Why Are Children More Behaved With Dad?

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Recently I let my son go stay with his dad for a night; a well deserved break from all the homeschooling and yelling I’ve been doing. I picked him back up the next day and everything was all good. My son was acting like this perfect little angel, in the car that is. We had a nice little conversation and I thought we would end up having a nice chill day until we walked into the house and he turned into a little asshole; not listening, being rude to his aunt and pretty much doing all he could to test my patience. After repeating myself over and over and over, I finally asked was he this disobedient with his dad. Of course his answer was no and he couldn’t explain why he was being such a trouble maker when he was home with me.

Part of me figured because me and his dad aren’t under the same roof and most of his time is spent with me, it’s an automatic that he was going to behave himself with him, especially when visiting a new environment he wasn’t used to. But then I had to think back to the times he was spending almost every month with his dad. I never heard a bad thing about him. I figured it was a boy thing but It’s the same when it comes to girls as well, they always seem to act like perfect angels for dad and turn into a menace when mom is in the picture.

So why is it that kids seem to behave better for their dads more than the moms?

It’s simple to me; While mom is considered the “mean lady,” always micro-managing and being the enforcer around the house, dads are looked at as the cool, fun parent. When mom is away dad’s let the kids play all day, eat whatever they want, watch TV and whatever other fun stuff it is they do. It’s like being with dad is a stress reliever for the child just as much as it is for mom.

For the most part, moms (not all) tend to take on more responsibility when it comes to caring for the children and the household, while also spending long days at work, which can turn us into cranky mommy monsters. That’s like two strikes against us already and from my experience the more fed up I become with trying to get my son to act right the more misbehaved he tends to act. Whereas his dad only has full responsibility sometimes, meaning my son doesn’t know what to expect when he is in his presence, automatically leading him to act like an angel. I’ll also add that it doesn’t help when we turn dad into the bad guy by saying things like, “If you do that again I’m calling your dad” or “You better do this or I’m telling daddy,” not like we actually will or that dad will react like mommy. But by doing this we tend to put a little fear into our kids and they end up not testing dad’s patience when he is around.

Good behavior isn’t just something that happens with dad. I also noticed that when my son and niece are around other people they are amazing kids. I hear how he is such a great kid and causes no problems at all. He eats when it’s time to eat, he picks up after himself, doesn’t talk back and settles down when it’s time. I always think to myself, I taught him that but he sure doesn’t show it under my care. It can start to make you feel insecure as a mother, wondering where you went wrong but moms you haven’t and we also have to remember that children will be children.

It is said that a lot of a kid’s naughtiness when it comes to mom is pure emotion. Mother’s are every kids safe place, even as adults but as children this can come off as them being misbehaved. They have a sense of being able to be themselves around you and show emotions they are unable to show anyone else, including their dads. For us moms, it may drive us up the wall trying to figure out how to get our kids to behave but we have to take the time to understand children have emotions like us & they don’t quite bottle them up around us. No matter how big the tantrum take it as a sign of love and your child trusting you to help solve whatever problem they are having or understand the emotions they are feeling.

Don’t get me wrong, dad is still the fun one but we are their safe haven so don’t get all salty when they seem to be picking favorites.



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