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My two year old daughter has a clear preference for her dad. Most days I get it that this is a phase and doesn't mean she doesn't love me. But some days it really makes me question myself as mom 🙁

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it's just a phase. She'll grow to be more neutral and go to you when she has real women's problems. Just keep being a great role model and express your love for her. She needs that more than she knows.

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My husband is the same way with my girls - they love that kind of play, but they also love me singing, reading, and cuddling. It’s just different, not either or. If you really think it’s a preference, I’m sure it’ll change one day soon... just keep doing what you do and don’t stop showing her you love her too!

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I have this same twinge of jealousy over the relationship my husband and daughter have but a psychologist friend of mine told me that sometimes it’s actually a testament to the comfort a child feels for the “left out” parent. She said a lot of times a child will seem to ignore the parent that they actually feel most comfortable with; like they know you will always love them unconditionally so they don’t have to try. Now, that might have just been my friend trying to make me feel better but it worked and now I try to remember that every time I feel a little out-in-the-cold.

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Her dad has a rough and tumble play style and they run around and chase each other, jump around, etc. And she really loves that. My style of play is more sing songs, etc. It just feels like she loves her dad so much more.

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She loves both of you differently, that’s all. You’re doing great, I can tell you love her so much. And how lucky is she to have a dad she loves and who loves her back? I wish my husband spent more time playing with our daughter. All he does is take her to run errands or puts her in front of the tv.

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Ugh same thing with my son. He is 8 now. When he was a baby I was his everything. Then the toddler years came and he Prefered his dad. Now he has certain preferences as to what he likes to do with us. Dad plays video games and practices sports with him. Mom cooks (he loves to help prep meals), cuddles and goes to the gym (idk why he likes coming to the gym with me vs his dad). I think is a healthy balance.

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I’ve read articles on how the different play styles of moms vs dads impacts child development... and they say it’s great that often dad has the “fun” rough and tumble style and then mom has the quieter more nurturing styles. Supposedly they benefits a lot from experiencing both. Plus I’d say how wonderful that she has a very involved dad who loves her and whom she loves! Not all kids have that. But I do think it’s natural to feel a touch “jealous.” But i imagine dad was jealous of your relationship when she was a tiny baby, now it’s his turn :)

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Thank you both for giving me much needed perspective!

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