My daughter is 2 years and 2 months old. The problem is that she‘s so much attached to me.
She is always next to me 24 hours and doesn't accept going with anyone else.
What can I do to make her feel secure with others and to understand that I can‘t be around her all the time?
In this counseling answer:
•The first thing to do is remember that they have a different concept of time. If something is about to change, or someone is going to visit, or you are going to do something, warn your daughter in advance by talking her through.
•After a while, you can explain what you are going to do. By leaving her with a few interesting things to do
•Help her to develop dressing, eating and washing skills. Also, your daughter can learn to tidy up her toys.
•Arrange for one-to-one play with a friend. It could be when a family friend is visiting with her child or vice versa. In this way, your daughter will learn to play, and share with your support and guidance.
As-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
Separation anxiety is when a child gets upset when separated from a parent or loved career. For example, a young child may become distressed when left with a babysitter or when put to bed by herself. This is normal and starts from when they are about 6 months to two and a half years of age.
This is your child’s means of holding onto what makes them feel safe as they become aware of the complex world around them.
This is also not helped by the fact that, in general, a two-year-old cannot tell what is real and what is not real, i.e. imaginary.
Therefore, it is important that adults should be careful as to how they behave and what they talk about in front of their child.
If you are worried about anything, or you feel insecure about anything, this too will affect your child.
Mercy and compassion are essential components of building a Muslim society, and it starts with how we raise our children, who are, after all, the future.
When we only expect obedience, we treat our children as extensions of ourselves to do our bidding, and to be who we want them to be.
Their character, their feelings, and their needs are denied because we are essentially treating them like slaves. In Islam, this was not how slaves were treated in the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but is how slaves have been treated by the secular world.
By showing respect to our children, and with that the compassion of mercy, we develop emotional ties, which all humans need regardless of age, and in so doing we establish a loving, caring relationship that is reciprocated.
Having role models to emulate
In this way, the child learns to love and compassion learns to give and to listen because we too listen to them.
All human relations provide an opportunity to learn about ourselves because each person is like a reflection. Given that how a person relates to you is not always determined by you, but may be due to someone or something still there is a certain level of giving and take in the interaction between two people.
This is even more so with children because they have come into the world through the mother and are being raised in a social environment that will have the strongest influence on that child’s perception of self and human relations.
Therefore how a child relates to you is much more related to you and the environment that you have helped to create.
A child with faith, mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual love, and mutual compassion will naturally develop a sense of belonging as well as a sense of self.
They will develop skills and abilities according to their inclination. With a sense of belonging, comes taqlid, emulation, and in sha ‘Allah, the child will have good role models to emulate.
However, there is always a solution, and therefore things that you can do to help your daughter learn to discover her independence.
You can help your daughter to grasp the complex world that they are growing into by establishing boundaries.
Remember how long the days seem to be when you were young, so the first thing to do is remember that they have a different concept of time.
If something is about to change, or someone is going to visit, or you are going to do something, warn your daughter in advance by talking her through.
Tell her where you are going
If it is a case of going somewhere, even if that “somewhere” is the kitchen, then naturally, you will have to take her with you, so that she can see where you are and what you are doing.
After a while, you can explain what you are going to do. By leaving her with a few interesting things to do, popping in now and again to make sure she is alright, and letting her know that you are near, your daughter can begin to feel a level of security.
Help develop your daughter’s vocabulary by talking with her, not at her. In this way, you are going to help her develop the tools that will help to express herself and to understand what it is you are doing or going to do.
Listen attentively to what your daughter says, because this shows that she matters.
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Answer simply and clearly so that your daughter can understand.
Develop her skills
Help her to develop dressing, eating and washing skills. Also, your daughter can learn to tidy up her toys. This will help her develop a sense of responsibility, erode her sense of dependence, and develop her ability to do things by herself.
Do not expect your daughter to be able to do everything that you ask. Give her time to enjoy what she is doing and to understand (and remember) the ground rules.
Arrange for one-to-one play with a friend. It could be when a family friend is visiting with her child or vice versa. In this way, your daughter will learn to play, and share with your support and guidance, but be prepared for a tug-of-war over some play item.
When your child does not accept “No” for an answer:
-Distraction is the best policy
-Do not lose your temper
-Do not bribe with sweets – your child will learn deception and manipulation
-Do not give in – otherwise your child will become more demanding
-Ignore all the fuss – your child is playing on the attention she can get
Prophet Muhammad said: “He who does not respect our elder, or is not merciful to the young, or does not feel indebted to the scholars, is not of my Nation.” (Abu Dawud, # 4921, and At-Tirmidhi, No.1925)
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.