mother with a toddler

5 Tips to Handle a Clingy Toddler

There will come a time when toddlers cling to their parents. It might be cute at first, but in the long run it will become tiresome and annoying. Children become clingy when they become afraid or anxious. This is  common in children, especially when there is a change happening. Changes in caregivers or babysitters or going to school for the first time are a couple examples. What can parents do when their toddlers develop separation anxiety and become clingy? Here are some tips for dealing with a clingy toddler:

Redirect your child’s attention

When your child starts to become clingy, one thing you can do is to redirect their attention. Redirecting your toddler’s attention will help them become more independent rather than just following you around all day. You can keep them busy while you work on something, and this will help them understand that you’ll also need time on your own to do something else.

Encourage your toddler to play with other children

If you have other children, or if there are other children in the house, you can encourage your toddler to play with them. Your toddler can mingle with other children without you, and this will help ease their clinginess. You can even tell the other children to play your toddler’s favorite game so that he will have fun and enjoy their time together. Explain to your other children that their brother or sister needs to get to know them better.

Your child may be used to only being with you. So, you need to let them spend time with other people. Having them spend time one-on-one with other people will help them trust others more. Let them build friendships with other relatives so that their clinginess will subside.

Provide your toddler with a fun and independent activity

This is a great way to handle your clingy toddler. Provide a fun independent activity for them that will occupy their attention and time. A puzzle can be an option, and this will help with their problem-solving skills and cognitive development. Teach your children how to use their imagination. Dress them up as their favorite cartoon character. Let them play pretend with their other siblings. These activities will help ease their clinginess, and you’ll get to do the things you need to do.

Have distance away from your toddler once in a while

mother with clingy toddler
Try and spend time away from your toddler once in a while

As a parent, maintaining a healthy distance from your toddler can be healthy. This will teach them to be independent and not to always rely on you. For example, if you are working on your laptop and your toddler wants to sit on your lap, you can explain to her that she can sit beside you because you are working.

Don’t avoid spending time away from them. It may be upsetting at times, but this will teach toddlers that they can live without you for a time. Your toddler won’t stay upset for long because their attention can be redirected elsewhere as stated in the first tip.

Don’t punish or ignore your child’s behavior

Yes, a clingy child can be frustrating, but don’t vent your frustration towards your little one. Don’t even try to ignore them when they become clingy. If you just ignore or get angry about your child’s behavior, this will make your children feel neglected and alone. This will make your child shy when there are other people around. Be supportive and understanding because this is the best thing you can do as a parent.

Be aware of how you respond to your child

If you feel easily impatient, learn how to control and handle your emotions. Learn to be patient and understanding for the sake of your child. Avoid using harsh tones. Be firm, but don’t  give in when they make unrealistic demands.

Clinginess is normal for toddlers. It can be tough to handle, but it’s not impossible. Just follow the tips listed above and you’ll surely be a pro at handling your clingy toddler in no time.

Your child’s clinginess isn’t only treated at home; it can also be improved while at school. Look for a great toddler program in your area. Visit Montessori School of Downtown today.