Need help - FamilyEducation
Need help
12/02/2007 at 19:52 PM

I have a 7 year old daughter that has been the center of my universe since the day i layed eyes on her. I am married to her father and he has an older old son in the home. I have been a working mom and my daughter has been a day care baby since she was 6 weeks old. Anytime I am not working my daughter is always with me weather its at the grocery store, shopping or doing laundry she is always by my side. This past year I have noticed a difference with my daughter.


She is too attached. I know when she becomes a teenager I will wish that she is next to me but its really bad. All our friends and family notice. She calls me ever day to see how far away I am, questioning me on how long it will take for me to get home. She won’t let me take a nap because she is scared I wont wake up before she goes to bed. Sometimes I feel like I am the child and she is the parent.



She is not like this with her dad. She loves her dad and they play well together and I know he is the rule enforcer but I don’t know how to get her to be independent without asking me what time I am I going to bed.



Anyone have any suggestions.



  I think that you should just let her be attached for a while. She's only 7 and a child. Just let it go until she gets a little older then try not to break the attachment just loosen it up.


With Love,RamBaby


I think I would pick the behavior that the family notices the most (because that is the one that would make the most difference,) and talk to my daughter about what I expect her behavior to be.  Not command her, just discuss the behavior and how I expect her to behave.  I'm trying to come up with an example.  Say, your family bugs you because when you are at a family gathering, your 7 year-old sits on your lap the whole time, sits right beside you at the dinner table, is always in the room with you.  I would just talk about the lap-sitting.  I would tell her, "From now on I need you to sit on furniture or on the floor.  My lap is closed for temporary repairs.  I'll give you a hug before you go sit down.  I love you, I just need you to sit on furniture, not on me."  I wouldn't tell the family anything about it.  I would be sure to show lots and lots of physical affection, just no lap-sitting.  After about 3 weeks, I would pick the next thing, and work on that, too. 


I did the same thing with my second child who is a girl and it ended up being a big mistake. I love both of my girls but my oldest is more independent and also adaptable to changing youngest that was glued to my hip, is not. My advice is to create some distance now and do it because you love her and want her to become an independent and capable person. I know she is young but before you know it, those days are gone. She needs you and you are obviously there for her but you also need a life and so does she....separate from yours. My regrets from doing this with my own child are that she tends to not handle social circumstances as well as others and she is clingy and lacks the firsthand self esteem that it takes to "go it alone". She is 11 now and if she's placed in a certain situation of having to be on her own or cope on her own, she is slow to adapt and slow to soothe. I directly attribute this to me taking her everywhere and doing everything with me for so long. Her sister was not like this and it's because I created more space for her and then when my youngest was born, it forced the older one into more independence. Don't get me wrong, my oldest and I are two peas in a pod too but I could literally drop her off in a Bronx subway and she'd have enough street smarts and capability without me to find her way home! I swear it! My youngest would be eaten alive! Start slowly.....go to the store, dentist, salon, mall, etc. without her. If you have three trips to make for the two without her. Also, I have remedied my actions by also sending my youngest out to play with HER friends, over to their house, or having her friends over and letting her know that I will be busy doing Mom Time. She gets the picture and will busy herself without me. Just take baby steps. Anything more forceful and the whole plan may backfire. You are a good and loving mom and I know how it is to just adore your daughter. Just try to do more of it from afar and bask in the glory of raising an independent girl who will then become an independent woman someday. Make sense?