ABSTRACT

In the last chapter we have seen how the 1-year-old both needs his parents and also needs to be able to leave them. We have seen how important it is that they are there in order to be left. The struggle between autonomy from the parents and dependence on them pervades the toddler years, and this intensifies particularly during the second year. As the toddler becomes more aware of his capacity to leave and of the gap that emerges between him and his mother, paradoxically he becomes more aware of his wishes for her. At some point between roughly the ages of 16 months and 3 years, most toddlers will go through a phase of strong feelings of both love and hatred for their parents as they adjust to the fact that they both want and need and do not want to want and need their parents' presence.