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AIBU to refuse to ignore my son

(45 Posts)
Lovebeingmama Thu 03-Nov-16 23:51:54

Our son is 2 years old and (at the moment) strongly prefers me to daddy.
If I am in the room, he has to be next to me. If I walk out he runs and holds my hand. We are very close but it can be a little annoying at times.
However, my husband has started to get very frustrated and will try and hold my son so he stays with daddy. Every time this results in a screaming fit as our son tries to get away to be near me.
I've tried to get them closer by encouraging 'father and son' time, with me not being present.
However, recently my husband has asked me not to hold our son when he moves away from daddy and comes to me. I have refused to do this, as I don't want our son to feel rejected. My husband thinks that this will help our son develop a better bond with him. AIBU to tell him to no?

Thinkingblonde Fri 04-Nov-16 00:03:59

Your DH needs to read up on behaviour and development in babies and children. What he is asking you to do could cause anxiety in your son. I think he's being quite cruel in holding him to the point of causing distress to the little boy.

baconandeggies Fri 04-Nov-16 00:06:12

No, you're not being unreasonable. His daddy is being unreasonable and ignorant if he thinks that physically forcing your son to stay near him will help. He needs to read up on separation anxiety. It's a normal phase and it will pass. Daddy should be grown up enough to cope with it ffs.

blowmybarnacles Fri 04-Nov-16 00:31:06

Parenthood isn't a popularity contest.

BlondishBear Fri 04-Nov-16 00:39:16

Am currently in a similar position except my DS is only 1 yr old. DS will always choose me over DH and I think that's normal especially for little boys. You always here about mummys boys and daddys girls, and not the other way around.
Am sleeping in DS' room so DH can get some undisturbed sleep, as DS is a terrible sleeper (we both work full time). DH has decided enough is enough and I should just leave DS in his cot all night no matter how much he cries. I cant bear the thought of just letting my little boy cry all night by himself. I get that my DH feels left out but at the end of the day he's and adult and can look after himself, unlike DS.

Atenco Fri 04-Nov-16 00:57:59

Agree with Thinkingblonde. I think your dh's behaviour will just make your son even more clingy.

leanback Fri 04-Nov-16 01:00:16

I think most kids go through the stage of massively preferring one parent right? Your dh needs to get a grip, he's 2.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 04-Nov-16 01:05:30

Tell your DH that the more effective way of encouraging a strong bond with a child is by taking responsibility for their day to day care needs and meeting those without drama and silliness and the rest then follows.

YANBU you cannot force a bond because you desire one

pooh2 Fri 04-Nov-16 01:06:01

I think DH is being VERY unreasonable! 2 yr olds always go through phases like this!

ThisIsReallyNotMyName Fri 04-Nov-16 01:08:59

Your DH needs to understand this will make your DS more anxious and want to be with you more. He'll grow out of it in time. He's still so young. (Your DD not DH grin)

5OBalesofHay Fri 04-Nov-16 01:11:41

I think you should go out and leave them to get on with it. He's his dad.

Drmum123 Fri 04-Nov-16 03:49:08

My two year old was like this with my husband. He is our third child and the first two never showed a strong preference. However, my husband was a sahd for the first two, whereas i took a year's may leave and then went part time with the third. My husband is a wonderful dad and i could see he was hurt and upset by the behaviour. Also, conversely whilst i enjoyed the close relationship with my two year old, whenever we were splitting duties (ie bedtime) husband took the elder two and i took the baby. I started to miss that time with my elder children. however, there was no way we were going to upset the two year old unnecessarily. So we slowly built up relationship between two year old and his dad. So, for example with bedtime, we started with husband doing just my son's teeth. If he started to get upset we would say "be a good boy and mummy will do pyjamas and story and bed" he would accept this. Once happy with this we built up to husband doing his pyjamas etc. In te meantime husband spent alot of time playing with him and they developed their own little games and routines. Last night husband did all of bedtime and my son didn't ask for me, just came and kissed me goodnight happily! This is really difficult for your husband and it is hard not to feel sad and rejected, especially when it is because he loves your son so much. But making him upset won't help! He needs to get down on the floor and play with him more, build that relationship, whilst you gradually withdraw. It is all normal childhood development but doesn't make it not tough on the "rejected" parent!

milkshakeandmonstermunch Fri 04-Nov-16 04:06:41

My DD was the same at that age. Fast forward a year and daddy is her best friend! Your DH is BU. As PP said, it isn't a popularity contest. Your DS needs you both but just in different ways at the moment. Trust your instincts and give your DS all the mummy cuddles he needs.

Cucumber5 Fri 04-Nov-16 04:20:09

No he's wrong. Your husband needs to make the effort to build a bond - that won't be achieved by destroying yours. What can he personally do to imprive things. You need to continue as you are.

Cucumber5 Fri 04-Nov-16 04:22:07

Is your DH having fun and reading with DS

NovemberInDailyFailLand Fri 04-Nov-16 04:28:49

No. As pp said, he needs to build his own bond. I have boys, and often they are like this with their mothers. Just let him be near his Mum. He needs you!

Batteriesallgone Fri 04-Nov-16 04:29:27

What shitty childish behaviour from your DH. He is supposed to be an adult.

No I wouldn't ignore my child and I would be agast at the idea my DH cared more for his own ego than his child's happiness.

missmollyhadadolly Fri 04-Nov-16 04:34:42

Yes, I think your DH trying to prevent your DS from leaving will just make things worse.

However, recently my husband has asked me not to hold our son when he moves away from daddy and comes to me.

Can you explain what you mean by 'holding'? Does he come to you for a cuddle or to be picked up? Does this happen after a screaming fit from DS?

NotYoda Fri 04-Nov-16 05:12:10

This has become unnecessarily competetive

You DH needs to be reassured that it's a normal stage of development, and that pushing too much is counter-productive.

I was a SAHM but DS1 preferred his dad for a while!

I think that there's a risk, though, of you giving your son the message that there's something unsafe about his dad.

You should be able to work through this with you offering lots of reassurance to your son, your DH backing off a bit, BUT being given time alone. Children this age go to playgroup etc and are capable of settling down with different carers, so it should be possible with his dad. The emotional temperature needs to be dialled down though.

I like DrMum's post

NotYoda Fri 04-Nov-16 05:23:25


Mummy's boys etc. Not my experience with two boys. They are individuals, and the preference changes and goes up and down with age

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 04-Nov-16 06:05:00


My dd is closer to me than dh. She's never been "daddy's girl". She loves going out with daddy and is 8. Even when she was 6, she used to cry when dh took her out even though she enjoyed going to nice places with him. He takes her because I'm chronically ill and I think this is important 1-2-1 time.


Your dh is wrong. If he stops your ds from following you, he runs the risk of your ds becoming frightened of his father as he is forcibly separating him from you. Drmum has some great ideas on handling this. Parenting should always be positive. Your dh right now is acting like a spoilt 5 yr old. When your ds is perhaps a little older, and you've implemented some changes at bedtime, it would be great for your dh to take your ds out for treats eg soft play if wants to deepen a bond with him. Do expect tears when he drives off, it's normal.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Fri 04-Nov-16 06:10:37

My DD will always choose me if she can so that disproves the mummy's boy theory and has done from a young age. I know I can always calm her down. I feel sorry for my DP because he wants that really close bond with her that she shows with me but I know that will come later. He never tries to keep her away from me to the point of her being distressed though.

YANBU, I could never ignore my DD's cries for me. If I did I would potentially create a very emotionally scarred child. Giving her hugs and making her feel better is one of the best things about being her mum.

Tryingtostayyoung Fri 04-Nov-16 06:17:03

Blondish absolutely not. My DD is a through and through mummy's girl.

To the people saying that the DH should grow up/ is cruel etc I think it's really easy to say because it's not happening to you. My DD was exactly like this and over time it has gotten better although there are still things that she just won't allow DH to do like bedtime. If I'm not here she happily lets him but if I am she just won't go with him. I see the hurt and rejection on his poor face and it makes me so sad for him so I can understand that sometimes he does get a bit frustrated.

kateandme Fri 04-Nov-16 06:24:07

every 2 year old I know has limpeted on to mum.then the next year they want dad and the boys.then the girls.its fits and to him tell him to give her do what she wants to do,inclusive,together all of you.
BUT if you refuse your child that rejection will hold deep and I cant imagine that will end wont make want daddy more and so little one will feel like they have no one.and wonder why mummy doesn't want them either!
do you think its gone past a line and is a problem.youll no if it does.until then just see how things and and keep things loving as a family.dont play off against eachother it will end up wprse.

Introvertedbuthappy Fri 04-Nov-16 06:24:41

My son has been a Daddy's boy since aged 2. They have a wonderful bond, and whereas now he's 7 and we have interests we share and spend A LOT of time with each other, DH is still the one he wants when he's sick, when he has a hospital stay, and when he gets in from work he bounds up to him like a puppy and jumps into his arms. I think unless you have been that rejected parent it's really easy to say stuff like 'it's not a competition'. Sure it's not, but being rejected hurts!
I think you need to think about the holding him when he runs to you - could you just be reinforcing the idea that you can 'save him' from Daddy? In your son's eyes you may be reinforcing your bond at the expense of your DH. When my son uses to do this DH used to pick him up, hug him and bring him over to me and say 'we love you Mummy's and said excitedly 'family cuddle' and we all hugged each other. After a while DS1 liked shouting 'family cuddle' and we'd all run in together. It was a way of reinforcing that we all love each other, not that it was he and DS against the world IYSWIM.

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