What Do You Do When Your Child Loves Your Spouse More Than You?

Content Team

After the birth of my daughter, we were always at home together and she knew me better than her dad.

She would prefer it if I am involved in everything she wanted to do. From meal times to when she wanted to be comforted. I loved it but it was so exhausting to have her focus on me. She left her dad free. Soon after weaning her off the breast, she began to slowly turn towards her dad.

He seemed to be the fun one. I am sure you can relate to having to be the one who spends more time with your child, then being strict becomes the order of the day.

I suddenly lost my attraction in my child’s eyes, her dad became her knight in a shining armour. When she hears the sound of his car horning, she would run downstairs with all smiles to welcome her dad. As soon as 'daddy' arrives, I become the invisible one. Sometimes I get jealous of him and I wonder why she seems to love him better than me, even when I spend more time with her than he does.

Are you in my shoes? The fact that your child prefers you to your partner is a normal stage of a child’s development. At this point, your child’s frontal cortex is still developing and she cannot concentrate on two parents at the same time so she picks one per time.

Here are some tips that will help you overcome the child developmental challenge that many parents face.

1 Review the type of relationship you have with your child. Although children are attached to the parents that spend more time with them, sometimes the reverse is the case. If the preference for your partner is because you spend less time, you need to create more time or the little time you have to make it worthwhile for your child. You can play games and tell stories.

2 View your child’s attitude in a positive light. You need to realize that it is a good thing that your child is bonding with your partner. For me, I have always wanted my daughter to have a good relationship with her dad. So now that it is happening, I feel good about it except for the occasional jealousy jab I feel. I tell myself this to will pass. It is just a phase.

3 Have fun together; do not leave your partner alone in the business of fun making. Dividing parenting your child to the strict one and the fun one does not help. Discuss with your partner so that both of you can merge this two areas together. Therefore, there would not be the disparity in differentiating between parents. If you are the strict one, deliberately chose to play regularly with your kids and they will begin to love you back.

4 Do not force yourself on your child. As much as it is good to get closer. You also have to discern where it is necessary to give them space, smothering them with attention can further put them off. Just reassure them of your love.

Dear rejected parent, no matter how frustrated you are right now, remember that this is a phase in your child’s life. It does not mean your child does not love you. For the favoured parent, you need to help put your spouse in the spotlight and correct bad behaviour towards your spouse so your child does not develop a long-term parent preference attitude.

Share your experience with us. Are you the rejected or the favoured parent?