Toddlers always want to feel in charge of a situation. But as a parent, I need to be in charge of my toddler. This tug of war can last for a long time. When it comes to disciplining, our son seems to listen more to my husband. Partially due to still nursing, I think he has a different bond with me and almost feels as though he controls me. When he is acting up, I refuse to answer his plea for breastfeeding. He becomes so upset that he starts screaming. I was hoping he would self-wean, but at this point, I don’t know if he will.
Taking away toys and privileges doesn’t seem to phase him. But, when I respond with a firm, “No,” when he asks for “memes,” he is definitely shaken. Our son, Linus, says he is not big enough to stop nursing and likes my milk. I think being home with him all the time influences his attachment to the act itself. It almost seems like a ritual, which doesn’t surprise me (considering the obsessive-compulsive nature that runs in my family). If it is just a routine that he has become accustomed to, then the next step would be to fill that time in with something else.
I have tried reading, cuddling, or playing trains to distract his thoughts from breastfeeding. But every time, he turns and asks me for my “memes.” I am still hoping he will outgrow nursing, especially if he wants a sibling. The frequency of his suckling would make becoming pregnant difficult. God has the last say as to if and when another baby shall come, but Linus doesn’t want to let go of my complete attention. And oftentimes, I need a break from his attachment.
Copyright 2012 Tanya Weitzel