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MY parents hate AP

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Hello. We are living in NJ for the summer since DH is a grad student and has an internship in NYC this summer (we normally live in VA,but I am from NJ). Anyhow, today I was on the phone with a woman I have been playing phone tag with for forever and DS (2) was super whiny and clingy and wanted me off of the phone. I asked my mom for help while I was on the phone (literally for 2 minutes) and asked if she could take him into his playroom while I was on the phone so I could hear the woman. She slammed the door to his playroom and screamed and just flat out lost it. She said she can't stand how I have "ruined" her grandson and made him too "attached" to me and how I have created a whiny and clingy child who won't even go to others in his family. I stopped to think that maybe AP isn't really for me since she is right. He is so miserable when I am not around and hardly goes to anybody else. I can't leave him in the nursery at church and I really enjoy church, but don't go anymore. Part of me thinks it is time to just let him be left more since I really do need more of a break and am starting to resent how much he just needs me and only me. It almost doesn't seem healthy at times.
Sorry this post is so negative. Just needed to rant.
post #2 of 55
Reasons this might have happened:

He's two.

If you usually live farther from family, he doesn't get that he is supposed to be more connected to them than to other people.

He may be scared of people who scream and slam doors.

Reason this didn't happen:


My son has been raised AP - mostly - I am not hard core by the book - but he is not clingy. I know kids who are not raised AP, and they are clingy. Kids are who they are. They have different temperaments and tolerances. The way we choose to raise them shows how much we value them, but doesn't predict that they will turn out a certain way.

Hang in there.

post #3 of 55
I have had this feeling myself at times, but it's not the AP.

WHat your mom did was childish and hurtful. It probably scared your child, and will NOT make him any less clingy to you, where he knows he's safe. She also made you doubt your parenting because of her reaction to being asked to play with her grandchild.

I agree with the above poster - AP's kids a far less clingy and more sure of themselves than their non-AP's counterparts IN THE LONG RUN.

Right now he's coming out of being a baby, and that's an exciting and scary thing to a toddler.
post #4 of 55
I know this is extreme, but maybe you should move out for a couple of weeks or even days. Do a mini-vacation or something, you know? If she is THAT upset, to the point of screaming and slamming doors, maybe SHE needs the space. Also, maybe she needs to realize that her reaction and criticism was NOT an appropriate response. If she has that much of an issue, she should have come to you in the first place with her concerns.

Do you think that she could have been set off by something else and you were just the unlucky scapegoat?
post #5 of 55
I don't mean to be snippy, but honestly, your mom is old enough not to have a tantrum. That's the two year old's job.

But seriously, maybe this brings up painful memories for your mom of things she wishes she did differently. Maybe it brings back painful memories of her own childhood to see you being so compassionate. Maybe she got burned out since normal two year olds are draining to be with sometimes. Maybe she doesn't have the patience you do, if she is older.

I feel AP is doing the right thing. Sorry mom couldn't deal. Maybe she has her own wounds.
post #6 of 55
Thread Starter 

Need some input

THank you all for candor and kind words. I just want to know if maybe I could be doing something wrong. I really think DS is the one of the most clingy children I know and he is one of the only ones that I know is AP. No one else I knows co-sleeps or even thinks about slinging at this age (mostly hip carrier or backpack for us now though). It seems like it is all backfiring on me. Does anyone else ever feel this way?
post #7 of 55
Look at it this way, think how he would be if you weren't AP. Some children have higher needs than others and you're meeting his needs. Would it better for him to be despondant and detached? Sure it would be easier for your mom (mine's the same BTW), but how happy and confident would he be growing up? I know I learned from my upbringing that children may need constant care to be nurtured and AP is the best way to address that. DS at times is super clingy (he's getting better as he gets older but he used to be a velcro child), but in some situations it's understandable as kids may sense things they may not be given enough credit for IYKWIM. IMO, your son is perfectly normal and there is a broad range of normal for a 2 year old just as every adult isn't easy going, confident, ect....

Just remember living with your parents is (hopefully) relatively short term! Hang in there
post #8 of 55
My dd went through a very similar stage for a few month around 2-2.5, she seems to be growing out of it now. It was to the point that we couldn't let my parents babysit her because she wouls just cry the entire time we were gone. She's more clingy with dh than me because he's a sahd. I think it has a lot to do with that toddler age, wanting independence so much, but then realizing that it is kind of scary.

We got my daughter involved in a Montessori preschool for a 3 hours a day, 4 days a week when she was about 2.4. It was very hard at first, even though we stayed in the classroom with her for the first week. The first time we left her, she cried. We kept calling to check on her, but they said she stopped crying after about 10 minutes, and seemed fine. It was hard on all of us, because we are AP, and we all struggled within ourselves over whether it was the right thing to do, if she was too young, etc. Now she looks forward to going, even though the first few weeks were rocky.

She has learned that playing with other kids can be fun, and that other adults besides mommy and daddy can take care of her. Dad gets a much-needed break. It has worked out well for us, and she has matured a lot in the past three months. As I said, I think much of that has to do with the age.

Maybe wait until emotions aren't running so high in your household and then try to sit down and have a talk with your mom. See where she's coming from. maybe she's feeling left out or resentful that your ds isn't so close to her. Try to remind her that this is a perfectly normal stage of toddler development. Best of luck to you.
post #9 of 55
Thread Starter 

Great help you all are

THanks. You reassured me a lot. DS is going to a preschool two days a week for three hours in the Fall. I definitely need the break and want him to be with other kids. I think it will help out both of us even though it will be tough in the beginning.
post #10 of 55
Originally Posted by bwylde
Look at it this way, think how he would be if you weren't AP. Some children have higher needs than others and you're meeting his needs. IMO, your son is perfectly normal and there is a broad range of normal for a 2 year old just as every adult isn't easy going, confident, ect....

I completely agree w/ the above statement. I have a high needs toddler and it was one of the reasons why I am practicing AP even more now than when she was born. She is only 23 mos, but has a huge tantrum over anything. APing is the best method for me to keep a good connection w/ her. Maybe you mom needs to open her narrow mind and try APing (such as babywearing). Your ds may get a little closer to him. My parents practice AP w/ my kids when they spend the night w/ them. They co-sleep, baby wear, provide bm and even EC (which my mom is a strong advocate of). My kids are super close to them.

I would have been PISSED if ANYONE did what your mother did in front of my child. It was so wrong.

Good luck,
Helon 23 mo
Phillip 5 mo
post #11 of 55
silly question

what does AP stand for, I can't figure it out?
post #12 of 55
post #13 of 55
Do you feel that your mothers response is appropriate? Is this something that you expect from her?

I know I will have my issues with my FIL and MIL (they live seperately) when I move to the city they live in soon, and the FIL is a PhD in psychology who has actually done primary work in attachment theory, but I don't think I will ever have to deal with a temper tantrum thrown by either of them. If that ever happened, I would immediately move out, even if it means living in an efficiency. That is violent behavior. She may not be striking anyone, but the force of her action, the screaming, the slamming, is violent. If this is how you grew up, you might not be fully aware of just how serious her actions are.

Explaining attachemnt parenting is secondary to explaining how inappropriate her actions are around your child and her grandchild.

love to you and yours. i hope you find some peace.
post #14 of 55
Originally Posted by geekgolightly


T I'm sort of AP, Dh won't let dd sleep with us. He did'nt like it when DS slept with us, but I got away with it : I love sleeping with my kids, it gives me some cuddle time with them. He would get irked when I would fall asleep breast feeding my kids.

geekgolightly I have a preemie too, she was taken 8 weeks early.

okay now back to the topic
post #15 of 55
my MIL thinks i have made my baby waaaaaaaaay too attached too

she complained a lot.

he is now almost 3 years old.........still very very attached, but also has really begun to adjust to people more and more.

i just tune my MIL out, lucky for me she lives in NJ and i live in the midwest!
post #16 of 55
Originally Posted by beaconlighthero

T I'm sort of AP, Dh won't let dd sleep with us. He did'nt like it when DS slept with us, but I got away with it : I love sleeping with my kids, it gives me some cuddle time with them. He would get irked when I would fall asleep breast feeding my kids.

geekgolightly I have a preemie too, she was taken 8 weeks early.

okay now back to the topic
IMO, you're AP if you respond to your daughter's cues. That's all it takes. The rest of the stuff is if it fits with your life.
post #17 of 55
on your kiddo being nuts while you are on the phone: even non AP kiddos do that. EVERYONE I know (ap, non ap) complains of this. And I think it is totally normal that you have a kiddo who wants to be with you.

on not going to others in the family: how is ds when you go someplace new? my dd just stands there when we got to the park/afriends house/etc. She has to warm up for like 25 minutes and then can play for the rest of the time. Wondering if your ds just takes some time to get used to others?

second thought was if grandma's behavior is what he expects, of course he won't go to her, he's likely scared of her. geez. i would be.

on dealing with this:
1. with your mom -- try not to be defensive. she might think that you're doing things that are an opposite of what she did and thereby criticizing what she did. (maybe you are, but I wouldn't approach it that way). I guess I'd even limit the discussion of your parenting. You're the mom, you get to decide. You can have your doubts, issues, whatever but you still decide what's best for your family.

2. for you -- I 2nd the above poster who said there are people here who would give you a hard time for not taking a break. Honestly if you need a break, take the darn break. If I were in your shoes I might try to do stuff like take a 10 minute break around the block. I ALWAYS tell my dd when I am leaving (I'm a wohm so it is obviously more often). I think it really helps kids if you are predictable. "Mom is going to the store, you're going to stay with grandma." is a good start. Then (if grandma is willing) "I bet grandma will be glad to read stories with you and you can do X, Y, Z while I'm gone."

3. and finally for ds -- I do think that developing some relationships with other people who are important in his life sounds like a good thing. I have a friend who goes for coffee with just "the ladies" once a week. All the kids stay together with a babysitter. The friend told her dd that for about a year when she left and now the dd asks "mommy don't you need coffee with ladies?"

other ideas would be to sit and play with grandma/friend/aunt/whomever on the floor for a while and then slowly back away (but don't leave the room/house). We do this each time that ILs come to visit. My dd is really clingy and it gives her a chance to warm up to them and play with them without us. Everyone has fun and I'm there if she needs me.

it sounds like a stressful situation all around -- I said I was a WOHM, I'm truly a phd candidate in geology so I know that grad school puts stress in the family and being away from home does too. Hang in there, I think you are doing a great job so far.
post #18 of 55
I dont think that you should blame your parenting style for a "clingy" toddler. I have one year old twins, raised the same way and in the same environment, and one is totally and completely clingy to me while the other is not. I dont hink you should change what you are doing or worry that you are doing something wrong.
post #19 of 55
Trust yourself and believe that you are doing the best thing for your child!!! I think there are so many great things that the other mamas have said I really can't add anything except maybe trying to find some other AP mamas to hang with. Take care!!
post #20 of 55
ITA with...

* he's probably scared of his grandma, if that's how she behaves...

* he probably doesn't understand that she's family, since you've lived pretty far away for awhile...

* he's two. all two year olds act like this.

i'd also like to add that my son went through about a year and a half of absolutely "needing" me whenever i'd be on the phone... and then it turned into absolutely "needing" to talk to the person i'm on the phone with. it doesn't matter if i'm calling relatives, or friends, or the doctor, or the store to ask if they have a product i'm looking for... he wants to talk to them. he's a little better about it now and will actually go play when i ask him to.... for about thirty seconds. although we AP, i think this behaviour has very little to do with AP and very much to do with the fact that mommy's attention is diverted, and kids like being the center of attention, so will try to do whatever they can to get back into the center.

i don't know how your son is with other people he's familiar with... if he's only like this with you ~ i.e., only wants to be with you 24/7 and won't go to anyone else, even his daddy ~ i'd suggest fostering more of a relationship with others simply so you can have some time for a break for yourself. i would NOT suggest cutting AP out of your lifestyle altogether, but if you truly feel overwhelmed, and you aren't just reacting out of pressure from his grandma, then it would benefit you both to help him learn to be comfortable around others.


my dd just stands there when we got to the park/afriends house/etc. She has to warm up for like 25 minutes and then can play for the rest of the time
my son was like this until he got to be about 3 1/2. until then he would sit or stand and observe, observe, observe. then he'd enter into play and be very comfortable, relaxed, and happy. some kids are just like this... and screaming, slamming doors, and exhibiting any other violent behaviour ~ including forcing them into a situation they would rather observe for awhile ~ will do nothing but harm.
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