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My 3 Y/O doesn't want to be with dad, why?

My 3 y/o's father and I broke up quickly after he was born. We both are on good terms, and he is getting married in a month to a woman I think will be great in my son's life. We don't have any custody through the court, but we share time 50/50. Recently, my son does not want to stay with his father. I know for a fact that there is no abuse going on. All he does is cry for "MOMMY, I want my Mommy", and it is quite annoying for his father, and also myself. The fathers fiance and I talk, and we are going to try to change the schedule around for more "fixed" days in a row. Has anyone else dealt with this problem, and how did you resolve it. Thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:25 AM on Jul. 24, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (8)
  • He needs routine, a fixed schedule is a good idea. And keep up the good relationship with the fiance. Your child sounds confused, he doesn't know when he's going to be where and he has no control. So at least have a routine to it.

    Answer by Petie at 11:28 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • I just want to say that you are a GREAT mom for putting your child first. I see so many women on here that are bitter and use their children as weapons or limit visitation due to money and anger. I think your son is just going through a phase. Maybe if there's things going on in your life, stress, change of your schedule, etc. He wants to be with you to spend time with you and help you. I think set days would be great for him for consistency

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:30 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Have you asked him?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:31 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • anon :31-he's 3!!!!!!!!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:33 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Well, while this happens to some degree everytime my step-daughter goes from our house to her mom's and back....I think I can relate more to when I was a child. My brother was about that age when my parents split, and he had similar displays. Perhaps a comfort blanket or special stuffed animal can be his lovie when he's missing his momma. One that both of you cuddle with when you are together, and so it smells a bit like you, can be hugged and soothe anxiety from a transition. I think it's especially important that father stays calm and in control and expresses understanding with LO. With his daddy on his side, he will soon overcome this, without an understanding daddy though he could repress the anxiety, but that's not what you want. You want more that he can feel safe and comfortable to tell you/him what he's feeling for better or worse.

    How lucky to have two parents working towards the same goal despite a split!

    Answer by BearlyXen at 11:37 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • So he is three. Is he not able to talk at all? He may be able to tell you more than you think. It could be something as simple as he doesn't like the smell at that house. You don't know until you ask.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:48 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • It is uncommon for children to separate easily from their mothers until they're around 4 --that's a range of ages from 3-5. Psychologically, children instinctively know that they need their mothers to be safe, and they don't know that our society has changed all that.

    It is stressful to be without mom at this age, and it has nothing at all to do with dad, the incoming wife or anyone's house.

    Kudos, by the way, for raising a child who is used to being heard and respected. A lot of kids by this age are so used to being moved from place to place with no regard for their feelings or reaction that they no longer protest when they're uncomfortable, afraid or lonely.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:55 AM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • My cousin had this problem with her daughter - she would freak out at her dads and want her mother. Her dad stopped taking her as much for a while, by his own choice, and when she would want her mother would call or bring her home; he also reduced how often he was taking her - during the day but no overnights or for shorter periods of time on his days, and even missing a few days. After a few months when she calmed down and stopped wanting to go back to her mom all the time, they went back on the old schedule and she was fine. She hasn't had a problem since then.

    But her father also understood that it wasn't personal, it wasn't about her not loving him, and it wasn't about who she spent more time with - she needed her mother so thats what he gave her. It also improved their relationship because now his daughter knows that she can trust her Daddy to give her what she needs, when she needs it.

    Answer by CatRose15 at 1:08 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

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