Once your child learns to walk, his world expands exponentially. He now has the means to leave your side and explore on his own. This turn of events is both terrifying and exhilarating. And, as a result, you may find your child vacillating between periods of extreme neediness and extreme independence.
Your 1-year-old is also hard at work developing a sense of self. Once he truly understands that you and he are separate people, he will begin to claim ownership of certain possessions. Words like "me," "my" and "mine" become common refrains.
Your 1-year-old is also becoming more willful. If you tell him not to pull all his clothes out of the drawers, swat the dog or bang on the windows, he may not always comply. This is his way of asserting independence.
Along with a growing sense of self, comes fear of abandonment. Your child depends on you for strength and security. When you disappear, so may his self-confidence. And that's when separation anxiety tends to materialize. This normal developmental stage tends to wax and wane throughout the toddler years, but typically peaks at around 18 months.
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