How you can help a clingy child

Some kids are just a little more needy than others and need a different type of parenting 

Some kids are clingier then others and while most clinginess will be seldom some children will be prone to clinginess more than others.
It can be a stressful time for parents as you may have to work or do things away from your child which is to be expected however stopping because of upsetting your child isn’t advised and there are other ways to manage their behaviour. Here are a few tips on dealing with an extremely clingy kiddie and hopefully it is only a passing phase. 
  • Reassure your child and show love- Reassuring your child that you aren’t going away forever but instead you are going to run an errand and you will be back. Give your nipper plenty of cuddles before leaving and ensure you are leaving them with a person who knows your kiddie and understands their struggles. This will make the situation a whole lot easier. 
  • Respond to their needs- Every child has needs and responding to them will show your child that you are there and will help them in any way you can. You may have to leave them for an hour but remind your child that you will be back and will have lots of fun later, they may want to play a certain game but are upset because you are leaving so promise a game later. 
  • Keep a good routine- Children that are clinging to a parent need a good routine and for family life to be predictable. Throwing them into chaos will usually set off their clingy tendencies so avoid doing this and if there is something you are doing that is different tell your child and let them ask questions if they want to. 
  • Don’t punish or ignore your child for been clingy- Punishing your child will not help as they really aren’t meaning to be bold or troublesome. They are quite simply close to you and feel safe when with you, take them away from the cocoon you create leaves them nervous and anxious; You are their security blanket. 
  • Increase social activities- Do as much as you can when you can with your child and friends. Go to play groups, take a trip to a family fun day and take little steps to encourage your child to step away from you even a little. 
  • Promote good relationships with family and visit often- Your child needs to have good relationships with family members to trust them enough to stay with them. Visit family often and promote great relationships, be a good role model and show your child the importance of having many people in your life rather than relying upon one person however much you love them. 
  • Praise moments of independence- Praise your child if they leave your side for even the smallest amount of time as for your child this is a mammoth effort. Give them praise and encourage them to go do it again and hopefully it will build from there. 
  • Be patient- Having a clingy child does take a lot of patience but it does take time for your kiddie to make steps to been more independent and confident without you. Take it as a compliment and remember your child will grow out of it soon. 
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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