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Why Is My Child Clingy?

Why Is My Child Clingy?

Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately, as a result of your super clingy child? Do you feel like you’re the only parent on the planet? And seeking possible measures to reduce the clinginess? If I’m right, then that makes you one out of thousands of parents who perceive clinginess being their number-one challenge. Although, you ought to know that some level of clinginess is normal. It’s healthy and makes a lot of sense. Come to think of it, we are their primary caregiver and all they have known. Therefore, drawing closer to us isn’t out of the blue. It’s simply a basic human survival mechanism that has been in operation throughout the human race. 

What Is Over Clingy?

Generally, over clingy refers to a person with a stronger or abnormal emotional or behavioural reaction to being separated from people they considered the top priority. The perspective above is versatile as clinginess can be found among adults as well, especially in mutual relationships. As for kids, normal clingy behaviour can surfaces at any stage up to late primary school. Your kids— infant, toddlers, or older children are likely to protest, get angry, cry, throws a tantrum, or express disapproval in some way to let you know they don’t like being separated. It’s now your job to manage their feelings and make them comfortable, but how will you be successful if you don’t know why children become overly clingy?

Why Do Children Become So Clingy?

Your child’s level of clinginess can be affected by an array of possibilities. Below are the major culprits: 

Transitional stress

 If you can be stressed out, so do your kids. Some events or changes in the home, such as having a new sibling, going through natural developmental stages, mastering new skills, starting a new school, changing environment, and everything they have once known can alter their emotional stability. Therefore, your undivided attention will be required to make them feel secure. Just as you would desperately need the full attention of a partner, friends, or family when you are going through something big.

Family issues

There are no ideal families, issues are an inevitable part of family life. And, when situations get out of hands such as parental separation or divorce or mental health issues, it takes a toll on them. Your kid is watching you very closely more then you think, so if they sense any detrimental situations, they may become clingy or show other challenging behaviours.

Temperament

The way your child responds to the world determines their level of clinginess. Some children are more reactive, self-regulate, sociable while others are less. In that situation, the way they handle and manage their emotions will be different. Therefore, the category your child belongs to can increase their likelihood of being super clingy.

Over-parenting

Parents always want the best for their children. However, if you are overdoing it, this can have adverse effects on you and increase their chances of being clingy. 

Naturally, kids need our help, but there are limits. If you are always involved in their frustrations, singing, teaching all the time, and responding to minor issues that they could be doing for themselves. You are simply telling them that they can’t do anything on their own, and they should instead rely on your wise decision and cling to you. Sooner or later, they will get used to it and that poses a challenging threat.

However, that does not signify turning down your kids when they need help, but it’s good to trust and support their development process and only provide the necessary things.

Now that we have identified the major causes of super clinginess, the below are essential suggestions on ways to reduce the concept.

Four Prominent Ways To Reduce Clinginess

Let them know people need their space.

If you think their mental capacity is too low for the reality you won’t succeed. So, be sincere with them. Let them know you love being close to them. But, make it clear that going off on their own is safe, it doesn’t hurt your feelings, and that they can always come back to you. Don’t set unnecessary boundaries, it might sound like you don’t mean what you’ve been saying.

Make your home an interactive ground

An environment that supports play and independence proven to keep children occupied and independent. So, engage in child-friendly appliances, toys, and books so that your kids are able to manoeuvre throughout the day independently.

Support true Freedom

Simply telling your kids to go play out of annoyance isn’t truly independent. Instead, it’s by supporting their genuine quest for freedom and providing the time, space, and contents required to seek out their interest. Come to think of it, people don’t like to participate in something they have no passion for, but time isn’t enough when it’s a game of interest.

Seek support

According to John Donne, no one is self-sufficient in knowledge; everyone relies on others. Therefore, seek support from different sources so that you can get some space and really come back with better energies for your child.

Always remember that the more super clingy your child becomes — the more aggressive, overwhelmed, and distressed you would turn out to be, and the clingier your child becomes. But if you’re readily available and go easy on them, they can feel easy to go off and explore. The more you hold out, the less they cling to you.

However, if the clinginess persists and interfering with the child’s regular life, it may be helpful to consult a paediatrician or a psychologist, or school counsellor.

Early Years Alliance member