What Should I Do About My Clingy Child 7 Year old?

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. 

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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? 

It’s Normal 

If you’re wondering if your child’s 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 a secure attachment at a place. Your child may feel a little distressed without their parents, and this is normal and a part of healthy development. Some children start to be more independent, while other children might feel separation anxiety when they are away from their parents. Clingy behavior is all too common, and a part of child development is understanding that they might exhibit clingy behavior towards you. 

Some children feel scared to let go of their parents. Although it is normal for children to usually start going off on their own and being more independent when they’re school-aged, some children still feel that separation anxiety when they are away from their parents. 

It’s perfectly normal however. Clingy behavior amongst school aged children, especially preschool kindergarten is normal. Even older children have a hard time being away from their families. 

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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. Some children have a hard time with being on their own, and if they are securely attached to you, chances are they’ll see you as a safe base. 

A child doesn’t learn to be independent when they are forced to, and it’s important to understand that.  Forcing independence in early childhood could make them anxious, and when they go back to you, the safe base, they may not want to go back.  Forcing a child do anything won’t do well for the parenting parent, so star to slowly change the clingy behavior as they grow older

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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 wait outside the house and see if that works. 

Some clingy children might call you right away, and that’s normal. However, over time, they will start to be more independent, and it’s important for them to get used to it.  They might exhibit clingy behavior right away, demanding you to come get them. Other times, they might go the entire night without talking to you. Usually being around a friend they like helps clingy children start to move away from that, and it helps children learn to be on their own. 

Improve the Relationship Between Child And Caregiver

If you are asking yourself, “What should I do about my clingy child?” then read along. One way you can make your child a little less clingy towards you is to make them realize other adults 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. 

A part of developmental parenting is to make the child feel safe.  You need to stay connected, whether they are school aged or preschool kindergarten.  This helps children stay independent, but also helps tackle clingy behavior at school age. 

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. 

This helps reduce clingy behavior because children start to spend time with their friends, and less with the parenting parent. While you should make sure they come down and eat and stuff, one of the best things you can do for a kid is offer them play dates at the house so they can both spend time there, and away from you. That way, if the clingy behavior shoes up, they can come see you and they’ll feel secure. 

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The Kid May Be Interactive 

One reason your child may be so clingy is that 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. Babies toddlers tend to be interactive at an early age, and some clingy behavior happens later on because the child wants you to see what they’re doing. 

Try Reading 

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. Some clingy behavior can be solved by independent reading activities. 

Interactive Games 

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. 

 Do watch their screen time though, since even those who exhibit clingy behavior might end up getting sucked into it, so if you need to control their screen time, you as a parenting parent can do so. 

Let Them Express Their Emotions

If a child is feeling a little emotional because you have to leave, you may think that the crying is a bad thing. Your kid is seven, and at that age, you may think they are too old to cry. While babies toddlers and younger children are okay with crying, sometimes those in later ages stages struggle with expressing this.  But, a part of developmental parenting is showing your kid that they can express their emotions to you, and it’s important they do so. 

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. 

In early childhood, we use crying in the babies toddlers ages stages to let our parents know what we want. But sometimes we might be afraid to show those emotions. But the clingy behavior can be exhibited in a child at a school age because they’re not given the freedom to express their emotions. 

It isn’t just crying either. Any ages stages of development can benefit from expressing emotions, not just babies toddlers or school age children either. If you notice your child is upset about something, talk to them about it. One of the best parenting tips is letting the child express their emotions, but also having them work through the problem they have.  That way, a school age child can be more independent, while also going to you whenever they need help. 

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Seek Help 

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. This may be common in school age children who continue to have clingy behavior past the babies toddlers ages stages. A warning sign that you might need to seek help is if they really don’t leave you be, even with the parenting tips listed here and the tips to help reduce the clingy behavior.  

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. You can ask them about “What should I do about my clingy child?” so they can advise you on how this can be helped.

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. 

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Conclusion

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. We hope that this has helped you answer, “What should I do about my clingy child?”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why does a child become clingy?

A child can become clingy for several reasons. Mostly because he or she feels insecure, or he or she feels unsafe. This is common with young children who are very attached to their parents or primary caregiver and the clingy behavior isn’t checked by the caregiver.  

How do you deal with a clingy child?

Be patient with a clingy child. Don’t force Independence on him or insist that he needs to be able to do things on his own. You shouldn’t try to force independence on your 1 year old daughter or son, and if they’re a bit older, don’t push their limits either. Respect the pace that he is developing, but at the same time, encourage him by setting up activities that can help him with his clinginess. Activities such as playdates, pretend play, and guided interactive games. 

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Can a child be too attached? 

A child is normally attached to their parents. But as he grows, he slowly becomes more and more independent. If you feel that your child is still too clingy at the age of seven, after exhausting all efforts in improving this behavior, you can always seek help. Counseling can do wonders for a child. Sometimes, a child counselor can reach the root of a child’s insecurity and clinginess faster, which means his behavior can be addressed faster too. 

Why is my toddler so clingy and whiny?   

Toddlers are interesting creatures. They are adjusting to the world around them, and sometimes they are still learning how to express themselves properly. Being clingy and whiny is one of their ways to express their emotions. 

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Why does a child favor one parent? Can a child love one parent more?

A child may be more attached to one parent more, especially if the child sees and spends time with this parent more often. A balanced family dynamics can help make a child open up and interact with both parents equally. 

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.

Last Updated on July 13, 2020 by Marie Miguel

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