Question: I have an 18 month old baby girl, she is my first baby. I have always been a very independent person, my daughter seems in some ways to be very headstrong like I am, but she seems to be asking “help me” a lot. Not for big things, for little things like if she is holding the baby doll she will say help me, or if she doesn’t want to do something she says help me, I am worried that she is going to be too dependent on me or others.
I am a single mom who works and goes to school so she is with my mom everyday. I want to raise her to be independent and not to rely on anyone but herself. Of course on the things she needs help with I help her, but how do I get her to be more self reliant?
Answer: Dear Teresa:
Your baby girl is 18 months old. Please let’s not worry about the rest of her life. Probably she is just exhibiting attention seeking behavior. She probably wants your help/encouragement because she enjoys your attention.
Another thing to think about is she is not you. You maybe very independent and you value this independent quality however she has her own personality. It is a good idea to allow children’s personalities to unfold as they come to you. You will not win this battle to change who she is now or later.
Encourage her to do her best and buy or read books which discuss how to build your daughter’s self esteem BUT remember to let her be who she is regardless of what you want. Life is no longer about you and your wants it is all about her.
M Kay Keller