Have you noticed your child seems to prefer one parent over another? This can really sting if you are not the favorite. While there is not a consistent reason for why this happens, kids could attach to the parent they see more often, or the total opposite and only want to be with the one they see less of. Quite often you will hear gender distinctions like “Mama’s boy,” but there is no guarantee it will go that way either. It can certainly make life a bit more complicated when your toddler refuses to put on their shoe’s without Daddy’s help, who happens to be at work during that time. So if you happen not to be the favorite parent read some tips on bringing back balance below.
1. Don’t Take It Personally
As hard as it might be when your kiddo rejects your hugs, or when you have to miss out on special bonding time because they don’t want anything to do with you, know that it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything to create this preference and it’s not a personal attack. Instead try and look at how great it is that they have bonded with your spouse so closely and think of all the wonderful special moments they are going to share together. Who knows, your time may come to be the favorite one day.
2. Take Turns
Sometimes your kiddos will bond to the parent who doesn’t dish out the majority of the discipline. If this is the case for you then make sure you are taking turns being the bad guy. Decide on how and when you need to discipline so you are both on the same page when the time comes. This will help even the score and show them just because they have a favorite it won’t affect how they are parented.
3. Don’t Give In
I have literally put my toddlers shoes on while she was kicking and screaming because at that moment we decided Mom needed to do it and Daddy wasn’t able to. Was this fun for me? Absolutely not. But sometimes you have to remove the choice and get on with it. They need to know they are not the boss and they can’t always have their own way.
4. Schedule Some One-On-One Time
Try scheduling some one-on-one time with your kiddo. Get in some bonding time to draw you closer together again. I doubt you kiddo will say no to an ice cream date.
5. Wait It Out
This unfortunately is a pretty common phase that most kids will grow out of in time. The chance are the favorite parent will also change with time. They are in a stage of testing boundaries and seeing how much control they have other their decisions. As long as you are doing the above things you should be able to wait it out until this stage is over.