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24 Answers

I have a 16month old son. I go to work during the day 3 days a week and he stays with his father until I finish work. Dad works 6-7 days a week during the arvo. I find my son rarely listens to me but will always listen to his dad. He will bite and pinch me but never will dad. Anyone know why this could be?


Posted anonymously, 6th March 2014


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  • Kids test their parents in different ways. If you’re both very consistent in your expectations of him, this should reduce over time.


  • He could be acting out as he sees you leave him. Weirdly enough kids seem to see dad as the boss and mum as someone they can mess around with. Keep telling him ouch and that it hurts mummy and hopefully he learns, otherwise maybe if dad ever sees him to tell him its bad and that daddy will never hit mummy so hopefully he copies.


  • For whatever reason children will often push boundaries with mum but not with dad.


  • He misses you and this is how he shows it, he can’t verbalise it


  • Things will and should change as time goes on! With his dad he won’t push boundries but with mum maybe he can get away with it :).


  • My boys Is 26months and all he does is hit me, pinch bite slap but never his father we are both nearly always home so I don’t think it’s got anything to do with how much time you are there. It should hopefully just blow over.


  • what does Dad do while he minds your son. play with him.? Bit like goodies and baddies and maybe he sees end of fun when you come. Do some nice stuff and chatter with him, know it sounds like bribing but (guess what Mummy has in her bag for you? nothing big a little treat.Hope this helps


  • for whatever reasons I think children know that dad’s mean business. We do equal discipline in our house but I admit for reasons unknown the childrens reactions are always to stop immediately whatever they are doing wrong when dad speaks. When I speak it can take two or three times and result in a time out. I think at the end of the day its all about testing boundries. Be firm and always carry through with threats i.e if you do that again you will go for a time out.


  • he knows your a softy and dad would probably smack him or yell


  • dad must come across stronger … :)


  • My children also do this to me. They’re naughty for me but good for other people. They’re testing their boundaries.


  • maybe your not strong enough with him


  • He is a boy, he is little, he is a daddys boy, dad has a different tone to his voice, it is normal although unacceptable, mine are now 5 and 7 and both are good for dad and other people but are real handfuls for me when they want to be. Goodluck try timeout and if he bites you bite him back. That’s works for some. (yes I know it not in the how to be wonderful parent handbook but it does work!)


  • Kids can be difficult and act differently with people and their parents. Hopefully its a stage.


  • It is very common. Make sure you both have the same “rules” and expectations and are consistent. I am firmer on my son than my husband – I have him all day and need to be consistent, so he tends to “try it on” for Dad (and Dad often gives in!) They learn early what they can get away with and do tend to “try things out” on us as we are the ones they spend the most time with usually.


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