One of my girls is being more sensitive than usual and it is resulting in clingy and cuddly behaviour. While it is nice to have cuddles, it does get frustrating when the child hangs onto you for dear life and will not let go. This sometimes happens for a couple of days in a row and then it goes away.
Signs of the cuddly dependent behaviour are visible when I get asked more for the following:
- Pick me up
- Cuddle me
- Sensitive to everything
- Easily upset
- Cries easily
- Wants mummy to be with her all the time
I have been reading up on this behaviour and found that some would term it separation anxiety and others just a clingy toddler, I don’t believe that my girl has separation issues, as she is happy to go to school, child care and playgroup. Sometimes they are a little bit shy and need to warm to people again at playgroup, but both girls and the one who is currently clingy, joins in with the group and plays well with others.
One site that I visited suggested that boredom might be a reason for being clingy, justmommies recommends distraction and redirection works best, for example if you are making dinner put pots on the floor and try and get them involved that way, have the child help you prepare dinner, books or other toys might work as well.
I was on the phone with a person I used to work with, the girls thought I was talking with Aunty Kay, I corrected the girls and told them it was not Kay it was my friend Kate that mummy used to work with. It was at this moment that my sensitive girl lost it and was hysterical. She said, “Don’t leave me; you’re going to go to work like daddy and leave me!” I then explained that my job is to look after you and your sister. She is very worried about me going away or leaving. Not sure where she got that idea, but I am not going anywhere.
Making sure that the child feels comforted, and reassured of my love and the fact that I am there for them. I then attempt to get them interested in other things, books, games, maybe watching a quick show that they like. A lot of the time I end up on the lounge cuddling the clingy child until they are feeling happier and then I can remove myself as the child is happy now playing by themselves or with her sister. Sometimes it is just due to the child being tired or could not be feeling well.
Some ways on how to cope with a clingy toddler:
- Toddler Parenting Tips: How to cope with a clingy toddler – Great tips, Dr Donna, from eHow.com
- How to make it easier dealing with clingy toddlers – eHow.com
- Great tips for dealing with a clingy toddler, Dr. Deborah Wheeler, from eHow.com
- Child sleep expert Dana Obleman talks about sleep tips for clingy babies (we are lucky the girls sleep well, but in case yours does not this might help)
- Steps to help a clingy toddler – My parenting guide
Do you have a clingy child? My children seem to switch, however it seems to be one child in particular who is clingier than the other. How do you deal with this issue of toddlerhood? Send in your tips. Remember to vote for us for Best Australian Blog.