Have you noticed that kids are extra clingy recently?
You are not alone. Many parents are dealing with clingy kids.
So why are kids so clingy?
The biggest reason is obviously because they are living through the COVID pandemic days.
When kids feel threatened it can cause anxiety. And when kids are nervous or unsure, they will cling to their parents to feel safe.
“One major reason why kids cling to their parents is because they are trying really hard to help themselves feel safe and comforted.”
– Dr Steven Meyers, Professor of Psychology, Roosevelt University
Clinging is a child’s effort to cope with all of the changes and uncertainty in the world.
Normally we think of a clinging child as a toddler or preschooler. Think about the times you’ve had a younger child cling to mom and dad when they were being dropped off at their church classroom. Why were they clinging? They were trying to deal with the uncertainty they were feeling inside.
But in the current situation we find ourselves in, even older children, who are normally more independent, may become clingy as well. This may look like them following you around the house or come crawling in the bed with you at night.
Establish routines. This will look different from when kids were in a school building all day. Creating these routines does two things.
- Routines give kids a sense of security. It provides kids with an established structure for what happens each day.
- Routines help kids stay on track with their school work.
Spend extra time with your kids. Make it fun. Board games. Toys. Video games. Telling jokes. Reading stories. Give them your undivided attention during this time. This will help keep them emotionally healthy.
Chores. If you already had chores for your kids, then continue them. If you don’t, now’s a great time to establish some chores for your child. Keep track on their involvement and reward them when they do a good job.
Model the behavior you want to see. Kids are very perceptive. They turn to you for direction on how to respond. They pick up on your emotions. If your emotions are making them uneasy or afraid, then they will cling to you even more as they look for reassurance.
Model confidence and calmness. This will help your children feel more secure and calm themselves. They need you right now. Kids are sad about all the changes they have experienced. Think about it. No school, can’t see their friends, no sports or music classes, etc. As far as in person contact, you’re all they’ve got in many cases. Be there for them!