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Not wanting to grow up and clingy.

(7 Posts)
Blessed81 Tue 05-Dec-17 17:57:48

A widowed friend of mine is a single mum and has a daughter 11 years old who is unhappy at having to grow up. She wants to be a little girl and be always looked after. She's clingy and follows her mum around. She's very unsettled, not sleeping well and always getting up in the night and goes to mum's bedroom. The idea of growing up and getting big girl stuff seems to have her even more childish. Anyone been through this with their daughter? What did u do? Please advise cos my friend is finding it hard and doesn't know what to do. Thanks.

bingebiscuiteater Tue 05-Dec-17 18:32:04

I would say that the 11 yo daughter needs more love and attention. Somewhere she missed it while being a child. For her mother, the fact that she is clingy pushes her away (which the mother should change in herself). We live in a society where people preach independence and being emotionally dependent is seen as something bad. The best approach is empathy and give what the 11 yo asks for which is love and emotional presence. Then slowly make her financially independent after few years time. When a person becomes financially independent, slowly the emotional independence also would be established.

GandTforme Wed 06-Dec-17 15:42:00

I was like this at that age. I remember feeling so scared of getting older, puberty, responsibility etc that I 'regressed' for a while and acted younger. Obviously I grew out of it grin I think the best thing her mother could do is acknowledge that growing up can be scary and reassure her daughter that she will always be her little girl, even when she is fully independent. 'This too shall pass' -In a couple years time she will be in the teenage years and desperate to be independent from her mum.

Blessed81 Wed 06-Dec-17 17:21:26

Thank you both for yo advise 😊.

user1495739076 Wed 06-Dec-17 20:53:59

Have they had any bereavement counselling as a family?

Blessed81 Wed 06-Dec-17 22:08:30

User1495739076

Yes they did

corythatwas Fri 08-Dec-17 15:22:39

bingebiscuiteater Tue 05-Dec-17 18:32:04

"I would say that the 11 yo daughter needs more love and attention. Somewhere she missed it while being a child."

Not entirely sure I like the phrasing of this: it seems to suggest that the only thing that can make a child insecure is lack of parental love and attention. This was more or less the take that doctors preached to me, thereby missing dd's underlying medical condition and the fact that it is known to be co-morbid with anxiety and depression. Then there was a sudden U-turn when they felt the problem was too much attention...

In fact, there are a number of possible factors that could cause similarly clingy behaviour:

insufficient parental attention

trauma (including bereavement)

transitory adjustment phase, especially common around puberty

underlying SN or physical/MH condition

social problems (e.g. bullying at school)

In any case, I agree that recognising the problem is a good place to start. Plenty of love and attention are always good, but generally copied with other areas where the child can be encouraged to problem-solve and feel competent.

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