April 03, 2011,
D.J. asks from Lake Charles, LA on April 03, 2011
8 Year Old Suddenly Very Clingy
I am a single mother of a wonderful 8 year old boy. Lately I have noticed something with him that, well frankly, is getting on my nerves. For some reason in the past few weeks he will not go anywhere unless I am with him. Friends that he normally would go play with on a regular basis he will not go to unless I go with him and stay with him. He will not even go to my parent's home to visit for the day. And let's not even mention to spend the night. A very close friend of his asked if he would like to spend the night the other night. Before addressing his friend he turned to me and asked if I would go with him. I replied yes and then he asked if I was going to stay with him. I said no. He immediately turned to his friend and said he wouldn't go. I REALLY need a break. I've been stressed out and I just want a couple of hours to myself. Is this just a phase he is going through or is there something I can do to help boost his confidence that he will be fine when I am not with him. Help!
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for all the wonderful answers I received. I have increased the amount of time we spend together and yesterday he actually went somewhere with my parents and I got to stay home! I am going to try to get him to talk to me just to make sure nothing happened to upset him. As always, thanks everyone for such wonderful advice. I love this website!!!!
S.M. answers from Kansas City on April 03, 2011
There's going to be a time in the not very distant future that you are not cool at all. You need to enjoy this time and find another way to deal with stress. You WILL miss this sweet period.
M.L. answers from Houston on April 03, 2011
It's either a phase, or maybe he was bullied or something somewhere and doesn't want it to happen again.
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J.B. answers from Phoenix on April 03, 2011
My 6 year old daughter sometimes goes through this phase where it is all about mommy and she wants me to be by her side every second. I know at times it can be frustrating but most of the time she is doing this she just wants my undivided attention and if I spend one special day with me and her it usually goes away. I play dress up, board games, wii games, park, swimming and do a picnic where we talk about what is going on at school, our lives, and any problems. I reassure her I love her and that since we have a new baby in the house it does not mean she is not my baby anymore. Good luck and be patient. The more you stress the more he can sense it and it will only make it worse. Trust me.
J.W. answers from Little Rock on April 03, 2011
My daughter is 9 and it surprises people that she still clings to me on occasion. I felt stressed and tired from being ill and she felt me pulling away. She became more clingy when I had no energy. I forced myself to play with her a lot and she got over it. I did find out I could invite an older kid from church to come play with her and she would be occupied and entertained for awhile.
K.U. answers from Detroit on April 03, 2011
If he's been fine before, and now all of a sudden is acting this way, I think it's more likely a phase, but there might be reason behind it.
There is a great little book called "How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk." It's great for learning how to communicate with each other, getting them to open up a little bit, and then learn sometimes how to come up with their own solutions to their problems. I too would wonder if something happened somewhere or if he heard about something on TV or whatever that's got him scared and upset. Could he be afraid of being kidnapped? Or is he possibly being bullied? Or is there something happening at someone's house that he's upset about? It might take a little bit of detective work on your part to figure out what is going on.
L.D. answers from Las Vegas on April 03, 2011
I wonder if something happened that has caused him to feel unsafe while you are not around. If I were you, I would probably delve into this area of concern a little bit more. I'd just spend more time with him, casually asking him questions about what is going on with each of his friends and seeing if you can flesh out any information that would indicate that maybe somebody had been unkind or even bullied him at some point in time. I would urge you to try to appear to be as casual and conversational as possible so he will feel comfortable sharing this information with you.