4 reasons why children say “I hate Papa!” and how to solve the issue


Until very recently, in Japan, child-rearing was considered the mom’s job and dad’s were expected to focus on their job outside the home. However, nowadays, this expectation has been crushed and dads are expected to participate in child-rearing as well.

As a result, the number of children who do not feel comfortable with their dads is increasing. Whenever they do something they often say they want to do it with mom and not with dad and run away when they are asked to go with their dad. In this article, we will introduce the reason why children don’t want to be with their dad and how to solve the issue.


The reason children don’t want to be with their dad has to do with “the amount of time they spend with him” and “their parents’ relationship with each other”

1.They spend less time with their dad than their mom
Children are with their mom from before they are born when they are in her tummy. After they are born, they are also more likely to spend more of their time with their mom than their dad.

Most dads are at work during the day so the time available to spend with their children is limited. Although they are working hard for their family, young children do not understand this concept. It is important for dads to come early when they can during the week and take the time to play with their children on the weekend when possible.

2.It is a phase
From the age of 1 to the age of 2, many children want to be with their mom all the time. At this time, there is nothing mom or dad can do to change the situation. But when they naturally get out of the phase and begin to show interest in people other than mom, children often become OK with their dad as well.

3.Mom and Dad have a bad relationship
Living together as a family can have an affect on a parents’ relationship. Have you ever fought as a couple in front of your child or said bad things about your partner in front of them?

Children are very influenced by their parents’ relationship. If they feel that their dad is hurting or bullying their mom, they will be more likely to want to stay with their mom.

Also if their mom says bad things about their dad, children may be influenced by what they hear and form a bad image of their dad.

4.They are afraid of their dad’s beard and glasses
From a child’s point of view, what is not scary for adults can often be thought of as scary. Beards have a particularly scary feeling for children as they see that half the face is covered in black. When possible, it is best for dads to shave and take off their glasses when they are interacting with their children.

One way to solve the issue is to allow children to show interest in their dad

Please consider the solutions below when trying to encourage your child to like his/her dad:

・Ask them what happened today
・Use “skin ship” and act lovingly whenever possible
・Have dad invite them to play together
・Create rules regarding fighting and complaining between mom and dad

Skin ship is particularly important. Children trust adults that understand them and interact with them.

Dads should ask for the support of mom and also teachers when their child is trying to avoid spending time alone with them. Children will change daily as they develop and they will often outgrow the many issues they face.