Clingy 3 year old slowly driving me insane.(5 Posts)
My 3 year old has been clingy from the second she was born. I only got through the day by wearing her in a sling. She's now 3.5 and about the size of a 6 year old so slings aren't really an option. As I said she's always been clingy often to the point of screaming when away from me, but just lately it's all gone to a whole new level. She insists that we hold her hand constantly and if we refuse it results in a huge temper tantrum melt down. She does the same to her little sister who is just learning to walk so this causes huge annoyance for her baby sister and often injury as she makes her unstable and knocks her over. She is also constantly trying to sit on me and putting her hands and feet in my face. I know a lot is for attention but I'm losing my patience with her which is making me not want to be cuddly with her as she is so overbearing I'm finding it claustrophobic. I want to help her feel secure but with 3 children she has to share me around. My husband is great with her but she often screams if he tries to get her dressed:teeth brushed etc instead of me. I just find her behaviour so demanding and I have no idea how to handle it. Help!!!
My ds was like this. I found it exhausting and I only have one dc. My ds is 6 now and much more independent but still more clingy than other dc's. I gave my ds the attention he needed/asked for in the hope it would eventually make him feel safe and secure. It is what felt right to me. Not giving my ds the attention he wanted only increased his anxiety.
I know how you feel, my dd is very similar. She's nearly 4 and goes through phases now of being clingier or more independent. When ds (now 13m) was born we bought an enormous sling for dd (a Rose & rebellion preschool carrier) and I use it sometimes when she's feeling insecure - sometimes I carry her home from preschool in it and it helps so much (i usually have ds in the pushchair then as he falls asleep then and I can leave him napping undisturbed when we get home). I do get some funny looks though.... Doing lots of tickling, rough & tumble etc seems to help too. And reading books that make ddd feel more secure - she particularly likes 'the kissing hand' at the moment and we have the cd of it in the car.
Twink is right not giving the attention will only increase the clingy ness, although I know that feeling of almost suffocation is overwhelming.
You could try giving her something of yours to wear at times when she wants you but you need to do other things. An old comfy jumper, scarf, something that she knows is yours. It can also help when you need to drop her somewhere as well, say nursery if she gets upset, give her something of yours to look after, a key ring or cheap braclet and in return she could give you something of hers to look after. You could also make sure she has a photo of you, put one in a key ring that she can clip onto something. Snap fish do all sorts of things that you can get a photo put on. I think there is even a teddy bear with a ti-shirt that you can have photos printed onto.
Also Play lots of games that involve eye contact, also things that you might do more with a younger child like peek a boo and also hide adn seek. As DIY says the Kissing Hand is good to read as is Owl Babies.
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