My Son Seems to Independent for a 1 Year Old.

Updated on January 18, 2007
M.C. asks from Roanoke, VA
15 answers

My son will be one on the 14th and Im finding his independence a little scary. He isnt in daycare, Im a stay at home mom for the time being and if I had to do something and needed to leave him with someone it would be my mother. My little sister has two kids and he is around them, but not ALOT. My point is, for a one year old I find him to be too independent. He likes to play by himself and doesnt cry about it OR he will play with our 2 year old puppy. I will admitt I don't know how to play with little boys because growing up I only babysat little girls, and I have two sisters, so I don't really know a whole lot about playing with boys. He is very smart, he says phrases like what is it? but he WONT say Mamma, and I thought babies usually said that before "WHAT IS IT?" My husband is currently deployed and isnt around to play with him, so Im trying to be Mamma and Dadda...but I find I have NO idea what Im doing. Any advice? And is it really normal for a one year old to be sooo independent?

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answers from Charlotte on

Hey M.

My youngest went through a phase like this as well, it didn't last too long, so like all the other mom's say enjoy it while you can! As far as playing with him, he won't care, I grew up with brothers and had no clue what to do when I had a little girl they just like that I am there. I make up silly songs about them and what they are doing and they laugh, just follow his lead he'll teach you how he wants you to play.

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answers from Raleigh on

Hi! You should not be worried about the independence thing. My son is the same way, and he turned 1 on Dec 7th, 06. He is just startingto go through a stage of not wanting me to leave him. Prior to this and even now on most days he can play for hours by himeself. This is a good thing in my opion, because we can't be our everything to our kids, they have to learn to play alone. Also if he is an only child, this could be part of the reason! Good luck adn don't worry about it! Your doing a great job!!!!!



answers from Sumter on

My son is really independent too and has been and he is turning 4 in Feb and still is. DH is airforce and he is leaving in March not to there though. I also have 3 family members over there. It is a tough life. I think it is good for the kids to be independent let's them know who they are so they don't change to be liked by other kids. I worked in a day care b4 I had kids and saw kids as young as 2 like something and then when another kid says they don't like the other all of a sudden dont like. I have actually snuck in my day care (they allow you to stay if you like but I didn't want me son to see me llol) and we put him in there at 3 to get him more social time and since they do preschool it has helped him learn different things too and he plays with the other kids but sticks to what he likes. Which is great!

As for playing if you have the money get him a kitchen set or grill playset and put it in the kitchen. Mine loved to pretend cook while I was doing the cooking and it gave him and I a chance to bond since he was so independent. He would do his thing in his kitchen and I'd do mine and he would ask me what I was cooking and what I was putting in but always asking me, "whats that?". We have always insited on getting him to say please and thank you. We would try each time he said more to coach him to saying more please (if he didn't we'd still give him more but told him to try to say it) and when we "cook" together now that he is nearly 4 he understands how to do some simple things in the kitchen and actually pulls up a chair to stir things so we get even closer.

I have also started a craft time now that my girl is 2 and it has helped alot being mom and dad. They have lots of books on toddler crafts and you can find most of the ideas in the books on the web too. Mine have done the finger paint with pudding since they were 1 and still love it! Plus you can make your own dough at home that they can play with and if they eat it they wont get sick and they have liked that since they were 1 too. It has helped even though they are both independent and even tell me to go away LOL from time to time when trying to play with them to bring us close together. We have a cartoon/movie time as well were we have popcorn and milk and normally we sit on the living room floor and end up having a popcorn fight. Our dog loves to clean up the mess and the vet says it is ok as long as we keep it to a once a week thing LOL. Just find things that intrest him. Before you know it he will be able to tell you what he wants to do with a little help.



answers from Jacksonville on

My 2 year old son is the same way, and he has been since he was about 10 months old. When he wants me to play with him he will come get me, otherwise he is content to play on his own. Thats just his personality, and there is nothing wrong with it. Don't worry! My son is also very advanced for his age, and because of that, he tends to behave as an older child. Also with his Daddy being gone all the time (we are in the middle of our second deployment since my son was born) he seems to feel as though he is the "man" of the house. As far as playing with a boy vs playing with a girl, at this age there really isn't much difference. When they are young it is more about learning the fundamentals than anything else. Don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing just fine!



answers from Norfolk on

I'm 27 and have fratenal boy/girl twins. My husband is also deployment to Afghanistan. He will be back in April after over a year. So we are starting to get excited!! I don't think anything is wrong with your son. As for him saying what is it before mommy well maybe that means he is just curious about the world around him. My sons first word was doggy and my daughters was Hi! Mommy did come along around 12 or 13 months. If you are concerned about his speech development ask your ped at his 12 month appointment or wait until his 18 month is you want. There is probably nothing to worry about but if his speech doesn't develop normally he could he on the autism spectrum and if thats the case getting him help by two can greatly improve his future. Although it sounds like he is a normal 12 month old so i wouldn't worry. As for playing with him. Kids at that age play with the same stuff. My son plays with dolls and my daughter will play with cars. AT that age banging on pots and pans was always fun and so was playing with puppets. So just jump in and play with him. He doesn't care what you are doing. I think you are doing a great job. I hope this helps.



answers from Raleigh on

My daughter is also 14 months and often enjoys playing by herself. It is a great thing, actually, that they don't need you to entertain them all day. Sometimes I feel like a bad mother not interacting with her - but we interact a lot of other times during the day and I usually let her take the lead - sometimes I try to interact while she is playing or reading books and I can tell that she really doesn't want me to...sad, but true. Also, I don't think that playing with a boy, especially at this age, is that much different than playing with a girl. You want to foster all the same skills in a boy as in a girl -- imagination, compassion, and basic skills - like colors, numbers, etc. -- at my house we play with tractors and basketball hoops and baby dolls and puzzles -- all of those things are things your son could be interested in as well.



answers from Charleston on

Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job being both a mom and dad to your son. In my opinion, the independence in 1-yr olds is very normal. They don't really learn to socialize until they're about 14-18mo (that's what I had read in several books). So, don't sweat it! I have a 13mo old and he's exactly what you described. For his 1-yr birthday party, there were about 6 little one year olds running around and frankly, all of them played with the adults and didn't even notice the other babies in the room.

Now that he's becoming more aware of his surroundings, there are plenty of activities you can take him to, such as the park, the playground, the aquarium, the children's museum downtown....



answers from Raleigh on

Thank goodness for men like your husband. I'm sure it's very hard on you guys, so thank you. I have to hurry b/c my baby is crying, but my oldest son didn't say Mama until he was almost 2. Don't worry!!

At this age, they are happy playing with a leaf. It's great he's so independant. Don't worry too much. He sound perfect. Try to go to playgroups with others his age as well.

Sorry..have to run!


answers from Charlotte on

Hi M.,
Don't worry too much, Usually (imo) a child says "Mama" or "Dada" first because Mom and Dad are there to say things like "Go to Mama/Dada" But your son is speaking in phrases asking you what something is. That shows intelligence, not something to worry about. As for playing with boys that was a tough one for me also but i learned that there really is only slight differences in play. For instance, little girls want to go to the park and may want to ride those (bouncy things) a boy might rather play in the dirt ie sandbox building a castle or something or just building a mound of dirt that they can "crash" their truck through. They like to color and build things with lego's (They sell bigger lego's for smaller hands) You could try a zoolike game. And as he grows, no worries!!! Pokemon cards Yughio cards and video games video games,video games!!!! Good luck don't worry



answers from Norfolk on

My daughter is the same way and it scares me a bit too. what I do is become a child with her. spin in circles if that's what he likes, make up silly songs that he can learn from. I taught her to count to ten by using her as a weight for excercise!! I didn't think she would pick up on it so fast now she won't stop counting. Pretty much act like a kid and remember their attention span is crazy short.



answers from Asheville on

Consider yourself lucky that your boy is independent! A lot of one year olds are still very clingy, and in need of constant attention. But you still need to have lots of interaction with him, and at this stage there is no difference between boy and girl play. So just get down on the floor with him, play cars or blocks, sing songs, read to him. Take him for walks, to the park, etc. Just keep talking to him, hug him. But also enjoy the fact that you can leave him for a moment to go to the bathroom or make lunch...alot of moms would be thrilled!



answers from Raleigh on

hi. i'm not sure how much help i can be because i have a daughter rather than a son. but growing up i babysat mostly boys. it first i was really intimidated but soon realized that it doesn't matter what sex they are they just want your attention. get down on the floor and do what he seems most interested in. if you need an icebreaker sit down to play while he's playing with the puppy. start with one activity and follow his interest. it will get easier and easier. i hope i have been of some help to you. good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

I feel what you going through. My lil man will be 2 on the 18th. He is Mr. Independent. He dresses himself, changes his own Pull-Up (I just help wipe when needed), he cleans up after himself, he will clean the kitchen floor for me (he loves the Swiffer), put dishes in the sink, throw away any trash and play in his room without any guidance. That's just a small list. If I try to help him he gets mad and throws a fit. My son also said SpongeBob before Mama. I say don't discourage it. But at the same time don't encourage it. Try to take him places that there are other kids like the park or the play area that some malls have. That way he can still get socialization. He will still have times where he wants his Mommy. So enjoy the independence he's giving you to allow time for your things that need to get done.



answers from Charleston on

^^ well im a new mom/af spouse myself and i cant speak from experience, but from my reading and experience with boys (all boys on my paternal side, all male cosins and a little brother) I can say that he should be ok. If he can get along with the dog than its not to say that he isnt a social kid :> I'd say playdates are a good way for him to become more social and be more interactive with kids his age plus you get to meet other moms and see what games they play with thier cutie. Also, the fisher price web site has a very helpful e-newsletter that comes once a month and is customized for your childs age and has some great suggestions as far as games to play. One that is my daugheters fav. is Baby on the Bus
How to play:
Learning Skills:
• Anticipation of events

• Cognitive/thinking skills

• Object permanence and stability

It's time for a baby workout, set to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus." These exercises will help keep your baby in shape. She's never too young to start!

• Soft blanket or towel on a soft surface
• Your voice

What to do:
1. Lay your baby on a blanket or towel, on her back.
2. Sing the following song, moving the assigned body
part on your baby as you sing.

Wheels on the Bus
(Bicycle your baby's legs as you sing the first four lines.)
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
Round and round, round and round,
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
All through the town.
The people on the bus go up and down.
(Lift your baby's arms up and down)
The wipers on the bus go back and forth.
(Roll baby from side to side)
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep.
(Touch your baby's nose)

this is an example of some of the activites they send. :)
Also I know there is a magazine called "lowcountry parent" and it is free at some of the local shops like once upon a child and its a great resource for playgroups and activities in the charleston/summerville community.



answers from Greenville on

The only thing I can really tell you is that playing with a baby is playing with a baby. At this point he has no real male/female identity, that is learned, so play with blocks, ride a ride on, roll a ball, give him a doll. It really doesn't matter, he will just love the interaction with you.

If you are concerned about his independence you need to talk to your Dr. and ask them what they think. They can set up an evaluation of some sort if there is real concern there. These mom boards are wonderful for support but when it comes to something you are really worried about the best people to talk to are the ones who have an MD behind their name!

Good Luck!

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