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I want to play with Dad...me and Dad are boys. Rejecting attachment to Mom.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My son is 2 1/2. He within the last couple weeks has started to notice and talk about the fact that he and his dad are boys, and me and his sister are girls. From a cousin he got the idea that girls can't run fast or play soccer. I have corrected this error. But, something is persisting, and even getting worse, in that my son has started to say that he doesn't like me or his sister. Whenever his Dad is around, he wants to play with him to our exclusion. 

 

He doesn't go to preschool and has not been exposed to TV, so I am not sure where he is getting this need to differentiate between the sexes like this. I guess his sister went through this in her own way, preferring women and girls, but we actively work on it-- I don't buy in to the stereotypes and think that all humans can and should relate to one another by the person they are and not the sex. But, I know our culture is completely imbued with signs about what it is to be male or female that kids absorb despite my personal feelings. 

 

My question is this a natural stage, trying to differentiate himself from me his primary caregiver, as part of becoming independent? It was a different process for my daughter because she didnt have to claim a sex different from mine. So, it wasn't as dramatic. I should mention that I am a SAHM but work freelance and sometime (like now) when I am working more (and my husband takes care of the kids), I have noticed that my son has coped by ignoring or rejecting me upon return.

 

To be fair, his sister is bossy, and I have to run the house and tuck work in here and there in addition to caring for the kids, so don't play as much as Dad does. 

 

post #2 of 8

They do make temporary favorites from time to time, and it will change from one of you to the other. Also, they naturally notice and become aware of gender as they get older. It isn't caused by TV or anything. It's just a developmental stage.


Try not to worry about it. He still loves you - he's just learning about other relationships and gender, and those two developmental stages have combined and turned into this.

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

They do make temporary favorites from time to time, and it will change from one of you to the other. Also, they naturally notice and become aware of gender as they get older. It isn't caused by TV or anything. It's just a developmental stage.


Try not to worry about it. He still loves you - he's just learning about other relationships and gender, and those two developmental stages have combined and turned into this.

I totally agree with this. I think 2 totally normal developmental stages just happened to coincide & this is the result. I would try not to make a big deal out of it & I'm sure it will pass quickly on its own.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

They do make temporary favorites from time to time, and it will change from one of you to the other. Also, they naturally notice and become aware of gender as they get older. It isn't caused by TV or anything. It's just a developmental stage.


Try not to worry about it. He still loves you - he's just learning about other relationships and gender, and those two developmental stages have combined and turned into this.

I totally agree with this. I think 2 totally normal developmental stages just happened to coincide & this is the result. I would try not to make a big deal out of it & I'm sure it will pass quickly on its own.



I absolutely agree. This sounds totally normal for his age. My DS is 2.5 and it is all about Daddy right now.

post #5 of 8

Isn't it so hard when your own baby says things like that? 

 

Right now, my ds (2.5) is "Dadas baby. Not mamas baby." and I've learned the best response is, "Of course you are Dadas baby. Dada loves you!" and he smiles and runs off. He has recently given in a bit and let me say he is "Mamas papa." lol. 

 

Just go with it. If he says he doesn't like you or his sister, can you say something along the lines of, "Aw, well, I like you!"  ?

 

 

post #6 of 8

If dad's the one who plays with him, it's not surprising he'd develop a preference for dad.  It might just be that gender rolls are the only way he can understand to express it.  He may also be experiencing the idea that girls are busy (sister is bossy and not much fun and mommy's got a lot of work to do) and boys have more time to play.  That might factor into it too.  It's really hard to say with a kid that young.  Plus, a lot of kids go through phases where they don't want to spend as much time with their primary care taker, or where they value their own gender's company over the opposite.  It's all perfectly normal.

 

If it persists longer-term, I'd just counteract that with showing him that girls do all the same cool stuff as boys do.  That might be a long way off though.  And there is some truth to gender differences.  For physical reasons, most adult women can't run as fast as an adult male.  They're not known for having the same upper body strength, things like that.  These aren't necessarily bad lessons to learn if he's still stuck on his gender inequality thing in a couple of years.

post #7 of 8

Definitely seems like a normal thing to me. I read once that by 3 most children strongly identify with one gender & as part of that process they will actively disassociate from the other gender for awhile.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks all. 

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