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My wife and I have two children: a 2.5-year-old girl, and an almost 8-month-old boy.

The girl loves her mother and snuggles her and is affectionate towards her...when I'm not around. However, when I am around, it is usually pretty obvious that she favors me. For example, sometimes I'm the one who has to perform certain tasks (get her things, comfort her etc.). Other times when she's sad or if I'm dealing with the boy, my wife will ask if she (the daughter) wants to go to her, and she'll refuse.

I think sometimes it's not a big deal to my wife, but other times I can tell that it bothers/upsets her. The boy is the happiest baby I've ever seen in my life; he's usually pretty happy to see either of us, but he is much more physically affectionate with her (he'll grab both sides of her face and firmly pull her towards his face so he can "kiss" her over and over again) than he is with me.

I don't mind if she's his favorite, but is there anything that can be done to help split the toddler's affection more evenly?

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It's a phase. You and your wife need to be adults, and realize that it doesn't mean anything. Things will likely be different in 6 months.

Mine was like that too...usually calling out for my spouse, being the stay at home parents. Then a few months ago, she realized that I was more physically affectionate than my spouse, so now I am the "cuddlebug", and get called for snuggles and soothing about equally.

  • Granted, she's our first, but it seems like it's been going on longer than "just a phase". – John Doe Feb 26 '18 at 19:27

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