Parents who have a clingy toddler share similar experiences. They feel exasperated when they can barely do any work because their child refuses to leave their side. Do you find yourself caught in the same dilemma? Well, you are not alone. While it is essential for parents to learn how to deal with their clingy toddlers, it is equally important to understand the reason behind this behavior. Clinginess in children is a sign of attachment to the adults they consider a “secure base”. This is something that little kids develop with caregivers they have learned to trust.
How to deal with a clingy toddler?
So what do you do to ease your child’s separation anxiety? Take a look at these tips to learn how to deal with a clingy toddler.
Pay attention to how you respond
It is easy to get upset when a child is being clingy, but it’s important to watch how you respond. While you are the one who is in control of the situation, be sure to avoid using a harsh tone. Be firm without raising your voice. Make them feel that being away from you isn’t something they need to fear. Assure them that you will come back for them and be sure to stand by your promise.
Also, it would help if you take time to formally bid them goodbye instead of sneaking out without them knowing. A simple “I’ll come pick you up” or “I’ll see you later” will do.
Encourage independence and self-sufficiency
One of the things you could do to reduce your toddler’s clinginess is to encourage independence. Allow them to make their own decisions sometimes instead of always telling them exactly what to do. Give them options and the chance to decide. Give them opportunities to help out around the house. Assign them simple tasks, such as dusting the furniture, making their bed, putting away their toys, organizing their stuff and so on. The feeling that they can decide and perform certain tasks on their own builds their confidence that they don’t need your help all the time.
Acknowledge how they feel
Clinginess is part of a child’s growth and development. It is not something you should punish them for. They are not aware of their behavior and are not trying to be difficult. This is why, as parents, it is important to show compassion and understanding. Growing up isn’t easy for them, so acknowledge how they feel. Empathize with them and tell them that others feel the same way at times. Do not make them feel that being shy and clingy are bad. Instead, reassure them and make them feel understood.
Spend regular time with others
It will help make your clingy toddler less anxious when they start getting used to being around other people. Instead of being with only you all the time, why don’t you schedule a regular weekend activity with other trusted adults in their life? Invite close family friends or do a weekly visit over to grandparents. Having this routine will encourage your child to become more comfortable with people besides you.
As you gradually allow opportunities for your child to be comfortable with others, be mindful of any changes. Observe how your clingy toddler responds to this approach. Does it help reduce their clinginess? Do they enjoy the company of others? Do they feel comfortable being around other people? Reinforce the positive results by continually giving your child words of support, encouragement and assurance. After all, all they need to know is that they will be safe without you by their side.
Dealing with a clingy toddler is seems like an ordeal that every parent has to face. But with the right approach, you can handle your child’s clingy behavior stress-free! By the time your child overcomes their separation anxiety, you can be confident to send them to the best preschool – Imagine Nation Learning Center.