A mother wrote into Mothering.com’s Ask The Expert about her son’s preference for his father. Enjoy this excerpt about supporting the father/son bond.
I am sorry for your sorrow. It is so hard not to take this personally as a mother!
I would take comfort from the fact that your son prefers you dad “when you are there,” by which I could infer that you son will accept comfort and company from you when his father is not an option. Almost every son goes through a huge “daddy phase,” when their father is ALL THINGS to them; this is a natural part of child development, gender identification, and the solidification of self-identity for the boy.
And, most mothers go through a devastation during this phase; generally, this “daddy obsession” is a PHASE and things even out. As a head up, later in life, there is often a backlash, when the boy steps into his manhood and rejects his father for all the things he’s not, now that the boy is a man and can clearly see his father as such.
As much as possible, I would encourage you to make all the space in your heart for your son to gravitate towards his father for as long as your son is compelled to do so. A strong father-son bond will only serve him in his life.
Your son has enough love in his heart to love and connect with both of you. Some would argue that he feels SO secure in his attachment to you, that he has the wings to fly into his father’s arms with abandon.
If you give me a little more specific information, I may have more ideas particular to your family. How old is your son, are there other children in the family, how often are you with your son and how often is your husband with your son, has it always been this way, and are their any other extenuating circumstances that could be affecting things? Also, do you or your husband, or have you or your husband practiced aspects of attachment parenting such as baby wearing, co-sleeping, or long-term breastfeeding? (You can still have a strong bond if you haven’t done these things, I just want all the information; thanks.)
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About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today’s progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.