What do you do when your child only wants their mom?
When a youngster is extremely devoted to one parent, it strains that parent, leaving the other feeling excluded, discarded…unneeded!
It can be worse… When your child is obsessed with their mother, it leaves poor Mom feeling worn out.
It is difficult for both parents, but it does not have to be that way. In this post, I’ll look at some things you can do to help your child stop wanting mom all the time.
It is worth remembering that kids go through phases. One moment they only want mommy, the next moment, dad is the favorite parent!
Why Does My Toddler Only Want Mom?
Because moms are awesome, right?
Well, yes, they are… but when your toddler spurns everyone else except mom, then you have a problem.
There is no doubt that a unique link exists between mother and child. When you spend your first 9 months of life within another person, you become emotionally linked to them… until the cord is severed!
Then, once you are born, mom is there to feed you and comfort you. Your Mom is usually the first person you cuddle too. You know mom has the food, right? Your bond is naturally close, even if you choose to bottle feed, you know it is there.
If you get a lot of attention from only mom as a baby, then that bond keeps growing and growing. This is how it should be.
However, if dad or other carers take it in turns to care for the baby, then that bond will grow stronger with all of those folks too.
Your child will learn that mom is the source of all they need if you are present when they are terrified, with them when they are hurt, and with them when they are sick. This may cause them to appear to turn their back on everyone else.
To be clear, I don’t think it’s a negative thing that mom has done all of this; it’s part of being a good parent. Some toddlers understand that other people can care for them, while others believe that only mom can. This, I feel, is the source of the problem.
Child Overly Attached To Mother? Try These Tips
Praise Good Behavior
I can’t emphasize this enough – rewarding good behavior works with most behavioral problems in the toddler years!
Get a reward chart, and discuss what it is with your toddler. When they are well behaved during times when mom is not around, make sure you start the chart. Make a big deal about it too!
Do Not Withdraw
One thing you must not do is withdraw from your toddler! That includes any forms of punishment if they are too clingy to Mom.
Withdrawal might lead to increased conduct in which they are afraid of losing mom. It simply means that they will want to spend MORE time with their mom, which will lead to the ‘obsession’ category.
You really don’t want that.
Encourage Family Time
By encouraging family time, you are letting your toddler know that you are all involved in their upbringing.
If dad is ‘on form,’ then your toddler will begin to see dad as a source of entertainment too!
Take Time Off
Don’t let this ruin your plans. If you need to get up and leave to go somewhere else, then go and do it.
If you are all in the same room (mom, dad, child), then get up and leave dad to it. You will be around if needed, but make sure dad and toddler spend some time together too.
Discuss Fears and Anxiety
I know this sounds like a trainwreck, but it is a good idea to (try and) discuss things with your toddler about things that might be upsetting them.
It could be several things… dreams, darkness, loud noises. Whatever it is, discuss it with them as a family. Dad and mom need to be involved!
Talk Before You Leave
Before you get up and leave your toddler with dad or another carer, explain what is happening. I would approach it like this:
Hey, mommy is just going out. I will be x minutes. While I am gone, daddy is here to look after you. He knows what to do, and if you are scared or nervous, go and ask him to play with you for a while. He will love playing with your toys!
Talk When You Return
When you return from where you have been, the first thing you should do is speak to your toddler to see how they have got on and what they have been doing.
This is the time to praise any good behavior. Ensure that dad is present for the conversation, too, so you can praise together. Don’t forget to add a star on the reward chart for good behavior!
If their behavior wasn’t good – it is time to discuss that too.
Hand Things Over To Dad
If your toddler is overly attached to their mother, it could be because Mom looks after them when they are sick or anxious.
Have a frank discussion with dad to let him know that it is his turn when your toddler is ill. You know toddlers, the next sickness bug is always just around the corner.
The next time your toddler is scared, at night, for instance, then dad needs to go and placate your Toddler.
Both of these things will begin to build the understanding that dad is also there to look after and protect your toddler.
What Is Excessive Attachment Of a Mother?
Toddler Cries For Everyone Else
You may find it impossible to leave your toddler with anyone else. As soon as you walk out of the door, you know your toddler will be crying for mom!
Toddler Will Not Leave Mom Alone
When your toddler is at home with mom, poor old mom may not get any time to herself. She may have to deal with a clingy toddler constantly.
Toddler Doesn’t Use The Potty When Mom Isn’t There.
If you are potty training your toddler, you may find that they will regress when mom is not around.
Toddler Asks For Mommy Constantly
When mommy isn’t there, does your toddler constantly ask where mommy is?
Your toddler may become cranky and clingy unless they are in the eyeshot of mommy. Then you have a needy toddler on your hands!
Toddler Needs Constant Attention When Mommy Isn’t There.
When a toddler needs constant attention, it is a huge draw on your inner resources! Especially when they only need attention when mom isn’t around.
What Causes Attachment Issues In Children?
I touched upon this briefly at the beginning of this post, but here is a rundown of why a toddler may have attachment issues:
- They are worried that only mommy can help if they are ill
- Your toddler thinks that only one parent can save them from being scared
- They may think that only one parent can feed and water them
- They are not used to being in the company of other people
- They feel protected around one parent only
It is important to get to know the reasons why your toddler is overly attached to mom. Only then can you fix it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Child love one parent more?
Although it may seem this way, it is unlikely that a child loves one parent more than the other. Usually, when a child exhibits more feelings towards one parent, it is because they are going through a phase!
If there is a genuine feeling that one parent is more loved, then both parents need to work together to resolve the issue before it gets too bad.
Can a Toddler be too attached?
Yes – when the attachment is that bad that it begins to affect the family dynamics then they are too attached.
Families are a unit, and they must work together to share the load. If Dad feels left out then it could be disastrous. The same if Mom feels left out!
Why is my Child so clingy?
There are so many reasons why a Child is clingy. Common reasons are; illness, tired, scared, or just want someone to be around.
When a child is overly attached to one parent, it causes strain on a family. If your toddler is overly attached to mother, then everyone in the family suffers. You can use the tips on this page to resolve the issue.
Think about it. If a child only wants a mom, then dad is left out, and siblings fight for attention. If a child only wants their dad, then mom feels left out, and the siblings still have to fight for attention!
When implementing the tips on this page, you will get some kickback from your toddler; this is expected behavior, especially if your toddler is trying to give you affection.
Your job is to clearly define what is going to happen and stick with it.