3 yr old, very whinny and only want to be held by me. Has NEVER been thing way. Adive??

Tama - posted on 05/24/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am not sure what to do. He throws fits if I dont hold him. He has never been this way. So i am not sure whats up. Nothing at home has changed. Advice Please!!!!

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Jennifer - posted on 05/25/2011

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Lol it has NOTHING to do with rushing them to grow up! BY the age of 3 children are generally highly independent and I've not seen very many 3 year olds who constantly want to be carried or held by their mom. The only situation that would seem understandable for them to be that way at that age MIGHT be around people they don't know or a place they aren't familiar with. It doesn't make sense for them to be that way all the time at home, ESPECIALLY since (but not simply because) she stated that this suddenly started happening! In order to go to school they need to be able to self soothe and have a sense of independence. Schools encourage their independence (even in Kindergarten) and how does the child feel about this? They are extremely proud of themselves for doing these things on their own! Idependence is a big accomplishement for them, not a punishment. Love is something that is important, but a sense of independence is one of the best things you can give to your child.
At the age of 3 they are able to walk and even communciate with you and when they are throwing a fit when there's nothing wrong the last thing I'm going to do is reward them for that kind of behavior with love and attention! A screaming child/one throwing a fit for not getting what they want is not going to be listening to your words or reasoning anyway so why would you be sitting there trying to get them to HEAR what you have to say? All they're going to hear is their screaming. And to just give in with your attention, love, and cudddles, not to mention to hold them ALL THE TIME? We're not talking about an infant who isn't yet mobile who can do nothing but cry about what they want. I see nothing wrong with giving an infant love and attention when they cry for cuddles. But this isn't an infant, not unable to walk or talk. The child is 3.
She never mentioned that he never gets cuddles as I'm sure he gets a lot! AND I never suggested to never give him any lol. She mentioned he always wants to be held and when she doesn't hold him he throws a fit. She also said that he has never been that way before which makes me think he's doing it for the attention BUT if you give him that attention for throwing a fit that's REWARDING the behavior and teaching him that that's what he needs to do to get it!
If you simply just give him the attention all the time because you don't want them to cry even if by doing so you can't do anything else, he will pick that cue up from you. Children pick up on those things quickly. And it will get worse. They'll start doing it for other things, too, since they'll learn that misbehaving will get you what you want.
Honestly, if you really want to do your child a favor, help him become the more independent child he once was. And as for one that was always like that? Now would be a good time to give them some independence. Let me make myself clear. If the child wants a hug or cuddles, that's fine. They can go up to you and get some or grab a uick hug or kiss when you're busy. But to be pining for it all the time even if they get a lot of love and attention?
Ultimately the decision is yours. Whether you want him to remain like that (even though you said that nothing has changed and he was never like that before) or whether you want him to help him gain his sense of independence back.

Dora - posted on 05/25/2011

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If he is throwing a fit because he just wants his mommy why not just give him hugs and kisses. I never believed in ignoring my child under any circumstances. Just remember your baby is growing up fast and sooner or later he is not going to want to be held by you anymore. People these days seem to rush their children into growing up. I will never understand. Try to enjoy every moment with your son good/bad. My 3 yr old is attached to me and I wouldn't have it any other way. If my son wants to be loved I will go right ahead and give him all the love he wants. Put yourself in his position. How would you feel if all you wanted was to be held by someone you absolutely love and they ignored you and let you cry??? As kids grow up they will have plenty of things to cry about, one thing they should never have to cry about is getting love and attention from their mommy/daddy.

Heather - posted on 05/26/2011

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Hm. Some very interesting points of view here, not all that I agree with, but thats just me. My daughter is 3 yrs old and for the most part she is very independent, but there are some days when she just needs mommy, especially if there has been something either upsetting or stressful happen recently (such as when I had surgery and she had to stay with her grandparents for a week). I am a firm believer that kids actually do need to cry/scream/throw a fit some days (i know i wish i could on occasion) so what i do if she is screaming for me is i pick her up, sit on the couch and just hold her snugly (not to tight, just snug) and let her cry while i hold her. I have made it clear that if she wants mommy snuggles then she needs to ask for then politely, not scream, screaming will get her held on couch until she is done. Since i started doing this, if she wants hugs/kisses/cuddles, she will nicely come up, ask me, and i will give it to her, and when she throws a fit, i just hold her until she is done, but if she stops crying, she gets put right back down, so she does scream just to get cuddles. I do not want her thinking she can scream to get cuddles, hence when she stops screaming I put her down, and so far its worked very well. She is independent, opinionated, loving, caring, and POLITE! she knows that screaming/being bad doesnt get her what she wants.

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Sounds like he just need some extra snuggles. I'd give them to him. Of course, I've got a super clingy 3 year old myself. Sometimes he just has to 'suck it up' or scream, but for the most part I let him cling whenever I'm able and he needs to. He's always been that way though and is slowly outgrowing it as he matures.

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True2diva5 - posted on 07/25/2013

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I have the same problem my 3 year old little girl has to have me to go to sleep she is always crying for me and always wonts meto hold her I can't go to the bathroom or shower without her there I look at it this way they are only little once and if u don't give them the attention they won't that they will resent you when they are older but sometimes you just have to let them cry it out me I can't stand to hear my child cry I quit my job to spend more time with her because she wasn't getting enough attention and she was uncontrollable but since I've been home she has potty trained and she is getting a little better so what I'm saying is the more time I spend with her the better she is

Alesha - posted on 05/26/2011

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Well I don't know much about this but maybe try to get him to calm down first. I know getting on their level and trying to talk to him but yes wait for him to calm down and maybe explain things to him. But I agree hugs and kisses are good but ignoring will only make it worse. He is trying to get your attention somehow. Could it possibly be nightmares? Maybe there is just something he doesn't know how to tell you. Or give him options like hey let's go for a walk instead of mommy always holding me or hey lets play a game together, but also explain to him mommy needs her time too, to get things done. Good luck. I don't know if I am any help.

Jennifer - posted on 05/24/2011

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Hmm....have you tried doing that before and then evenutally just given in and picked him up?....Honestly if you have given into him before while trying to just let him cry about it then he will try to cry and cry to get you to pick him up because he figures if I cry about it long enough mommy will give me what I want. Not to say that you CAN'T cuddle or hold him SOMEtimes (when my older one was 3 she usually want to be on the ground and on the go go go....) but to carry or hold your 3 year old all the time is not only impossible, but you shouldn't have to do it. They're not dependant on you to get around anymore. And they don't get any lighter from infancy lol
If he has a melt down and you know it's just because he wants you then don't bother to ask him what he wants. Or, if you are available to play but he wants to be held or carried, you could try saying that he is a big boy and that you are not going to carry him right now, BUT you will play with him if he stops crying and you'll even let him choose WHAT to play lol. Don't know if that will work but it's worth a try. Whenever my older daughter had tantrums about not getting her way I ignored them and didn't give her any attention (that's usually what it's about, that, and a power struggle, I guess) and wouldn't talk to her about it until she had stopped crying. I don't know if you really want to talk to him about not being carried after he's stopped crying lol as I think that might cause a relapse lol I would say just try to get his attention engaged in something else after the crying stops. But yeah, my child was just as stubborn. Sometimes she'd cry herself to sleep lol.

Tama - posted on 05/24/2011

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How long do I let him cry it out...He will cry for hours, non stop...2-3 hours, I ask him want he wants and he points at me...He wont talk to me at all during his fit, just screams and points at me. I am just very lost,

Jennifer - posted on 05/24/2011

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I never encountered that problem with my now 5 1/2 year old....can you converse with him much? If so, maybe you could ask him why he wants mommy so much? Do you think maybe it's a way of him getting attention from you? If he throws a fit, if what I'm understanding is correct, and there really isn't anything wrong with him and he isn't putting himself or others in immediate danger in the location he is in, then I would honestly let him throw the fit, but not give him any attention during it and DEFINITELY NOT pick him back up. It's insane to be attatched to a 3 year old all day long, not to mention nearly impossible to get things accomplished like meal times. And he is 3, if he can walk as I'm sure he can, he shouldn't be being held or carried all the time. For whatever the reason, he has to learn that you not only cannot but WILL NOT always carry him. But that's just me....

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