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NU.nl submits a parenting question to an expert or expert by experience every week.

This week: "My child just wants me."

Depending on how old your child is, there could be several reasons why your child wants everything from mom or dad.

"If it is in the toddler or toddler phase, it could be that your child is just 'testing' you and making a game of it, or your child simply goes through a phase. passes ", says Tamar de Vos, educator and psychologist at Opvoedadvies.

"If your child has passed infancy and is still exhibiting this behavior, there may be a deeper cause."

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Problems in the division of roles

Educator Marianne Langemeijer believes that, regardless of age, you should always check with yourself where this behavior can come from.

"If your child draws towards one parent, there may be something in the underlying dynamics in the family. For example, that the mother (unconsciously) assumes the role of mother and father, so that the child draws more towards the mother. wondering whether you give the father's place to your partner, or whether you actually always want to solve everything yourself and therefore take on the mother and father role without wanting to.

Sometimes a child feels that it has to take care of a parent or is afraid that something will happen to a parent.

"This may be because a child has observed relationship problems between the parents or feels and notices that something is bothering you. The parent may also feel that something could happen to the child if it is not with him or her. before the child thinks: I have to be with you, "says Langemeijer.

"Another logical explanation could be that your child pulls towards the one who is most at home, or towards the one who is least, only to get all the attention when that parent is there."

De Vos also emphasizes that in the event of constant rejection of your child, you should not start thinking: never mind.

As a result, your child can feel rejected again and visit the other parent even more.


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Family situation can also play a role

The situation you find yourself in as a family can also lead to this type of behavior.

"If your child is very close to one parent for a few weeks, for example just after moving house? It may be because your child is looking for security in times of change, which is completely normal. If the behavior fits your current situation, there is no such thing. abnormal behavior ", says Langemeijer.

"Only when you have the idea that the behavior is disproportionate and the behavior cannot be resolved, is there reason to look for the underlying reason."

Marianne Langemeijer, educator

"Only when you have the idea that the behavior is disproportionate and the behavior cannot be resolved with a simple psychological conversation, is there reason to look for the underlying reason and solutions with, for example, an educator. having been with you for a long time still does not want to go to the other parent ", says Langemeijer.

De Vos adds that it is also possible that there is no identifiable cause of your child's behavior.

"Sometimes your character just fits better with that of your child, making it prefer to be with you."

De Vos advises not to try to do everything like the preferred parent.

"That is counterproductive, because you cannot do it any better. It is also better not to enforce being together with you, because then children will start to resist. It is better to find a new, special ritual together, for example for the bedtime, so that your child rediscovers the pleasure of doing things with you. "