Teaching Toddlers About Playing Favorites Isn’t Easy
Favoritism is an inevitable part of being a toddler. At some point in every parents life there toddler will favor one or the other of their parents. Unfortunately, neither place is enviable. If you are the parent that is in favor, your name could be called every 5 minutes. If you are the parent that is out of favor, they won’t even know that you are home.
You play with me! Please? (Teaching toddlers is never easy)
Teaching toddlers that both parents are equally important is a hard task to carry out. If you are the preferred parent the best thing you can do is to get out of the house and leave your child with the other parent for a while. It will allow them to try to bond and hopefully teach the child how important both parents are.
The preferred parent can also try saying good things about the other parent. Try saying things like, “Daddy/Mommy really misses and loves you when they are gone.” It will help reaffirm the bond between the parent and the child.
In our home my son is going through one of these stages. I have become the lucky recipient of most favored. I feel it is a privilege being chosen but it is often emotionally draining. I didn’t know the words “dada” could be said so often in such a short span of time. I love my son but it is one phase I will be happy to have over.
Yesterday was one of those emotionally draining days and by the time my wife got home I was ready for some “me” time. I knew that she also needed some time with our son. As I was leaving he asked me to play trains.
Teaching Toddlers in Action
Xan: Dada play with me! (huge big grin)
Me: Dada is getting ready to leave. I will be back later. Momma wants to play with you now. (thinking to myself teaching toddlers isn’t fun)
Xan: No! Dada play! (actually gives me, “the look”)
Me: No Xander…I can’t play now but momma wants to play. She likes to play with you! (hope and optimism in voice)
Xan: No! You stay! Momma go to work! You play! (adamant tone….he’s not giving)
Me: No Xan, I am going to go now. I will see you later. I love you! (Have hope in voice and dread in the back of mind)
Xan: No! NO! NOOO! (anger in voice)
Me: Bye Xan, dada loves you. (I give Xan a kiss and leave)
It wasn’t easy for me to leave but it felt good at the same time. I dreaded leaving Melissa with our son that was breaking her heart but I knew that she would be okay. They needed the time together as much as I needed some time alone.
No one ever said that teaching toddlers would be easy. I know that it is hard work, long hours and little money (if any.) The reward comes in the form of love and knowing they will grow up to become a good person.
0 points Xander for not wanting dada to go out, 1 point for dada for being the favorite and trying to get Xander and momma to bond, 1 point momma for not getting upset about not being the favorite
Today there is a feature article I wrote at The Real Matt Daddy in the latest addition of Real Fatherhood Stories be sure to check it out!
, span of time