3 year old cries when I pick him up from preschool, cries for daddy. Who else experiences this

(4 Posts)
theringleader Thu 07-Mar-13 23:50:50

I am divorced and split set days during the week with my son. My sons dad picks him up 3 days a week from school, and I pick up one day, my son is there 4 days and home with me 4 days. For several months my son cries when dad is not picking him up from school and cries to go to dads house. Usually he cries until we get to the car then hes ok. Today he cried 10 minutes before I even got there, the teacher doesnt know why either. She supposed he has more fun with Dad? I am an active parent to my son and we do different activities at my house, dad has more "guy" activites involving tools etc... I feel rejected and a failure and my son does not love me.

mummy2benji Fri 08-Mar-13 08:49:47

Oh bless you sad you are not a failure. Kids know just how to tug at the heartstrings and when they are tired and fractious is the worst time. Ds (now 4) has often done this - cried for daddy when he is with me, but cries for mummy when he is with daddy! You don't know that he doesn't want you when he is with his dad but his dad is unlikely to tell you that. Creche pick up is a difficult time because they are tired and overexcited and have probably been wondering for a while when you are going too come for them before you actually arrive. Ds could be a nightmare when I picked him up, anything could set him off crying or making a fuss. He isn't like that usually. He's also improved a lot over the past year and grown up now that he is at nursery. Don't feel you have to change your parenting style - being a good parent is not all about having fun. Fun is important, but not the be all and end all of parenting. Children also need boundaries and discipline and routine and learning to play by themselves when you can't be with them constantly. Try not to take it personally, your ds loves you because you are his mummy. Mummies are special and he only has one of those! Things will get easier I am sure. Take care.

MrsWinklepicker Fri 08-Mar-13 08:50:44

I don't know if it is the same or not, but my DD went through a phase aged 2.5 of only wanting daddy all the time, and crying if I picked her up (might not be exactly the same as we are not separated), it was a really difficult time, I felt so hurt and rejected, not to mention humiliated collecting a child from nursery who doesn't want their mum!
But it was just a phase and now at 3.5 it is entirely the other way round, so I hope it is for you too :-)

Skiffle Fri 08-Mar-13 09:48:42

Don't feel a failure, your son does love you. My circumstances aren't the same as I'm not divorced but I think it's quite a normal thing that children do regardless of parent separation. FWIW my DD went through a phase of only wanting daddy, when I used to bring her home from nursery she would sit on the doorstep and cry, refusing to go into the house. In the morning she would cry for daddy (he was at work) and shout that she didn't want me to get her up. It didn't make me feel great! But it was just a phase. It must be very hard for you to hear but I'm sure it's just a phase rather than him preferring to be at his fathers.

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