Question on Child Behavior Problems: I am a housewife looking after my 20 month old girl. My girl is very cranky and clings to me. It is very difficult for me to complete my household chores and even harder to go toilet. When my girl takes nap in the afternoon,  sometimes she is very adamant to sleep on my shoulder.

This makes me stressful and tired and my shoulders hurts. I don’t have any help from my family members. Sometimes I feel like asking my mum to take care for me while I run to work. My girl expects me to be around her every time even when playing. I need some time and I want my kid to be independent. How do I handle my kid?

Please advice me on this.


Answer : What your daughter is going through is a common but limited phase of child development. Many children strongly prefer one parent over every other person in the world for a brief period of time. Usually they prefer their mothers for a period (ranging in length from approximately one month to several months) during the later part of their first year.

During this particular time her desire for you is especially intense, as she is in the midst of a developmental phase characterized by separation anxiety. Often after children grow out of this stage, they will prefer their fathers over everyone else on the face of the earth. Generally the period they attach to their fathers is shorter than the period when only their mothers can make the world a better place.

Don’t try to get too much done during the periods you are alone with your daughter. Use this time to build an even stronger relationship between the two of you. Adjust the family dinner time so that you don’t start cooking until after your husband has come home so that he can take over with her. Get your husband or another responsible adult take your daughter out of the house for an hour or so each day so that you can have a little time to do the things you need and want to do without her crying to be picked up.

If you really want or need to go somewhere, eg. family functions, gatherings etc, consider hiring a babysitter for the evening. As long as you are spending focused quality time with your daughter each day, it’s okay to get a sitter occasionally in the evening, or any time of the day which you think is useful to you.It’s okay to let her cry sometimes. If you keep picking her up each time she cries for you, she will use this as an advantage to get you to be by her side all the time. You must make her understand through your actions sometimes that you love her but right now, there is something else you need to do.

I do not know if this is a correct time for me to say this but if I were you, I will enjoy this moment to its peak. Because I know one day, my daughter will be a grown-up and when she is very much independent then, she will not need me as much as she does now! I will miss her badly!

About the Author
Ms Sachi is part of Team NYM. She is presently reading her honours in Child Psychology, graded to support her present experience in Early Childhood Education and she further plans to secure it by pursuing a Certificate or Diploma in Early Childhood.