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Is it normal for my 2 year old son to sleep with his grandmother and refuse to sleep with his parents? I feel that I am not comforting my child enough and that's why he is refusing to sleep with us.

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    Hi, it sounds like there's some background / context missing here. Would you mind to give some more details about what's been going on for the last few years in your child's life? Commented May 21 at 15:39
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    Its certainly not unheared of. Other contexts can make children act differently. Not just sleeping routing, but also eating, or naps, or playing etc.
    – Martijn
    Commented May 22 at 9:59

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Certainly yes. But don't see it as a problem.

As parents, unfortunately part of our role is not just to be their friend, but also to guide, shape our young children's lives.

This does mean there are more obligations on children, more to think about, more requirements which from their perspective also can easily be thought of as a more difficult environment.

It is not uncommon for children to prefer environments where they perceive it as easier. This is normal. Do not think any less of his grandmother - from the child's perspective they may simply see their home as more novel, more free or simply different in comparison to yours.

Instead of treating this as a challenge to overcome, treat this like an opportunity for you to bond further with your child. Instead of trying to force or 'lure' them to your home, treat their grandparents home like a 'treat' - ie. another positive carrot that can be used to reinforce positive behaviour.

Instead of:

  • "This is your home, you belong here instead." (ie further obligation)
  • "You don't belong at your grandparents, that is not your home" (ie authoritative)

Say instead:

  • "Hey guys, you've been great all week, let's all go to grandpa's!" (ie. reward)
  • "What do you think if you can put this rubbish in the bin, we can then head off to grandpa's?" (ie. positivity)
  • at grandparents home: "What's cool and fun here to bring back home with us?" (ie. invitation)

Use this to grow your relationship with your grandparents too - it is wonderful that they are around so make sure you show your appreciation to them, and that your children can see you showing your appreciation to them too. They often model their behaviour on our behaviour, so if they see you being appreciative they would over time be more appreciative of you.

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