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My 20 month old son is addicted to me!

I am a single mother. My stbx abandoned us 4 months ago. Ever since then my son is addicted to me. He's always been addicted to me, it's just been worse ever since his dad left us. He won't let me talk to any other kids and gives me a hard time when I am trying to spend time with friends. When he sees me paying attention to another child or if another child wants me to hold them he freaks out. He will push them and say "MINE!". I grab his hand and tells him he needs to be nice and say sorry. I tell him that he needs to share. Is this just an age thing or do you think it has something to do with his dad leaving us.

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Asked by pipandmijosmom at 9:56 PM on Jun. 19, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • It sounds like he has a fear of abandonment. You need to get him to realize that you are not going to leave but you need to be firm when he is inappropriate. You need to let him know how to be a friend. Get someone to babysit for 2 hours and let him know that Mommy always comes back, so he gets use to being away from you. Do it every week until he gets use to the pattern. Try to facilitate his relationship with other children, reassure him that you are his special person, but he needs to be a good friend to others and reward good behavior with a treat of some sort. My son loved M&Ms and oreos and I carried them with me all the time for just these occassions. You could try stickers if you don't want to use food treats.

    Answer by snugglebunney at 10:14 PM on Jun. 19, 2008

  • I think it's just the age--I go through the same thing with my son and I'm a single mom, but I've been doing it since day 1. His dad leaving, though, may have something to do with it...maybe he feels like you'll leave too?? As far as the "mine" and pushing...completely normal, IMHO....good luck!

    Answer by calebnme07 at 10:15 PM on Jun. 19, 2008

  • He goes to daycare so he knows that I am coming back everyday. He's always had seperation anxiety though... just can't get passed that 100%. Some days are better than others though.

    Answer by pipandmijosmom at 10:54 PM on Jun. 19, 2008

  • some children just don't like the idea of having mommy pay attention to someone else...I don't think it has anything to do with abandonment...but having him go to daycare a couple days a week will help...both you and your child

    Answer by teddybear112881 at 11:48 PM on Jun. 19, 2008

  • Absolutely, I think the increase in the behavior is related to his father leaving. Even though he is young, he understands one parent is gone and he doesn't want to lose the other. He is very afraid. You can correct his behavior if it is harmful to him or others but give him extra TLC and find ways to let him know you will be there for him, even if you leave, you will come back. This isn't uncommon when one parent is suddenly gone and doesn't return. It will take time to trust that you will not do the same thing.

    Answer by manna1qd at 12:07 AM on Jun. 20, 2008

  • It's ok. Continue to be there for him, and assure him that you are there for him. Let him know that daddy loves him, but can't come home right now.
    Meanwhile, just give lots of cuddles and hugs, and spend as much time as you can with him. You may find that cosleeping will help. Kids tend to feel better when they are next to mom at night. Even though you are just sleeping, it helps them feel secure and loved.

    Answer by wearingyourbaby at 1:57 PM on Jun. 20, 2008

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