Is Your Toddler Too Clingy? When to Worry.

clingy toddler holding leg

My toddler is too clingy!

There comes a time in every toddler’s life when they start to get clingy. For some toddlers, this will just last a couple of days. While other toddlers may go through this stage for weeks or even months. At first, it may seem cute, but after a while, it can be exhausting. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to discourage this clingy behavior while still being there for your child.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings and Needs

One of the first things that you need to do when your child starts to get clingy would be to acknowledge their feelings. The main reason that toddlers become clingy is that they feel safe and comfortable around you. They feel secure when they are around you. So, you should make sure that you are acknowledging these behaviors. By acknowledging these feelings, you may be able to determine what is causing your child to act this way. If you are able to figure out why they are acting this way, you may be able to find different ways to help them.

Don’t Ignore or Punish Clingy Behavior

If your child has been acting clingy for a while, it can be tempting just to ignore these behaviors. This is the last thing that you should do. Punishing or ignoring these behaviors can make them worse. If you push your child away when they are clingy, it will teach them that you won’t be there for them when they are older. You don’t need to pick them up every time they ask, but you should always acknowledge their requests. Toddlers don’t always understand that their parents are busy, so it is important that you let them know that you are not just ignoring them.

Create a Routine

Everyone thrives with a routine, even if they don’t think so. Toddlers are no different. They actually do better with a routine because they have so much energy and aren’t sure what to do. Make sure you are developing a routine, so your children know what to expect. Try to have meals, naps, and playtime at the same every day. This will let you be more productive while still being there for your toddler. After a few weeks of a routine, they will know that they have a specific time to play with you. So, when they start to be clingy or whiny, you can just remind them of their routine, and they will calm down.

Don’t Sneak out When You Leave

One reason that children start to be clingy is that they feel like you are leaving them out of nowhere. They don’t understand that you will always come back. So, when you need to leave for work, make sure you tell them you are leaving, but you will be right back. It might be more difficult while it is happy, but it will make it a lot easier in the long run. Sneaking out will only increase the clinginess and anxiety that they have when you are around.

Promote Independence

A great way to deal with a clingy toddler is by promoting independence. You should try to build your child’s self-confidence. There are a lot of different ways that you can promote self-confidence. You can have them help with dinner or set the table. Building this confidence is important to discourage clinginess. Plus, it will help them later in life. Independence will help them feel safer and more secure regardless of what environment they are located in.

Increase Social Activities

Social activities are a great way to prevent clinginess. Hanging out with children that are close to their own age will allow them to work on their social skills while they are creating bonds. Instead of clinging to you, they will develop relationships with their peers. You should try to schedule a playdate at least once a week for your child. Try to make it at the same time every week so they can get used to it as a part of their routine.

Have a Special Playtime

Your child may be clingy because they feel like they are not getting a lot of attention. One way to ensure that they are getting plenty of attention is by having a designated playtime for them. It could be in the afternoon or before dinner. This will be really helpful, especially if you have more than one kid. When they start getting needy, you can just remind them that you all will have some special time later. They might cry at first, but just like anything else, once it becomes part of their routine, they will understand.

A Clingy Toddler Is Temporary

When your child is attached to you at the hip, it may seem impossible to imagine dealing with this for months on end. The most important thing that you need to remember about a clingy toddler is that it is just a stage. Even though it seems like there is no end in sight, one day, your child will wake up and act like the clinginess never happened. They will start playing on their own without even thinking about it. You may be surprised at how much you miss it when they do stop constantly following you around and needing your help.

Use These Tips to Deal With a Clingy Toddler

Dealing with a clingy toddler can be overwhelming. There will be times when you feel like you just want to give up. However, there are some things that you can do that can make dealing with a clingy toddler just a little bit easier. Every toddler is different, so what works for one child may not work for another. Just take your time and find methods that work for your family and remember that this stage will not last forever.