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Your independent child is evidence of a healthy parental attachment  👏

When children can take us for granted, they can leap into new surroundings of their own making.

Your independent child is evidence of a healthy parental attachment  👏

Attachment is the womb of maturation and one of the fruits of a deep and nourishing relationship is the bias created in a child to become their own person. What does this bias look like and how can we support it? If you have ever heard the words ‘me do’ then you have witnessed the simplest example of this energy in a child.


When a child’s attachment needs are met, their energy shifts towards exploring, being interested and curious, forming their own ideas, and even setting some goals.

For a preschooler, this may be expressed as “me do.” For my 3-year-old, it means she has to put on her own seatbelt in the car. For me, her ‘me-do’ means another five minutes that I have to account for when trying to get anywhere—but I can’t help but smile watching her wrestle her five-point harness.

When you see a child with this type of energy, you know that someone, somewhere in their life, is fulfilling their relational needs.

The need for connection, warmth, safety, and belonging are intense in young children, and achieving this level of attachment fulfillment is quite an accomplishment. Strong relationships serve to root children securely to the ground so they are well anchored as they reach forward.

When a young child tells you they want to ‘do it myself,’ they are trying to stretch the boundaries of who they are. The life force to grow into a unique and independent person exists in every one of us, but the key to unlocking it lies in these fulfilling relationships.

Strong attachment opens up the bias to become their own person and they start to move through their world with their own preferences, meanings, ideas, and initiatives in tow.

One of the number one values parents have for their children is independence and responsibility. This is not something we can teach to a child but we can facilitate it in unfolding. The path to ‘me do’ and independence lies in first meeting their dependency needs.

When children can take us for granted, they can leap into new surroundings of their own making. They are free to discover new places knowing there is always a home to return to. We all need to feel anchored and relationships are the things that hold us in place.

If we want our children to spring forth and discover what they really can they can do, then we do not have to push but rather provide for their needs. When they are full of everything we have to offer, they will look at us with much defiance and dignity and say, “no—I do it myself.” We need not take offense, but rather see it as the fruit of our caretaking.

The goal of parenting is to help our children become separate viable human beings.

While the ‘me do’s’ of today may seem small and insignificant, they are the building blocks for adolescence and adulthood tomorrow. In adolescence, they will use this ‘me do’ bias to cross the bridge from childhood to adulthood. They will fill the void that emerges at this time, along with the diminishing attachments to parents, with the ‘me do’ energy of the preschooler.

When you watch a young adult full of this energy, it is absolutely delightful, and one can’t help but wonder about the parents that stand behind this success. These are parents that met their child’s attachment needs for all of those years and gave them the room to become their own persons.

Celebrate and make room for the ‘me-do’s’ in your child today, for they are the promises of ‘me’ tomorrow.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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