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Old 02-26-2019, 09:53 PM
 
3 posts, read 429 times
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Is independent play for young toddlers a fantasy, or am I doing something wrong? This kid will ONLY play if Iím in view, and even then itís not enough. Leaving the room to do something as quickly as pee is an absolute tragedy. I donít get it. Iíve read all the blogs, watched all the videos, followed all the advice and my 19 month old is still my shadow, no matter what. Iíve read that they should be playing up to 45 minutes alone at this age, wtf?

Als0, I fully realize that his separation anxiety is within the range of normal for kids his age, but I honestly have no idea how to handle it. On one hand, I want to be responsive to him, and I never want him to feel abandoned or neglected. On the other, I'd love for him to be more independent and not so insecure when I'm not around.

Please help a FTM out.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
40,979 posts, read 39,687,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivejasie View Post
Is independent play for young toddlers a fantasy, or am I doing something wrong? This kid will ONLY play if Iím in view, and even then itís not enough. Leaving the room to do something as quickly as pee is an absolute tragedy. I donít get it. Iíve read all the blogs, watched all the videos, followed all the advice and my 19 month old is still my shadow, no matter what. Iíve read that they should be playing up to 45 minutes alone at this age, wtf?

Als0, I fully realize that his separation anxiety is within the range of normal for kids his age, but I honestly have no idea how to handle it. On one hand, I want to be responsive to him, and I never want him to feel abandoned or neglected. On the other, I'd love for him to be more independent and not so insecure when I'm not around.

Please help a FTM out.
Is he in any kind of preschool or mother's day out program? Does he have play dates with other kids?

You can't force a child to play independently, but you can model it.

You can get him to mirror your own activities (letting him play with mixing bowls and pans while you cook) orlet him experience parallel play in preschool or a playdate.

My sons loved the Brio trains at that age, and they would play trains on those interlocking tracks forever. But I did switch out toys fairly often, box some up and store them, so that they were "new" at some point.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:40 PM
 
15,613 posts, read 17,359,736 times
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I do think toddlers are clingy by nature. 19 months is very young to expect independent play. OTOH, you can encourage this by

1. Give him attention first by playing with him. Give him your undivided attention when you do this, but do NOT play for him. Let him decide what to do.
2. Start him off with an activity you know he loves.
3. Once he is busy with the activity, don't interrupt and don't comment.
4. Keep the activities open-ended. Blocks are good, for example.
5. Try to sty within earshot nearby, just not *too* close.

The bathroom thing is also pretty normal. My kids always wanted to follow me into the bathroom.

You may want to try a mother's day out program as the last poster suggested. That may help get him used to being away from you for a short time.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:42 PM
 
11,768 posts, read 9,571,193 times
Reputation: 15261
Quote:
Originally Posted by olivejasie View Post
Is independent play for young toddlers a fantasy, or am I doing something wrong? This kid will ONLY play if Iím in view, and even then itís not enough. Leaving the room to do something as quickly as pee is an absolute tragedy. I donít get it. Iíve read all the blogs, watched all the videos, followed all the advice and my 19 month old is still my shadow, no matter what. Iíve read that they should be playing up to 45 minutes alone at this age, wtf?

Als0, I fully realize that his separation anxiety is within the range of normal for kids his age, but I honestly have no idea how to handle it. On one hand, I want to be responsive to him, and I never want him to feel abandoned or neglected. On the other, I'd love for him to be more independent and not so insecure when I'm not around.

Please help a FTM out.
I wonder why anyone attempts to put a "should" next to any toddler behavior. Mine certainly never played alone for nearly an hour at that age!

If it were me, I would not worry about independence at the ripe old age of 19 months. (Wish I had known that when my oldest was 19 months.) That's me.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:52 PM
 
3 posts, read 429 times
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Thanks, everyone! I will ease up on my expectations and follow your suggested tips.
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
125 posts, read 81,806 times
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My daughter did the same thing. It will change as he grows older. I wouldn't worry about it. My daughter is now 23 and quite the independent woman now.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:28 PM
 
17,820 posts, read 22,865,555 times
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sometimes its a two way street...

when my son was clingy ….i'd try to get him to do some things on his own....and when he/she does- don't hover or smother them!!! leave them be..... I had a family member that constantly say robby every 3 minutes then wonder why he was within 2 feet of her..

play friends are great at this age..and again...leave them be... they have to learn some independence .. don't hover or smother


play hide n seek …. this reaffirms you are close...even if out of sight ….and that you aren't completely "gone"
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:29 PM
 
162 posts, read 33,943 times
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I don't know where you read the 45 minute thing, but that sounds like sci fi. LOL! Not to mention the fact that I'd never trust a toddler to play independently for that long. That's just asking for a giant mess to clean up.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself or your son. It's completely normal at that age for a child to need your input for play and...well, basically everything. I didn't get to pee alone until my kids were like 6 and 7.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:19 PM
 
15,955 posts, read 19,072,153 times
Reputation: 25924
Quote:
Originally Posted by olivejasie View Post
Is independent play for young toddlers a fantasy, or am I doing something wrong? This kid will ONLY play if Iím in view, and even then itís not enough. Leaving the room to do something as quickly as pee is an absolute tragedy. I donít get it. Iíve read all the blogs, watched all the videos, followed all the advice and my 19 month old is still my shadow, no matter what. Iíve read that they should be playing up to 45 minutes alone at this age, wtf?

Als0, I fully realize that his separation anxiety is within the range of normal for kids his age, but I honestly have no idea how to handle it. On one hand, I want to be responsive to him, and I never want him to feel abandoned or neglected. On the other, I'd love for him to be more independent and not so insecure when I'm not around.

Please help a FTM out.
Everything you read and hear should be prefaced with....Every child is different. I had my first child that was so independent it made me feel bad...At 13 months she would literally wave bye at me so I wouldn't follow her out the back door. And my second child was the total opposite, clingy and dependent.

The absolute best advice I feel I would have benefitted from is what I'll share with you. Relax....love your child however their personality is....As long as they are healthy love them, and savor these times....When he reaches his teens you'll miss his adoration for you.

I also found going to play dates and such to be a way to help my clingy child learn some independence. Life experiences will help.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:12 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
75,500 posts, read 67,340,536 times
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OP, the poor thing is only 1-1/2! Of course he wants to be close to mamma! He still needs to know he's safe, and he needs that bond. Give him a little more time. If this is your only main concern, you're doing well.
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