So, dont get me wrong, I love my boyfriend, but his kid just hates me. The baby is 17 Months old, and im never mean to the kid. What should I do?
Kids, much like animals, have a sixth sense about people.
But im not a bad person. I love kids.
Are you new in the baby’s life?
We parents call that “making strange.” The kid is attached to very few people at that age and pretty much any stranger gets that reaction. He, or she, will come to know you and things will settle down.
Harmony, I get the impression that you’re very young. What makes you think the baby “hates” you?
My trick to getting kids to like me is to ignore them. It seems to work like a charm. They seem to sense when you’re trying too hard to interact with them. Just be part of the scenery for a while. At 17 months old you could playing with the child all time, then be out of the house for a week, and the child wouldn’t really remember you enough to come to you.
Or in short, what Leaffan said.
It takes some time. The problem many people make is that they immediately start lavishing attention on the child to get them to “like them”. But (unlike when they are, say less than 6 months old) you are “too new”, “too unfamiliar”, “too unknown (friend or foe)” to them. So it can actually scare them.
As others have mentioned, first just “be” around them. Don’t try to interact. Doesn’t mean to “ignore”, just don’t focus all your attention on them. Just hanging with your boyfriend will show that you are “okay” to be in the household.
Once they realize you are “okay”, then you can start to interact…slowly. I have found a great way is to start playing with something that interests them - like one of their toys. Again, don’t try to “engage” them until they show interest. Just do your own thing. Usually they will get intrigued and want to try. Then you can interact - show them how to do whatever, or get all excited when they do “something”.
Attention is like crack to kids - once they get some, they can’t get enough. So once you’re someone who is “okay” and provides attention, you are golden.
Agreed. Relax a bit and don’t try to force it. Let the kid come to you when he/she is ready. Curiosity will get the best of them and they’ll overcome their apprehension in time. Meanwhile, don’t take it personally. It’s a rare kid that immediately welcomes all adults into their life.
p.s. I was messing with you about the kids/animals thing. I’m sure you’re a lovely person.
Well, im 18. I use to go around him all the time and he loved me! I quit going around so much because I didnt like his mom. Now that me and his father are together (dont judge me) I see him every Thursday and and every other weekend. He crys when he’s around me and has absolutely nothing to do with me. He only likes me when he’s asleep or when I feed him.
But thats just it. When he was younger and I went around he alway want me. Now that he’s a little older, he doesn’t like me.
Kids and animals, kids and animals…
It’s a phase. Happens with many kids.
A 17 month old child is incapable of hate. Try feeding him, works with my kids.
Did you start wearing more perfume or wearing more hairspray when you started seeing his dad? Kids are extremely sensitive to perfumes etc.
also you mention you don’t like his Mom - she’s his A#1 most important human being, so if you show that in front of him, you’ll have to wait 'til he’s 13 to be friends with him.
You’re 18 years old; surely you can find a boyfriend who isn’t tied down with a toddler at this stage in your life.
Is your boyfriend living with the child’s mother? Has he moved out or stopped seeing her very much since you’ve come into the picture?
*We *can “not judge you.” But a child will very much judge you if she associates something uncomfortable in her life - like tension between her parents or a parent moving out - with your presence. And about all you can do about that is give it time, be compassionate, be consistent with discipline and rules (don’t be meaner *or *nicer than her dad) and wait for him to chill.
My 4 year old HATED my now-husband when we first got together. I couldn’t blame her a bit. Despite a truly craptastic marriage, I didn’t have the courage to leave her father until my now-husband came into my life. So I moved out of my ex-husband’s - my daughter’s - home and in with a new man at the same time. Of *course *she thought he destroyed our family. From her point of view, knowing only what she knew at the time, he did. Oh, the battles they had! She was stubborn and willful and spiteful and just plain mean. There were nights she would, completely silently, walk down the stairs to our bedroom and just stand at the end of the bed, glaring at him in silence. Talk about a creepy wake up at 3am! What fixed it? Time. Lots of time for her to build trust and respect for him, which very slowly became love. But I’m talking years, not weeks. We’re coming up on 5 years together, and she will still occasionally give him the “you’re not my real dad” look and be slow to obey.
Do not, whatever you do, put your boyfriend in the role of enforcer, or allow him to take it on. This is *your *relationship with this child, and the two of you need to sort out what it’s going to look like together. If you turn to him when the child doesn’t obey you, it will completely undermine your authority. He will have proven to himself that he doesn’t have to listen to you, that Daddy is the boss, not you. Don’t go down that road.
What would we do without the Onion?
To the kid, you’re Not The Mommy, Not the Daddy, and Not the Grandma. So, he’s got no use for you. Sure, if he’s hungry he’ll let you feed him, but other than that, you’re nothing to him. Greet him when you see him but then play hard to get. Let him approach you.
Maybe try reading out loud? I remember reading to my (then) toddler at the library in the children’s room, and toddlers I didn’t know at all would wander up and sit down to listen. Get a couple of board books from the library and try it. If it doesn’t work, you’re no worse off than you are now.