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I've got a doozy here. When my first kid was born we were living at home with my parents. My wife and I were very overwhelmed being new parents and my mother (who was over the top excited to have her first grand child) stepped in to help a lot. In retrospect this was a bad choice on my wife and I's part. Now my daughter loves her Grandma more than my wife, and probably more than she loves me.

For example as a baby and toddler she would always prefer to be comforted by my mom rather than my wife or I.

Recently in school she wrote about some one she loves a lot and it was all about her grandma. Which doesn't seem so bad in and of it self except she always writes or talks about how much she loves here grandma. She never does so about me or my wife.

So to the point, How can I help her (my daughter is 8) to at least love us as much as Grandma? I worry that this may be one of those situations in which there is not much I can do other than lover my daughter myself, and let her be who she wants to be.

But I worry because I can see how much her preference for her grandma is hurting my wife, and I'm afraid that it is already causing irreparable harm to their relationship.

Thank you all in advance!

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  • How much contact is there at present with grandma vs. Mom? Why? Jan 24, 2023 at 1:11
  • For the past two years. its been weekly video calls with the family and grandma. And we've seen them in person for one week each year. Before that it was visiting with them once or twice a month. sometimes with the whole family sometimes just the kids for a sleep over. Jan 24, 2023 at 16:02

1 Answer 1

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Don't make a contest out of it.

Your daughter loves her grandmother. Great, that's awesome.

As long as this doesn't result in some questionable behaviors, I fail to see a problem here. The whole notion that love can be quantitively measured and stack-ranked is really not helpful.

Every adult is in charge of their own relationship with your daughter and should primarily focus on building and shaping that relationship. They should only concern themselves with other relationships if there is an actual problem.

If this is about jealousy, I recommend taking a step back. Your job as a parent is to do what is best for your child and NOT what feels best to you. In this case it sounds like your daughter has a great relationship with your mom. That's good for her and hence you should encourage it.

Kid's "favorite" person or thing tends to shift around over time. Could be a friend, another relative, a parent or the dog. Once puberty hits it's very rarely the parents, but that doesn't mean you can't have a deeply meaningful and loving relationship with them.

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