Finally, there is an answer to this question, and it is a good one. The Reason Why Children are 800% Worse When Their Mothers Are Around is simple. If your child acts up in front of you it means that you are being a good mom, and doing your job just right.

the reason why children are 800% worse when their mothers are around

As a mother of two kids, I know exactly how they can be 800% worse when I am around. If they stay with dad, they are always in their best behavior. Drama begins the second I step into the room. Why do they always act up in front of me?

After reading this amazing post from Kate Surfs, I just loved it so much I had to share it with all of you. It is so true: Kids are absolutely 800% worse when around their mothers. Check out her awesome blog for some good parenting advise.

So here it is. Kate, a mom blogger and parenting instructor, revealing the “actual” reason why children are 800% worse when their mothers are around. And here comes her beautiful theory, which will make you feel a little different about those tears and tantrums, I am sure:

The Reason Why Children are 800% Worse When Their Mothers Are Around

Because YOU, mama, are their safe place. YOU are the place they can come to with all of their problems. If you can’t make something better… well, then who else can?

YOU, dear mama, are a garbage disposal of unpleasant feelings and emotions.

If a child’s been holding it together all day, in an unpleasant situation, the second they see you, they know it’s time they can finally let go.

That means letting go of whatever… whining… crying… their bowels, etc. It’s the last thing you want to deal with after having been out enjoying yourself, or after coming home, tired, from a day at work… but that’s what we, as mothers, get: the uninhibited expression of a raw emotional release, slapping us in the face, the second we stumble through the door.

You have not spoiled your kids rotten if your are greeted at the door with whining and screaming. Oh no… don’t let anyone tell you that.

Rather, you’ve created a space safe enough for your child to have permission to be natural.

And, by the way… it’s REALY REALLY important for kids to be natural with their feelings, their emotions and their bodily functions. When they grow up, we want our children to have highly functioning emotional intelligence and body awareness, right?

So, take it as a good sign.

Do your kids start speaking tongue, crying, releasing their bowels and clinging to you when you walk in the door? Take it as a sign that they love you and just know that I’m sending you lots of love the next time it happens, because I know… Oh, I know… it drives us all bonkers-up-the-wall! They save it all for you.

I hope you enjoyed reading The Reason Why Children Are 800% Worse When Their Mothers Are Around. If you are interested in reading more about my blog, please take a look at my latest articles. I am a mom blogger who loves to share creative and healthy fun food ideas, family activities, natural remedies, parenting advice, and tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

the reason why children are 800% worse when their mothers are around

Categories: Advice, Parenting


171 Responses so far.

  1. Ann Richardson says:

    My oldest suffered severe brain trauma following Reye’s Syndrome. As Brent recovered enough to return to school, he was placed in a class room with other children with severe brain injuries. It took him 2 weeks before he had a bowel movement at school. At the time, I felt he just had to feel comfortable enough to do it.
    Your article confirms my thought. Even when a child suffers severe disabilities (the experts said Brent functioned on a 3-9 month old level), they still know their “safe place.”

  2. Stacey says:

    Is this also for stay at home moms cuz my kids are 2-1/2 and 4-1/2 and they are always worse with me then there dad, and I’m home with them all day.

  3. Linda says:

    So the best thing to do when this happens is to take some time to sit down with your child and ask them if anything happened today that upset, hurt or bothered you. I think that can go a long way to remedy the behavior?

    • Stacey says:

      Thanx for the idea to try and sit down with them to see what’s bugging them that is something I haven’t tried yet. To the lady that said my kids are acting up cuz they don’t get enough love or that I let them run the house your couldn’t be more wrong my son is a very sective boy and my daughter is the opposite witch makes for some hard times.

    • Lacie says:

      I worked with children for years. In and out of their home. Now am a mom of a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old and a step mom to two teens. I will warn you that from my experience kids will lie. Good kids. This type of questioning is way to leading and they will tell you what you are asking to hear. Also I have seen this behavior many times. I could have just fed the children and their mom will walk through the door and they will lose their crap even asking, begging and crying for food etc. There is definitely something to the safe space thing and also to the fact that they have a bond with their mother like no other person but a lot of it is they want and crave her attention and believe behaving like a wild wounded hungry animal is a good way to get it. I always told moms, when they would ask me why their children would go to bed for me and be good for me, that it was just because I wasn’t mom. Now that I am I mom I know how true this is. There doesn’t have to be anything wrong for kids to fall apart when they see mom and if there is something that happen you most likely will not have to coax it out of them with questions. A simple ” How was your day?” will do most likely.

  4. Susan says:


    I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m a stay at home mom who showers her kids with love and attentiveness. They also have time to themselves when they can play, together or separately. No TV. When I’m gone and my husband is with them, when I get home, they run to me “we love you Mommy, we missed you”. Then they proceed to go on with whatever they were involved with. I might add when my husband gets home from work, they do the same for him. I believe if you’re raising and disciplining your children in the correct manner, your kids will respond with love accordingly. I’m sorry but children who behave poorly in the presence of their mothers are either not getting the amount of love and attention that they need and deserve or there are other issues going on.
    I’ve seen it many times as in the case of our neighbor who allows their 3 yr. old to order them around like they are in charge and the parent not correcting them and allowing it.(I might add this same child is a problem in general with anyone) The way a child responds, ultimately goes hand in hand with the way that child is being raised.

    • Julie says:

      We’ll said! I agree with you, my husband and I were told many a times together and individually how well behaved our children are. We believe that it is also on how they are raised and shown how to react to situations along with what you have said.

    • Hi Susan, thank you for your comment. I am also a stay at home mom/blogger and my kids are 800% worse when I am around. I try to limit screen time and I give them lots of attention.

    • Lacie says:

      I commented earlier in the post but I will ad that I believe your theory sounds very reasonable. Model how to handle your emotions and you will have kids that do the same. It’s just that not all kids are the same The last house hold I worked in had 4 children. All very different. Both parents were amazing people and parents yet their kids would fall apart from time to time. Sometimes all 4 sometimes just one. Every kid has a different personality and a different hunger for attention. I practically raised many kids and it’s nothing like being their parent. The children I nannied were great for me and my own children are lunatics. I know how to raise children but apparently not my own. I joke that no mom should ever raise her own children. It’s like living amongst a pack of wolves clammering for the last scrape of meat.

      • Beverly Schmader says:

        Love the way you describe your situation. We are all the right mother for our children. Just to point out we cannot take credit or the blame for how our children turn out. Take for example a person who had murdered we cannot blame their parents. The same as Joyce Myers was raised with sexual abuse has gone on to be an evangelist helping others. Her parents cannot take credit. Prayer is the best most helpful thing we can do for our children. Let go & let God.

        • Thezs says:

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This helped me understand my five year old daughter when she “bitches” around me. I was always thinking what have I done wrong to merit those behaviours everytime. Must she hate me that much that I was always the shock absorber to her negative emotions for the day? Then it dawned on me, that is her true feelings and she is free to express it around me. Not that it is I whom she hates but she needs to release her vent up emotions. I would prefer it rather than she grows up with so much controlled anger and hatred to situations she cannot control. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Kelly says:

      Agree to disagree I think is the case here. I have always been told children act up most around mom. It makes you feel bad enough….then the comment above saying your not diciplining right or not giving enough love and attention?? Seriously that only makes you feel worse!

      Thank you to the blogger that wrote this! Gave this moma a big smile tonight.

      • Hurt mommy says:

        I smiled so much reading this article and then my smiles dropped when I saw the comment about we’re not really raisng them right or loving them right. It hurts me because I’m downright confused as to why my little 2 year old seems to hate me. And wants to hit me and all types of things but no one else. So this post definitely made me feel a little better but it’s still hard. When your toddler wakes us like that and goes to sleep like that it makes me feel like I’ve created an angry child

        • Hi, I understand how you feel. When my oldest son was a toddler it was also very hard sometimes. As he grew older I understood his behavior. He couldn’t express his feelings with words so he act up. Be patient and remember that love is all we need to raise our children 🙂

          • Mary Jo says:

            He pulled on UR unresolved anger … they become the energy they feel from their parents. Its all they know .. and learn

      • Behold says:

        It makes you feel bad enough….then the comment above saying your not diciplining right or not giving enough love and attention?? Seriously that only makes you feel worse!

        Maybe instead of believing wtv doesn’t make u feel worse and protects ur self image…u should perhaps raise or discipline them different or better. Rather than saying “oh this perspective makes ME feel better” maybe that’s the problem…it’s about u…

    • Liz says:

      I don’t feel like that was very fair of you to basically combat everything she just said. If you raise your children right they won’t act out? That’s just ridiculous, I give my kids enormous amounts of love and so does my husband. All kids are different and some are just very difficult and strong headed. It doesn’t mean you aren’t doing a good job at disciplining and raising your child. I say pick your battles, if I am in a store and choosing to let my child get a toy even though I don’t agree with it at the time it’s because I don’t want a meltdown to happen in front of a bunch of people, one of which could be a mom judging me as you just have. So preventing a meltdown and then talking it out when we get home about why that was not an appropriate reaction in a store is my feeling a better way than scaring my child into submission.

      • sarah says:

        I don’t thing the original commenter is saying properly disciplined kids never act out, but that kids who always or frequently act out are missing something, be that firmer discipline, a different approach to parenting, more one-on-one time, etc. Parents, moms especially, ,*should* be a safe space, as the blogger writes, but a safe space shouldn’t have to equal bad behavior. Better to teach your child how to handle and properly express their emotions. I agree, kids getting the right amount of attention and boundaries are better for their parents, not worse!
        Liz, while I agree in general about picking your battles, in the case of the grocery store, it sounds like your kid is manipulating you into getting exactly what they want for the price of a lecture. Might want to work on no-means-no. Also, not sure the age of your child but anything over the age of 2-3 yrs is much too old to be have meltdowns (aka tantrums) over not getting their way (unless you’re dealing extenuating circumstances like autism).
        Kids don’t have to be “scared into submission” to have boundaries and consequences. Kids actually grow up much healthier with clear, calmly enforced boundaries. Parenting with Love and Logic is a great resource.

        • Dina says:

          Very well said Sarah. You just took the words out of my mouth. Kids being “scared into submission” is a wrong way of thinking. It is the parents’ responsibility to train a child to control their emotions, to behave appropriately, otherwise they grow up strongly disappointed when real problems hit in the real world. Loving your children and providing for them is most important, but you need to balance that out with discipline. Kids need to know there are consequences for bad behavior, even when they’re adults. Don’t make you’re children selfish/spoiled narcissists by allowing them to control you, manipulation, unhealthy tantrums etc. Set boundaries, and stand firm on that. I do all these things and my 4 children and I have a wonderful relationship. They great me with their emotions, we talk through that,I encourage them and it’s stops there. They know what standards are expected from them so they deliver. Because I believe in them, and know what great potential they hold. My job is to help them achieve the best in life.

    • Mel says:

      I somewhat agree with you on this matter! My children always seem to test me a bit more than their dad! I think it’s because I let them get away with things for longer periods of time! But when I mean business they know it! I think this article is a sorry excuse for mothers to feel better about having bratty children! I hope this doesn’t encourage mothers to stop taking hold of their children’s behavior!!

      • Mayra says:

        I am one of the strictest moms out there. I do not baby my toddler. I talk to her like i mean business each time she is misbehaving. I love her, but I do not allowed bad behavior and yet she continues to test me here and there. She has hit me before and i put a stop to it. Then once in a while she tries to do so again and i have to stop her again.I am pretty consistent when I discipline her. Some kids are stubborn and will try and try. Ultimately, they will grow out of that and learn. Some kids are more work than others period. But even thought i’m super strict she still acts up more with me than with her dad.

    • Lisa says:

      If your children are always perfectly behaved then you must be to strict and they know they’ll get in trouble if they fall to pieces. I am also a stay at home parent that maybe leaves my children once every couple months for an hour or so. But when I do leave my parents say they are angels and as soon as I get back they start fighting and my daughter runs to me as if I’ve been gone for years. Even if I leave the room my kids search for me and hug me as if I just got back from vacation. 90% of the time there awesome but there’s always that 10% that the bounce off the walls crying to me about everything. And if anything my children get more attention then they should. I also worked with children before I had my own kids and from my experience all kids loose it sometimes unless they feel they can’t because of fear of getting in trouble or they’ve been abandoned before and think if they be good 100% of the time they’ll never get left again

    • Grandma... says:

      Not sure that all of what has been said is accurate..just one person`s thoughts. Susan`s reply echoes mine.. and why is this only directed to the moms? Are dads not equally as important to the family functioning as well as they can? Dads too have the same issues moms have.. being parents is a team activity. Kids feeling loved and cared for and heard is important. But yet again.. sometimes kids need to be corrected for things they do too. I like Susan`s reply.. well said.

    • Shelley says:

      I couldn’t agree with with you more Susan. I’m sorry, but I can not agree with that article. If kids are raise right they will not act like that. My kids did not act like that. My daughter is the one who shared this article, because her children act like this. This reason. She is very (let’s say) tightly wound. Therefore her children act that way when she is around. I have them all day long and they are fine. Just had them over night and they were fine. No freak outs, no issues.

    • Nicole says:

      Susan – I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, believe me I have enough. But to sit here and generalize all children into one category especially people’s parenting styles is insulting. Your opinion – I believe if you’re raising and disciplining your children in the correct manner, your kids will respond with love accordingly. I’m sorry but children who behave poorly in the presence of their mothers are either not getting the amount of love and attention that they need and deserve or there are other issues going on – is so far fetched it is disturbing. I am an at-home-mom who devotes my entire being to my son who is 6. Granted he has some disabilities and I had to stop working outside the home to be able to take him to multiple therapy visits, research and devote myself 100% to finding the right treatments and the correct way to parent him. I attended countless seminars and read books. You cannot compare one persons issues to another. In return, my 6 year old tells me I am not a good mother, he wants me to leave, he does not have to listen to me, the list goes on. Do I not give him enough of my time? Do I not give him enough of my love? I sure do. So much that I have nothing left for myself. I usually do not comment on things I read but for this, I could not help myself. I am glad your children are being raised correctly and that they respond with the same love you are showing them. I guess, just maybe, your family is not the norm. Maybe you should not jump to judge others too fast. You may not know what else may be going on.

      • Jackie says:

        I completely agree with susuan and every diagreeting is being jus as judgemental to parents of children who behave when mom is and is not around. my child is well behaved always. Her teachers always comment on how great she is to have in class, my parents always say what a breeze it is watching her and she never acts up when I am around either. So that means I’m to strict? I teach my child about respect, and have disciplined her from day one. IN my opinion if your child acts up only when mom is around that is mom’s issue and needs to break that habit, I am my child’s safety as I am a single mom and she functions well with or without me. It’s clearly a seek for attention . everyone is entitled to their opinion but it’s just as unfair to say parents whose children are always welcome behaved with or without mom is doing something wrong when cpearly they are doing a great job

    • Mommy of 2 boys says:

      Susan…while I agree that the way a child responds and acts is GREATLY influenced by the way they were raised, it’s not the only deciding factor. As a preschool teacher, I have seen tons of children who come from very poor home situations and their behavior is excellent. I have also seen children who come from the “PTA, always volunteering in the classroom, always packing the healthy lunches, always showing up for their kiddo’s school events” type of parents who have children with behavioral issues. At the end of the day, it boils down to this:
      Parents have the biggest influence on behavior, of course. But ultimately, children will make the decisions on how they act…no matter how well (or unwell) they were raised. The child’s personality also plays a role. I, for example, have ALWAYS had a quiet, patient, “people pleaser” type of personality. So growing up, my good behavior was driven not because my parents were amazing parents of the year, but because my personality was WIRED to please them. My youngest son is three and, so far, is exactly like me in this regard. My oldest, who is 13, not so much. Yes, he’s a teenager, but he has ALWAYS struggled with his emotions, and has had many behavioral issues even though he lives in a home that is full of love, open ears, open arms and shoulders to cry on. He most definitely does NOT have a “people pleaser” type of personality, and has very little patience. This internal hardwiring has a DIRECT influence on how he behaves. Yes, there are ALWAYS consequences in place when he makes a poor choice or is disrespectful. Yes, we eat nothing but healthy foods at home. Yes, he has a regular bedtime and schedule. Yes, we limit and monitor screen time. But he still makes poor choices. And, I might add, he is being raised the EXACT SAME WAY as he younger brother is. PLEASE don’t assume every misbehaving child has inattentive, unloving parents. It’s simply not the case. Like I said, at the end of the day, they will go out and make their own decisions based on their personality and temperament, no matter how they were raised.

      • mom of 3 girls says:

        I agree with ‘mom of two boys’. My 3 daughters are all under 7 years old and I can’t tell you how many times I have to stop myself, take a deep breath and give serious thought into how to address each of them in any given situation. Their personalities are so different and no one tactic, method or discipline would work well for all of them. My grandmother tells a funny story about when her sons were young and they were claiming they didn’t like the rice on their plates. My grandfather came into the room and said “who doesn’t like rice?”. They immediately began eating the rice AND saying how much they enjoyed it. She thinks a lower tone of voice is the key. 😉

      • Wendy says:

        This is the BEST reply I have read. And 100% accurate. You can literally tell a baby’s temperament almost as soon as they are born. And most don’t deviate much. Too assume, and we all know we’re assuming gets you…to assume a parent is not doing a good job because of the way a child is responding to the outside world is Ludacris. It must be nice thinking your the perfect PARENT while the rest of us fall soo short of the mark!SMH!! WOW, GUESS YOU FORGOT THE LESSON IN H.U.M.L.I.T.Y!

    • Taylor says:

      I am 19 years old, expecting a baby girl very shortly. As with most moms-to-be, I’ve delved deep into my child-hood and tried to decipher my mother’s parenting style, and how it would make me react and feel. In my favour is the fact that I have an excellent memory, and not the far back to remember. So I have a very interesting point of view on this subject. Unfortunately, no matter how excellently you raise your children, there are many sub-internal (specifically how your child thinks and feels), and external (outside of the home/family circle) factors that affect your babies. For example, my mother (although I may be biased) was the best momma I could ever have wished for. She was with us 24/7 as a stay at home mom. She spoke to us like we were equals, not just subordinates as adults sometimes speak to children. She made us feel like equals. Everything was a game, or fun learning activity. We watched 2 movies a week, one documentary, one Disney. Hugs and kisses galore. The works, she is the best. However, she worked one night a week while we were little, and I fell apart both while she was leaving, and would stay awake quietly in bed and fall apart when she came home. It was not a lack of punishment, my siblings and I honestly hardly fought, I would never dare lie, and in general everyone reflects on us as being model children (which of course all ended at about age 15). Alas, I was falling apart. I was also bullied at school, which my mom was acutely aware of, and updated daily on. She even got me counselling, which was not as believed in, or tried and tested as it is currently. She went to all lengths, and as a volunteer at my school, vocalized my problems for me. I was hurting and I took my days out on my mom because she was the person I could trust to take care of me. And it doesn’t stop at ages 6-7…why do you think teenagers can be so brutal and cruel to their mothers? I’ve just come to realize this myself after having moved out over a year ago, that mom becomes your punching bag because she’s the one person who you know, no matter what, will always love you, and support you. The safe zone is real. I know my mother is an amazing woman, a great role model, and an even greater mom, but I knew from the time I was born (as most children do) that she was the one person I could always count on being there, and so she is the person who’s shirt was soiled with my boogers, spit, and tears, who’s patience was tried and tested, who’s forgiveness and understanding was well used, and who I repeatedly disobeyed as I got older and decided I knew better. So Susan, maybe your children are excellent angels who never fall apart on you instead of dad, but maybe they have no external or internal influences that effect them in a negative way so that they would have need to throw a fit, but I find it rather ignorant to assume it’s to your benefit, and that those with a different experience are simply lesser moms. It’s a broad statement to say the least, and every child is unique, every life is unique, every experience is unique, and every single person processes, interprets, and reacts to things differently. We cannot compare apples to oranges, and every situation, and child, is spectacularly different. That’s the magic of the world. And who am I to judge any parent while not knowing the deeper workings of their relationship with their child(ren) or all parties psychological state?

      Judge not, and you shall not be judged, condemn not, and you shall not be condemned, forgive, and you too will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

    • Tracey says:

      Thank you Susan, you’re absolutely correct and all these children who come home and have the temper tantrum that they have the minute their mother walks in the door or they walk in the door and see their mom. Those are the ones from my own observation, whose mothers are afraid to spank their children, fuss at their children, punish them or humiliate them in any way shape or form and let them have what they want just to shut them up. All these children who have never gotten in trouble or fussed at in front of their friends or punished/spanked in front of their friends and been allowed to get away with the things that they’ve done have never known humility. I think in today’s world that’s why so many children are committing suicide because they don’t know how to handle a little humility and when the bullies come out, they don’t know what to do about it. So instead of Manning up or walking away from the bullies or speaking up for themselves they end up going off into a corner and crying poor me, poor me and if you never learn what it’s like to be humiliated in life as a child, how can you handle it as an adult when you get humiliated because you lost a job or for whatever other reason something may happen that humiliated you it’s all part of life’s lessons. And people let me just say before you get up on your soapbox, there’s a difference between a spanking and a beating and if you don’t know the difference you might as well be quiet.

      • JIll says:

        Tracey, Your response is out of line. Do you sincerely expect a 3 year old boy to “man up”? And let me say that I am a mom that loves my kids fiercely – but I also reprimand in public, spank when the offense rises to that level, take away privilidges, scold them in front of friends and family – – and they STILL act out. Why? Because they are 2 and 3 and are still learning impulse control and good behavior. I would love to have you come over and tell my 2 year old boy to “man up” or my 3 year old to “walk away or stick up for himself”. What pressure you must put on your own children if that’s your expectation!

        • Brian says:

          Need to read what she said. 3 and 4 year olds aren’t committing suicide. She is talking about 16 year olds that since birth have had a perfect bubble of safety, and now they are starting to see the real world and their parents can’t protect them they have no idea what to do. The idea is to let your kids experience ALL emotions at a young age, that way they are better able to come up with a method to handle those emotions when they are older. Unfortunately humiliation, sadness, anger, fear, frustration, and grief are all emotions that a child should experience, and have mom and dad nearby to help them through it.

      • Pat says:

        Tracey – so you discipline by humiliating your children?
        How do you comment that we should humiliate a child and spank them in front of others and then talk about children committing suicide because they don’t have humility?
        Are you confusing humiliate with humility?

      • Anika says:

        Tracey perhaps the increase in childhood suicide rates is in correlation with children not having that safe place or not feeling they can open up to their parents about their concerns. Perhaps it is carrying the pressure of being so well behaved all the time and never having a sounding board when emotions become too big and confronting. Or perhaps it is because the people who should be their supporting and nurturing them are the ones humiliating them!

        One does not have to humiliate to effectively discipline and create boundaries. Nor does humiliation assist in building resilience in a child, it undermines it.

        Life is more complicated than that.

        I have an almost 3 year old son and my husband left when i was pregnant. I have fought so hard and continue to fight to provide my son with the family he should have had.

        His dad loves him very much and he his dad. But i have actively encouraged their relationship often to my own detriment. I ensure my son has a routine, clear boundaries, love,nurture and discipline. When he is with his dad he has a wonderful time but often when he gets home he looses it and gets very sooky be it from over stimulation, change in routine, missing his mum. When he is out and about he lives in the moment it is obly after when he is in the safety of his home and mummy that he explores and organises all those emotions that he is learning, and during that time he can be quite high maibtenance. It is epitomised by the fact that he rarely poos when not at home or with me, it is not uncommon for him to poo within 10 minutes of getting home.

        When you are out and about and something upsets you do you show it or you are stressed do you show it, most people try to manage it or put on an act until they get home where they may indulge themselves in expressing their emotion.

        It is more a credit to the parent if they are behaved when not with you, it isn’t a result of the people they are with but the foundation their mum/parents have given them. With the primary carer they are learning by testing the boundaries, exploring their emotions and letting their guard down; different personalities do this in different ways.

        I’m glad you have well behaved children all the time, but be careful for if that changes does that mean you failed… humans make mistakes or get overwhelmed, children are no different. So in 10 years time when your adult child does something appalling i hope you then take full responsibility for that.

      • MissT says:

        Couldn’t agree with you more. The moms are so afraid of the kid embarrassing them that they give in just to shit them up. The kid in turn learns how to manipulate mom into doing whatever they want her to do …Or else…

        • Dina says:

          Honestly you guys are all brainwashed. Seriously, kids long for someone not only to love them, but how to deal with their emotions. Therefore you train them a.k.a discipline. Not to make them miserable, but to teach them to simplify their life growing up. And in return they respect their parents because they put so much effort, and didn’t take the easy route…

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Susan,
      I couldn’t disagree with you more! I have twin daughters who are/were perfectly well behaved. Never a problem with them. Now I have a toddler boy that if I so much as blink he will find ways to get into trouble, scream and tantrum all day long when he is with me. When he is with the babysitter or his grandparents he is well behaved. He is not being raised any differently than my daughters were. Not all kids have the same temperament. It’s not just nurture it’s nature. For you to make such a broad statement “I’m sorry but children who behave poorly in the presence of their mothers are either not getting the amount of love and attention that they need and deserve or there are other issues going on,” is rude, insensitive and self-righteous. Not great motherly qualities!

      • Sher says:

        Kudos! I think this article is so ignorant. Smh

        • MissT says:

          Isn’t it. It actually says that those children who don’t act up are deprived of love and affection and those mom’s aren’t as loving. They just keep giving explanations for the decline in juvenile discipline. We’re ADULTS not children. They have to live in a world not with mommy for the rest of their lives. These children are terrors in the classroom and sometimes become the bullies because they fear nobody. Mommy will save them from the consequences of their actions.

    • Pat says:

      Rolling my eyes at you Susan. Shaming other parents?

    • Claire says:

      I also agree with Susan! Of course kids are going to feel more comfortable expressing themselves at home but if they are expressing themselves 800 more times negatively than anywhere else then the parents need to check in with themselves regarding their child rearing strategies. Our jobs as parents are to turn out good people to the world who will add something positive to our community, and that should start at home with those they are close too. Our job is to teach our kids how to deal with stress, self calm and treat others with respect. Your future daughter and son-in-laws won’t thank you for teaching your children it’s ok to express themselves negatively at home to those nearest and dearest. My kid wasn’t always perfect but we have a great respectful relationship which he has fostered with those outside the home, teachers etc. It’s ok to get totally frustrated with parenting but don’t look for reasons to stop trying new things.

    • G says:

      Yes,i couldn’t agree more with Susan. I have a 10 yr old daughter and a 12 year old son. Neither one of my kids behaves badly around me or around anyone else. My kids have never had melt downs in public or privately. I am a over nurturer, who does not believe in spanking. I teach my kids right from wrong and i teach with respect, so i get respect back. I think a lot of parents really don’t realize that their own behavior or lack thereof negatively impacts the child. The writer of this blog needs to self evaluate her own skills. Just my opinion.

    • Nicole says:

      100% agreed. Unfortunately the bulk of the article is wrongfully making moms of these types of children feel better about the situation, when really there’s A LOT you can do to fix the problem. There are many ways to allow your child to feel comfortable and loved WITHOUT tolerating and/or promoting poor behavior and lack of discipline.

    • Brittni says:

      Thank you Susan, I agree with you 100%. I’m also a stay at home mom and toddler caregiver. I shower my kids with love, attention, and freedom to play on their own. They are always happy to see me and dad when either one of us walks in the door. They might tell me they want to stay at Gradma’s house and not come home yet. 🙂 If your child is “800%” worse with you maybe they need more mom attention

    • CV says:

      Congratz on your perfect angels! Must be nice huh? Guess everyone else is just a piece of shit parent.

    • omar says:

      Amen, I agree 100% with Susan. There’s no reason why a child should misbehave and act crazy just because their mother is around. Maybe the child is more relaxed and comfortable to be themselves around mom, but why should that side of them be little terrors? My wife has been a stay at home mom since the birth of our oldest who is now 11 years old. We have 3 well behaved girls who are well behaved at home and with others. They’re definitely more free to be goofy, loud and playful when they’re at home, but they’ve never been wild bratty kids. Maybe the mothers that are experiencing this, aren’t being strict enough on their little ones. Like my wife says, Kids behave how you allow them to behave.

    • Tara says:

      I so strongly disagree with you!! I am a mother to 6 and also a stay at home mom and do nothing but shower my kids with attention…. i do nothing but crafts, baking, sports, and play on my hands and knees with my kids…. when I do leave the kids home with their father and I come home all 6 kids come running to me even my 13 yr old, and the little ones start acting up. So for you as a mother stating that we give are kids no attention is just bs!!!! For you to assume and blame us for stuff that is not true is just wrong I hope you get looked at and judged as a bad mother… i can tell you this my kids are soo happy and the most amazing personalities, but hmmm guess that’s from my bad neglected parenting… you should probably go kiss your kids and be thankful you have them… mom’s like you upset me and make new shake my head more then my kids do!!!

    • Jeanne says:

      You are so wrong. I raised 4 of my own and have helped raise 6 grandchildren. The grandkids can be perfect for me but the moment mom gets home they act out. It has nothing to do with how they are being raised, children feel safe with mom and act out because of it.

    • Natash says:

      I’m a stay at home mom and my kids are showered with love and affection and time. They are horrid for me at times and an angel for everyone else. Glad your kids are perfect all time, Good for you. You must an amazing person to have produced perfection. 😉

    • J says:

      I agree Susan. It really depends on the situation, but if children as a rule are allowed to misbehave it means the mom is not as strict as she could be.
      I’ve seen this with a close family member. She’s a great mom, but doesn’t discipline her children. And though this is a nice concept “you are their safe haven where they can let go all their pent up feelings” , I think this kind of thinking can lead to a world of problems. You can help them deal with their feelings in a non-hitting, misbehaving kind of way. Yes, we teach them emotional maturity, by teaching them to deal with their feelings, not by letting them bully us.

    • Suzie says:

      I’d love to know how old most of your children are? Ours range from 4-19. Susan you are why woman are fake and suffer alone. I have four very different kiddos. Two are great with or without me, the other two are very quick to come up with demands and fussing about anything. It’s very easy for a set of parents whom both are extremely present, one with a Dad home at 5 o’clock every night. Some of us have husbands that travel and the Moms have to bear the burden most days. My husband and I are extremely affectionate with our kids and constantly give love and kisses. We both discipline in a similar manor. Very ignorant statement that if we parent our kids better they will behave. Good luck!

    • Rose says:

      Totally agree with Lacies reply.

    • Kathy says:

      Bull crap. It’s because the stay at home mom is spoiling the crap out of them and instead of giving them a firm butt spanking they repeat these words 200 times until they wear themselves out and the spoilt Bratt they are dealing with. My daughter does it every day. No Oliver, no Oliver, no Oliver. Meanwhile kid keeps screaming after 200 times of saying no. Kid is quiet and good when she’s gone and dad is around. They just show their butts when she’s there because she let’s them scream and carry on with no consequences. The dad puts his foot down and they don’t show out around him because he won’t tolerate it. I am living with them and I see it every day.

    • L barnett says:

      Susan ..You are right. I would say nice try…to those that believe their child’s very poor behavior is EVER an indication of good parenting. I’ve worked in spec.ed. behavior disorders for 20 years. Trust me…

    • Hilary says:

      Well La Dee DA Susan. I guess the majority of us mothers must all be neglectful parents. Sorry we can’t be the perfect mother like you.. I hate mother shaming, and if that’s the attitude you have your children are going to grow up to be a self entitled snob like you.

    • RM says:

      As a parent of two kids with special needs, I have one that only exhibits his most extreme behaviors around me. However, Dad typically does not enforce rules and insist he behave. Because my son only gets out of control around me, his father insists I am the reason for all his extreme behaviors, some of which he picked up from his older brother (who misbehaves all across the board- whether at home, school, church, daycare, anywhere). I’ve tried for years to work with this kid and get him the help he needs but it’s not working. When he self injured daily I did a functional behavioral analysis with a special needs non profit that was pointless. Only daily antiviral medication stopped the physical attacks and self injury. I’ve done parenting ADHD class, other parenting classes, taken him to anger management classes and nothing helps for very long. Next step is medication as I can’t deal with him at home and I am mostly on my own with both kids most evenings. I am thinking about throwing in the towel. Maybe it is just me. Maybe he would be better off raised by relatives.

    • MissT says:

      I am tired of reading reasons, explanations, and justifications for children acting inappropriately. There is no excuse for misbehaved children except the fact that there is a poor discipline model and lack of structure in the household. Mom is their soft place to land BECAUSE SHE IS SOFT! Children act up in front of their mothers because those mothers don’t discipline them effectively with love. When they’ve been in a structured environment or with people who demand discipline and respect, they know that they don’t have to abide by the rules anymore when their softer mom walks in the room ready to hug, kiss, cuddle, and respond to the whining and crying just the way the undisciplined child wants. This is the same child who is an angel when mom isn’t around because in those settings it’s good behavior that is awarded and not whining and crying. Children know this and act accordingly. Those children whose behavior changes when Mom walks in are indications of poor behavior management on he part of their mother.

      • Tina says:

        Thank you for this comment. I couldn’t agree with you and Susan more. I wish parents would stop making excuses for their child’s bad behavior and maybe start giving some love and attention. It’s so hard watching mothers being controlled by children, but then it is them who create it. If your looking for excuses that would make you feel better about your child being a brat, then it’s probab time to start parenting.

    • Mary Jo says:

      I agree completely … Children can ONLY MIRROR what they have seen .. in their home w their mom and dad … they know NOTHING Else .. EVERYTHING that they are and do is what they saw in their parents. If anger is shown and insane control the sweet child WILL resent it .. and lash out every way he/she can !

  5. Heather says:

    I say go with your gut. Doing things differently doesn’t make you a bad parent. Every child is different and one approach may work for one child and not the next. My girls are completely different and they are twins. I do the same thing with both but one is whiny and the other isnt. It isn’t that cut and dry. It’s not a cookie cutter type of situation. Some parents can do everything right, by the books, and end up with a problem child or an adult that has major issues. All you can do is what is best for your kids. It’s important for them to feel secure but at the same time not be a brat all the time. Everything in life is a balancing act.

    • Mary Jo says:

      Nope .. sorry .. I totally DISAGREE .. they become WHAT YOU ARE !!! You might not even see it in ur self .. but they pick up on EVERYTHING about you !!! They feel UR energy . being it good or bad .. ALWAYS ! Sooo easy to just blame the child.. they are like EMPTY computers when they enter ur home.. even before that . they feel YOUR energy in the Womb!!!
      Bruce Lipton talks about this in detail

  6. Natalie says:

    I am a stay-at-home mommy of 5. I do attend to my children’s needs, they are courteous to others and behave well for me a lot of the time. However, there are times when we get some major meltdowns. This is not bad, because they need to be taught how to deal with those emotions. Some adults still struggle with this. If you have never experienced this from your child, you are blessed with a gifted child (not necessarily a gifted parent). The rest of us can still have normal healthy relationships with our children, despite the emotional outbursts.

  7. Kiran Kukreja says:

    Interested in such blogs where you get the tips to raise a successful child

  8. Kiran Kukreja says:

    I too agree,
    It all comes from home
    Wat atmosphere we give our child
    is seen in them
    Interested in such blogs
    For more knowledge

  9. Haynah says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this article! I have 4 boys (16 yrs, 14 yrs, 11 yrs, and 2 yrs) and my youngest child he is worst with me than with anyone else. My three older boys were never like my youngest, they were very calm, quiet, respectful children but I may add that my 2 year old has have more attention than my three older children being that I’m a stay at home mom with him. It’s been rough but I remind myself that I’m very lucky to be able to raise my child than having someone else raise him. I’m so happy that I’ve stumbled upon this article! I thought I was failing as a mom with my youngest child.

    • G says:

      You may be spoiling this one too much, this is why he behaves differently than the others, don’t you think?

    • pinky says:

      you’ve spoiled your two year old. don’t take comfort from this article. you’re spoiling him. so better do something about it than believing you’re doing everything just fine. you’re not. something’s wrong with the way you’re raising him.

  10. Jen W says:

    I have two children with polar apposite personalities. The oldest is very social and my youngest is a home body and likes her time to create and be by herself. Both are overachievers in school from K-Jr. High. I have always been told how helpful, caring and what hard workers they are. When my youngest started pre-school every day after school she had a melt down to the point that I started asking her about her day, asking her teachers how her day was going, etc. This has continued through elementary school but with lessoning degrees of drama as the years progress. I do believe that since she is my introvert that it is stressful for her to put her best self forward all day at school. It used to be very crushing to my ego but after looking at it rationally, hearing teachers, counselors, even employers talk about the ever growing demands on both kids and adults I find it only rational that we all need a safe place to be our emotional self when needed. Every parent is doing the best they can for their children so please don’t judge and realize that each child is unique and requires different things. Let’s support each other, parenting is wonderful and challenging. Why do we passively bash each other with words over an article that is meant to help a struggling parent. I, for one, wish I’d read this years ago.

  11. Jen W says:

    I am a mother of two girls with polar opposite personalities. My oldest is very social and my youngest is mostly an introvert who prefers to spend free time creating and reading. Both are overachievers in school and through the pre-school through(now)Jr. High years I have heard from their teachers that they are both helpful, hard working and genuinely caring girls. When my youngest started pre-school many years ago she would come home every day and have some emotional break down. I worried and fretted, questioned her, asked her teachers, etc. This still occurs but every year it becomes less dramatic. After careful attention, listening to teachers, counselors and even employers talk about the increasing demands placed on our children and ourselves as adults I do believe that we all need a safe haven to release all our stress. Rationally speaking I believe that is what my introverted child does. It takes a lot of energy to present your best self to the world all day especially if you prefer alone time.
    Thank you for the article, I wish I’d read it many years ago. To those parents out there doing the best they can please know that you are doing a great job and embrace your little ones for who they are. Let’s please support each other, parenting is wonderful and challenging at the same time, why make it more challenging by ridiculing others because they have a different experience. There is no one size fits all approach besides I have been told by many that its a marathon. It takes at least 26yrs to know how they will turn out.

  12. Jen W. says:

    I am a mother of two girls with polar opposite personalities. My oldest is very social and my youngest is mostly an introvert who prefers to spend free time creating and reading. Both are overachievers in school and through the pre-school through(now)Jr. High years I have heard from their teachers that they are both helpful, hard working and genuinely caring girls. When my youngest started pre-school many years ago she would come home every day and have some emotional break down. I worried and fretted, questioned her, asked her teachers, etc. This still occurs but every year it becomes less dramatic. After careful attention, listening to teachers, counselors and even employers talk about the increasing demands placed on our children and ourselves as adults I do believe that we all need a safe haven to release all our stress. Rationally speaking I believe that is what my introverted child does. It takes a lot of energy to present your best self to the world all day especially if you prefer alone time.
    Thank you for the article, I wish I’d read it many years ago. To those parents out there doing the best they can please know that you are doing a great job and embrace your little ones for who they are. Let’s please support each other, parenting is wonderful and challenging at the same time, why make it more challenging by ridiculing others because they have a different experience. There is no one size fits all approach besides I have been told by many that its a marathon. It takes at least 26yrs to know how they will turn out.

  13. Jenell says:

    As a Mom to seven kiddos, this is very true. Especially with my two severe adhd/spd/spectrum kids.
    I figure, they hold it together all day at school and do a fantastic job of it too (seriously, I wonder often if their teachers are talking about the same kids or if they’ve gotten names confused…)that when they come home it’s the emotional equivalent of taking off my bra after a long day, lol.

    It can be overwhelming, but I just let it wash over me instead of leaping into mommy “fix it” mode. Sometimes all they need is to just let it out and have someone go, “Man, that stinks, I’m sorry.”

  14. Carrie Loudin says:

    I say it is because they think they no longer have to behave or listen if mom is home.

  15. Michael Jacob says:

    Kids always do what works. If it doesn’t get the desired response, they won’t repeat the behavior. If you respond to inordinate “neediness” by lavishing attention, you foster and encourage the needy behavior. Especially if the kids have some reason to believe that the attention they receive when not acting out is insufficient.

  16. Julia says:

    You are both right and wrong. Yes children will have their meltdowns and they usually happen when Mom is around. Yes because she represents a safe place. Our job is to help them learn to manage their emotions and to be sure that the world around them is safe and the stress in their world is appropriate.

    If we are not aware of their stress or if we bring stress with us when we walk in the door, they may melt down trying to get us to repair the problem or to release the stress.

    Moms can usually do a pretty good job of decoding where the problems start. Not always. When we are caught up in the adult world with very real problems, we may need help ourselves. Even very young children react to the stress we feel and share in subtle ways.

  17. Maryann says:

    That sounds like a lot of bull to me! They act out around only after they realize that they can’t get away with anything. Of course a child is perfect when they are getting what they want. The minute someone (Momma) challenges that, they will be WORSE!!

  18. Karen says:

    I suffered through the repeated use of the phrase “Children are 800% Worse When Their Mothers Are Around” (5 times in the first 3 paragraphs — why??) with the hopes that I might learn something new about this phenomenon only to find an absurd conclusion.

    You can’t say things like “you’re doing your job just right” if your child is “800% Worse” when you are around! That sounds like something you wrote to make your readers love you – not to help.

    A child that has the conduct you describe in this article, has been allowed to manipulate that parent for their own selfish purposes so many times that they have learned that it’s always worth a try to flex that control.

    On the other hand, start discussing rules and consequences with your children from the age of about 10 months and be consistent with punishments for wrongdoing and praises/prizes for right doing and you will see a very respectful relationship develop that you can depend on where ever and with whomever the child happens to be with.

    I raised 5 children who never whined and now my granddaughter doesn’t whine around me. Her parents are not consistent with her – they use bribing to manipulate her into good conduct and she uses bad behavior to manipulate them into bribing – so she whines as soon as they are around and it is sad.

    If your child shows bad conduct when you appear – you have a lack of respect NOT a “safe place” relationship!!

    • Mike Jacob says:

      Well said. Children will repeat successful behaviors. If the child is getting what he or she wants by exhibiting bad behavior, plan to see that bad behavior repeated. If bad behavior results in negative consequences, and obedience results in positive results, your child will eventually learn that the best outcomes flow from right actions.

    • Hi Karen, thank you for your comment. The article was written by a parenting expert and instructor and I included the link to her website. In my opinion, this article is true and I agree 100% with it. But I understand there are different parenting styles and respect your opinion as well.

  19. Grandma... says:

    This should also be adjusted to mention us Grandmas/pas.. who were there from the birth.. and always cared for the kids. I was hands on grandma from birth until almost age 3. When being excluded from children’s lives due to a new relationship. Sometimes the children also act out when with the replaced family member. My GD acts up I guess you would call it. She is reaching out for the comfort and one on one attention that she had for 3 years. New siblings get the attention. When grandma comes GD mentions that she misses me.. wishes she could be with me more.Her antics are not because of any misdeeds on my part but pure and simple. she misses the attention. Grandparents who took on the role of “ parent“ due to unexpected circumstances also need to be addressed as well. Loving our kids and seeing them move on is awesome.. painful at times. But when a child has been in a grandparents life every day for years.. and then, two days a month. The child has no idea why.. and for that reason I believe they might act out.. not sure that this made sense. But grandparents who had a hands on role for years? We need to be also connected even when the parent moves need that.

  20. Stevie says:

    I’m 18 years old and didn’t have a mother figure in my life from the time I was 10 and up, even before my mother was a severe drug addict and suffers still to this day . Until about a 6 months ago when I seen my mom for the first time in 8 years I had no clue as to why she just let me and my 4 brothers and sisters go. You know in my eyes I thought it was the addiction. I never talked bad about my mom not once . I was always told it was a disease that takes time and motivation. Well now that I’ve seen it and heard it all I can say that I agree with this post 100% I raised all my siblings from the time they were born , I missed school throughout my whole middle school going. I went without dinner to make sure they were fed and yet they acted out on me the most. They’d do anything anybody else asked but the second I asked them to do something or said it was bath time and bedtime I was the most horrible person in the world. But when they wanted something or they were hurt or they just wanted to be loved on or needed help with homework I was there go to. Then at the age of 10 cabell county cps came to our door with police officers and split us all up. I was a wreck just as well as all the babies were. I wasn’t able to see them I couldn’t call them on the phone it’s like my whole world was taken . And for 8 years I never once seen or heard anything from them . Now today as I live on my own and suffer from a few stomach problems I was told that i won’t be able to have children of my own. And for me that hurts, that’s all I used to live for and I LOVE being there for children. It makes me feel so happy and warm inside . All these comments of mother’s bashing this lost is just rude and childish . We all have our own opinions so why put other mother’s down for what they think is best ?

  21. Robin says:

    Kids who are not disciplined by their mother act this way. They know mommy will pet them and give them their way. Raise your child to respect you and they will

  22. Dusty says:

    I’m not saying this is false but I disagree that it’s in all cases true. My mother left when I was 8 years old and never returned to my life. My dad became both mom and dad. I now have 2 sons talon 5 who I have shared 50/50 custody with his mom his entire life. He loves his mom and I equally and we get along great together. But when our son acts up to his mom I get the phone call to discipline and have him respect and listen to his mom. So I disagree that they only act up to their moms because they feel comfortable. I believe that sometimes it’s because they don’t respect the mothers discipline My son has told us both manytimes he wants to live with me his dad but we all have talked and want him to wait till he’s closer to 10 to make the change. So if he’s not comfortable with his mom then why would he want his dad? Like I said before I’m no push over when he does wrong I’m actually stricter. I have another son who’s 8. I was lied to till he was 4 and told he was not mine. When I learned he was I fought hard to see him. I did and his mom was so bitter she took me to court the nextb2. Years for any reason possible cost me over $15,000 and she just kept doing it even tho our son said he wanted to come and he was happy and safe. So how is the mom the better safer choice always?

  23. Rachael says:

    What’s something good that happened today?
    What’s something bad that happened today?
    Anything we need to work on tonight in that backpack?
    That’s our convo in the car after school. I care about their answers. It holds me just as accountable as it does them.
    I know they are really tired, but they know I’m not going to let them shred each other or me over here.
    We don’t expect perfection. Honesty, trying our best even when we don’t feel like it, “do onto others”…higher on the priority list when it comes to how we treat others.

  24. Ksusha says:

    Thank you for post it. While I have a basic knowledge of the information it was so nice to see it written out in a way that made laugh and relate 🙂

  25. Jane says:

    I disagree with this article whole heartedly. Yes, mothers are often the safe space for children, and because of that, sometimes the emotional baggage gets let out for mother more than any other adult in a child’s life. But there’s a huge difference between naughty/bratty behaviour and expressing deep emotion that’s accumulated from the child’s day. My mother was always the safe person for myself and my siblings. She was the only adult in our lives we felt 100% comfortable being ourselves with. And when had emotional baggage (for instance, coming home after visitation with our less than perfect father), we would be in a foul mood and express those feelings openly and visibly. But we also knew we couldn’t get away with shit. We would never throw a wobbly for a sweetie or whinge about what was for dinner. We never tried to hit or kick her and when she stepped in to settle an argument, we obeyed – not due to fear, but respect (because we knew she was fair).

    So, to sum up: There are two forms of “letting it out” that children display for their mothers. A) whingeing for things that they want but don’t need/generally behaving badly for attention because they know they’ll receive it/physically verbally abusing their mothers when their mothers don’t instantly acquiesce to their demands/manipulating their mothers into giving them sweets and treats; B) melting down into tears/requiring physical contact (a hug, being held, nursing)/being in a bad temper – unrelated to bribes, sweets, toys, screen time, food (such as what’s being served for dinner), bedtime, etc. – due to a high amount of physical, mental, or emotional stress in the child’s life at that time.

    It is my observation that many mothers fall into camp A but think they’re in camp B.

  26. Mama of two says:

    Thank God! So nice that you share it. I will definietly be back on your website. It’s in my favorite:)

  27. Audrey says:

    Children who act out are expressing needs. It might be a need for a nap or maybe blood sugars are low making them irritable. It doesn’t mean parenting style is involved every time, right?

    As far as style does go, I’m sure that following a Biblical model is the most effective way to have a loving, blessed family. Raise children with God’s love being role modeled. Easier said than done sometimes, but that’s the way ^_^

  28. Anna says:

    Now I can respond to my husband who always tells me that my 1.5 yr old son acts crazy around me cause I don’t know how to deal with versus he is an angel when he stays with dad.

  29. Lynda Joy Power says:

    Actually I found this article quite insulting. Especially as you said the children act up when mom arrives as a release from bottling up unpleasant situations. My grandkids did this all the time. Are you insinuating that my grandkids find it unpleasant to be with me?

  30. Laurie says:

    Thank you do very much! I finally feel like I’m actually understanding my child. All the counselors we’ve been thru, not one even came close to this. I’m going to use this advise & may finally be able to get on the same page with my daughter. So tired of the battles with no winners.

  31. Theresa says:

    Thankyou so much for writing this! I always thought it was just me. I know it is not just me. Sometimes you feel like you are the only one that has children who are acting a little crazy. For lack of a better word. I have heard many of my childrens teachers say that they are so well behaved, helpful and kind at school. Then they come home I get expolsions of emotions on many different levels. This will help me in the long run. It is good to know that my children feel safe. So again thank you.

  32. Susan says:

    I totally agree with your premise and have seen it several times myself, as a teacher. However, you seem to be inferring that it is your idea, it’s not.
    I heard a psychiatrist speak about this at length several years ago at a workshop.
    Maybe you should let your readers know that you are passing along highly researched information, instead of taking credit for it.
    It’s a good idea and I applaud you for letting other parents know, but be clear about its origin.

  33. Shikha says:

    This theory has helped me a lot in understanding my little one. On a side note people who are disagreeing n blaming parenting style for kids acting out in front of their mother: my kid has the best behavior around everybody else, is very social, we’ll behaved listens and obeys most of the time. She only acts out in front of me not I totally let her. After all I understand her the best.

  34. C.M. says:

    This is ridiculous. It is one thing to let them vent and come to you when they need help. Tantrums are a different story. Come on.

  35. Brittany says:

    Really great article and very much needed!!!
    Thank you!!!????

  36. Anon says:

    Seriously? You are all buying this? In my opinion, this is just another excuse parents give to validate their child’s tantrums and get away without disciplining them. Holding it together? Unpleasant situation? Excuses. Sorry, I don’t believe any of that is true.

  37. Anonymous​ says:

    Seriously? You are all buying this? In my opinion, this is just another excuse parents give to validate their child’s tantrums and get away without disciplining them. Holding it together? Unpleasant situation? Excuses. Sorry, I don’t believe any of that is true.

  38. Juhani says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that this kind of behaviour means that the children are not being disciplined properly? One can teach them emotional security AND proper behaviour. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. I was shocked by the line about how when the mommmy gets home her children are allowed to slap her because they have pent up feelings. Hello? You can teach your child emotional maturity and how to deal with their feelings without letting them misbehave. Being strict creates a safe haven. Children NEED boundaries.

  39. Mhmc says:

    My covert husband stayed home with our preschooler while i worked full time. When i walked through the door she woukd immediately start acting out. I soon realized she was being ignored most of the day and was extremely understimulated and begging for attention. It still happens when shes at her dads and comes home. I cuddle her, love her, and keep her busy with tasks and chores and her behavior improves while shes with me. Then i start all over again after shes been at her dads again.

  40. bebekco says:

    thank you so much! this web site is a big help to me as a teacher.It gives me lots of ideas on how to teach my students.

  41. Sandra says:

    Awwww❤️ Love this!! I guess I feel better now haha

  42. jeff says:

    Your theory is flawed I am a stay at home dad and my 18 month old acts great for me when his mom is at work and i am the one with him all day every day. By your theory because he is good when it is just the two of us I must be a bad parent and since he is a nightmare when his mother gets home she is the good parent. So i say your theory is bogus. Most likely it has to do with maternal bond. A mother does carry the child in her womb for 9+ months which would stand to reason that their bond with their mothers are the main reason it is not because one parent is better than the other although if you are a stay at home mother that sounds great but if your a stay at home father it makes no sense.

  43. Dori says:

    First, let me say I’m not here to comment on or judge others comments on this post. In fact, I didn’t really even read the comments. People are entitled to their own thoughts no matter what they are.
    Pertaining to the actual post itself, I understand the logic behind the theory; but it was never my personal experience as a mother. When my children were younger I encouraged them (and still do) to work through whatever they are feeling WHEN they are feeling it. If you’re mad about something while I’m away, tell someone! Don’t just keep it bottled up to explode when I return. My kids don’t need babysitters anymore; but when they did, I always left them with caregivers that could help them through whatever frustrations ailed them. I never wanted my children to feel like the only “safe area” they have is with me. To me that would have been unrealistic for the future.
    Just my own thoughts…

  44. Autum says:

    This post was perfect and on time! My 11-year-old cries every time I enter the room. We thought maybe she just didn’t like me lol, but she would always crawl to me and cry! This just gave me the reassurance I needed

  45. Carine Tang says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. She is accepting bad behaviour from her child, and patting herself on the back for it. The reason kids misbehave with you, is because they know exactly what they can get away with. They’ve tested the fences (the little velociraptors!) and they also know that you love them unconditionally. No matter what they do, you will still hug and kiss them and tuck them in at night. They behave better for strangers because it is human nature to want to be liked, AND they fear the wrath of someone who is under no obligation to love them. The solution is to improve your consequences and consistency, so that your child loves you AND respects you.

  46. Hailey says:

    I love this! It makes me feel better! It has definitely happened to me even with my 1 year old, where someone tells me he has been absolutely wonderful and then he has a meltdown with me right after. I am glad to know it is because he feels safe with me. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Meradee says:

    Wow, I can not believe some of the comments on here. As a mother and a two-year-old teacher I can tell you that all children are different and many of them behave worse for mom (or dad if dad is the predominant parent). My daughter is overall well behaved. She is very well behaved at school (never gotten in trouble, never any behavior reports, etc), mostly well behaved with her dad (we co-parent) but I always get her worst behavior and it is for exactly this reason.
    She is a very sensitive and emotional child but she is the type to keep it in until it explodes. And boy does it explode. I know whenever she is having a crazy tantrum (and I mean fill on possessed child screaming and acting ridiculous) for seemingly no reason (no immediate cause such as being told no or being tired or anything) it is because she is overwhelmed with emotion and finally after all the screaming, pushing me away, etc she breaks down into true tears and climbs into my lap and after some pushing she finally tells me about something that happened at school or her dads house or something that is making her sad/frustrated/etc.
    (We are working on this by talking about emotions more, having a journal where she can write/draw how she is feeling, things that comfort her for when she is feeling this way, and it has gotten a bit better. But she is only 5 and she doesn’t have the best role models for emotional regulation (her dad and his mom and siblings are well know for having adult temper tantrums) so it is an ongoing process and I still get the brunt of her emotion so this article definitely helps me to feel better and not feel like a total failure.

  48. HitesMites says:

    56yo new grandma. Two children ages 31 & 24.
    When you listen to your children, they learn how to trust that what they say matters to you. When they know that what they say matters to you, they will come to you when they’re older. Be the safe place for your children. Let them be who they are and love them wholly and completely, no matter what.

  49. Karen delagera says:

    What about teens with special needs? My daughter is approaching 17 and all of her life she brings it all to me. Her dad whom I’m not with anymore gets no issues. At school she controls it. I feel like I am loosing my mind with all of her rages and drama and non stop whining. She’s autistic high anxiety and has a psychosis. Is some of this typical? She asks me constant questions bc she doesn’t understand stuff but when I explain it she asks me over and over same questions. I need help!

  50. Maria Bayley-King says:

    Thank you so much for answering an almost 9 year old question. I believe this theory to be sooooo true.

  51. Children are wonderful gift from God, they are so much made to be more attracted to their mother’s at an early age because that is who they see more often, who they see carry and make sure they are fine, and also play with them. So within that age they tend to be that much worse behaved with their mom than any other person.

  52. Toni says:

    I love this! It is good to know they are thinking of us as their refuge instead of thinking of all the ways they can torture us! I will try to remember this in the future and hopefully it will help me accept it a little better.

  53. Jennifer says:

    Am so happy to share my testimony! Here is my story to the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage. I really love James so much that i can not even do without. I was married for 7years with 2kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fight and argument almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because i love him with all my heart and didn’t want to lose him but everything just proved abortive… He moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded, cried and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful man from israel,jerusalem who eventually helped me out with spell with no side effect… I have never done things like this before but just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used herbs… Within two days james called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should spread my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there needs it. You can email DR Adams via (dradamsjohnsoncentre12@gmail. com) Don’t give up just yet, the different between “Ordinary” & “Extra-Ordinary” is the “Extra” so make extra effort to save your marriage/relationship if it’s truly worth it.

  54. Laurie says:

    Being a stay at home mother must be wonderful. And having a husband that watches the children when you’re not there seems like a dream come true but not all of us live in that kind of environment. Somme of us work close to 60 hours a week making structure a real challenge.
    Of course it’s always the mother’s fault for misbehave children, just ask my daughters father, a man i chose to leave because I’m not going to stay in an abusive relationship.
    We don’t all live in a perfect little would but most of us are doing the best we can

    • That’s why mom’s need support, especially single mom’s and single dad’s who have to do it all! People like you need 1 minute self care ideas. You can’t be healthy without some self care and you don’t have time, I would guess. Thanks, Laurie for the great blog idea, I did a workshop on this for childcare providers about 30 years ago so I’ll get it back out there. Hang in there Laurie you’re doing a good job parenting even tho it’s so hard being a working full, full time Mom!

  55. Michelle says:

    This is so true. I have an 18 month old and he behaves like an angel when he stay with his grandparents or his dad. As soon as I come home from running an errand on my own, he just gets so fussy and just wants me to cuddle and hold him. My husband says I’m the problem but after reading your blog, I can safely say I’m his “safety blanket” ???? thanks!

  56. Stacy says:

    As a first time mum with no expectations or experience whatsoever, this gave me a massive smile. My 7 month old I’d great with Daddy, and well behaved when am not around. Even in childcare they express that she sits on her own and attempts to place with others. But as soon as she sees me, the game changes. It always makes me smile when she’s a little madam and pulls my hair to chew or takes my glasses off to chew. Now I understand more why. Thanks ????

  57. Stacy says:

    Thank you! Last week my kids came home from school. I pick them up from the bus stop and we walk in the house and my daughter starts crying. This is totally out of character for her so she wanted me to hug her and there she spilled her guts about a bully on the bus making fun of her Dad. Then I notice my son on the couch with his face in it. He wouldn’t talk to me. She said he’s upset about it also. So I spent the next 20 minutes holding two kids on my lap instead of starting dinner. They felt safe to share their hurting little hearts with me. I’m so thankful they feel they can do that.

  58. This is so true and hardly ever approached by authors. As a child and family educator with 40 years experience, I know in my gut that you’re right on target.
    2-4 year olds are the worst!

  59. Laurie says:

    Thank you. And yes, my health does suffer. From random colds to high blood pressure. Not much me time in my week & having a child with a form of Aspergers adds more. But i keep trying

  60. Elaina says:

    I agree partially. I see where you’re coming from. Our babies do feel safe with us because we nurture and care for them most. But have you considered that children take advantage more of mom rather than dad for another reason? For example. Dad says “we don’t push our siblings, if you push again, you’ll be disciplined.” The child still pushes and gets disciplined by dad without another warning. Now when mom says “we don’t push our siblings, if you push again you’ll be disciplined.” The child pushes. Instead on disciplining, mom repeats herself over and over again. We say no countless times and children don’t listen, throw tantrums etc. The child catches on quickly that mom does not follow through what she says. And takes advantage on that. I’ve seen countless examples of just that, including in my own family.

  61. Ricardo Herrera says:

    Awesome and true!

  62. Mitch says:

    I’m sorry but this is tripe. This is how Millennials were created. There is nonmaguc time that we suddenly “become adults” and stop this behavior. Barring a disability tgere is zero reason for most of this type of activity. Teach your child an appropriate way to express their frustration. That’s your job. To teach your child. Not let them grow up “natuarally”. This country is far enough down that road. Let’s not put our heads in the sand and just keep pushing forward regardless of the consequences. There is a reason why in 1940 men were men. Period.

  63. Maria Petit says:

    I love this !!!!!

  64. Amy says:

    This article brought me to tears! Now I get it! Thanks ❤️

  65. Monique says:

    I am really struggling with my one year old right now. This is so helpful to me and at just the right time.

    Thank You!

  66. Victoria says:

    Interesting theory. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any research to back any of this up. The post that’s referenced even claims it was based on a fake study. If there’s any evidence to support this, then I’d be very interested to see it.

    This seems to be a hot button topic. There are so many strong opinions, some of which (sadly) come across as being rather vicious. Some sound overly judgmental while others seem incredibly defensive, but I guess that should be expected whenever people have strong opinions. It’s a sad commentary on our culture that civil discourse goes right out the window whenever we encounter opinions that don’t align with ours.

    My first impression of this post is that it comes across as being rather sexist. If children throw tantrums with the father, then do we also get to say the he is the “garbage disposal of unpleasant feelings and emotions”? Or is this crown only reserved for the mother? Everything about this post seems to suggest exactly that. I’m all for praising wonderful mamas, but this so-called “study” seems very exclusive (read: no papas allowed…it’s all about *us*). I prefer to think of my husband and I as equal partners in parenthood. What happens to one of us also happens to other. Eh, I suppose I’m just reading too much into things.

    I’ll to say that I lean more towards the camp that believes parenting style plays a large roll in children’s behavior. It’s entirely possible that my husband and I got lucky with our (now 5 yr old) daughter, but we’ve always validated our daughter’s feelings while keeping firm limits and boundaries, and we’ve always done it as a team. There’s no good cop, bad cop in our family. We’ve also worked hard to make sure our daughter has a vocabulary to express her feelings in a healthy way. We even have a “feeling map” which we reference often. This is not to say our daughter has never had a tantrum, but we treated each one as an opportunity to discuss her feelings. Sometimes this means that she has to practice what it feels like to be disappointed, sad, and mad. She has learned that these feelings pass and that she can and will survive. Anyways, this works for our family. I’m not trying to preach anything to anyone.

    IMO, the “garbage disposal” analogy was a poor choice because it sends the message that mothers should be helpless victims who should get dumped on because (for some reason) that’s their job and that’s what love is. I get it, we all love our kids, almost to the point where we feel like we have to martyr ourselves to give them what they want. But what kind of message is this sending to our kids? That being loved by someone means that they should be able to walk all over that person? I don’t think that sets kids up for healthy relationships when they get older. I don’t really think it teaches emotional intelligence either.

    Anyways, if anyone has any research that backs up this “mama is the garbage disposal” theory, please share it.

  67. Paul Archer says:

    the more people around the child the better the child does

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