9 answers

Very Clingy Child

My two year old is very independant when it come to most htings in her life however I can't seem to get her to go play on her own. She is constantly climbing up into my lap wanting to be held. She does fine at "school" and with other people but as soon as I step into the picture she is climbing in my lap every five minutes. I know that it is important to give her the special time that she needs and I do my best to set aside an hour every night for just her and I to cuddle and play. However, I can't get any housework done because she is sooo clingy. I am at my wit's end and dont know what to do to encourage her to play on her own at home.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My 2-year-old daughter, who also asks to be held any time I try to do housework, enjoys "helping". When I do the dishes she pulls up a chair and I give her a clean bowl with soapy water so she's doing dishes too. You can throw her bath toys in there for her to wash. She helps me sort the clean clothes and pair up the socks and puts dirty clothes into the washing machine. We have a push vacuum she uses while I use the electric one and she pulls dandilions while I'm working in the garden. The key is to help her feel like she's a part of what you're doing. It takes longer, but what doesn't with a toddler? Plus you are teaching her how to do some very important tasks.

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Hi A., I too had a very clingy 2 year old daughter. She's now nearly 9 and I'll give you some advice that worked for me. My daughter would literally hold onto my leg in public...she wanted to be entertained constantly. So in order to get any type of chores done, here are a couple of things I did. Patience is number 1 and foremost, because they can tell when you get impatient and it makes them more clingy. Stay calm as often as possible, but also be honest(very important). If she's getting on your nerves, it's ok to tell her that. I had one on one serious talks with my daughter when she was 2 and would explain what mommy was trying to do, in order for her to really understand. Believe it or not, she did, and usually it subsided her need for constant attention for at least 30 minutes. Second, keep projects going that are ok for them to do unsupervised. That seems like a joke, but if you are ok with cleaning up messes in a controlled area there are a ton of things that they enjoy to do alone if mom helps them get started. Interaction in the beginning (5 minutes) is key. Third, do nap time. Nap time is good for you, if you need a nap...take it when they're napping. This is time for either mom, to recooperate, OR for mom to just have some alone time. A lot of times I would hustle away while my daughter napped and I realized that I'd be twice as stressed when she woke up. If i sat and read a magazine, or zoned out on Oprah, or just did some yard work while she was napping...I would feel so much better by the time she woke up I didn't feel nearly as frustrated. Napping may be totally out of the question unless you have time to lay down w/them. I still nap so I say you're never too old for naps:) A little TV to distract your child is also OK. There are plenty of educational and interactive shows out there, for when mom just needs a break and you should take advantage. This does not make you a bad person. I hope this helps you!! I am sure I have more advice stored away somewhere but feel free to message me if you have any questions:)

2 moms found this helpful

My 2-year-old daughter, who also asks to be held any time I try to do housework, enjoys "helping". When I do the dishes she pulls up a chair and I give her a clean bowl with soapy water so she's doing dishes too. You can throw her bath toys in there for her to wash. She helps me sort the clean clothes and pair up the socks and puts dirty clothes into the washing machine. We have a push vacuum she uses while I use the electric one and she pulls dandilions while I'm working in the garden. The key is to help her feel like she's a part of what you're doing. It takes longer, but what doesn't with a toddler? Plus you are teaching her how to do some very important tasks.

1 mom found this helpful

I remember those days! I would get little things that my daughter could do while I was working on things. She had her own little dishes to work with when I was making dinner. She had her own broom, mop, dustpan, vacuum cleaner and duster to help clean. And we would sing songs while we did things. The kids loved Barney and Lamb Chop and of course Pooh songs. Kind of a whistle while you work thing with a little helper.

I would explain that it was working time or cleaning time or whatever time and that when we were done we could do cuddle time.

I hope it helps. Good luck!

Most children this age are generally clingy - especially if they are with another caregiver during the day. I would consider getting a sling (most can hold children up to 40lbs or so) and wearing her while you do housework and such - this will free up your hands and give her a much needed closeness.

My son is the same way. He sometimes does okay on his own for a few minutes, but before I know it, he is right there next to me (he will be 3 next month). Last christmas, I got him a toy vaccum cleaner ($15 at Target). It is a "dirt Devil" carpet sweaper that looks pretty much like an upright with a detachable dustbuster. The dustbuster has a motor and blows colorful lightweight balls around when it is on. My son did something with it that for some reason I didn't expect. instead of taking the dustbuster out, he simply turns it on and vaccums right along with me (I don't own a dustbuster) and the cool part is that his toy is a real carpet sweeper. When I do laundry, his job is to make sure that the dryer sheet gets to the garbage and I am starting to teach him where the towels get put away...i sometimes have him help "fold" clothes to keep him occupied so he won't undo all of my folding. If I am cleaning, i give him a rag or a paper towel and show him a spot that needs "cleaning" somewhere that he can reach (without actual cleaner of course). As long as I am cleaning, he is content to wipe the same dry spot with a dry cloth as long as he is in the same room as me. If you need to sweep, you might try getting a kid sized broom. The vaccum cleaner toy that I spoke of above says that it is for "ages 3 and up", but there are no tiny parts that can be swallowed and I thought it looked safe for a 2-1/2 year old (age my son was when he recieved it for a gift). When you need to cook, perhaps your daughter can help you. I have had people tell me that in order to get my son to eat more things, have him help me cook...and that their same age kids crack eggs, stir things, that sort of thing...I have not been brave enough to give my son something as messy as an egg yet. If your daughter is helping you with your tasks, you may bump into her and she may get in your way, but it is WAY better than having them cling to your legs and scream at you because they want your attention. 2 year olds are not good at occupying themselves for very long, if at all, and need some guidance or company (reason why she does okay at daycare with other kids to interest her, but not at home alone). Also, i often forget because my son can do soo much on his own now, but your kids learn EVERYTHING from you and part of that everything is learning how to do chores and housework. I bet if you try some of the things I mentioned, you find that your daughter will invent her own ways of helping mommy get work done. In fact, just writing this to you is giving me some new ideas to try with my son, such as if I need to sit down and pay bills, I think i might try giving him crayons and paper while I'm doing it so he can "do his own bills". The question to always ask yourself when you need to get something done, but your child is clinging to you (assuming there is nothing wrong with them) is "how can she 'help' me do this"? Good luck to you! I'm right there with you.

My daughter and I struggle with the same thing. I try and give her some little part of what I'm trying to do and ask her to help me. Sometimes it makes housework and things take longer but it seemed to help. I would tell her, would you help mommy with something I really need your help. Then she feels special and important and I can get something done. It can be frustrating though because it doesn't always get done the way I want. But it was the only thing I could come up with. Good luck.
A.

Love her all you can, they are only young once. you will miss it when she gets older!! My son is for and I believe he is the most loved\loving child in the world, and I love it, yeah sometimes it can be annoying, but love them anyway. My son ca be be very independant, but he wants hugs all, day. My son is consantly with one parnet, my s\o works in the morning and I work at night, so our little one has constant compainionship, he tells us he loves of a million times a day, he always wants to hug or kiss us. just go with it

I second EVERYTHING that Jen said! I had a clingy 2 year old, now rehabilitated into a curious and loving 6 year old. For one, I found sleep improved my daughter's disposition, so napping was very important to our day - I would rearrange things to make sure it fit in our schedule - she was unmanageable without it and when she grew out of it...well, I miss those days! And a movie or some educational TV - trust me, it does NOT make you a bad parent (no matter what you said BEFORE you had kids - ie"I'll never park my kid in front of the TV!" like we all said. trust me, it is VERY okay). Activities are good if you can get her to do them on her own. My daughter still always wanted my input or opinion, so often it was still frustrating for me.
Anyway, so yes, try those things...remember that she will grow out of it one day and you will have your life back! (until you have another child, which is what I did! haha)
In theory the idea of a sling ir great. I am all for it for smaller children (crawling age and younger), but I don't think that a) indulging her in this way is a good long term solution - she HAS to learn to play on her own, or b) it is good physiologically for you to try to tote her around while you do your housework - your body needs a break (like maybe a nap like Jen mentioned, or at least some quality vegging out time) and carrying her around AND doing housework is too stressful for your body!! You WILL hurt yourself!!!
It will get better, I promise!!!

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