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I don't like Mummy, I only like Daddy

(13 Posts)
normanthehairdresser Mon 21-Sep-09 20:49:46

DS is 3.4 and we adopted him at 20 months old. He's just started nursery school (3 mornings/week). DH and I care for him jointly - in theory 50/50, but in practice DH's job is such that I end up doing many weekends and bedtimes, and DH has an afternoon each week where they visit his parents and DS plays with them. So more like 60/40 or 70/30 split.

DS has always favoured Daddy (who is fantastic with him). His relationship with me has been more variable. of late he's become more hostile to me - won't let me kiss him for example, even at bedtime. I hoped it would improve with the summer holidays ending. However when I came in from work tonight he really didn't want me interrupting his game with Daddy, and I got some real verbals - 'I don't like Mummy, I only like Daddy' etc etc

That said, I have just done 5 days of solid childcare (DH having a work crisis) during which we have had a lovely time and he has been wonderful company.

very sad mummy

Is this within normal toddler range of behaviour? Whether it is or isn't, any advice on dealing with it apart from time and infinite patience?

Lizzylou Mon 21-Sep-09 20:51:03

Gosh yes, my 3.5yr old swings between the two of us, fear not.

noshouting Mon 21-Sep-09 20:59:45

Hi there,
please don't worry it is normal in this house too, my 2.5 year old DS wont even let his Daddy get him up in the morning, he sinks back down shouting "Mummy do it". I get to wipe all snotty noses too.... [lucky me emotion}

normanthehairdresser Mon 21-Sep-09 21:07:43

Hmm yes - oddly enough the one task for which I'm universally favoured is taking him to the loo.


Thanks - good to know this is to some extent the nature of the beast. It's very easy to jump to extravagant conclusions when your child is adopted.

cakefaced Mon 21-Sep-09 21:29:31

Yes normal I'm afraid. My daughter delights in telling me that she prefers nanny/daddy/best friend without any idea that it might be upsetting. She is 3 and 3/4. She is more likely to do this after I have shouted at her (as I do when we are both tired and irritable). Its not personal!

MrsMerryHenry Mon 21-Sep-09 21:32:59

At age 3 children typically identify with the same sex parent (it's what all that oedipal bollocks is meant to be about - after oedipus realises the mother obsession is all a sham he decides he prefers Daddy as Daddy has a penis and so won't cut his off, unlike mummy hmm - see? Freud was a nut).

Anyway, don't worry - and do talk to your adoption support group/ social worker about this as they will have encountered it millions of times. Also adopting an older child brings far more complications than adopting a baby, as you well know. So expect your complications to be that bit more complicated from time to time.

maggiemoon Mon 21-Sep-09 21:33:33

agree - normal. DD (nearly 3) wont let me take her to bed, get her dressed, read her stories, bath her or take her downstairs in the morning. She just screams 'I WANT DADDY TO DO IT'. Was a bit miffed at first but actually realised it's VERY handy wink

normanthehairdresser Tue 22-Sep-09 09:29:54

Thanks everyone!

Normal for Planet 3 year old, then.

He has seemed very happy to see Mummy today, anyway (working at home, Daddy in charge!)

colditz Tue 22-Sep-09 09:31:29

It's perfectly normal, brush it off.

Don't let anything a child says hurt your feelings, you're an adult.

potplant Tue 22-Sep-09 09:44:45

Mine learnt all that 'I don't like you, you're not my friend' stuff at nursery.

You're probably being a bit too senstive, but I know how hard it is the first time they say they don't like you. I cried!

Have you tried some games where you can all play things like snap. We have a shopping game that you need to have 4 players for and its great as everyone gets involved.

As others have said not being the favourite of the day can be very handy when they are crying in the middle of the night, when you want to read the paper with a cup of tea..

Make the most of it.

CommonNortherner Tue 22-Sep-09 09:45:31

Yep, normal! Wait till he gets to 5, ds gives us weekly ratings on how much out of 100 he loves us!

potplant Tue 22-Sep-09 09:48:25

I am mostly the favourite, but I always lose in a contest of 'who do you love best, Batman or Mummy?'

rachels103 Tue 22-Sep-09 21:02:16

I have it many many times a day - dh and I can both be there and within 10 mins he can have switched between who he loves and doesn't love several times. It really hurt when I was working full time and dh was the primary carer, as I thought I'd permanently damaged my relationship with him, but now realise it's just the fickleness of 3 year olds.

I tend to say 'ok then' and carry on with what I was doing. Or make a joke of it and say something along the lines of..."oh really, even when I take you to the park, make you lunch..." etc. etc. which usually results in giggles and "well maybe I do love you a little bit mummy."

Lol at potplant - reminds me of that old advert - "Daddy or chips?"

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