POSITIVE PARENTING: Dealing with clinginess

Clinginess in little ones can come and go especially if your child is feeling unwell this type of behaviour might be more prevalent. You are the centre of your children’s universe, so it is only natural that they have times when they want to stay close to you. It is in fact a true sign that they are securely attached to you and is part of healthy development.

A few children will become clingy when stressed, this could be because of a change in family life.

Your consistent love and encouragement will help your child to overcome any shyness and anxieties they may have.

Some tips for helping this stage are:

• Let them know in advance when visitors are due to arrive – role-play how to greet and meet.

• Notice and praise any appropriate behaviour your child demonstrates.

• Don’t push. Your children’s anxieties are real to them and railroading them into behaving a certain way will only do harm to their confidence.

• Encourage your children to make friends by inviting small numbers of their peers to your home, extending this with bigger numbers over time at more distant venues.

• When family life presents changes, be aware that a softly, softly approach will be needed, with plenty of reassurance and support available for your child.

• Never leave without saying goodbye to your child as this will leave them unsure about your return. It will in fact create a clingier child, as it will reinforce any separation anxiety already present.

See: www.parentcoach.co.uk

NEXT WEEK: Preparing for the empty nest

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