My 2 Year Old Son Recently Started Calling My Brothers Wife Mama,

Updated on November 26, 2018
S.R. asks from Beebe, AR
6 answers

My 2 year old so. Seems to like to his aunt more, he clings to her, and screams at me. I feel as though he hates me and I don't know what to do.

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answers from Norfolk on

Maybe you shouldn't visit auntie for awhile.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

As others have said, you left out a lot of details.

If his aunt is a major provider of childcare, if your style of discipline involves yelling or spanking rather than redirection, if she's undermining you...those are all factors.

It's also possible that a child doesn't yet understand that "mama" is your name (if it is). He may think it's the word for "person who is caring for me" or "the word that gets me picked up and paid attention to." Does your child call you Mommy? Mama? Something else? If he doesn't call you mama, then it may be just another name he uses for her without understanding what it means to you.

What happens when you take your child from auntie's house? Is that when you go to work, and so he dreads it? Is that when he gets stuffed into a coat and a carseat? Is he being taken away from cool toys that she has? Lots of kids resist that. And what is your reaction? Do you get hurt and angry and make a face? That just makes it worse.

The thing to do with children is to outlast them. They go through phases, they scream when they are hurt or scared but also when they are frustrated and lack the language skills to express it. They are not responsible for our emotional wellbeing though, and at this age they are not doing things to hurt or anger us. Your job is to calm down, respond with love and redirection, remove him in the rare case of someone who is detrimental to his health (if auntie is a problem and undermining you), and move on to fun and loving things.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

As B says, you could visit less if this really bothers you. Or get over it. It's likely a phase. What else are you going to do.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i don't know what to do either, as there's not enough detail here to be helpful.

if your child is actually afraid of you or angry with you, why?

if your sister-in-law is spending more time with him, perhaps as a caregiver, then it's just a natural phase.

if your sister-in-law is undermining you in some way, visit less.

if you're insecure and jealous of a toddler's whimsies, toughen up and learn how to handle parenthood appropriately.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Could be a phase... Just keep loving him and being a good momma to him and he will probably get over it

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

You don't give a lot of details...does your brother's wife watch your son while you are at work? It's normal for a 2 year old to bond with their main caretaker. Just keep being a good mama to him and spend quality time with him and show him love...and he will outgrow this.

2 moms found this helpful
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