Why Kids Can Be Naughty With Their Mothers and Super Sweet With Everyone Else

Your kid is being a nicest baby ever with their daddy, their granny, at daycare, on the playground, or anywhere else, but when you come around it’s the start of an endless tantrum. If this sounds familiar and if you keep asking yourself, “What am I doing wrong?” stop torturing yourself: it’s not about you. Kids have their reasons, and these reasons are actually good.

Here at Bright Side we found out why kids tend to misbehave when their mom is around, and here’s what the experts say.

A tantrum is a mode of communication, and this is how your kid says, “I need you, mom!”.

If your kid’s speech is not that elaborate yet, it’s pretty natural that they try to attract your attention in whatever way they can. For any child, their mom is the source of their basic needs, be that food or safety, and that’s why they become more emotional when their mom is around. Here’s how an expert in parenting and education, Dr. Ann Corwin, explains this phenomenon:

“Mothers symbolize needs for children, and biologically, kids are wired to associate the need for food and survival with their mom. That is why kids will escalate their behavior to get attention (a connection) from their mom in any way they can. Dads, on the other hand, symbolize trust, taking risks, and playing for kids. So kids don’t get so desperate for that critical attention from their fathers since it is not an innate survival attachment.”

You are your kid’s comfort zone.

Kids don’t tend to show their whole range of emotions with people they don’t trust. If you think that your child saves “the worst” for you, their mom, that’s not actually true. They “honor” you with their tantrums and whining, because that’s the way they show you that they trust you and feel secure when you are near. So, acting up can, in fact, be the way your child says, “I feel safe and comfortable when I’m with you, Mom.”

Here’s what you can do, if your child saves all their tantrums exclusively for you.

We’ve found that it’s not actually a bad thing when your child is acting out in front of you, their mom. But should you just silently tolerate their misbehavior? Experts believe you shouldn’t. Here are some ways to teach your child how to be kinder to their mom and keep your nerves intact.

  • Accept your kid’s tantrums and don’t take them personally. Give your kid time and space for a tantrum — just make sure they don’t hurt themselves or anyone around them.
  • Give your child a chance to vent. If your kid attends daycare or school, they have to be “good” the whole day, and being themselves when they come back home is what they need. A tantrum is not the only way to vent, and you can offer some alternatives: running around, having fun in the backyard, or maybe drawing or reading a story out loud.
  • Delegate some of the chores to your partner. Once in a while, ask your partner to bathe your child or feed them so that you can relax a little bit.
  • Talk to your child and explain how you feel if they’re grown enough to understand. And don’t let them take advantage of you. Even though acting out in your presence is a sign of trust, as we’ve just learned, you should maintain and keep enforcing discipline. Help your child understand that Mommy is always there to comfort and support them, but she has feelings, and they need to be respected.

Do you have kids? Do they behave differently with you and other people?

Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit unsplash.com


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