When One Parent Is Favored

Fast Fixes for Favoritism

Here are some common flash points and how to handle them.

Bathtime Waves
Problem: You always bathe your son, but now you're knee-deep in suds and he's screaming for his father.

Solution: Reassure your child that the two of you can finish without Dad (who should stay out of the room). If the episode repeats itself nightly, though, don't set yourself up for failure. Have your husband give the bath for a while.

Separation Aggravation:
Problem: You're headed out for dinner with a friend, but your daughter is screaming that she won't stay with Daddy.

Solution: Before you leave, reassure your child that she's in good hands and that you'll be back. After you depart, your husband can say, "I understand what it's like to be angry. You can calm down when you feel like it. I'll stay with you." Once she's settled down, he should offer to play with her, with a toy or game.

Running Interference:
Problem: You've just gotten home from work and are having a conversation with your spouse. Your son barks, "Daddy, go away."

Solution: Present an emphatic united front. Say, "I know it's hard to wait for Mommy's attention, but Dad is staying. That's the way it's going to be." You'll be setting limits that will help your child feel more secure.

Copyright © Reprinted with permission from Parents magazine.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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