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July 06, 2006


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Hey Shannon, I love your discussion of reverse psychology. It really does work! Young kids are programmed to do the opposite of what we ask. Ever had you little one say "no" to something you know he wants? Great suggestion :)

Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom

OK, I have TWO of these children. I was starting to wonder what *I* was doing wrong that my kids are so needy. I agree with what others have said: reassure them, be loving, but be firm. My son really responds to the "reverse psychology" stuff. I make a game out of it and say, "I wonder if you could do this on your own for ten minutes?" Then if he does, I'll act all surprised, like I'm having a heart attack or something silly like fall faint on the floor. He eats it up. This probably wouldn't work so well for younger kids, but it's worth a try as they get older.

I am a stay at home mom of a recent 1 year old little boy.

He has always been rather clingy. Just with me though. If I'm more than 5 feet away, out of sight, not holding him, not paying him exclusive attention he starts bawling. The tears just roll down his little face and he'll push (with force) away anyone who tries to comfort him unless its me.

He's not like this constantly but it does happen often. Some days he's more clingy than others. I do not know exactly what causes him to feel this way.

However, I try to keep calm and reassuring. I "check in" with him every few (3-5) minutes so that he knows I'm still close by.

I try to involve him or make him apart of what ever I'm doing. I encourage him to walk on his own and do things on his own that I know he is safely capable of doing as much as possible.

I also suggest not getting frustrated and do not give in easilly. Once you give in easilly then your child might expect you to give in again and again.

Keep positive, loving, kind, and firm.

You may be interested in reading this -> Positive Discipline: The First Three Years-Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident Child http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761515054/102-1019552-2226562?v=glance&n=283155

My daughter is starteing to get better at almost 2 and a half at amusing herslef for minutes at time. When she is cranky or clingy - often we bake brownies or cookies. She loves to "taste test" and after I let her clean out the bowl and even though there is barely anything in the bowl it keeps her occupied for at least 1/2 an hour. The other thing I do is fill up the kitchen sink with water and stand her on a chair - she loves that too.

Rest assured mothers of clingy children, you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with your children. As a mentor to parents with young children, I see many other moms dealing with the "cling-on" factor. Some kids just have a stronger need for closeness. One tip I suggest is to be patient as this stage will pass with time. A useful strategy can be to "check in" with your child letting him/her know that you are near before they can get anxious and seek you out. I did this with my son when he was little and it worked well. I started in the room with him while he was doing an activity I knew he really enjoyed. I would then announce that i was stepping out of the room and tell him where I would be. I would return a couple minutes later and say "I'm back, just like I said." I did this for a week or so. Then I would set up his activity and go to a nearby room. I would check in every few minutes asking if he was ok. Eventually he stopped seeking me out because he knew I was going to check in on him. I hope this helps you guys. If you have more questions regarding this technique, feel free to contact me at my blog: www.thementormom.com Good luck!!

Cynthia, you are NOT the only one. My oldest son will be 3 next month, and if I am out of his site for more than 30 seconds to 1 minute, it's "Mumma? Mumma? Where are you? Come here..." He will play alone, but not for too long either. He just started pre-school, and now every time I tell him that we are going somewhere, his response is, "You stay with me, right?" I also have a 4 month old, so the 2 1/2 hours of peace that I get 2 days a week, are now spent with the other one attached to me!

I'm constantly having to adjust to life with Oliver, who will be one in less than a month. He is so different from my 3-year old, Julia, and while I knew they wouldn't be the same and didn't expect or want them to be, it is hard going from Julia to Oliver.

Julia is very independent. She's easygoing and as an infant, didn't need much from me. She wasn't a snuggler. She never co-slept. She wasn't demanding. She was, for the most part, perfect. Thank god she was my first.

Then Oliver came. High-needs, high-maintenance. Demanding. Needs attention all the time. Cannot be left alone for longer than oh, five seconds. Must be touching me at all times and doesn't like it when he's not. During difficult times, like when he's teething, for example, he is all over me -- crawling on me like I'm a jungle gym, yanking at my clothing, gnawing at my arm fat. This has been what my day's been like today with him. He's been a monster today.

He's exhausting. I love him to death, I'd do anything for him and I love having a little boy. But he's exhausting, and I'm glad he's my second. Because if he was my first, I don't think I would have let egg and sperm meet so soon after having my first. I tell him on a regular basis he's lucky he's so goddamn cute.

Hang in there. You're definitely not the only one!

I also have an exhausting 2 1/2 year old son. With a 16 year old sister and 12 year old brother, he believes he is the king of the castle. He is in time-out more than not. My big complaint is his way of repeating a question(demand) over and over and over, until I want to punt him across the room! I have just turned 40 and realize my patience is going and after reading and re-reading the baby books of the other 2, realize that they were never like this! (Just writing this makes me feel better! Thanks!)

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