For Mom, it is heartbreaking.
You put your body on the line to carry a child for 9 months, but now it feels like you are being rejected!
It does not have to be that way… In this post, I am going to take a look at why a toddler prefers Dad over Mom, and what you can do to improve it!
Table of Contents
- Why Does My Toddler Want Nothing To Do With Me?
- Toddler Prefers Dad Over Mom? Try These 8 Tips
- Helping Mom Cope With Toddler Rejection
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Toddler Want Nothing To Do With Me?
Are you fun enough?
Toddler love playing, but sometimes life’s chores get in the way, right?
Your toddler doesn’t understand that. I have lost count of the number of times I have explained to my son that:
‘Yes, I have to work, or we can’t afford to pay the bills’ or;
‘I can’t play right now, if I don’t do this laundry then you will have nothing to wear’
Life is easy for a toddler. They do not understand the importance of menial daily chores which have to be done. They only want to play and eat!
Do you shout too much?
A toddler may prefer Dad over Mom because of the way they are treated. It is time to consider whether or not you shout too much.
I totally understand that it is not easy to stop shouting at your toddler, they do their best to poke at you until you bite!
Are you a pushover?
Toddlers also enjoy a challenge. If they see you as a pushover, they may not need to communicate with you too much.
Only times when they want something and they know that Mom will give it to them.
Do you teach them?
Your toddler’s brain is at the development stage where it is optimal for learning. Not only should you be taking advantage to improve their development, but you should also be feeding their hunger to learn.
If your toddler views Dad as a source of all knowledge, they will go to him a lot more, simply to feed their thirst for knowledge.
Do you pay your toddler enough attention?
There are 2 ways a toddler will react to a parent who does not give them the required attention.
- Become needy and pay you too much attention
- Withdraw and seek attention elsewhere, usually in the form of another parent. In this case, Dad.
Do you listen to them?
A few days ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop with a Flat White. Sometimes, I just like to sit and people watch.
As I looked around the room I noticed a few families, most of which look pretty stressful!
One parent had their nose deeply implanted in their smartphone, completely ignoring their child, who was clearly desperate for attention.
Another parent (different family) was doing something much worse. Constantly interrupting their toddler as they were attempting to speak.
How would it make you feel if you were constantly interrupted?
If it were me, I would avoid communicating with that person. If I were a toddler and Mom constantly interrupted me, I would certainly prefer Dad over Mom!
Toddler Prefers Dad Over Mom? Try These 8 Tips
This is number one in the list of things you can do if your toddler prefers Dad over Mom!
Toddlers absolutely, 100%, love to play. All of the time! If you are fun, then they will want to play with YOU. I know it is a challenge because a grown-up brain is much less imaginative than a toddler’s brain, but you must give it a try!
Toddlers need to learn. In fact, 90% of a child’s brain is developed before they reach the age of 5. Take advantage.
Your toddler will have a tremendous thirst for knowledge and it is your job to quench the thirst. By becoming a teacher, and a font of knowledge to your toddler, they will respond with respect and admiration.
Pay attention to your toddler. If you notice them playing, coloring, drawing on their own, then go over and ask what they are up to.
Be interested in what your toddler is doing, and they will feel much better about life!
Do Not Be A Pushover
It is important that you as a parent do not allow your child to get what they want all of the time.
I know, it is much easier just to shut them up by saying yes all of the time, but it is not doing you any favors in the longer term! You know this, right?
Stand firm when your child is constantly demanding things and they will respect you for it.
Only Shout When It Is Needed
The more you shout at a toddler, the less they will listen.
I know it is difficult. Toddlers push and push until they get a reaction from you!
However, when all you do is shout, it becomes normal behavior and shouting loses its power. Not only will you lose the ability to get a preferred reaction from shouting (i.e. they listen), but your toddler will copy what you do, and will shout back.
It is learned behavior.
Listen To Them
It is vital that you empower your toddler to think they have interesting things to say. The only way you can do this is by allowing them to speak.
Do not interrupt what they are saying. Interrupting a toddler will lead to frustration and behavioral issues.
When a toddler is frustrated, it may lead to biting amongst other things!
If your toddler prefers Dad over Mom, then it is worth considering whether or not Mom allows them to speak.
Reason With Them
When Mom is always saying no and Dad is always saying yes, your toddler will prefer Dad over Mom. It is natural.
There is another option though. What if your toddler prefers Dad because he offers reasons why the answer is no?
It is fine to say no because you have to stand firm to create respect from your toddler. However, if you say no and offer a reason why then your toddler will respect you more. Not only that, but it will also teach your toddler to reason, which is a vital life skill.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, I am not assuming that you are not loving!
Sometimes, when a toddler prefers Dad over Mom, it may lead to Mom withdrawing. Because it hurts, right?
Well, suck it up!
Mom, you have to carry on offering love and affection, even when your love is spurned! It is tough, but the more you withdraw, the wider the rift is between Mom and toddler.
Helping Mom Cope With Toddler Rejection
When your toddler prefers Dad over Mom, it is vital that Dad offers support to improve the situation.
It is in Dads best interests that your toddler has equal respect for both parents. Sure, it is a confidence booster for Dad, but it is far from ideal. Dad, you risk burnout if you are the go-to parent. Support Mom, and share the load!
It is important that you both sit down and discuss how you are going to approach this behavioral change. Consider the tips above.
Whichever route you are going to take to improve this situation, always stand together and work as a team.
Dad, if you see your toddler playing well with Mom, then go and do something else in a different room. You will be a distraction while Mom heals the rift with your toddler.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a Toddler rejecting Mom after new Baby arrives?
A toddler has been used to having Mom all to themselves. Now a new baby has arrived and Mom is busy being a Mom!
This can lead to a toddler feeling like Mom has been taken away, or maybe even rejected. It is going to be difficult, but when you work together with Dad to share the load then it becomes much easier.
Do Toddlers prefer one parent?
Toddlers go through phases in life. One week they will prefer Dad, the next week it will be Mom. This is absolutely nothing to worry about.
It is a concern when a few weeks go by and your toddler has not switched back! Work through the tips on this page to bring them back on track. Parents, you need to support each other throughout this phase. Do not show off, nobody likes a show-off!
Why does my toddler only listen to Dad?
A toddler will only listen to Dad for 3 reasons:
- Dad is seen as a font of all knowledge.
- Dad is a ‘yes-man’. This needs to change.
- Dad has a deep voice. Those with deeper voices are seen to be more powerful and influential.
I suggest that you share the load when teaching your child, and your toddler will respect both parents.
When your toddler prefers Dad over Mom, it can be heartbreaking for Mom, and tiring for Dad. In this post, I have given 8 key tips on how you can improve this particular situation.
It is vital that you support each other during this time. Working together as a team is the only way you are going to get through this.
Talk to each other. Formulate a plan of attack, and don’t give up until you reach the promised land!