Clinginess is a natural and common behavior observed in babies and toddlers. It is a sign that a child considers their parents as a “secure base”. This means that they have developed the trust that these adults are sensitive to their needs. This behavior may leave parents, like you, exasperated. Do you have a toddler who constantly refuses to leave your side? Here are some tips you might find helpful.
Manage your response to your clingy toddler
How you respond to your clingy toddler makes a difference. Watch your response and make sure it doesn’t sound upset or impatient. While it is important to be firm, be sure to avoid using a harsh tone. Be the one in control of the situation instead of giving in to their demands. If you have to be away from them, make them feel assured that you will come back. There isn’t anything they have to be worried about.
Encourage independence and autonomy
Kids will become less clingy if they feel confident and comfortable making their own decision. This will make them feel that they can actually take action without needing your help. If you’re wondering how to do it, start within your own home. Organize your home in such a way that they’ll have enough space to do things on their own. Make the stuff they need easily accessible. They won’t always have to call you when they need something. Also, allow them to help out around the house. Give them simple tasks that are easy to accomplish.
Never sneak out
Never sneak out on your child even if he is busy or engaged in playing. This will only make them lose their trust in you. The feeling that you have left them and they’ll have to go looking for you will make them distressed. It may even increase their clinginess due to the fear that you might sneak out again.
Spend exclusive time with them
Make your child feel more secured by spending more time with them. Give them your undivided attention. Make efforts to be with them so they would grow up feeling that you are part of them. Find ways to spend quality time together especially during weekends. Even if they are simply playing or watching television, just be there beside them.
Spend time with others, too
Growing up, your toddler is getting used to you and only you. It would help make them feel less anxious when they learn to trust other adults.. Have regular play dates or a weekly routine involving other adults like their grandparents. You may also hold an intimate gathering at home with your friends. They’ll get used to being with other people besides you.
Give them more time to socialize
Learning some social skills is important for children at a young age. Not only will it reduce their clinginess; it will also help their transition to preschool. Give your child more opportunities to socialize by bringing them to the park. Enroll them in workshops or classes. This will make them feel more comfortable being around other kids.
Gradually practice being separated from your child. Allow them to spend time with other trusted adults without you. When you visit their grandparents, try leaving them behind but assure them you’ll come back shortly. Instill the confidence that they will be fine without you. The more you practice this, the less clingy they will become.
Children only exhibit clingy behavior when they feel anxious, threatened and unsure of their surroundings. Assure them with your love and follow these tips to help you effectively handle a clingy toddler. If you’re looking for a preschool that offers a quality toddler program for your little one, please visit Handprints Academy.
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