Monday, 12 March 2012
My daughter just turned 2 years old last week, and she's been VERY clingy and needy ever since, it seems like. She constantly follows me around saying "Hold you? Hold you?" --wanting me to pick her up and cuddle her. I LOVE holding her and cuddling her, but obviously I cannot do it all day long. And, realistically, she gets PLENTY of physical contact with me. I cuddle her every morning when she wakes up. I cuddle her throughout the day whenever it's feasible. I hold her after she wakes up from her afternoon nap. I cuddle her before bedtime. Aside from those times, there are times (like when I'm driving or cooking) that I just can't make it work. And she tends to have a meltdown every time I have to say "Sorry, honey, but I can't right now."
Just some context: I'm a single mom and I've done attachment parenting from day 1; baby-wearing, co-sleeping, etc. I never did the cry it out method. (Disclaimer: I'm not judging anyone who does, I'm just trying to let people know where I'm coming from so they might have any possible clue as to what may be going on here!)
My daughter is a people person; she's extremely verbal and loves to talk, she's also very smart and already knows a lot of her colors, shapes, ABC's (somewhat) and can count to 10. She's done the "Your Baby Can Read" videos off and on, and she has a stimulating environment with lots to do - as well as friends who are older than her, so she picks up on things they know when she interacts with them. This is not meant as a brag, I am saying these things because I assumed that a child who is so interested in people and learning, would want to be down and running around all day...not bypassing all the fun stuff and asking to be held every 10 minutes.
I've talked to several people about it, and only one person's response really resonated with me: something to the effect of, they wondered if the process of becoming independent from their parents isn't sometimes scary to a toddler. And that maybe they go through phases where they may want to "crawl back inside you," so to speak, when they realize they are actually a separate person from their parent.
But aside from that, I'm clueless as to what's going on here. My main concern is that maybe she has a need that I'm not meeting adequately, so she's trying to meet it by being physically (literally) "in touch" with me all the time. But I don't really know.
Have you ever been through anything like this with your kids? Do toddlers go through a second "separation anxiety"? Do you have any advice for how to make her feel secure, or meet whatever need she seems to be lacking? Is she even lacking anything? Help!