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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. I'm posting in the childhood years sub-forum because I'd love input of you moms with older kids. 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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Becomming independant is a process. I think the timetable depends on your child's personality and ability.<br><br>
There have been stages of independance and stages where dd glued herself to us. I think there was a big surge of independance at 3 years and again recently as dd is close to her 6th birthday. She doesn't want to hold my hand anymore when we are out. She wants to pay for things by herself so we are going to give her an allowance. She says she wants privacy and asks us to leave the room. She wants to pick out her own clothes. She wants to do things around the house more. I'm assuming as dd approaches being a teenager there will be another big surge of independance.
 

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It varies with the child.<br><br>
Some are clingy for years.<br><br>
But they grow out of it.<br><br>
Edited to add: I believe that meeting the child's needs as an infant helps to foster independence when they are ready. I don't believe in forcing it myself. I believe in following the child's lead.
 

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I believe Gordon Neufeld puts it best in his wonderful book, "Hold On To Your Kids."<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">In order to foster true independence, you must first invite dependence."</td>
</tr></table></div>
That is to say, by making our child's deep attachement needs our first priority, we facilitate the true process of maturation.<br><br>
My son is 5 and change. He was attached in a most extreme way until he was about 12 months old. From there, it was, and continues to be a two steps forward, one step back motion. Totally normal. When he is growing emotionally, he often reverts to previous ways of needing more only to emerge even more independent than ever before. What I see of him now is nothing of the babe that wouldn't let me out of his sight. And every once and awhile when he reverts to needing me more, I relish every single moment because they are becoming fewer and farther between. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The best and keep it up mama. You're doing just fine. Follow your gut, and your child's lead and enjoy...<br><br>
Em
 

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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!<br><br>
I know what you're saying and feel stongly that children have a need to express independence (various levels) at every age. I made a conscious choice to transmit to my DD when she was very young, that I was confortable with walking away from her for a short time. When she became older, I have to make a conscious effort not to do things for her that I know she can do for herself. (unless she asks for help) Another thing I had to do was let her struggle a little with learning a new skill and (as was age appropriate) ask for help in some way on her own initiative.<br>
I also agree that timetables vary depending on the child and that many times it is "one step forward, two steps back".
 

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My son was very "clingy" for lack of a better word when he was small. I do agree with the others who have said that the more they know you are there for them and can be dependent on you when they need to be, the more independent they will become.<br><br>
This is a long process, however. My son is pretty independent now, at 5 1/2, but still comes back to me for reassurance a lot and is not ready to take some of the independent steps his friends are taking. For example, I frequently help him get dressed in the morning. I know that most of the kids his age are getting themselves dressed, but he asks for my help and I give it. However, there are a few mornings, more and more recently, where he will get up in the morning and get dressed by himself. Because he knows I will help him if he needs it, he feels confident in trying it himself.
 

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Letting a child do things for themselves tells them that you are confident in their abilities. This is an expression of a healthy attachment. The fact that children want to do things for themselves shows that they are confident in their own abilities.<br>
My daughter (3 1/2) is dressed, done with breakfast and in her coat faster than me some mornings. We leave for school together at 8 am. I am not trying to brag and say that she is unusual in some way. I believe that most children have the capabilities to care for themselves in this way, at this age. I believe that by facilitating this, we communicate our belief in the child's abilities.<br>
when children are very young, they go through the "me do it" stage. By helping the child to become independent, I mean showing "how to" put a shirt on or how to pour a cup of water, and then letting her practice this skill at will (the drawers or shelves at the child's height, the pitcher and glasses in the kitchen where they are accessible). and then giving her time to practice (not rushing)<br>
My daughter is always so proud of herself when she says "I did it by myself Mommy!"
 
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