Why Your Toddler Acts Out When Dad Comes Home

It’s a familiar scene: your toddler is happily playing independently, but as soon as dad walks in the door, they start whining and acting out. What’s going on? It turns out that this behavior is quite common – and there’s a good reason for it.

It can be frustrating when your child starts misbehaving when you’re trying to relax after a long day of work.

But don’t worry; there are some things you can do to nip this behavior in the bud. Keep reading to find out more!

Is it common for a toddler to act up when dad comes home?

It’s pretty common for toddlers to act out when their dads come home from work. After all, they’ve been away from each other all day, and the toddler is probably feeling a bit neglected.

But there are some things you can do to help your toddler feel loved and secure again. Here are a few ideas.

What can I do to stop my toddler from acting up when dad comes home?

There are a few things that you can do to help stop your toddler from acting out when dad gets home:

  • Ensure that you have a consistent routine for when dad gets home, and stick to it as closely as possible.
  • Try to have some special time reserved for just dad and toddler, where they can spend time together without any interruptions.
  • Make sure that you celebrate dad’s return, specifically with something your toddler will enjoy.
  • Make sure you give your toddler plenty of positive reinforcement when they’re good, so they know they’re still loved and valued.
  • Avoid scolding or punishing your toddler when dad is around – this could make things worse.

Hopefully, with a bit of effort, you will be able to help your toddler adjust to the arrival of dad and stop any unwelcome behavior.

Reasons Why Your Toddler Acts Out When Dad comes home

toddler acts out

There are several reasons why your toddler acts out as soon as dad takes a step through the entrance. Let’s take a look at each of the most common reasons now.

They Need Assurance

When toddlers act out after their dad comes home, it’s usually because they’re feeling insecure and need some reassurance.

They may be worried that their dad will only pay attention to them when he’s home and not when away. Or they may be afraid that their dad will get mad at them and punish them.

They Need Attention

Toddlers also often act out when their dads come home because they want attention. They’re excited to see their dads and want to spend as much time with them as possible.

They’re Coping With Separation Anxiety

Many toddlers also experience separation anxiety when their dads come home. They may cling to their dads or have difficulty separating from them. This is completely normal and usually goes away over time.

There are many reasons toddlers might act out when their dads come home. But typically, it’s because they’re feeling insecure and need some reassurance.

They may also be looking for attention or coping with separation anxiety. If your toddler is acting out this way, try to provide them with the reassurance and attention they need.

And remember that it’s normal for toddlers to act out sometimes.

With a bit of patience and understanding, they’ll eventually settle down.

What If The Problem Persists?

If the behavior persists, it might be a sign that there’s something more going on, and you should consult with a professional.

There could be a problem with the father-child relationship that needs to be addressed, or your toddler may be experiencing some emotional distress.

Talk to your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your toddler’s behavior.

Is there anything dad can do?

The critical thing here is the behavior is correct, and it would be good if dad corrected it.

As I said above, if your toddler is acting out when dad comes home, it is likely because they feel anxious or overwhelmed. This can be due to many things, such as feeling like they have to share mom’s attention or not knowing how to express their feelings.

Dad should get heavily involved in making sure that his turning up isn’t going to change your toddler’s relationship with their mom and reward good behavior when your toddler does something well.

Don’t give in to your toddler’s demands

demanding toddler

You mustn’t give in to any demands your little dictator has just because they cry or throw a tantrum when you come home. This will only reinforce the idea that this is how they can get what they want from you.

Try to stay calm and consistent with your parenting, even if it’s hard in the moment. For example, if your toddler is acting out, try to figure out what might be causing their behavior.

Are they tired, hungry, or frustrated about something?

Once you’ve identified the cause, try to address it constructively.

Why does my 2-year-old hate his dad?

There could be several reasons why a toddler might hate his dad. Maybe the toddler feels like he is constantly competing with his dad for mom’s attention, or perhaps the toddler is afraid of his dad’s towering figure.

Some toddlers might act out when their dad comes home because they are angry that their dad has been away working all day, and they feel neglected.

It is also possible that the toddler doesn’t understand why his dad is always gone and may resent him for it.

Whatever the reason, it is essential to try to get to the bottom of why the toddler is acting out and see if there is anything that you can do to improve the situation.


If your toddler always acts out when dad comes home, you’re not alone. So I’ve given you some tips to help make the transition a little smoother.

Try these ideas and be patient; it may take a little time for things to change.

As your child gets older, they will understand more about what’s going on.

For now, keep providing plenty of love and support.

It won’t be long before you deal with yet another toddler-related problem!

Good luck!

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