Daughter Prefers Dad over Mom

Dear Mr. Dad: I am the mother of a 12 year old girl. We used to be very close, but she’s recently made it very clear that she only wants to be with her father. She’s never happy to see me, but she’s always happy to see my husband. No matter how much I try to understand, it just hurts to be ignored or pushed away. Is it normal for girls this age to prefer their fathers?

A: I often hear from dads who feel that their children prefer mom, so your question was especially interesting. Unfortunately, feeling rejected by their children in favor of the other parent is a relatively common phenomenon—the difference is that women, I think, are less likely to admit it than men.
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