There's A Scientific Reason For Why Kids Want To Sit With Mom, Not Dad

child kissing mom between mom and dad

According to research, there is a scientific reason why children often choose to sit with their mothers than with their fathers whenever they are feeling hurt, lonely, or scared. As a matter of fact, many kids often look to climb into their mother’s arms for emotional support than their father’s, and it's not because moms do a better job of kissing their tears good-bye.

In new research published by the American Journal of Perinatology, the reason why children prefer to sit next to one parent over the other is because of a logical one: mothers tend to be the predominant caregivers.

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Also, during the first few months of a child’s life, a mother’s bond with their baby is the strongest. The study suggests that because the mother is usually the prime caregiver during those first few days, it sets in the brain a preference that children have for their moms as opposed to their fathers. In other words, they just haven’t had the same sort of prolonged exposure to their other parent as they have had with their mom.

Researchers and pediatric experts also note that mothers and their children interact in synchrony. This means that even if you have your partner in bed or is in the same room as you, there’s a strong possibility that your child will choose to go to his or her mother before their father. It’s an example of nature, or rather, "interpersonal exchange that are clearly separated from the stream of daily life."

child kissing mom
Credit: iStock / Wavebreakmedia

If that weren’t enough, my psychologists would agree that mothers also do most of the emotional labor and work within their family. Children are also more naturally drawn to their mothers when they seek comfort and safety. The journal wrote that there is "a positive link between the quality of relationships with early caregivers and children’s prosocial behavior."

Now, that doesn’t mean that fathers don’t get their fair share of loves and cuddles during desperate times of need. Many young children look up to their fathers are the protectors and in many cases the providers of their family, even more so when children get older. A good example is to ask any parent of a pre-tween who is looking for spending cash at the mall or his or her mobile phone. Chances are that child will most likely ask their father before approaching their moms. Most moms can agree on what their answer would be.

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