My son favours my mom over me, what do I do?

Ariana - posted on 10/07/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




I live with my mom right now (pay half of everything, just can't afford to be on my own right now). She watches my son while I go to school (she works nights) so she spends a bunch of time with him.

I find whenever we're in a room together my son

1. acts out more, and

2. favours her over me

He will cry for her and if I'm there he'll practically ignore me. He'll request almost everything from her. If we're out he will mostly refuse to hold my hand and hold onto her. He wanter HER to read the books, HER to play with HER to talk to, if she's talking to me he starts jumping all over her to get her attention.

I won't lie, it's driving me crazy. I'm pretty jealous. I mean I play with him, talk to him, get him changed, spend time with him. I do tons of things with him but as soon as she walks through the door it's like I'm invisible.

It also doesn't help that when she's busy or when she wants him to leave her alone for w/e reason instead of just handling it or getting him insterested in something else she gets frustrated and tells ME to get him away from her, so then I have to deal with the screaming child. I feel like it makes him dislike me even more because now I'm the one responsible for taking him away from his favourite. When we're at the mall and he's holding my hand and goes to take hers she just lets him. I feel like she should tell him to hold my hand instead. She KNOWS he favours her over me and pretends like he doesn't when he obviously does. She's just like oh it's fine, he likes you as much when you're not here and it's like no he doesn't.

I also find that I'll be doing something with him, like trying to get him changed or something, and he'll throw a fit and if I get frustrated and walk away for a bit suddenly she's over there saying 'what happened, are you ok, were you supposed to do that' etc etc, and ends up giving him a hug being the good guy. She'll give him a 'time-out' and either I end up enforcing it or she doesn't enforce it at all and just waits till he finishes freaking out and getting him to do something totally different to make up for whatever it was he was doing.

She doesn't do anything major so it's hard when I try to talk to her and she's just like well what was I supposed to do? Sometimes she enforces things great and for other things she lets it go where I wouldn't and ends up looking like the good person. The problem is it's subtle not blatent like I tend to hear in other peoples situations.

I'm just getting really frustrated always being second best and having her step in and be the good person. I try to get my son changed and he throws a fit and she comes over and suddenly he's fine. So she's good I'm bad.

I spend all day with him doing stuff and she walks through the door and I'm invisible and he doesn't want to talk to me or do anything with me. She wants him to leave her alone and I'M the one responsible for ripping the screaming attached child from her making me look even worse than usual. I'm just so sick of it and I want my child to like me not my mom.

I also want her to deal with him on her own without involving me and making it so I'm the one who has to take him away. I try to talk to her about some things and I feel like she's laughing at me or thinks I'm unreasonable. I told her, tell him to hold my hand and she just acts like I'm crazy. She KNOWS he likes her mom why can't she try to get him to like me? I just hate it.


Joanne - posted on 10/07/2012




Hi there.

I have found that my husband and I go through this and unfortunately it is my husband who get the ignored treatment from our three kids, especially my daughter aged 4.

Having two disciplinary people in the house requires a lot of communication and guidelines to keep things consistent for your son. Both you and your mother love your son and your son is lucky to be supported by you both.

Children thrive off of rule and routine. It is the rules that allow the kids to understand that if I throw water on the floor I have to sit on a chair, if I do it again, the same thing happens, and again.. same thing. It gives them the sense of power knowing that when they do something that they can then anticipate the reaction. Children test the rules to make sure they are still there. It is this constant security of knowing what will happen that creates long lasting relationships with your son. Kids seek out the one they can depend on, the one they can anticipate reactions from.

Sometimes a child is seeking out another adult because they are anticipating something... an outing.. treats... or they are excited to see someone new. It is not unusual to have child cry when parents arrive to pick them up from a babysitters/daycare. This has nothing to do with Mom or Dad, just it means a change of play, a re-direction of activity.

The best thing you can do for your son is reinforce the relationship with your mom while finding ways to enhance the existing bond with you and your son.

I encouraged my husband to spend more alone time with our kids because as long as I was around he was invincible to them. This meant he began to take them to get coffee with him which included a treat for them, just through drive threw at first and eventually they could go and sit. My husband became so used to me being the one the kids ran to, he lost his confidence. As he spent more time away from me.. and alone with the kids it reminded him of his strengths and it gave the kids more and more time building memories with their dad. My kids adore their dad, but with all the time I spent with them as babies it became habit to be with me.

My children will still call my name first when something happens but my husband will not step in and respond WITHOUT being called. He knows that it is normal for a child to favour one parent or another for short amounts of time before suddenly picking the other.

Give this some time. Your son will always be YOUR son. He will love you more than anyone else in his world for the rest of his life.. he can't help it, it is just the way it is. His relationship with your mother is wonderful as it is only temporary. You are not losing ground with him. You are there everyday and will be there long after you move on with your son.

Your son does not love your mom more than you by any means. He is going through what most children do and is showing a preference for play with Grandma right now. It will change.

You being the bad guy is actually a good thing. Children need rules to feel secure, to feel empowered to make decisions. Knowing what will happen when they do something wrong allows them to anticipate if a decision is a good one or not. You are actually building trust with you son each time you follow through on disciplining him.

Best of luck Mom.. you will always be the victor in the end if a choice is ever needed.

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