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Thread: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    10

    Default 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    Looking for others' experiences with their toddler/preschooler preferring mom over dad. I feel badly for my husband because he is such a far 2nd choice to me and really has been since our son was about a year old. He's 2.5 now and still shows favorites - only wants me to read to him, play with certain toys. And is much more often frustrated with his father (we hear a lot of "no Daddy" when they play together). Last night and tonight he slapped his father on the face - something he hasn't done since he learned not to hit like a year and a half ago. I'm a SAHM, with him 24/7, nursing on demand, never put him in childcare even at the Y to work out for an hour. And we don't have family nearby, so it's not like he's used to being cared for by others. He also has big separation anxiety - started at 6 mo - even in playgroups, I can't walk out of eyesight. It's gotten a little better lately as he becomes familiar with situations (like a wkly group with same people).

    My husband is so kind, patient, gentle and fun with him. He teaches 5th grade, so he has lots of energy and patience. So I don't think it's anything he is doing - other than he just isn't me. I guess I just want to know that this is normal and a phase that my son will grow out of. Or maybe when he weans from nursing it gets better (he still loves to nurse, 6-7x a day and 2-3x at night).

    Deep down I feel like the whole attachment parenting will eventually lead to him being more secure, thus more independent when he's older. I just wish he would be a little nicer to his dad who tries so hard too. We are teaching manners, but just want to get at the root of the issue. Sorry this is so long. Thanks in advance for any insights!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northern CA
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    548

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    I don't have any answers for you except to say that my 2.5 year old DD is the same way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    240

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    I know how you feel, we went through simialr thing, was SAHM until 3yrs old, similar set up as you describe, althgou he did nto have much separation anxiety except at bed time despite cosleeping.
    My husband has also always taken it very patiently and now our son is four yrs it has improved very much.
    But it was certainly very strong at age 2+
    I found one thing that did help was when I left them together, if even for sometimes very short time like taking out the trash, getting the mail or walk around the block, and when i came back they were fine with each other even though when i had left it looked like it was not going to work at all. I sometimes just needed the break to be honest so i sometimes for a brief time even though my son screamed his head off when i said i would go down with the trash and daddy would stay with him.
    But we never otherwise forced the issue. I dont think it is the nursing, with mine i beleive it was the fact that he likes everything just so and always the same way and dad might for example read the book slower or sing the songer faster or play the favorite game in a sublty different way.
    Now they have more things only they do together (we keep it like that on purpose), so that helped, like gardening readnig for bed time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    DD was like that, DS was like that, they both got over it. I had them do things with dad without me around, at first they protested, cried, etc...but eventually they loved it and now daddy time is so special for both. My son is daddy obsessed, I feel he would trade me in for daddy, and DD is getting there...lol. there is hope!
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    715

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    I have the same issue with ds. I made dh take him out to fun places like the kids science museum so they coils get some bonding time. He fusses sometimes for a block and then is fine. Their relationship had greatly improved, even enough that daddy is allowed to read a story at bedtime too. Leaving him home with anyone is a big no-no. He simply expects me to be there. As long as you aren't showing anxiety at the parting, I would expect a 2.5 yo to have the ability to understand that he and daddy are going someplace fun and mommy will be there when he gets back. But discuss a time limit with dh I.e. they arrive at their destination and he's still inconsolable after x amount of time, then come home and try again at a later date.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    My DD (2) has pretty clear preferences ATM too, down to specific books must be read by a particular parent...we haven't had much of a problem with separation anxiety - or maybe not much separation to test that with yet, and goodness I'm tired!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    I tried to remember when it improved, and I think it was the point when he was able to explain more clearly to his dad what he wanted. Becasue am around my son all the time I knew and know just what he wants without much explaining. And finally when our son understood that he needs to TELL his dad what he wants instead of just screaming NO DADDY, then it improved and also my husband learned that our son does have a very clear picture of what he wants and is now asking him more questions instead of simply deciding (we are talking about how to set up toy train, read a book, sing a song, build a house with blocks etc.).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    It goes back and forth as they grow. The parent that gets to spend the most time tends to be the favourite. It's not a slam in any way, just the way it tends to work. With DD1, for 10 months while I was working out of the home, Daddy was the favourite. When I came home and he worked out of the home, I was the favourite.

    Things that helped were leaving them together, special things that were only for them, activities only for them. Books, songs, going out for a special treat.... They would come home or I would come home and they would be very excited to tell me all about it.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: 2.5 year old much prefers mom to dad

    Just wanted to let you know you're not alone. My DS is exactly the same way! (2 yo)
    All the advice above sounds good. We do some of these as well. I cannot leave him tho,..he has to leave me. So he's fine with me staying home if daddy & him take a walk for example.

    Hugs
    Mercedes

    1st time mommy to lil D 2/19/11

    LOVE

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