. Anything outdoors works, especially if there are bugs, rocks and/or animals involved. He can help you build something too; show him the tools, let him watch you some, have him "help" you periodically, give him some cut up wood or something to play with, and do it a little at a time so you leave him wanting more.

Take the same approach to rough and tumble play, add balls, and if you have always wanted to learn to surf, take him to swimming lessons to start and then do it together. Use your imagination to feed his rapidly developing brain with experiences that expand its capability.

Be patient and congratulations.

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