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whinging 13 month old - am I doing this wrong?

(4 Posts)
Scoffin Sun 03-Jan-16 06:56:33

I have a 13 month old dd who is going through a phase of wanting to be picked up when I am doing stuff. If I am sitting on the sofa reading (for example) and she can see I'm not doing anything interesting, she is usually happy to potter around and play with her toys. But if I am sitting at the table and she can't see what I'm doing, or if I'm doing stuff in the kitchen, she wants to be part of the action and will pull my legs and whinge till I pick her up.

It might be relevant here to say that I've been taking an attachment parenting type of approach - breastfeeding, cosleeping etc - more by accident than design, as this just felt the right way to do things, but have since read a couple of books and feel that I would like to parent along these lines. As part of this approach I have always tried not to leave her to cry if I can avoid it.

I remember reading - I think it was in 'Playful Parenting' - that in general it is best to give your children attention when they want it, and then the majority of the time they should be happy to get on with their own thing. I can see the logic of this, but when dd wants my attention she wants my continued attention... which means I tend to end up putting her on the kitchen counter (for example) so that she can see what I am doing. This keeps her happy, but I obviously have to be careful with knives, hobs etc - it's not a big kitchen - and I'm not sure it's safe. It also makes it hard to get anything done.

My DM saw me doing this and was horrified and things I'm creating a rod for my own back. Whereas I'm hoping that if DD gets attention when she needs it, she'll become more content and self sufficient in the longer term. But now I'm wondering - is she going to become an attention seeking brat? I remember as a child being really irritated by those parents who would always break off their adult conversations to speak/attend to their older DC.

I'm guessing DD will carry on making demands on my attention for many years to come wink. If she was old enough to understand, I guess I could talk to her about it, but that's not possible at the moment. Just wondering how other people have dealt with this issue?

PennyHasNoSurname Sun 03-Jan-16 07:02:01

Im all for involving them in what Im doing at that age, I have a 14mo and an older child. However I wouldnt sit ds on the kitchen bench - he would be a danger to himself.

Could you bring her highchair in and sit her in there with you while you cook - maybe give her some safe utensils to explore or some finger foods?

Same when you are at the dining table - sit her in the highchair near you with a couple of toys.

Peppapigallowsmetoshower Sun 03-Jan-16 07:08:41

It's a phase. DS used to weave around my legs like a cat every tea time as I was cooking. I ended up picking him up or he'd become upset. I sat him in high chair beside me and gave him a pan and spoon to bash or just chat to him. I'd sometimes give him a piece of cucumber to gnaw etc.

He grew out of it. By 18 months I'd say " I'm going to make tea" and he'd play for 15/20 minutes in the adjoining lounge, popping back and forth. If he got whiney then I'd just be firm and say "no, I'm cooking, it's hot" and reassure him that story time comes after cooking. He now at 2 rarely bothers me unless he's starving! So I cook then sit with him and read. He knows good quality interaction is on the way!

Scoffin Sun 03-Jan-16 21:16:43

Thanks - some good tips here. Will try the highchair in the kitchen. But mainly it's reassuring to know that it should pass!

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