My 3 yr old will not leave my side- EVER! HELP!

Erica - posted on 05/05/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son will be 3 in a month. I love him dearly but he won't let me do anything on my own. He throws a tantrum if I leave his site. He has starting throwing tantrums when I take him to preschool (only a few hrs 3 times a wk) and he doesn't even go to sleep unless he thinks I'm in the room right next to him- not downstairs. My husband travels 200 plus days out the yr and I'm sure this is part of it. I'm going nuts though with no personal time or space. Please help!

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Cathy - posted on 05/05/2009

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It sounds like he's not feeling very secure right now, he needs the comfort and safety of his Mommy...keep him close whenever possible, and give him as much cuddle time and affection as he needs. When he's feeling more settled and secure he'll venture away from you and start looking for some independence. Some kids need a little more time with Mommy than others, and if are able to give him that comfort and security, he'll gradually break away when he's ready.



I realize how vital it is to have your own personal time and space, we all need 'me' time to regroup and keep our sanity. Does he still nap during the day? I squeeze every minute of my son's 2 hr nap and make that time my self-indulgent time. Do things you don't have time to do when he's awake...chat with friends, take a nap, read, listen to music, whatever you enjoy doing.



They're only young for such a short time, we need to stop pushing them to be more independent and mature than they're ready for. Good luck.

Erica - posted on 05/06/2009

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Thanks for your insight ladies. I probably should have also mentioned that I have a 10 month old little girl as well. This makes it more difficult to ignore the tantrums b/c of their affect on her. I know there is a natural, normal jealousy there as well. I will keep hanging in there and try your tips!

Kristin - posted on 05/05/2009

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I have the exact same problem with my two year old. He is such a Mommy's boy! Sometimes he will position himself between me and the stove and push on me, making it almost impossible to cook. I was watching a program on the learning channel that said that when they do that it is really because they are bored. They recommended that you have a cabinet or drawer in the kitchen that has some play dishes, food etc. This will give them something to focus their attention on rather than you. My son also has to have me to sleep. It is very exhausting because I cannot get him to quit nursing. He sleeps in the bed with my husband and I. I sometimes feel like I still have an infant because he wakes up several times throughout the night. I also have become a victim to the tantrums. I learned a couple things when this happens: Either wait it out, or give them something else to put their attention on. I feel so sorry for you that your husband is on the road a lot. My husband has to work out of town every now and again, when there are hurricanes or storms. It is hard, and makes you feel like a single parent. I am the Mother of three, and that makes it three times as hard. Especially when one is so clingy! I wish you all the best, and just remember they won't always be little.

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Krista - posted on 05/20/2009

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It could be the baby that's causing it. My older two are 20 months apart. My oldest was (and still is at almost 10) a mamas boy. But when his brother was born, I had him help. He could do bottles (with help) bring me diapers and even help burp the baby (they love that). He was able to help feed him real food when he was eating. He felt included and never got real clingy. I also would hold baby and read to him, and tried to get one on one with him. That's very hard to do when you're by yourself, but sometimes the baby naps. Then, play a game with him, or read stories or play something. Soon (before you know it) he'll be almost 10 and start pulling away. Then you'll wish he was little and clingy again.



Good luck!

Erica - posted on 05/08/2009

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Thanks Linda! I know, I 'm trying to tell myself that it's just a phase like everything else. i just can't help asking myself if I'm doing something to cause him to feel insecure? That would break my heart. My friend with 2 older boys tells me to just wait. She has to hunt her boys down to get them to do anything with her now that they are older! I'm sure I will miss my little sidekick then!

Linda - posted on 05/08/2009

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Our children are about the same age difference. My youngest started getting really clingy around that age & my oldest followed suit. It was very frustrating, but it was also a stage. At times, I had to tell my oldest to go downstairs & have quiet time, or alone time. She screamed the first day (5 min), cried the second & played the 3rd. She still likes constant interaction, but will play on her own a bit more.

Shana - posted on 05/06/2009

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are you close to family? you should have a close friend or family member come over often get him to start to trust and also if you know you are leaving them with someone you trust you have to just go !!! first go get a cup of coffee for like 20 min next time go alittle longer just keep reminding your self that you are a better mom when you come back and your kids will be okay. i know it is hard and painful but i think you can do it and i know it will be good for your son. and daughter. Good luck and i will be praying for you.

Paulette - posted on 05/05/2009

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Hi Erica,

I would try finding an assortment of activities that are age related for him to do. I would start out having him playing with them while you are near by doing dishes,etc. then slowly taking 2, 4, 6 and so on minutes away from him while he is doing these activities. You of course would be near by but out of site. As far as him going to sleep and you having to be in the next room...I am afraid if you want the freedom of being downstairs after placing him in bed then you'll have to let him fuss and cry till he understands that is the way it suppose to be. It is partially about control and who is in charge or basically if he can pull your strings (to your heart). I also would recommend play dates with other little ones his age. Where he won't care if you're in the room or not. I would also give yourself mommy play dates and have someone watch him. This will give you the break(s) you need as a mom, to regroup and relax.

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