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My wife and I are feeling hurt, because my 5-year-old son said the other night that he loves his grandma (my wife's mom) more than my wife. He said this to her face. She has been in a very bad place ever since. Does this happen to you and how do you deal with your child loving your parents more than you? Have they ever told you they love them more? Will this change?

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    Thank you for posting. The situation seems like a very difficult conundrum. Can you please narrow down the topic you'd like people to respond to? As the question is now, it may be difficult to post a specific answer to your issue. – SomeShinyObject Jun 13 at 2:21
  • yes your right, I think i was just in a panic and really needed some help so I wrote everything down at once, hoping to give a full story from my perspective. All parts of that story are related and relevant but I guess if I had to narrow it down, I was wondering what you think about the grandma's behaviour and what should she be doing as her role of a grandma? What could we do differently? – Kay Bei Jun 13 at 14:06
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    I feel like the title here is very different than the body - perhaps it should be updated more towards "Is this behavior appropriate for a grandmother?" or something. – Erik Jun 17 at 11:36
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It seems you already talked to the grandma and it wasn't effective.
Now you need to take action. Because if you don't, it will never change. The grandma could get away everytime so far, so why would it change ?

After agreeing with your wife, have a talk with the grandma, stating you will reduce how often you visit her, because her behavior is affecting your family life.

And then do it : If the grandma ask you to come by, find a random excuse.
Don't cut her completely, your child still love her and wants to see her.


Don't focus too much on what your child say : as other answers mentioned, this will vary greatly from time to time.

But the behavior of the grandma is worrying : It is your child, so you get to decide the education. Comparing with other family is not an healthy behavior, it's an excuse for the grandma to do whatever she wants. At the end you should be the one who decides, no matter what is the decision.

The crying is also not healthy. I would go as far as calling it emotional abuse. Your child does not feel good seeing the grandma crying because he has to go. And he has to because of the parents. So the parents are bad.
The grandma should immediately cease this behavior : she's an adult and she should understand that the child cannot stay with her forever, and crying does not help anyone.


Also, don't mention you will see grandma less often to your child : it's not their fault, you don't want them to feel it's their fault.


Finally, as others mentioned it, you (or your wife) are not bad parents. Childs always have favorite. It will vary, the child will grow out of it soon.

I would be more worried about the behavior of the grandma. Be firm with her.

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    As an extra "always", the favorite is generally not the best caretaker but the one who most often lets the kids do whatever they want, which generally isn't healthy for kids anyway. – Erik Jun 17 at 11:38
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Had my kids tell me they loved my wife more than me... just grin and bear it.

A few weeks later I was flavour of the month - had just fixed their bikes or something.

Don’t panic - they change allegiance quickly and don’t remember for long. It will sort itself out.

Edit: Her bed? I would not let it go that far - keep to a standard routine... and get Dad to stand up as well...

We always had tea (supper) pause for a bit of light play, bath, teeth and bed around that age. Films are good but not school nights.

My daughter went through a stage of tears & tantrums to get her way... One of my sisters was looking after them as I was at work. Came home to find daughter was hiding in the bathroom trying to get her way... realised I was not going to fall for it and came out. My mum taught us well :)

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  • Thanks solar mike. I need to hear these things. But I think many can agree that dealing with in-laws is hard enough sometimes. We are moving into their home in 2weeks, this covid situation has changed things for us. She’s already talking with our son about sleeping in her bed and movies before bed....it’s driving me insane. – Kay Bei Jun 12 at 22:26
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    @KayBei her bed? I would not let it go that far - keep to a standard routine... and get Dad to stand up as well... we always had tea (supper) pause for a bit of light play, bath, teeth and bed around that age. Films are good but not school nights. My daughter went through a stage of tears & tantrums to get her way... One of my sisters was looking after them as I was at work. Came home to find daughter was hiding in the bathroom trying to get her way... realised I was not going to fall for it and came out. My mum taught us well :) – Solar Mike Jun 12 at 22:34
  • thanks man, this is great support. ya one of us still sleeps in same bed as our son everynight or everyfew nights so he is used to that. When his grandma comes to visit, he always liked it when she slepped in his bed with him. He is already talking about doing this everynight. Your right tho, I will just have to keep a standard routine, and speak with her about this. – Kay Bei Jun 13 at 14:04
  • I would like to believe that he would change his allegiance, but my mother in law is adamant. I feel like she will do whatever it takes to keep him hooked to her. She litterally does everything for him. I notice he becomes more needy as a child and more dependent. My son has literally yelled at her, or has done/said something hurtful to her and she will not say a word, she just let's him walk all over her. It's a nightmare to watch your child become another person and most often not in a good way. He is a total different child with her. I don't know how i'm going to deal with it. – Kay Bei Jun 13 at 17:57
  • The OP has added some specific questions to more match this site’s format as a Q&A. Now that the question is updated, can you reflect your thoughts in your answer please? – SomeShinyObject Jun 14 at 11:45
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Don’t panic man, this is the same everywhere. All children love their grandparents cause they give them what they like.

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  • I feel like there should be a limit to this. Does it bother you? How do you cope with it? – Kay Bei Jun 13 at 18:02
  • If she really honest than let she love him man, where is the problem, and what you think about the worst scenario? The same happened to me couple of years ago but with my sister, and sometime my daughter use to tell me that she loved my sister more then me, but as @solar said, when I bought her new dress, she forget everything and I do the same. If I am in your position leave it and don’t bother yourself with this. Any way this is just my opinion and hope you will find a way to relax yourself – Xin Lok Jun 13 at 19:45
  • The OP has added some specific questions to more match this site’s format as a Q&A. Now that the question is updated, can you reflect your thoughts in your answer please? – SomeShinyObject Jun 14 at 11:45
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    I agree here, there is something really special about my daughter and the attachment she has with her grandparents. They spoil her, let her do what she wants and she doesn't see them all the time so whenever she is there it feels extra special. I personally am okay with it because my grandparents passed away so I just want her to cherish every moment with them. To answer your question I would sit with grandma and just tell her that you love how much she loves your son, but it would be really helpful if she can also discipline sometimes (saying no) because it's effecting homelife – Stephanie Jun 15 at 17:10
  • thank you for the advice. I will just do as you all said. Just let go a little and have a small talk with grandma. Thank you all. – Kay Bei Jun 16 at 14:33

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