7 answers

Son Not Wanting Dad Around Prefers Mama

Hi Mamas,

Within the last 6 months my oldest son (3.5) has become EXTREMELY "mama orientated". He only wants me for everything. He doesn't want my husband (his dad) around. He can be very hurtful and blunt as most 3 year olds are. I feel awful for my husband. He tries to do really fun things with him, but my son refuses. We both disipline so its not a matter of him not liking him because of that. I'm just wondering if this is just a normal phase. Has anyone else experienced this?

Thank you,

What can I do next?

More Answers

Be patient. Especially Dad, he'll have to be an adult and let those comments pass without taking it to heart. Later on you can laugh at some of the silly things he said. It's a phase. Dad, pls dont push away because you feel rejected. Mom, your turn will come!

Been there, dealt with that. Still dealing with it sometimes but not so constantly these days, he's 7 now.

2 moms found this helpful


My 3.5 year old daughter is the same way. My daughter is also very hurtful towards him,and it makes me feel terrible! I also have a young second child. All of this occurred before she was born (as it seems with you) but maybe they knew things were changing with mommy and that's what brought on the behavior change?? Just a theory though. I'm hoping it's just a phase, but I am concerned about their relationship (he seems much closer to our younger daughter now). I try to give them alone time, which seems to work, until she's back around me again. Sorry I don't have any good advise for you. I just wanted to let you know someone else is experiencing the same thing! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


I have a nearly six year old that did the same thing beginning at about the same age (3ish). He has just recently grown out of it. Just remain positive when he says negative things about dad. And ALWAYS have dad say that he always loves him even when your son says that he prefers you. I think it is just a phase and it too will pass. Hang in there!


1 mom found this helpful

Besides the fact that this is a normal phase about this age, you also have a new baby to complicate things. He sees baby getting your attention, which used to be just for him. He may be jealous, and is acting that out by demanding your attention. He knows by now that he can have Daddy's undivided attention if he wanted it, but yours is hard to come by. Make sure your husband knows that he should ignore any comments your son makes. Maybe he could try taking him on a special outing to the park or the ice cream shop. This phase will pass in time.

1 mom found this helpful

to me obviously if both parents are around, kids will choose one over the other....
have you tried having your husband take your son out of the house without you around (even if your son kicks and screams his way to the car)?
have you tried to go out for a while and leave them alone?
i do know that certain ages seek female attention and certain ages seek male attention. i don't remember which for age 3, yet it could just be that he's wanting female attention now.
also, make sure you are ok with the separation between you and your son, if you give any small sign that you need him he will pull to you. i.e. when you leave him with dad, don't give dad a bunch of instructions, just give your son a quick kiss and say goodbye, have fun with dad and Leave without turning back or showing any hesitation.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like it could be a phase. I would give him some breathing room from forcing him to hang with his dad for a few weeks. Then have your husband take him out just one on one. Hopefully once the phase passes they can re-connect!! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We went through the same thing at about the same age. My son ONLY wanted mommy. It broke my husband's heart. But when dad was around and there was a situation when my son needed me, dad would always come too. We wouldn't force him to go with dad, but made sure that dad was always there so our son new his daddy loved him just as much as mommy did. I would say that as long as your hubby keeps letting your son know that he loves him...the best thing to do is to wait it out. It is a phase that will work itself out.

1 mom found this helpful

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