My child is very clingy. What tricks can I use to make her more independant?

Patricia - posted on 05/14/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am a stay at home Mom and my daughter is always wanting to be in the same room as me whether it is the bedroom, kitchen or even the bathroom. She starts crying "MOMMY!" or "MOM, HELP!" if she does not see me. She is like this even with my husband and her 9 and 10 year old siblings. She does not want to play on her own or without me. I cannot cook, shower or rest for very long. It makes any time away from her a nightmare for the caretaker and myself, because I can imagine her stress of not having me there. Is there any advice or tricks you can provide to make my daughter more independant?

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Kristen - posted on 06/27/2010

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Good ideas Alison! I have the same issues with my 19 month-old daughter :/ It's a lot to handle sometimes. I really do need to let her help more with chores I suppose, but it's so hard because her brother just turned 3 yesterday and he has autism, so I have to watch the both of them and have them both help out I suppose. It is so draining sometimes. It's hard to get out of the house as it is and if we leave the house it always seems to prove disasterous anyhow. It's getting really hard for my daughter because I know she wants to be independent with everything.

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Victoria - posted on 11/01/2012

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hi i have a 11 month old is is very clingy he,s breastfed as i can,t get him off as im a single mum of 2 he has started becoming more clingy and makes himself sick please someone give me advice thank you

Sarah - posted on 07/03/2010

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I really like the "mommy time" idea. I have four kids that like to follow me around the house, for something to do I think. I am going to modify it a bit and have "one-on-one" with the kids as well as "mommy time". That kind of sounds like fun. :) Thanks.

Alison - posted on 06/07/2010

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I am assuming she is about 2 years old?

Some children are very social and do not like to be alone. Have a little basket of her toys in every room of the house, so she can do her thing while you do your thing. Or let her help you with the dishes, the laundry, the cooking. My girls love to help out, although it can be really challenging for me.



If she insists on being with mommy even when her dad and siblings are around, maybe you need to step out of the house more often. Kids will act very differently when you are not there at all. And with a demanding child like this, you really need your time away.



You can also train her to respect your mommy time (although she may be a bit young to really respect it, it can't hurt to try). Make yourself a cup of tea and sit down with your magazine. Give her a sippy cup of whatever and a bunch of books or toys. Explain to her that it is mommy time and that you will play with her when it is over. (You can use a timer and start at 5 minutes, then gradually increase).



You need to meet her needs, but at the same time train her to respect your boundaries.

Sandra - posted on 05/20/2010

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As I read your post, I have my two year old repeating my name in my ear- far from a whisper too! I just realized that while she is pretty good about not crying when I leave, for the past few weeks she has been a total Mama's girl, and has been pushing away everyone else. I am hoping this is just a stage that will in time pass! I am an unemployed Mom who has been taking classes in hopes to help transition my career path. It could be my recent unavailability has been partly to blame. I hope to get her in school soon so she does not lose her sense of independence she has thus far shown to have. So, I guess in some ways we have the same problem now. I would try to get some short breaks away from your child and see how it goes. Probably a good thing for you to have "me time" just as it will also help her with the separation adjustment. you are not alone! good luck and tell me how it goes! Sandra

Patricia - posted on 05/20/2010

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thanks for all the advice. I will trying keeping her informed and see how that goes. It's always been this way, but lately it's gotten worse. I think because I am home all day with her, she has come to believe we are one person. LOL! I really appreciate the support, as you know, a Mom can easily lose her own identity as a woman when she is consumed with motherhood!

Sandra - posted on 05/18/2010

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That is very difficult I'm sure. Is this something that has always happened, or a recent thing?
I had seen other children have melt downs when one parent would leave before I had my daughter and it seemed the common link to the upset was the parents slipped away without telling him and her they were leaving. I have always explained to my daughter when I need to leave and that I will be back and tell her a ball park as to when. She is only 2, but I swear it makes a big difference just telling her versus me leaving while she's napping for instance. Then when she awakens she keeps looking for me, asking her Nana or Dad where I am, etc. It seems to give her anxiety. I can leave her at my neighbors house, however, and explain I'm going home to shower and get a couple of things done and will be back in an hour...didn't cry or ask about me. She didn't know my friend all that well then either, so I really believe in my case at least it does ease any anxiety they might have otherwise if you leave without word. Try it. If that is what you do, perhaps leave the house for very short periods of time when you can, tell her, and then come back just as you said you would. After some time, hopefully her anxiety about leaving you will wane. Good luck to you!

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