It indeed has happened to you. You leave your son for a couple of hours with his grandmother, and when you come back, she tells you that he is a little angel, that he doesn’t give any inconvenience, behaves amazingly, and even helps pick up his toys. Is he talking about the same baby? Well, yes, kids are 800 times naughtier when mom is around, and there is a reason that science can explain. This is why kids are 800 times naughtier when mom is around.

Baby Creysi

Naughtier with mom than with dad

I’ll give you another situation. Think back to when you had to leave your child with your husband (for whatever reason). You tell your little one to be good, not throw tantrums or paint on the walls. Suddenly your partner replies, “You are too strict; he always behaves well.” When you get home, everything is quiet; both of them watch television, but as soon as he sees you, your child asks for milk and throws his toys on the floor so that you can take it to him immediately.

Did you feel identified? Why does a child act differently with dad or grandma?

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They are 800 times naughtier when mom is around

A study conducted by Dr. KP. Leibowitz of the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington in the United States found that children behave 800 times worse in the presence of their mother compared to when they are with other people or with their father.

The research on 500 families measured the children by considering the following variables: complaints, crying, screaming, hitting attempts, asking for many things, throwing toys, and even forgetting how to walk or talk.

All children seek attention from their mom

It turns out that 99.9% of the children could be playing quietly, and when their mother entered the room, they began to attract her attention with these behaviors.

Study author Dr. KP Leibowitz explains,

“What we found was that eight-month-olds could be playing happily, and if their mothers suddenly walked into the room, they would start crying, venting their anger, and needing immediate attention. This happened in 99.9% of the children. The remaining 0.1% was for a child with vision problems. Hearing his mother’s voice, she started throwing things and begging for food even though she had just eaten. Truly fascinating”.

Blame it on the pheromones

The conclusion was that when perceiving the scent of their mothers, the children felt the need to call their attention constantly. In addition, it was shown that 100% of the children were more sensitive to instructions if they came from someone other than their mother. Instead, mothers had to raise their voices to achieve the same results.

Even when the researchers studied how the children would respond to discipline, they explained that 100% of the children responded better when the scold was coming from someone else and not from the mother.

Does it ring a bell? Many moms wonder why they have to repeat the instruction more than three times for the children to listen, and dad speaks once, and it is enough.

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We moms already knew

The reality is that this is not something new for moms, yet it is surprising for dads and other family members. One participant and father, Paul Olsen, said these results only confirmed his suspicions.

“I always wondered why I couldn’t do anything. She is literally her kryptonite and her magnet at the same time”, he said.

To get the same behavioral results from the children, the women in the group had to “raise their voices as if someone was being attacked by several large animals”, according to momdailynews.

“I didn’t need a study to tell me this,” said Lisa Powell, another participant and mom of four, “My kids act like they’re half their age the moment they pick up my scent. That’s why I’m now a high-performance alcoholic”, she joked.

We now know that the cause of this bad behavior is the smell that masks the natural pheromones that mothers release to give relief to their children. Dr. Leibowitz is preparing a spray that could block the mother’s natural pheromones. Will it work? Many of us prefer to think that this attachment is because we are their favorite people in the world, right?

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version