Why is my son so good when others watch him, but bad when he is with me?

When I am away everyone tells me how good my son was when he was with them. The second I arrive he is like a completely different child, and drives me crazy! Why is he so good with others, but is so bad with me?

Submitted by twtommygirl

Hah! I wish I had a nickel for every parent who asked me this question. You're not alone! Please know that our children save their best -- AND their worst -- for those they love the most. And that's us, their parents! Studies have shown that young children keep themselves in a sort of neutral mode when they're in others's care, but really let their true selves out when they feel safe and comfortable with their mommies and daddies.


It's also part of their reaction to being left in someone else's care -- we get punished after the reunion. That's understandable -- your children wants YOU, and they have no way to control being given over to someone else for babysitting or daycare. But don't feel guilty -- being patient after a separation, and showing your child that you understand his feelings -- will help him cope better when you can't be with him. It will also show him that you respect -- and allow -- his feelings, good or bad -- which is good for his emotional growth.

Answered by heatherparents
Community Answers (4)

I feel because he knows how far he can go with you and the other people he doesn't know so he not going to try them because he feels he may get in trouble with them and also he know how to get away with things with us, so as others he don't know.
Submitted by cherylhill6

I disagree that her explanation is the normal reason for this behavior.The child does not have to be in an inviorment where they are uncomforable or don't feel safe for this to occure!After 25 years of infant/toddler care, see the below reasons that you could possibly set-up the scene to look differently. *They want 100% of your attention when you arrive, not chit chat with others.Visit later! * They don't transition to leaving in 3seconds. Let them know what the scenero will look like to exit.
Submitted by mccrarytawnie

I asked a teacher this question one time. She said, "You are doing a wonderful job of bringing him up to be a well mannered person. You have taught him to be well behaved especially for others. He likes to make you happy and knows that being good for others does that. And aren't you glad he is on his best behavior for others." So the way I see it is if you have taught them well, they will be better for someone else than for you.
Submitted by patrickdavid2