Help! My Daughter Hates Me but Loves Her Dad

Dorothy Clark

My daughter hates me but loves her dad

As a parent, there are many parenting challenges, but none is as heart-wrenching as feeling this “my daughter hates me but loves her dad“. It’s a painful and confusing experience that can leave you feeling lost, hurt, and even questioning your parenting abilities.

You may find yourself asking, “Why does my daughter prefer her dad over me?” “What does he do differently that makes him more loved? It is a situation that many parents, particularly mothers, can relate to.

From the moment your child is born, you pour your heart and soul into being the best parent you can be. You change countless diapers, comfort them during sleepless nights, kiss boo-boos, and cheer on their accomplishments.

You work hard to provide a warm, caring, and nurturing environment in which your child can thrive. And, you also do everything you can to make them feel safe, loved, and cherished. But despite your best efforts, you may find that your daughter prefers her father over you, which hurts.

You’ve noticed that your daughter lights up when her dad enters the room. She eagerly reaches out to him for comfort or playtime and constantly seeks his attention and approval. Meanwhile, she may seem distant, aloof, or even dismissive toward you.

She may also reject your attempts to bond with her, resist your affection, or even express outright dislike or animosity towards you. It can be incredibly hurtful and can leave you feeling rejected, unimportant, and confused about what you’ve done wrong for your daughter to hates you but loves her dad.

Why Your Daughter Likely Hates You

Here are a few possible reasons your daughter may hates you but loves her dad:

  • Miscommunications or misunderstandings: Sometimes, communication breakdowns or misunderstandings can strain parent-child relationships.
  • Differences in personality or values: People have different personalities, temperaments, and value systems. If your daughter has a different personality or values that clash with yours. This difference could lead to parenting issues like conflict and strained relationships.
  • Parenting style. Your parenting style may not align with your daughter’s needs or preferences. If your parenting style is overly strict, authoritarian, or lacking in warmth and affection. It can, however, create a disconnect and negative feelings in your daughter.
  • Experiences or parent-child conflicts. Your daughter may have experienced hurt or past traumas from you. Such as emotional or physical abuse, disagreement, neglect, or other adverse experiences that have affected her feelings toward you.
  • Personal challenges: Your daughter may be going through personal challenges that have nothing to do with you. such as stress, mental health issues, or struggles with her own identity, which could impact her relationship with you.
  • External influences such as peer pressure, societal expectations, or influences from other family members or friends could also affect your daughter’s feelings towards you.

Related: Why Does My Daughter Hate Me? (I want her to love me again)

Why your daughter loves her dad

My daughter hates me but loves her dad

When you observe that your daughter seems to prefer her dad over you, it’s natural to be concerned. They have a strong father-daughter relationship going on. On the other hand, you are either your daughter’s second choice or not a choice at all. Here are some likely reasons your daughter loves her dad and prefers him over you:

She spends more time with her dad.

If your daughter has been spending more time with her dad recently due to work schedules or other factors, she may have developed a closer bond with him.

Children tend to gravitate towards those they are most familiar with and spend the most time with. So, your daughter’s preferences may simply reflect current family dynamics.

Your daughter’s age and stage of development

Children go through different phases as they grow, and their preferences can change accordingly.

For example, during the toddler and preschool years, children often go through a phase where they are more attached to one parent, usually the primary caregiver, and may seek comfort and security from that parent.

This phase is known as “separation anxiety,” and it’s a normal part of a child’s development. If your daughter is in this age range, she may be going through a phase where she is seeking more comfort from her dad.

However, if your daughter is a teenager, her dad might be the more understanding parent who relates better to her.

Your daughter’s personality and temperament

Your daughter may be naturally more drawn to her dad than you are due to his unique preferences and personality.

For example, if your daughter is more adventurous and outgoing, she may be naturally drawn to her dad if he engages in activities that align with her interests.

On the other hand, if she is more introverted or sensitive, she may feel more comfortable with a parent who provides a sense of security and emotional support.

Perceived differences in parenting styles

It’s not uncommon for daughters to prefer one parent over the other based on differences in parenting styles.

If your daughter’s dad is seen as more permissive or lenient compared to you, she may develop a preference for her dad. It could be because he appears to be more permissive or “spoiling.”

How to deal with a daughter who hates you but loves her dad

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you deal with a daughter who hates you but loves her dad, hope this helps.

1. Reflect on the mother-daughter relationship

Take a moment to reflect on and analyze your relationship with your daughter. Are there any potential issues or challenges that could be affecting your bond?

Reflecting on your relationship with your daughter involves taking a close and honest look at the family relationship, interactions, and patterns of behavior between you and your daughter. It will also give you a better understanding of why your daughter hates you but loves her dad. Here are some points to consider:


Reflect on how you used to communicate with your daughter. Do you actively listen to her when she speaks? Or do you give her space to express her thoughts and emotions without interrupting or dismissing them? Do you communicate with kindness, respect, and empathy toward her?

By reflecting on your communication style, you can find any areas where you might need to improve. such as being more attentive, patient, or understanding in your interactions with your daughter.

Time spent together

Consider the amount and quality of time you spend with your daughter. Do you prioritize spending one-on-one time with her and engaging in activities she enjoys? Do you try to be present and attentive during your time together. Also, are you often distracted or preoccupied?

Reflecting on the time you spend with your daughter can help you identify opportunities to strengthen your bond by prioritizing time spent together.

Emotional connection

Reflect on the emotional connection between you and your daughter. Do you create a safe and nurturing environment for her to express her feelings and emotions? Do you show empathy and understanding toward her emotions, even if they are negative?. Also, do you actively work on building a trusting and loving relationship with her?

Reflecting on the emotional connection you have with your daughter can help you identify any areas where you may need to improve. Such as being more emotionally available, validating her feelings, and actively fostering a positive emotional bond.

Parenting approach

Consider your parenting approach towards your daughter. Do you use positive and constructive discipline methods? Do you set clear boundaries and expectations while also being flexible and understanding? Also, do you foster independence and autonomy while also providing guidance and support?
Reflecting on your parenting approach can help you know the areas you may need to adjust to better meet your daughter’s needs. And also foster a healthy parent-child relationship.

2. Talk to your daughter

After reflecting on your relationship with your daughter and identifying the underlying problem. Talk to her in a non-judgmental, open, and honest way to better understand her perspective. Ask her about how she feels about you and her father, and try to listen without interruption or defending yourself.

Show a genuine interest in what she is saying and feeling and give her permission to express any negative emotions. By doing this, you can understand her perspective on the underlying problems that might be influencing her preference for her father.

3. Understand potential reasons for her preference.

There could be several reasons your daughter may prefer her father over you. It could be related to her personality, interests, or attachment style. It could also be influenced by external factors such as the dynamics within your family, societal norms, or experiences.

Understanding these potential reasons can help you approach the situation with empathy and compassion.

4. Strengthen your relationship with your daughter

Take steps to build a stronger bond with your daughter. Spend quality time with her, engage in activities that she enjoys, and show a genuine interest in her life. Be present and attentive when you are with her, and try to create positive experiences together.

Building a positive and trusting relationship based on love, respect, and trust can help improve your daughter’s perception of you over time.

5. Collaborate with your spouse

Work together with your spouse, who is your daughter’s father, to address the situation. Present a united front and avoid any negative talk or blame towards each other in front of your daughter.

You both can collaborate on parenting strategies and decisions, and support each other in fostering a healthy parental relationship with your daughter. By so doing, your daughter will love you both equally, with no preference.

6. Seek professional help if needed

If you are struggling to understand and resolve the issue on your own, consider seeking support from a qualified therapist or counselor. A trained professional can provide insights, guidance, and tools to help you navigate the situation and improve the mother-daughter relationship.

Related: What Happens When a Child Have Overprotective Parents

Final thought

Your daughter’s preference for her dad over you doesn’t necessarily reflect your worth as a parent. It is essential to remember that each parent-child relationship is unique. And it is natural for children to have different parent-child dynamics with each parent.

While it can be challenging to navigate these parenting struggles, there are proactive steps you can take to improve your relationship. By reflecting on your actions, talking to your daughter, spending more time with her, understanding her preferences, and collaborating with her dad, you can work towards building a strong family relationship.

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By Dorothy Clark

Dorothy Clark is a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful girls. She's hoping her experience as a mother and a wife can help others in their various family dynamics.

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