When parents leave their homes to go to work, sometimes their clingy toddler cries their eyes out. They hate seeing their parents go and just want their parents for themselves. Parents do everything they can to manage their toddlers and calm them down. At times, parents will think of different strategies to alleviate their situation.
How to manage a clingy toddler?
Parents begin managing a clingy toddler as soon as they show signs of tantrums or clinginess. Read through these tips and learn how to calm a clingy toddler.
Give them activities to keep them engaged
Toddlers have a short attention span and if they see you leave, they want you to stay and focus on them. One of the things that parents can start doing is to give them a toy to distract them or let them do a coloring activity.
Other activities include:
- Role playing
- Reading books
- Counting activities
Letting them participate in these activities engages them and distracts them from remembering that you’re leaving.
Respond to their actions and feelings positively
Children express their feelings through different ways. Some of them express it through actions which appear to be clinginess. However, to effectively know what they feel, make sure to ask them to describe it.
- “How do you feel right now?”
- “Mommy wishes that she could play with you.”
- “Daddy can play with you first before mom arrives.”
Reassure them that when you get back, they get their playtime with you. Tell them how you feel exactly. Tell them that going to work provides for them and that after work, it’s time to play and bond. It helps if both of you hug when you talk to each other as actions make them feel secure and that they trust whatever you tell them.
Encourage them to be more independent
Toddlers need help from their family, especially with doing homework or chores. Commend them for doing their assigned chores or for helping out in the household tasks that they did independently. Some other activities could be playing with the neighbor or even eating their food without your presence. Assure them that it’s a good thing and if they continue this, it makes parents feel more confident that they can do it. It also diminishes their clinginess.
Other ways to encourage them to be more independent:
- Help them prepare their things for school
- Let them help in preparing dinner by taking the ingredients from the refrigerator, as long they can reach it.
- Reward them for successfully peeing or pooping on their own in the bathroom and not soiling themselves.
Refrain from sneaking out of the house when going out
For parents who go out at night, avoid sneaking out of the house. This causes children to feel more anxious every time they see their parents leave. It scares them that, at some point in their lives, people will just leave and disappear at any given time.
Hug them or kiss them before going out as this calms them down and informs them that you’ll come back to them. Children feel a whole lot safer when their parents do these.
When parents return, try doing these with the toddlers:
- Storytelling of how your night came to be
- Share how work has been lately
- Ask them how their day was in school or during their playdates
Schedule more playdates with other children
Playing with other kids develops their social skills early on and builds rapport between them. Conversing with kids and their teachers engages them and helps them understand how to bond with other kids. Regularly playing with them helps them acquaint themselves with people outside the immediate family. It also develops their bodies when they play with their classmates.
Teachers also encourage interacting with other kids, especially in school. Not only does it helps them learn about engaging with adults, it also helps them establish a good relationship with them.
Managing a clingy toddler stretches parents’ patience. It challenges them to communicate well with their toddlers and improve their relationship in the long run. Wee Care aims to share these tips to help them manage their clingy toddlers. Consult with them and learn more on how to handle a clingy toddler.