Stay at home mom has lost bond with 5 year old boy. Help !!

Sheppie - posted on 07/09/2012 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have written on here before but only got one reply. I really need your help here. I am a stay at home mom to a 5 year old boy. Strong willed boy (like his mother). His father is a softer gentler kind of man but certainly is good at discipline when needed.

Here it is....my son says things to me like :
"my life would be better if you were not in it mom"
"I like my dad better and always have"
"you are not my favorite person".

These are all things that have been going on for I would say 2 years.
I have done the talking to the hubby so that he is more hands on when he is home......and trying to make things more fun for me.... I let him discipline when he is home and try not to intervene....I take my son on playdates. just home from 3 days camping ( the two of us)..to which the whole time I was told " I really miss my dad....I wish dad was here instead of you". Huh? I don't get it. I really don't.

I do not spank. I never have. I use logic and try my best to remain calm when he makes me nuts. Yes I have failed and have tried to say sorry each and everytime.

I have read not to read too much into this....but 2 years of this and I am really starting to ditach.

Help me please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Lisa - posted on 07/09/2012

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How do you usually respond to his comments? Do you act hurt, or like you want to somehow earn his adoration? Do you try to play it down, like this is a normal part of becoming an older boy? Boys do go through phases of independence, and it's pretty normal for them to prefer Daddy sometimes.

I have two boys, ages 7 and 9, and sometimes they've made similar comments. It depends on the situation, but usually my responses are things like:

"Well, you don't have to like me, I'm your mom, not your friend. But you do need to be respectful when you speak to me."

"It's really ok if you like Daddy better right now. I like Daddy too!"

"Really? Would you do your own laundry? Cook your own food? Wash your own dishes? Because that could work great for me!"

"What don't you like about me today? Is it how much I love you? That I fixed your breakfast? That I'm teaching you to be responsible?"

"Well, you don't have to like me for me to love you."

Depending on the circumstances, I usually have a twinkle in my eye or a smile in my voice when I say these things, and they are often accompanied by a hug, kiss or tickle. And then I go on my way - folding laundry or whatever I need to do. They need to know I'm human, but they also like to know they can't shake me. I know who I am and what my job is - and I'm happy to remind them who they are and what their job is when needed.

Sometimes my boys need to be reminded of their place in the world, or in the family. Other times, they need to know I'm always going to love them no matter what. Sometimes, they just need to test the limits - to know that their words can affect me, or that I'll take time to listen. It's a tricky thing to read them accurately and respond appropriately. Regardless, I have told them many times that my job is to teach them right from wrong, to keep them safe and to teach them what they need to know to go out on their own some day.

If you've been responding to him the same way for two years, try something new. Let me know how it goes. I'll be praying for you.

Carol - posted on 07/11/2012

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My youngest is 9 now - it's been going on for 5 years, Just grin and bear it. There's nothing to repair. I think if you try too hard he'll see it and know that it gets to you. It will be his way of controlling you.

Carol - posted on 07/10/2012

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My youngest son has said the same thing to me since he was about 4. He adores his dad and he loves to torture me so it's a win-win for him. Do not let him get to you. He does love you too, maybe not as much. There's no reason that kids can't have favorites - we're the ones that shouldn't have favorites. I was glad that he loved his dad so much because his dad was awesome (died last month and now we're all heartbroken). I have always just told him that I thought his dad was awesome too and I can see why he loves him more. I did demand that he respect me though. His dad always tried to get him to stop saying it, but I never minded. I was the one that stayed home and disciplined all day until his dad got home - then it was a joint effort. I figure that I was boring. We always waited to do the really fun stuff for when his dad got home so dad = fun. Be glad that he has a close bond with your husband too.

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Madison - posted on 05/12/2014

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Have you ever read the Holy Bible. In that book it says u need to discipline your kids. You said u never spank your child. That is why he doesn't respect you. Was you ready to have a child? If you wasn't be sure to get books to read. If you follow these steps he will listen to you.

Vivian - posted on 05/11/2014

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I'm wondering how this is going for you now. Love the responses that remind 'us' to have fun and keep things light; i have a very difficult time doing this, esp when i feel fatigued and angry with my hubby's lack of discipline or follow through with it. He has changed, and I need to remember to keep it light. It is no easy task. # days of camping alone! You go Woman! that is really great. Your heart is in the right place. If you are sad, it is okay to show it at times, but i agree when reminded to keep it light and not get too offended. I do that too much and it gets them both upset with me. Furthering the cycle!!!! Good luck, it is okay to be sensitive, but remember to not take on his feelings, or so i try to remind myself.

Jen - posted on 11/15/2012

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Maybe (if this applies) you need to try to connect with him more on his level. I find that if you can make a kid laugh and have fun with them doing what they love, that they will bond with you - no problem. Maybe (but maybe not, i have no idea hehe) you go around the day being too serious and just need to lighten up and get silly. =) When I started doing this, it didn't take long at all and I got much closer with my kids who are all preschool and under. You have a lot of responsibility and its so easy to get caught up in all of it and forget the just be a kid yourself a little through the day. It takes time to build a relationship, don't let his negative first reactions towards you discourage you. Don't show disappointment, just brush it off with a smile on your face and gradually start doing silly things to catch him off guard. It's almost guaranteed to work. :)

Leslie - posted on 11/15/2012

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I agree with you, I would be worried if my daughter were saying that to me. have you spoke to his doctor, he may be dealing with depression-- I know a 2yr old having depression sounds crazy but it is possible. or he may have some other kind of chemical reaction. My 8yr nephew was doing the same thing to his mom, telling her he hated her, and he even told his teachers he wished his parents were dead! but she took him to the doc and found out that he has a acute form of ADHD, put him on a really low dose of meds, and he is back to his old happy self again............................ Or maybe you two just need to speak to a counselor and see why he is so angry towards you.....Maybe its not even you he is really madd at, maybe he just takes it out on you. Just keep loving him..... I would suggest that every time he says something negative to or about you, tell him something you love about him... for instance if he says I hate you-- tell him well I love you.

Sheppie - posted on 07/14/2012

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I thank you all for your words of wisdom. I am going to make a huge effort to change my approach. He just said (2 mins ago) " I don't like shopping with you. I would rather go with dad". I responded with a smile and said " you like to eat don't you?". He laughed and said "yes". So.....off we go.

Lisa - posted on 07/11/2012

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Sheppie, don't worry about being embarrassed... we all have imperfect lives and we all have our own struggles. Just because you can't see theirs doesn't mean they don't exist! (And those children who 'adore' your fellow-moms are not ALWAYS adorable!!)

Some of us need reminding that we're the grown-ups and have to act like it - which is very difficult when the little creatures we adore act wretchedly. But that's the whole point, right? They are children in need of adults to teach them how to grow up. There's very little room for laziness, which makes it all the more exhausting! :-)

I promise my advice is delivered from a position of understanding, with a smile on my face, love in my heart and a wish that I could share a cup of coffee with you. The best I can do is pray for God's wisdom for you as you change your thinking and approach. You are The Mom, you get paid the big bucks for making the tough choices and your reward will come in knowing you're doing your best and trusting the rest to the God who really is big enough and wise enough and trustworthy enough to take care of all of you.

Meanwhile, I hope you're enjoying your husband's company - he's the one you'll be with when your son grows and leaves -- so live THAT relationship, and your son will see where he fits.

Sheppie - posted on 07/10/2012

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I thank you all for your imput. I will try to look beyond this and hope for repair. It is definately me (the grown-up) that has the issue. I just never imagined that children could turn like this.
In posting this, I want you to know that this is not a new thing. It has been this way for well over 2 years now....so I guess at my wits end, I decided to write. I am too embarassed to discuss with my friends as they seem to have children that adore them.

Jamie - posted on 07/10/2012

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I don't know if I can be of any help, I have a 3yr old girl and a 10m old boy. But my daughter says a lot of the same stuff to me. I've come to the conclusion that she just really misses her Daddy. He works a lot and sometimes she will actually go 2 or 3 days without seeing him. My husband will hear a comment from her (I don't like Mommy, for example) and will gets on her very quickly telling her that it hurts my feelings. It seems to less'n the comments now, maybe you can get your husband to do the same. I let her have time alone with Daddy, go to the barn together, go get fuel, etc. I think the time alone with her Daddy actually makes her nicer to me!

Tina - posted on 07/10/2012

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Oh believe me you never lose you're bond with your son. You do go through a lot of tough times and changes. But you will never lose that bond. My brother did all this exact stuff to my mum. It's just to get attention and get there way. He use to say I hate you and all the rest like your son. Yet he's now 21 and still a mummies boy. He has his own place works fulltime yet on weekends or when he's crook guess where he's goes to mummy lol. She still does his washing. She's still has 8 kids living at home yet they are still pretty close. Mind you he still comes out with some nasty stuff once in a while. But he's still a mummy's boy. Just tell him you love him. Even when he's being miserable and driving you nuts. Or at the end of the day give him a kiss and cuddle and let him know you'll always love him.

Sheppie - posted on 07/09/2012

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You know, I have done just that. His response was " I just like him better". Then he shruggs and is into something else.

Michelle - posted on 07/09/2012

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Try sitting down and talking to him and asking him why he feels this way don't judge and listen to what he is telling you it may be something small that is bothering him.

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