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<p>And it's killing me! This apathy is horrible. I'd be way happier dealing with "I hate you Mama!" but that's not what we have here.</p>
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<p>He's been on this kick of "I want Dad, where's Dad? It's Dad's turn to read me stories..." so a lot of Dad preference, which is just fine. He swings like a pendulum, crazy for one and then, six months later, crazy for the other. Yup, still waiting for the swing back and it's not happening...</p>
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<p>This is really getting to me though. It started with, you know, it's Mama's turn for bedtime stories and no, he wants Dad. Literally goes to bed <span style="text-decoration:underline;">crying</span> because Mama was there instead of Dad. Then this evolved into, "Well, I don't love Mama, I only love Dad." Which hurts, but is ridiculous. And he's gotten to understand that. So the point we are at now is "I love Mama, but I don't like her. I like Dad AND I love Dad." Several weeks have gone by and, I'm sorry, but it hurts my feelings. <span><img alt="crap.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/crap.gif"></span></p>
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<p>There's nowhere to go from here. I honestly think he just doesn't like me. I don't know why. I'm sure Dad is more fun, or whatever, but it's not like our relationship is plagued with issues or anything. DH and I also discussed maybe that he gets a lot of adult female attention at preschool (duh, all the teachers are women) and maybe just really wants some quality male interaction at home, but still, where does that leave me?</p>
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<p>Okay, so... long winded, but here's the issue - how do I deal with it? I know common knowledge is that he's "doing it to get to me" or what not, as in the "I hate you" advice club, you aren't supposed to show that it bothers you because the kid is looking for a rise.</p>
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<p>But with this, it's so... I don't know... truthful. If he doesn't like me he doesn't like me. And I feel like GD calls for me to respect his opinion. Like if he doesn't like cabbage, I wouldn't make him eat it. So, theoretically, same goes for not liking me. I did go so far as today, I was just fed up with it and done listening to how much he "doesn't like" me, like enough already! So I picked him up and we had a face-to-face stern conversation where I explained that his feelings are his but that it's not okay just to tell people you don't like them. It's mean and we are not mean. Kind of the preschool version of "if you can't say something nice..." and he seemed to respond well to that.</p>
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<p>And then tonight, going to bed, he said it on two separate occasions, very quietly, under his breath even, "I want Dad. I love you but I don't like you. I love Dad and I like Dad. I want Dad..." repeated a few times. This hurts my feelings! So I'm just going natural consequences at this point of the night. I said "I love you and I like you DS. Goodnight." and left the room. Because when you tell people that you don't like them, they won't be around much longer - natural consequences in my book. Checked on him in 10 mins and same thing happened. Same things said, by both parties.</p>
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<p>And then he fell asleep on his own. I didn't even parent him to sleep, like we always do! This hurts! What am I supposed to do? Does he really not like me? Should I be trying to "get" him to like me more? Should I be ignoring it? Doing the natural consequences like I am? What!?!? <span><img alt="help.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/help.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p> <span><img alt="hug2.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug2.gif"></span>DD went through a very similar phase at that age. I think you responded as well as anyone could, by just calmly leaving the room. You're right about the pendulum eventually swinging the other way, but yeah, it's rough waiting for that to happen!</p>
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<p>DD is 5 now. After liking dad only, then liking me only, she now is pretty even in her regard for both of us, finally. I hope this phase ends for you sooner rather than later!</p>
 

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<p>My dd did the exact same thing when she was 3.5. It was a tough time in my life for other reasons -- my mom was very sick and I was spending a lot of time with her in the hospital, and I blamed myself for somehow alienating dd. But in talking to other people, I think it was just a stage. We went with it and I began to enjoy the free time in the evenings while daddy was doing bedtime.</p>
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<p>Now, at just over 4 years, she is back to preferring mommy, although she will happily let daddy do bedtime sometimes and loves playing with either of us.</p>
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<p>No matter what your ds says or does, he loves you and will come back to wanting you. He's just exploring the power of his words and actions. Enjoy watching him and your dh bond!</p>
 
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