I’m a Mommyholic: Help Me Help My Toddler

Quinn feeding herself with no help from Mommy

Quinn feeding herself with no help from Mommy

Hello, my name is Tanya, and I am a mommyholic. With each passing day, more of my world revolves around my adventurous and inquisitive 21 month old little girl, and as each day passes, I wonder if I am doing what is in the best interest of my daughter and her development.  For the past few months, I have been grappling with my latest transgression: overly helping my little girl, who expresses her independence in countless ways, do tasks without giving her a chance to show me what she may already be capable of doing. Of course, all children are not the same, but I am wondering how most parents are able to take a step back and let their young toddlers experiment, learn, maybe even be unsuccessful at a task but try again.

For instance, when Quinn is doing a puzzle, I cannot resist wanting to direct her or even turn a piece around or point out where it goes. Now, she wants to feed herself all the time with a fork or spoon, which is great, but there are instances when she gets nothing on the fork or spoon, and I have the urge to help her, which she is not always happy about. Sometimes, she’ll give me the “let me do it myself mommy!” look, and I feel so bad that I did not give her enough time to try on her own.

Maybe it is that I teach professionally, and it is my natural inclination to help. Perhaps I just do not like seeing the frustration on my daughter’s face if she cannot figure something out. Something new I’ve been doing is actually counting in my head to make sure I am giving her adequate time and even asking her if she needs help. This works sometimes, but she’s at that age where she will sometimes ask for help but not always. How do I know when she needs my help or needs me to back off? I have a feeling that this is a question that will resurface over and over throughout Quinn’s childhood and even into adulthood. If you have any techniques, please feel free to share.

All the best,

Tanya

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