My husband hates our toddler.
The dream of love has now turned into a dream of having a baby. Everything was just as you imagined, till your little bundle of joy became a toddler. So much growth. So much personality development. The bond between you and your baby is stronger than ever.
There is just one problem. It is a really big problem that takes the place of ten mid-size problems. That is…your husband HATES your toddler. The very thing you created together, he can’t stand. It causes your heart to break and hope to sink.
In life, we have all found that it is nearly impossible to change a person (other than ourselves). Trying to change a spouse by brute force, can be more trouble than you have ever wished for.
What do you do? Try to employ some of these tips and then be patient with the process.
1. Openly Seek to Understand the Root of the Hate
Staying angry at your husband might cause more trouble than good. However, learning his reasons why can be beneficial. Try to do this in a way where your commentary is limited. You are genuinely seeking to understand.
If you get some answers, don’t be quick to give your opinion or “fix it.” Let the conversation breathe. Wait for true inspiration and ideas to have a follow-up conversation. Let ideas naturally flow to the surface that might help him acclimate to your baby better.
Just being relaxed about the topic, it could soften his heart to your child. If he feels more pressure from you, especially about a topic he hates, that will not help.
2. It Could Be a Phase
There are men out there that don’t gel with kids till they are a bit older. Some men are not fond of baby and toddler stages. However, once past those stages, they bloom into their fatherhood and enjoy being a daddy!
If this is your first child, it may be hard to gauge what is going on there. You can even ask what about this specific stage, don’t you like to help you understand.
3. Slowly Influence
The first two tips were to help you gauge and understand the reasons WHY your husband hates your toddler. Now that you have some insight and understanding (hopefully), you can do things to help shift his perspective.
Are there areas of fatherhood that could be fun, that he has never been introduced to, yet? Introduce him to it. If there are duties he just can’t do, let him drop it. However, incorporate fun outings where parents do fun things with their toddlers.
Sometimes a man needs to see other fathers enjoying time with their kids as inspiration. If your husband doesn’t have that as part of his life, begin to incorporate that dynamic.
4. Drop it Like It’s Hot
There might be some days where your husband is very agreeable to spending time with you and your toddler. When you sense those times are dawning, take full advantage of it. Make it the most enjoyable you can for all of you.
However, when the times of resistance are near, don’t plow through it. In those moments of times where he doesn’t want to connect with your toddler, don’t force it. Drop it like it’s hot.
What you are desiring is for him to have a natural draw towards spending time with your toddler and enjoying it. Pushing the issue will only repel you from that goal.
5. Be vulnerable when the opportunity presents itself
No doubt, having to witness your husband strongly dislike your toddler will cause you not to be yourself in front of him. Depending on what kind of husband you have, he will eventually inquire about your countenance.
Sometimes you can just take the opportunity to share your heart. The temptation will be to want to accuse or come off too harsh. Instead, do your best just to express your sadness and why. Keep it to the facts, but do share how those facts hurt your feelings.
Feel free to express, you do worry about how the lack of connection to your toddler will affect him or her later on. If you cry, you cry. Being vulnerable, without being accusatory, can be powerful to change things.
Even if it doesn’t change anything, at least you were open and honest. He can never say he never knew how you felt about anything. However, if your husband is a decent guy, the vulnerability will have some kind affect on him.
6. Find Alternatives
The hard reality about people is sometimes they choose not to change. Some husbands may choose not to do the work to love their toddler. It’s heartbreaking.
When you sense that is the case in your situation, embrace it. The quicker you come to terms with it, the quicker you find alternatives.
In the meantime, introduce your toddler to other males that you love and trust. Maybe your toddler needs to spend more time with grandpa, uncle, or someone else you trust. In some cases, having other men be an influence on your child sometimes stirs up husbands to do their part.
Either way, you are taking steps the best that you can, and that’s what matters the most!
7. Involve His Expertise
There will always be something that comes up when rearing a child. Men need to feel wanted and valuable. Even if your husband is not currently in love with your toddler, he may have some good ideas to impart. If those ideas work, it may inspire him to be more involved with your toddler.
Be creative at finding ways to involve his knowledge to help develop and grow your child. Even hands-on things like building things for your child might be a fun way to get him involved.
Even if what he shares is not the best idea you have ever heard, give it real genuine consideration. Allow him to see the genuineness of your consideration and appreciation.