Is your child choosing one parent over the other? Does she only want Mom to put her to bed? Or, may only Dad pour their milk? Most children will go through a phase (probably more than once) of preferring one parent to the other, and possibly even excluding one parent or caregiver. While this can be quite hurtful for the parent who is being excluded, it is helpful to know this, too, is a phase and will pass. Preferring one parent or adult to another, is actually considered healthy development and common among children of all ages.
Preferring one parent to the other can typically be attributed to the attachment process. The attachment phase begins at birth and continues throughout our lives and it is an important process for your child to learn. The purpose of attachment is to find one person who provides the child with ultimate support and trust. While your child is learning the attachment process, along they way there might be some exclusions of a parent or caregiver. The exclusion of a parent may fluctuate back and forth between parents at different times depending on the child’s need to identify with a parent based on different developmental stages and needs.