- Mama should be a little less effective at meeting the child's needs. Slow down. Make them wait.
- Refuse to respond to small requests unless Daddy can do it.
- "Pro-daddy praise campaign."
- Special Daddy-only activities.
- Re-arrange routines so that Daddy is taking the major role in care whenever possible.
- Resist stepping in during Daddy-child interactions.
It sounds like a thorough, well thought out plan. And it sounded like a lot of work. At the time I thought that things weren't bad enough to put that much work into trying to fix the problem. I was just hoping that eventually the phase would pass.
Well, things continued to get worse over the next several days. Then one morning Ava pitched a fit just because her Daddy said "hi" to her during a moment that she thinks of as a Mama time (getting her from her room when she wakes up in the morning.) That was it. We immediately adopted JR Morber's plan.
We're about two and a half days into the plan. Essentially, if my husband is home, he takes point with Ava. When she protests we make some excuse about Mama being busy and then I just leave the room so I'm not an audience for any complaints. Daddy has been making extra efforts to (although he's always good) be funny, nice, and entertaining. Daddy has dressed her, put her down for nap and bed, put her into the carseat and taken her back out, played with her during play times, helped her at the dinner table, etc. It's working beautifully. We're already seeing a big change and it is wonderful.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to JR Morber if you're reading this.
We'll keep this up for several more days and then hope that the good will towards Daddy lasts when we go back to taking turns with the children.