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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a nine month old who I adore and who adores me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">! My question is, am I encouraging her to be too dependant on me? Obviously, an infant is naturally very dependant, and I have done everything in my power to encourage a healthy attachment between us, but it seems like she may be getting to the age where she could be a little more independant. Do any of you moms have older children? At what age did your little one start becoming more independant? Do you feel like there were ways that interacted with your child in such a way as to encourage a healthy independance in them? I guess I just want my child to grow up to have confidence in herself and not feel like she has to turn to her father and I for everything (of course, I want her to feel like she CAN always come to us if she needs to, but not that she always HAS to!) Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Thanks for your input mamas!
 

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Oh yes - don't worry! It will come, and you will be chasing her, saying "puh-lease give mama a hug?!" and she will laugh at you and run off with their little friends. Sooner than you think! Waaa!<br><br>
I personally found it to be true - if you meet their needs for dependency as a young baby, it's much easier for them to be independent as a child.<br><br>
Sears does talk about how it's important to not "rescue" a baby every time they get themselves into a pickle - i.e. wants toy, how to get it...wait a little bit and see if they can do it themselves. Encourage them to do things themselves...but at the same time, if the baby seems really needy, I've always found it easier to hold her on my lap a little longer, carry her a little more...and then the phase passes and she's ready to move up and out.<br><br>
For us, clinginess often occured right before a big growth spurt. But don't worry, she won't be wanting you to carry her around when she's twelve. Oh lord, I hope not! My poor back...<br><br>
Sears also suggests "peek-a-boo" games for this age group, dealing with separation anxiety. <a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T131500.asp" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/T131500.asp</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarenSwan</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">, but it seems like she may be getting to the age where she could be a little more independant.</div>
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actually from a child development standpoint this is an age where she's probably going to get more dependent emotionally before it lessens up (kinda like a it's going to get worse before it gets better but I don't view it as "worse" if ykwim). around this age they commonly develop stranger anxiety and separation anxiety as a pp pointed out. even when they start crawling/toddling they usually zip around the room and then come back to mama (or other trusted caregiver) for a little emotional re-up with a hug or kiss for a few moments and then they're off again.<br>
IMO there's nothing that parents should do to encourage babies to be more independent, usually those techniques backfire, and allowing an infant to get all the attention they need, especially when they are at their neediest, makes them feel like they can trust their caretakers and eventually allows them to become more and more self-reliant- but this is gradual process. I don't think you need to change anything or worry about it, just let nature take it's course! good luck
 

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First define "independent".<br><br>
Second, at 9 months? Nope. Probably more likely to get separation anxiety if forced to be "independent" due to cognitive changes.<br><br>
Don't rush it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie"> She'll be running off down the street before you know it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the good input mamas! I guess one reason I'm asking is because I know that I have a lot of fear issues, and look to others for support and reassurance, rather than looking to myself for that inner strength. I want to give my dd a solid foundation so that she will have that confidence in herself to not need to turn to me (or anyone else) for everything.
 

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Another thing to remember is the personality of the child. My first dd is still clingy and needs me alot more than some other 4 yr olds I've seen. But compairing her to dd2, #2 is more relaxed and less clingy than dd1 was at that age. She is able to seperate from me better than dd1 did. Of course that may be that she has big sister with her to. But at 9 mo. I wouldn't be looking for much independence from mama yet.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarenSwan</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...I know that I have a lot of fear issues, and look to others for support and reassurance, rather than looking to myself for that inner strength. I want to give my dd a solid foundation so that she will have that confidence in herself to not need to turn to me (or anyone else) for everything.</div>
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The best way for you to instill this kind of confidence in your dd is to model it for her. If you feel that you haven't overcome these "fear issues" and that you still tend to look to others more than you would like, I would suggest you work on those traits in yourself while your dd is still young. That way by the time she is older and can really start learning from you how to face the world as a strong, independant woman, she will have the kind of mama who is able to model that for her.<br><br>
Unfortunately, I think a lot of us are prone (myself included) to say, "I want my offspring to be BETTER than I am, because I recognize all these character flaws I have," and yet, our kids are only going to learn what they see us doing. For me, it was taking an active role in the community. I kept saying to myself, "I really want the kind of kid who is compassionate and volunteers and tries to make her world a better place." Then I realized, "Gee, I don't volunteer. I don't do anything for my community, getting involved or anything. I don't ever do much of anything to try to make the world a better place, except maybe talk about what a great world it would be IF ONLY..." So knowing that's how I wanted my kid to turn out, I decided to start getting involved now, while she's only 3mos old, so that she grows up with a mom who does all that stuff, KWIM?<br><br>
Work on making yourself the best YOU you can be and your dc will follow your example as she grows. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
winonamom, right on! I've been thinking so much about that truth (how much we model the world for our children) and the arrival of Clara has been such a time of growth for both my husband and I! Everyone always says that having a child changes your life, and that sure has been true for us, especially with how much we've been reflecting on what kind of life we want to be living, and what kind of people we want to be. Thanks for the encouragement!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>winonamom2be</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The best way for you to instill this kind of confidence in your dd is to model it for her. If you feel that you haven't overcome these "fear issues" and that you still tend to look to others more than you would like, I would suggest you work on those traits in yourself while your dd is still young. That way by the time she is older and can really start learning from you how to face the world as a strong, independant woman, she will have the kind of mama who is able to model that for her.<br><br>
Unfortunately, I think a lot of us are prone (myself included) to say, "I want my offspring to be BETTER than I am, because I recognize all these character flaws I have," and yet, our kids are only going to learn what they see us doing. For me, it was taking an active role in the community. I kept saying to myself, "I really want the kind of kid who is compassionate and volunteers and tries to make her world a better place." Then I realized, "Gee, I don't volunteer. I don't do anything for my community, getting involved or anything. I don't ever do much of anything to try to make the world a better place, except maybe talk about what a great world it would be IF ONLY..." So knowing that's how I wanted my kid to turn out, I decided to start getting involved now, while she's only 3mos old, so that she grows up with a mom who does all that stuff, KWIM?<br><br>
Work on making yourself the best YOU you can be and your dc will follow your example as she grows. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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GREAT point! I've thought the same thing - why should I expect my son to eat healthy foods if I eat brownies for breakfast? It's easy to talk the talk, but let's walk that walk, right??
 
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