Clinginess is a habit that is associated negatively. You may have a friend or partner who is a little too clingy. No matter where you are, they just want to cling on to you, and when you try to push them to the side, it makes your problem worse.
What happens when your child seems a little clingy? By clingy, we mean that no matter where they are, they can’t seem to do anything without their parents? At seven years old, many children are starting to be a little more independent. They can stay the night at a friend’s house without you. They can keep themselves entertained in their room without you.
You may wonder if this will lead to a problem. Will they be an adult and not be able to leave the house without you? Can they ever be independent?
If you’re wondering if your child being too clingy is normal, then don’t worry. It is. Clinginess in adults is associated with a lack of care, or a trauma, in childhood, but clinginess in children is not always the case. Sometimes, a child can still be clingy and it can be hard for them to let you go.
Have no fear. In that case, it may be secure attachment at place. Your child may feel a little distressed without their parents, and this is normal and a part of healthy development.
However, what should you do in the meanwhile? Here are a few tips.
Don’t Force Independence
The worst thing you should do in this situation is to force your child to be independent. This can end up backfiring, with your kid just demanding your attention more.
Instead, there are better ways to do this, such as.
Reaching A Middle Ground
Say you want your child to be independent at a friend’s house. Being able to have fun with their friend without you is a good way for your child to be independent. However, they just don’t seem to want to be independent. What can you do?
One thing is to try to have a middle ground. Let them be independent, but also tell them that if they need anything, they can reach out. If the child is having a hard time at their friend’s house, they can contact you. You may way outside the house and see if that works.
Improve the Relationship Between Child And Caregiver
One way you can make your child a little less clingy towards you is to make them realize there are other adults who can take of them. A good teacher can be a caregiver, and so can the parent of their friend. Encourage good communication between all three of you and establish a relationship.
Try Playdates At Your House
If your child is having a hard time playing at a friend’s house without you, you may want to try having the kids play at your house. This is another good middle ground approach, because the kid may associate your house with you, and may be able to play with their friends easier without you.
The Kid May Be Interactive
One reason your child may be so clingy is because they are very talkative and interactive. An extroverted child can be a good thing, and if you want your child to be more interactive, one thing you can do is to get them toys that encourage interaction, like dolls or other imaginative toys.
At seven, your child may start to learn how to read more advanced books. Often, a child can lose themselves in a book and can immerse themselves, reducing their clinginess. This can not only help your child develop their reading skills, but also immerse themselves too.
Video games have gotten a bad rap, but on occasion, they can be good for kids. Particularly, a game that requires interaction from the player. This can help a clingy kid quite a bit, and it can help them immerse themselves in a world like none other.
Let Them Express Their Emotions
If a child is feeling a little emotional because you have to leave, you may think that them crying is a bad thing. Your kid is seven, and at that age, you may think they are too old to cry.
The truth is, no one is too old to cry. Crying can help release emotions that are pent up and can help them refresh. As long as they aren’t having tantrums, a cry can help. With that said, don’t let them cry it out, either. Show a little bit of empathy and tell them that sometimes, the parents won’t be there for them.
Sometimes, your child seems clingy and doesn’t want to go anywhere no matter what you do. In a case like that, seeking counseling may be able to help.
A child counselor or therapist is educated in how to speak to children. As adults, and even as a parent, it can be hard to speak to a child at times because it’s been so long since we were kids. A therapist knows how to reach children and explain concepts that you may find it hard to explain.
A therapist can also help you determine if there’s more afoot. Sometimes, it may be a social problem or a mental health problem that could be causing the clinginess. They can help treat your child and make them less clingy.
With that said, however, don’t force your child on anything you’re unsure of just because you think they’re a little bit too clingy. Wait for them to grow out of it first.
A clingy child isn’t a bad thing. Often, your child will grow out of it and be independent. In the meanwhile, make sure you’re talking to them and telling them that it’s okay. This can help your child realize that their parents will always be there for them even when they physically aren’t.
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