Ask Dad: Why Does She Like Dad More?

Cary McNeal

My daughter likes her father more than she likes me. I know she loves me, but she clearly favors him. Am I wrong to be offended by this?

We feel what we feel. I don't know that right or wrong have anything to do with it. You're human and it hurts your feelings. Seems normal to me.

Not long ago, my daughter told her mother, "I love my Daddy. I like you a lot, Mommy, but I love my Daddy." My wife laughed when she told me the story, but I still worried about her feelings being hurt.

Daddy's girl
It happens. "Daddy's little girl" is a real phenomenon, just like "Momma's boy." The reasons are numerous. In my case, my child has always responded to men more than women, so I'm the beneficiary of that. In many homes, especially ones with SAHMs, the child and mother spend more time together, so when Dad walks in the door, it's someone new to play with, someone who's not trying to make them clean up their rooms or do homework, at least not right away.

Then there's the whole Freudian opposite-sex, Oedipus/Electra complex theories, which I won't get into. You've heard them all, anyway.

Whatever the reason, it happens and yes, it can hurt. But you said it yourself -- you know that your daughter loves you. Isn't that what really matters?

There's an old expression: "Daddy laugh, Momma cry." It means that it's fun times when Dad's around, but when the kid is sad or hurt or hungry or scared, guess who they run to? Right. Momma.

It's the same in my house, too. That's why I don't worry too much about my child favoring me more sometimes. I know that she needs her mother just as much as she needs me (if not more), and it takes both of us to raise her. You can take comfort in that fact as well.

Do you experience this in your house, too?

Read More