How do I stop my kids from being so clingy?

How can I encourage my little ones to be more independent? I feel like they are so clingy, and I thought that they would get more independent as they got into preschool age, but the problem only seems to be getting worse. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

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Sharonda posted December 16, 2019

Teaching your kids at a young age that communication is key is a great way to set them up to be more independent. Minimize meltdowns by listening to what your little ones think and feel and including them in decision making. By training them to think and communicate their wants and desires you are helping them become more independent. This will be ultra beneficial when they enter preschool and kindergarten. My husband I have also began teaching our son and daughter about independence and biological needs, like eating, grooming, and using the potty, by empowering them to care for their new pet turtle. Understanding Tiny Turtle needs food, water, fresh air and sunlight, and a clean enclosure, has helped teach our kids they also need the same things. We keep a log with pictures and words so both Sarah, 4 years old, and Ben 2 year old, can understand and contribute. We decided to start with a small pet they both really wanted but hope that our independence and responsibility lessons can eventually lead to a family dog. 0 Likes

Zaira posted December 16, 2019

As you set up your nursery and child’s bedroom, plan to add in materials to support their independence and rely less on mommy and daddy. Having step stools around and easy to use tools in the kitchen helps include little ones in daily tasks while supporting their overall development. If you have kids at different ages or developmental stages, breaking down activities and tasks into small easy to follow steps helps out a lot! You may also take from the Montessori system and place things at eye level and easier reach for your kids. Making a self grooming area or self serve water tray is new and exciting and pushes your kids to be a little more independent. Consistently thinking of how you can modify your daily activities so everyone is engaged, keeps the little ones from getting bored and keeps the group moving along without too many obstacles. 1 Like

Carina posted December 17, 2019

I think your first step is to let go of the idea that you are “doing something wrong.” Just by wondering about them in this way tells me that you are a loving parent with their best interests in mind. There are a lot of reasons a child could be “clingy”: transitions into preschool, new routines that have independence built in like potty training and feeding/dressing themselves. You can acknowledge their feelings “you want to be close to me, I want to be close to you too but I have to go to work/load the dishwasher” and then make plans for when you will come back together. “I’ll see you after nap/school/when I’m done, we can play X.” Validating their needs and listening to their wants is a great way to reinforce your very influential/ important relationship. You’re doing great! They will be older very soon and you will miss the clingy phase (or maybe not haha)! 1 Like