Almost every child goes through a period of clinginess but for some children, it just seems to last longer than others. At first, parents may think it’s the cutest thing ever the first time their child grabs on to their leg and doesn’t let go. But after a while, the cuteness of it starts to fade. Your clingy child may need some additional help and support to help them get over this initial phase. If you need help dealing with your clingy child, you are in the right place. We have 10 of the best tips for dealing with a clingy child. Please continue reading to learn more.
10 Encourage Independence
Encouraging independence is a great way to help your child become less clingy. The more independent he or she is, the less likely it will be that your child will feel the need to be stuck right by your side every second of the day. A great way to encourage independence would be to give your child household chores to do such as picking up their toys, helping you set or clear off the table, or even teaching them to use a broom.
9 Schedule Playdates
Scheduling playdates for your child is a great way to help reduce clinginess. It not only allows your child to socialize, but it also allows you to socialize with other moms. If your child isn’t used to interacting with other children, you can start by making the playdates 30 minutes and then gradually increasing the time. You can also start by walking into a different room, but still be within eyesight, for a moment to slowly acclimate your child to being away from you while they are on playdates.
8 Be Mindful Of Changes
Changes can sometimes be enough to send a child into cling mode. After all, changes can even often give adults anxiety. Things like changes around the home or starting a new school or daycare can make some children clingier than usual. When possible, try to slowly acclimate your child to changes.
Try to reassure your kid that everything will be okay, that they are also going to be okay, and that nothing will hurt them. In the best way you can, try to also explain to your child that changes are a part of life and getting older.
7 Be Aware Of Your Childs Needs And Feelings
Sometimes when children are clingy, some parents will write it off as just kids being kids without even bothering to figure out why or see how their child is feeling. But when parents are aware of their child's needs and feelings it can often make it easier to come up with a solution to their kid’s clinginess. When your child is acting clingy, try asking if he or she feels happy, sad, or scared and ask them why they feel that way to see if there is an easy solution to what is going on with them emotionally.
6 Increase Predictability
Since we already know that being mindful of changes can help with a child’s clinginess, increasing predictability can be very beneficial. Try creating a schedule or routine and sticking to it to see if that reduces your child’s need to be around you all the time. When a child knows what to expect, it can help lessen their anxiety the same as it would help lessen an adults anxiety. If you create a schedule but don’t stick to it, it would pretty much be pointless and you and your child wouldn’t reap the benefits.
5 Praise Steps Towards Independence
When your child shows independence in the things they do, praising them can help keep them to try further working on their independence. This can be especially true if they are frequently very clingy. Try telling your kid that they are doing an excellent job and doing very well. Make sure that you also tell your big girl or boy that you are proud of them. If they feel like they are doing a good job, it can encourage them to keep up the good work.
4 Use A Consistent Phrase When Saying Goodbye
Sometimes using a consistent phrase when you are saying goodbye to your child can help them associate that phrase with knowing that you will come back. Saying little things that are easy for a child to memorize works best.
You can try saying, “See you later, alligator.” or even “In a while, crocodile.” Try to avoid making the phrase too long or complicated. Just keep it simple and reassure them that you are coming back. After a while, it can make it easier for you to leave your child in someone else's care without too much of a hassle.
3 Forget About Sneaking Out To Leave
Some parents think that sneaking out to leave is the best way to go about dealing with a clingy child, but it is actually much more harmful than helpful. At times, it can seem to make children much clingier out of fear that their mom or dad will disappear again without them knowing. It can also make it even more challenging for the person who is babysitting or caring for them while their parents are away as well because it can cause the child to be more upset than normal.
2 Increase Outings And Activities That Your Child Likes To Do
Increasing outings and activities that your child likes to do has the potential to help him or her embrace their independence which could lead to your child being less clingy. Things like signing your kid up for dance or sports could be beneficial as well help him or her socialize. You could even take your child to the park, swim classes, places like Chuck E Cheese, or even your local Crayola factory. All these places can help with socialization and independence.
1 Always Reassure That You’ll Come Back
Whenever you out and are not bringing your child, it is always helpful to reassure her or him that you will always come back. Some kids sometimes worry that when their parents leave, they will not be returning. This is especially true for children who have abandonment issues whether they are real or imagined. Letting your child know you’ll always come back can go hand-in-hand with telling them an easy, memorable phrase every time you leave. You can try out different sayings until you find something that works for you and your child.