Mum! Please don’t leave me! Tips on how to deal with a clingy child
Bringing up a child is every mum’s joy and most mums will spare every single moment to be with their children, but there comes a time when mum and child will eventually be separated, either due to school, resumption of job or other reasons.
Whether this child is a toddler who does not want to be left in a nursery or an older child who dislikes mum going out, all mums will have to deal with child clinginess at some point in their life. It becomes a worrying issue when the child results into not feeding, playing or generally being social until mum returns. In this hub, I will explain some handy tips that mums can use to deal with a clingy child.
- Dealing with child clinginess starts when the child is born. As a mother, start socializing your child early, get the child to be used being with other people and occasionally leave the child with other people. You can start doing this for just a moment say 5-10 minutes and gradually extending the time as the child becomes more settled. By doing so, not only will you help the child to be comfortable with other people but it will also help you as a mother about being separated with the child.
- If the child is clingy at nursery, you can start by gradually leaving the child for a period of 30min to an hour and coming back when you say. It will also help if you let the nursery helpers to know that the child is undergoing the clingy phase. Entice and raise the child enthusiasm by talking about a special something in the nursery that you know the child would like. Be a good listener in this one, listen to your child when he or she is back home to know if something is upsetting him or her in nursery.
- If the child turns out be clingy only when you go out, it may help to get a kind but firm babysitter or even someone you know who is close to the child. A clingy child will always watch and monitor mum's movements so the babysitter should be able to distract the child when you are moving out.
- Mums should not express nervousness when leaving their children as they may pick those behaviors. Help the child to be courageous and comfortable by talking about how nice the stay with the babysitter will be or how much the child will enjoy playing, drawing or painting with the babysitter.
- If the child becomes increasingly clingy, it may help to find out why is that, perhaps all is not well at nursery or even at home with the babysitter for example bullying. If you are working, come back early unexpectedly at the nursery or home and observe whether the child is playing or socializing happily. It he or she is not happy it may give you a hint that all is not well.
- Mask the child distress when you are leaving to give him or her confidence of being left with the babysitter. You can do this by hugging or smiling to the child when you are leaving.
- If the child look unhappy or start crying when you leave, do not return to sooth the child. Instead, return a reassuring look to the child but calmly and confidently leave.
- Encourage and reassure the child that all will be well once you leave. Be careful however, reassurance can sometimes become a problem especially if the child becomes too used to it such that he or she can not be confident without constant need for reassurance.
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