Very dependant 2YO - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having trouble. I have practiced AP, gentle discipline, etc. I totally believe in these principles, and support the ideals. That said: WHAT THE HECK HAVE I DONE WRONG?????? My son cannot be in a separate room from me. He will not play, go to the bathroom, eat, ANYTHING unless I or my husband is in the same room. I can't go to the bathroom, shower, read, anything in solitude. I get no break. He needs my constant attention for EVERYTHING. I understand that he IS dependent on me for a lot of things, and I expect that he will be for some time. I am just having trouble with the idea that he can't even play by himself. It's like he doesn't know how to function without me watching. He just follows me around, crying....which makes me need space even more (or makes me feel like a horrible mom). I'm just frustrated, and getting no relief, with my son pulling at my hand while I type this, crying (both of us). Any one else going a little crazy with me? Any advice for a GENTLE way to help him understand that a LITTLE separation is a GOOD thing? (Just so it is clear, he is fine if I go somewhere without him. This separation is ok, and the only way I get a break is to hand him off to someone else (which I don't do very often)....and he is fine as long as that person is able to pay full attention to him....).
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#2 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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Hello there kindred mama!
I feel your pain, for sure.... my 2yo dd is also VERY dependent on me. I actually posted a question very similar to yours a couple of months ago, asking others where i had gone wrong with all the ap practices i believe in so strongly. Basically, the replies said that 2 is still an age where being very attached is, if not typical, then completely ok. Other replies said to Enjoy The Ride, as it'll not last forever (Thank goodness say I, because I need some private time back without guilt!).
So I don't have much advice for you, but I did want to reply to your post and say there are others out there like you! The hardest time for me is evenings, because dd will wake up (usually between 1 to 2 hours after falling asleep) and only I can ease her back to sleep, usually by nursing her. So I haven't gone out at night for a LOOOOONG time. But During the day, dd is quite content to stay with her dad. (As long as I'm back to put her down for her nap!) There have been times when I have been very frustrated at her super strong attachment, but i never wanted to stop cosleeping, or nursing, her.
Personally, i think in a couple more years time, we will have some secure, independent, calm and confident kids on our hands. The strong attachment they have to us now will translate eventually into independence.
Hang in there mama, you're doing the right thing, and you're not alone.

Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.  ~Marian Wright Edelman
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#3 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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My DD was very much like your LO. Even at the age of 2 she was very attached - we did everything together. She had to be in the bathroom with me when I showered. I couldn't even pee alone.

She'll be 3 in June and she's finally coming into her own. She no longer cries when we leave her with our parents to go out somewhere. And she is learning to play a little bit by herself. She still wants to do just about everything with me, but I noticed that things started to change (very slowly) when she was approaching 2.5. This was also about the time my son was born, which may have been a factor (I still spent loads of time with her, though, so who knows).

I know it's tough, but it will happen and then you'll wonder how your little one grew up so fast!

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#4 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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It was around age 2.5 that our son finally, finally would stay with someone other than mom & dad. You're not alone and I think it's just that different children have different personalities. Please feel encouraged that you ARE doing right by trying to meet your child's needs, and don't listen to anyone who says you are "spoiling."
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#5 of 14 Old 04-20-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Great to know I'm not alone...Sometimes that is better than advice. I just was beginning to feel that his attatchement was bordering on unhealthy. And no one wants that! Thank you all for your support.... Much needed.....One more thing....Do you ever feel you are loosing your patience? More to the point loosing your temper? And how do you deal with that?
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#6 of 14 Old 04-20-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vewainwright View Post
Do you ever feel you are loosing your patience? More to the point loosing your temper? And how do you deal with that?
Absolutely, and it seemed to really get worse a few months back. She doesn't listen to me, does the opposite of what I ask, laughs at me when I try to talk to her about her behavior, throws huge tantrums...

Of course, she's an angel most of the time, but those other times are trying for me.

At this point, I don't know the best way to handle it. I say a lot of prayers and try to remind myself that she's only 2/almost 3 and doesn't have any impulse control. I've tried all sorts of gentle discipline techniques and nothing is working well so we just keep plugging on.

Wish I had something more helpful to say.

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#7 of 14 Old 04-20-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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Also in a similar boat...

My 21-month-old is [very happily] home with her dad during the week (I work full time), but as soon as I get home she wants to nurse, and then she won't let me out of her sight until she's nursed to sleep. It can be frustrating, but when I see how happy and adventurous she is and how well she interacts with other children (just as long as hubby or I are nearby!), I feel like by maintaining such a close bond our daughter really is getting comfortable exploring her world, slowly but surely.

That said, if I need to run upstairs to change/use the bathroom, I often just let her cry for a few minutes. I feel she needs to learn that she can't have her way all of the time.

One other thing that works sometimes is that I give her a job to do while I run upstairs/work on the computer/fold laundry/etc...something she can do to "help mama." I ask her to bake me some cookies (using her play oven), nurse her baby doll, or go shopping (taking all of the canned goods out of the pantry and putting them in a shopping bag)...and I then thank her for being such a great helper while mama did work.
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#8 of 14 Old 04-20-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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It's totally normal at that stage. You haven't done anything wrong. I would say if you need breaks (which you do), schedule times to leave him in someone else's care and when you're burnt out and frustrated remind yourself that these breaks are coming. Also remember it's only a stage. You'll look back and "remember when" faster than you think.

Mama to four ('03, '05, '08 & '11) chicken3.gif
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#9 of 14 Old 04-20-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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Ok , now I do not feel like i am alone anymore , and they are so darn cute at this age, I think that is what is helping me

Nicole M Smith Newly Single WAHM to Curtis Scott Blaine III Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is like the roar of the lion
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#10 of 14 Old 04-21-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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Right about 24 mos, we had the same issues. DS could NOT let me go into the bathroom for even 20 seconds.

Experience with other adults really helps. Leaving him with DH, he learns how to play by himself while DH cooks dinner. (He won't leave me alone in the kitchen, but it's much better now at 28 mos.) Having auntie visit for 4 days means that he's advanced his pretend play skills, and those seem to have transferred such that he'll pretend play while I clean up the kitchen. And daycare helps because I can say, "You can do it, just like you do at daycare." - where "it" might mean to lie down on your bed with your eyes closed, or wash and dry your hands, or hang up your coat...any of a long list of life skills he seems to be able to execute at daycare but depend on me at home!

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#11 of 14 Old 04-21-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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We're in the same boat with DS (24 mo). He's high-spirited and highly energetic and highly inseparable from me. He goes to day care three days a week, and does well there now that he's ALSO gotten attached to his teacher. DH and I both are teachers, so over the summer, we're going to keep him in day care for two days for consistency, so we don't lose our place there in the fall, and so DH and I can have one date day each week and one day to grocery shop, do laundry, cook, clean, mow the lawn, etc. That way, we can devote our time to our son when he's there and not have to get babysitters on Friday nights. He needs us most at bedtime, of course.

I realize that it's valuable to expose LOs to helping with chores and practice separation, but there's always plenty of that, even if we do most of it on his day care day.

They ARE so fun at this age, that I WANT to devote myself to him when we're together. It's great to act like a kid again with him, running around outside, blowing bubbles, etc. I know this time will fly by!

Married to Tony 6/07. Mommy to Jude 4/08 and Gemma 4/11.
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#12 of 14 Old 04-21-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I have found that many kids are this way. They key is letting them do this and not to push them because if you do I think it can make it even worse. Once they realize on their own that it is ok to be away from parents for more than 3.6 seconds.. it is great. It took a whiel but mine is doing that now. However her little brother.... :sigh

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#13 of 14 Old 04-22-2010, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Great support! Thanks everyone!
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#14 of 14 Old 04-23-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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I take care of 2 other 2yo children, along with my dd (of course) during the day, and when I feel frustrated or like I'm losing my temper i do a couple of things:

1. Take a deep breath, or two or three before responding or dealing with the crisis of the moment. This helps me put things in perspective.

2. Start singing a funny kids song (kids become interested in me instead of their problem, soon I've got the song stuck in my brain and the frustration has passed).

3. Separate the children (if need be) and give myself some space too. The next room, if possible, or even just distancing myself a few feet sometimes helps until I regain composure.

4. Do some yoga stretches. The toddlers love to imitate too.

5. Visualize a calm place. Visualize a glass of wine at the end of the day.

6. Make some really funny sounds or movements, helps get the AHHHH factor out

Hope this helps!

Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.  ~Marian Wright Edelman
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