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My Daughter Gets Jealous When I Bond with her Father

10 March, 2022
Q My 4-year-old daughter is very attached to her father. She is very jealous when it comes to my relationship with her father.

She gets mad when he touches or kisses me in front of her! In the beginning, we used to laugh at this but I feel the matter is getting serious now.

Answer

•In this counseling answer:

continue to show affection around her as it is important for children to see their parents showing mutual love and affection for one another.

•I would kindly suggest that if your husband is giving you a hug or kiss that you begin with a group hug and kiss to include her.

•If she is crying, complaining or otherwise, it won’t hurt to ignore it. When she does stop her temper tantrum, please do embrace her in a family hug and kiss


As-salamu alaykum sister,

It is very common for little girls to be attached to their fathers’ at this age. It is called a “Daddy’s girl” phase.

It is said little boys often go through an attachment phase to their moms’ as well. Please see other mother’s experiences with this with their son’s.

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It seems your daughter is vying for your husband’s attention and is displaying anger at not being the center of his attention all the time!

As at first it was cute and the two of you would laugh at her jealous outbursts, perhaps she is expecting the same response and maybe now your response is different, while hers is not.

It can be confusing to her that at one time it was funny and you both probably gave in to her demands for his time and affection thus interrupting your usual hugs or kisses to attend to her.

Now that things have either intensified or you and your husband see an unhealthy pattern in her anger it is rightfully so that it is corrected.

While I can assure you that insha’Allah she will outgrow this phase, the issue of using anger to get what one wants needs to be addressed.

Your daughter is at the age wherein she is learning about relationships. In fact children at this age are creative and often play “mommy & daddy” .

Given that she is attached to your husband right now, and in a little while that may change and she may be attached to you-I would continue to show affection around her as it is important for children to see their parents showing mutual love and affection for one another.

I would kindly suggest that if your husband is giving you a hug or kiss that you begin with a group hug and kiss to include her.

That way, she doesn’t feel left out or insecure about not being part of a family hug. From there I would kindly suggest that you and your husband have your snuggle, hug or kiss without her. If she gets upset, ignore her outburst and go on about your business.

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While it may take persistence and patience on both of your parts, soon insha’Allah she will learn that mommy and daddy can love each other and love her too.

As her focus is on her father right now, she will learn insha’Allah that daddy can love mommy and love her too. Insha’Allah she will also learn that anger and outbursts will not get the results she wants.

At 4 years old, your daughter is still learning how to express her emotions. As her parents’ it is up to you to help her express her fears, needs and desires inappropriate ways.

Concerning the jealousy or fear of the loss of your husband’s attention, the more a negative behavior gets attention, the more it is reinforced.


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While I am not sure how she is displaying anger if it is hitting or other physical altercations those must be obviously stopped and she must be firmly told “no” and redirected to a positive activity.

If she is crying, complaining or otherwise, it won’t hurt to ignore it. When she does stop her temper tantrum, please do embrace her in a family hug and kiss.

This will help her identify positive behaviors which produce positive outcomes, as well as re-enforce her feelings of being loved. It will also teach her that even though you and your husband love each other, you both love her too.

As far as your concern about her hating you or worrying about a future relationship with her, please remember sister that this is just a normal phase children go through and it will soon pass.

In fact, in a short time, you may be the center of her world and your husband will be excluded and then the whole process starts again!

Please do read the other comments on mamapedia and I am sure you will relate to how they are feeling as well as coping with this phase children often go through.

We wish you the best sister you are in our prayers.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.