Son doesn't like Dad

  • My son has been showing a lot of favoritism towards me.  My husband is hurt by it, not sure what to do.  My son won't let my husband put him to bed, take him to daycare, sit next to him.  He wants mom and only mom, the majority of the time.  

    I've tried to encourage my husband to read my son to bed to encourage more bonding time, but my son will actually lead my husband out of the room and me into the room to read to him.  He's also been acting out at daycare recently (biting, hitting, etc when he doesn't get his way) .

    Thoughts on how to fix this?  He's 22 months.  We haven't had any major life changes recently and he's sleeping 10 1/2-11 hours at night with a 2 hr nap mid-day.

  • Have you tried to reason with him and let him know that daddy loves him too and would like to spend some time with him? or maybe he and dad need to take a couple of father and son trips doing fun boy stuff like fishing, gokart rides, or even mow the lawn together assuming you have a riding mower, maybe some play time with squirt guns.... What i'm getting at in a nut shell is perhaps your husband would benefit from being his "buddy".... 

  • don't be sad...i have a little boy too, he is already 4, but when he was 2+-, he used to do that too. maybe he is passing the "trouble two's" my son used to be always with me, he didn't even like to be with his grandparents, he didn't whant my husband to hug him or kiss him and always wanted me to hold him. my husband used to get mad because he said that i was going to spoil the child. also, boys like to be more with moomy and girls like to be with daddy. keep doing what you are doing (letting your husband to participate in your boy' life) and you will see a difference.

  • It is tough, but keep reassuring your husband that your son is just going through a phase. Plan a night out every week where you leave your son and husband alone and go run errands. Encourage your husband to do some fun things with him, like take him for a walk, talk him to the park, or go swimming. Once your son realizes that dads have a lot to offer too, then he'll lighten up a bit and love "daddy". Although there may always be times when mom is all they want. Good luck!


  • We are so lucky to have such good parents responding to posts!  I think you have gotten some great advice from Brinny and Prisy.  I can understand why Dad is feeling upset about this, as it's hard when a child favors one parent over another.  I think offering to him that it's a phase and this to will pass.  I also think that in general the bigger deal that we make out of things, often the bigger deal that they become.  Perhaps some special time with dad would help.  Maybe a trip to the park or a favorite game, and having this happen consistently, will help.

    Hang in there,


  • Thanks for the suggestions.  I am going to see if the "guys night in" thing works.  I suppose if nothing else, I can get out of the house and regroup.  :) 

    I'll also consider the riding mower, once he starts sitting still ... I am afraid he'd get wiggly and jump off of something.

  • good luck... 

  • My son has done the same thing in the past. He is now 2 1/2 and sometimes still prefers mommy but has become great little buddies with his daddy. I just keep reinforcing their relationship and tell him things like "Oh, I love playing with Daddy. Daddy is so funny! Daddy loves you!" Sometimes when he wants me to do something and not his father, I simply tell him that it's daddy's turn and I leave the room and don't give in. It's helped a lot and things are pretty great now. Hang in there - it'll get better. 

  • PediNurseJulie is right does get better. MY little boys all preferred mommy for a while until one day they just didn't and daddy hung the moon. Now the second he walks in the door it is adios mommy and they just can't get enough of him. I don't mind though because it gives me a much needed break in the afternoon. Good luck and let us know what works!

  • There is great advice here and Dads are expected to act tough, but it can be really difficult to feel rejection from your own child. Dads night in is a great idea, although you also want to make sure Mom doesn't feel slighted either! Day by day, a child can change directions in so many ways, so don't be surprised if one day he simply grows out of this phase and feels similar attachment to Dad. Good luck.

  • You guys were right!  two weeks ago, it was all about Mommy.  Now it is all about daddy!

    The 1:1 time really helped!!

  • I'm so glad to hear that the suggestions were helpful and that all is well in your house!  Keep us in the loop and shout if you need anything.


  • Aww - so glad! Sometimes you have to literally remove yourself in order for your kids to see how fabulous their daddy is! So glad this worked out for you. :-) A little alone time never hurt moms either. ;-) 

  • Great news! Glad to hear it has turned around!