Why does my 3 year old keep saying that she doesn't like her dad?

Samantha - posted on 02/27/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




My daughter is 3, almost 4, and she keeps saying that she doesn't like my husband. She doesn't say it in anger or frustration. It will just come up. Like when I say, "Dad is on his way home, are you excited?!?!" She will say, "No because I don't really like him... But I love you." She is my husband's step daughter but he has been raising her since she was barely 1 year old. We still see her biological father and she ADORES him. He is the Disneyland dad that lets her eat anything and watch anything she wants. When my husband tells her he loves her she will reply by saying she loves him too.... SO I don't get why, in casual conversation, she brings up that she just doesn't like him or love him. Just now since I have been typing this she asked him to come help her build with her train tracks in her room and he readily jumped up to play with her. It hurts him to see how she get SO excited to see her biological dad but he does understand and NEVER makes her wrong for it. Without pointing out him directly I have asked her if anyone has ever done anything mean to her, hurt her, or touched her inappropriately and she 100% denies anything like that and promised me she would tell me if anyone ever did. I could NEVER imagine my husband ever doing anything like that but I don't want to be the naive person that misses something either! HELP!


Erin - posted on 02/28/2012




It's good that you're asking her those questions but from what you described about her actions toward your husband, I think it's just normal 3yo stuff. She's figured out that she doesn't HAVE to like everyone, so she's trying out this discovery on someone "safe." Your daughter gets so excited about her biological father because he does just the fun stuff with her. My husband is currently deployed and when we go to our church, my two boys (4yo and 2yo) quickly leave me to go to other people that they know. They get really excited about hanging out with "Uncle" Jeff because Uncle Jeff does just the fun stuff with them. I would just remain aware of the situation but not make a big deal out of it.


View replies by

LaLasha - posted on 03/11/2012




It's a phase and she doesn't see her bio dad all the time so she thinks if she rejects him in any way he will just leave and never come back she knows your husband is in for the long haul. It's a compliment just very deeply vailed.

User - posted on 03/01/2012




I pretty much agree with Erin.

When our son was 3 he blatantly said to my husband and I that he loved his Andmaw more than us. Why? Because she did all the fun stuff when he spent the night with her.

While it hurt that he'd say stuff like that, my MIL reassured me that it would pass. Her older grandson, Everen, did the exact same thing at that age.

Have you asked her why she doesn't like him? Or explained to her that it hurts his feelings?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms