Sorry if this is the wrong place to post with this type of question but I thought since most of you are mom's you could provide me with some useful advice. My 2.5 yr old boy is currently the only child,we are ttc right now.He goes to a dayhome during the weekdays and there are 3 other boys his age there. The daycare provider has 2 older girls that go to school during the day and is home after school so he is exposed to all different age ranges/genders during the day.She tells me he is very sociable and independent. He is overall a good child, don't get me wrong he has his bad days.My question is when I get off work and get him home all he wants to do is stick to me like glue and won't play by himself independently while I'm making supper.I know he misses me but he doesn't seem to have interest in any of his toys when he is at home. He is constantly asking 'mommy play with me'.I know as an only child I have paid a lot of attention to him.When he was little when he played by himself I'd look at him and think he looks so lonely and go over.Is that the cause of why he can't seem to know how to be independent when I'm around? Even during the weekends when both my husband and I are home he will just wander around the house looking like he is bored. We do play with him but I also want him to be independent at times. I know I shouldn't compare him to other kids but I see my friends children and they are able to engage themselves in toys forever. My husband does think it is from us paying too much attention to when he was younger? Any advice to help me encourage his independence
It's very common for daycare children to be overly clingy to their parents at the end of the day. It's sometimes called the "Power Hour", where they want nothing more than to be held and/or paid attention to.
Your son is completely normal and it has nothing to do with you giving him too much attention when he was younger. All the attention was, and still is, great for him. You could try to see if he'll play by himself while in the kitchen with you. He might be okay with playing right under your feet instead of over in the livingroom. This might help free you up to get dinner ready, but he'll still feel like he's with you.
It could be a lot of things. Being away from mommy all day is hard, no matter how good of a childcare provider you have. Remember that however long your work day feels, it feels even longer to him. This may sound dumb, but he may be completley bored with his toys. Try rotating them out. By that I mean, put half of them away for a while. When he starts to get bored, bring out the ones that you have put away. It's like getting new toys. Also, a lot of adults don't realize that children that age still need A LOT of sensory experiences. Give him lots of opportunities to play with playdough, sand, water, anything with interesting texture. Make sure he has a lot of time to be creative too. I don't mean coloring books, either. Plain paper and crayons is so much better. If you have the time, let him paint some too. Maybe you could pick up a few books on toddler activities and spend a bit of time each day doing something special. HTH.
I didn't work when my chldren were that age so I can't really relate too much, but I can offer a little suggestion. Maybe ask him to help you cook. You can sit him at the table or up at the counter with you on a stool and let him "help Mom".He could make the salad, butter bread, stir stuff etc.. Kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen. Especially when they are that age. And then after dinner, let him help load the dishwasher. Or rinse the dishes. I know it can br hard to allow then to help, we just want to hurry up and get it done. Especially if your tired after a long day, but it might get old for him as well and then he will understand that this is just something that you have to do. Also you can explain to him that you'd love to play, but you have to make dinner and such first. I am a big believer in talking to children and explainng things to them so that they understand. You could also just plop him in a chair and talk to him while you cook. Ask him about his day and tell him about yours. This way he is getting the desired attention and you are still getting things done. Don't beat yourself up, you didn't pay him too much attention, and as long as he s independent away from you, he is on the right path. If he had NO independence, then it may be more for you to worry about, but it sounds like he is perfectly healthy. He just loves his Mom and Dad. Good JOB!!
I am an only child and even though I'm 31 now, when people hear I don't have siblings they automatically assume I was spoiled as a child. Nevermind that my mom raised me by herself and we were dirt poor! My mom worked all of the time. But, when she was around we spent time together. I had a lot of difficult experiences to deal with when I was child, and I'm 100% confident that the only reason I got through them was b/c I was so loved by my mom. I never once doubted that she loved me more than anyone, and that she just really liked me as a person. She did everything in her power to make sure I felt safe and happy. If that makes me spoiled, then so be it! Just keep on doing what you are doing. There is nothing more important than your child knowing how much you love him. This will not make him spoiled, it will make him feel secure.
Thanks everyone for your encouragement and suggestions. Those are some really great suggestions I'm going to try. I guess what really irked me the other day is that one of my friends told me she thought my DS was 'spoiled'. I didn't understand what she meant by that. I had her clarify and she said that he seems like he constantly needs my attention unlike her sister's child who is very independent and can play by himself even when mom is around. I definately don't think my DS is spoiled in the sense of misbehaviour. He is very well behaved we made sure of that with time outs, etc. I am never embarrassed to take him anywhere because I always get compliments on what a good kid he is. He is spoiled in terms of the amount of attention he gets because he is the only child and he does have his share of toys but I don't think he fits in the that normal definition of 'spoiled'.
Don't let some busybody get you down about your child wanting your attention - I think I might worry if he didn't!
Anyway, my suggestion is to set aside 15-20 minutes after you get home as your time with him. Make a big deal out of it-"this is OUR time - what do YOU want to do?" Make sure your attention is totally devoted to him during that time. This way, he has gotten you first.
Then, explain to him that it is time to cook dinner, Settle him at the kitchen table with playdoh or crayons, and chat with him while you cook. If you make this a routine, he will look forward to it and respect the process.
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