I still get baby emails with titles like “Developmental Milestones Your Child Should Have Reached By Now.” UGH! I’ve taken to just deleting them on the spot. All it does is get me to compare my child to other children. What is the point of that? So that I can feel good about him doing things earlier than the “norm” or feel horrible when he’s lagging behind in some area that he should have been able to master by now? No. I’m done. My son, Jax's, biggest issue is crying when I put him down and wanting to be held all the time. My kid is needy. He’s clingy. He’s exhausting. But does that make him a bad kid?
I say that allllll the time... “Jax is so bad”.
While I mean it as a joke, I’ve come to realize that he is not “bad”. He is this way for a reason. Maybe his stubbornness now will translate into an incredible quality as an adult. Determination and drive to succeed, maybe? Who knows.
I was directed to an article by my best friend that talks about this very issue. http://www.askmoxie.org/2007/02/qa_separation_a.html (Check it out if you’re interested in learning about an intense child or if you have one and need to feel like you’re not alone!)
So often I’ve felt (and been told) that I need to find a way to “break” Jax of this problem. I’ve been judged terribly even by those closest to me..People have told me that I’m not doing the right things to make him stop. We have done so much to try to “fix” this:
- letting him cry it out (He will scream bloody murder for hours and hours. And that is not an exaggeration!)
- reinforcing structure so he feels secure on his own
- making him sit on the floor and “play independently”
- sitting with him and gradually moving away
NONE of these things are working. I’ve been feeling so guilty lately that I don’t love him like I should. How can I love someone who screams all the time?
Well, I DO love him. A Lot.
And I think I’ve determined that it’s ok that he is this way. It’s ok that he needs to be held. I’ve been more loving and gentle and quiet around him lately and he is, in turn, doing the same! I’ve been attentive to his crying in a way that I was definitely not before. Maybe there is something to this. Maybe I cannot control how he acts with other people, but I can control my interaction with him. So, if I’m more attentive and respond to his needs will he be less needy in general? Will he ever be content to play alone? I don’t know. I can’t know. The only thing I can do is what I feel is best for MY child. MINE. Not anyone else.
But I’m about sick of being judged. He’s a sweet boy. He just wants to be held. So, I’m going to hold him. We can work on independent play and we can work slowly on being ok on the floor by himself, but until that happens I’m going to respond to his cues. That’s ok right now. Judge away. I want to respond to his needs. I won’t have to carry him around when he’s 15.
Thoughts? Do you feel like a big, fat, failure? Yea, me too! But it’s ok. Do you have an intense child? You're not alone!
Please share your story or things that have helped you in our comment section.