Coping with a Clingy Child

One of my biggest challenges right now in working at home is dealing with my 3 year old son. He’s in a massively clingy phase right now.

Not just out in public, although that makes it worse. All day long, even at home.

He can be distracted for a time, sure. Turn the TV on and he’s happy. But I can’t let him do that all day. I have to get more creative if I’m going to satisfy myself that I’m still working at home for the right reasons.

Let Him Cling

One of the simplest ways to get him to not cling is to let him. I let him show me what it is he wants from me. I play with him. I give him some of the time that he wants from me in the hopes that he will give me some quiet time later.

Plus it means I can help to tire him out so he’ll take a good nap later. If he’s asleep he’s not clinging, after all.

Tell Husband to Help

When my husband is home (a lot right now since his layoff), I make sure he gets involved. It doesn’t matter that my son tries to insist that only Mommy is good enough. We insist that he learn to accept help and do fun things with either of us.

You’d be amazed at how much he (my son) can resist this idea. But I think it’s important.

Get Some Time Out of the House

With gas prices the way they are right now, this doesn’t happen much unless I’m running errands. Most times my errands are a kid-free time for me. It’s a nice semi-break. Can’t call it a real one since I’m still doing something for my family. But it does help to ease the stress of always being on call.

Send Him Outside

The one thing that holds my son’s attention better than the television is the outdoors. He will cheerfully spend an hour collecting pill bugs and ladybugs. Without me around most of the time. I can just check on him out my office window.

With summer coming I do have to make sure he wears his sunscreen and that he doesn’t stay out too long if the day is particularly warm. Young children aren’t always going to be aware of what their bodies need.

Work Around His Schedule

I do a lot of work late, late at night. That way both of my kids are asleep, and once again there’s no clingy issue, aside from occasionally with my husband. Not saying that’s all bad, of course!

It takes some extra effort to not be completely exhausted at the end of the day when you work around a clingy child, but it can be done. Spend some time figuring out what routines work for you. And share tips if you have them!

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2 Responses

  1. Vered says:

    This is tough. I never really had to do that b/c both my kids started preschool when they turned 3.

    I guess I’m trying to say… I really admire you!

  2. laura says:

    I feel for those that have a child while trying to make a living. I know that I do and it is tough trying to make sure they are okay and work at the same time! Its hard!!