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Parent Tips

5 Tips for Parents with a Clingy Toddler

A child holding her hand up to an adult.

Every parent worries if their child will become a clingy toddler. A number of children grow close to their parents and sometimes follow them everywhere. Parents find this challenging as they try to mind their own business while maintaining  the child’s safety.

How to manage a clingy toddler?

Managing a clingy toddler begins with understanding why they act that way. It may be because they want your time and attention since you got back to work. Other times it comes from being passive towards the toddler, which makes them feel that you do not wish to be with them. Here are some tips to help you manage a clingy toddler.

Give them enough time to learn things on their own

Toddlers cling to the people that they’ve already met and connected with. When they go to a totally new place, they might not recognize it quickly. They adjust to the new environment and the people around. As parents, remember to give them enough time to explore and meet people at their own pace. Refrain from pressuring them to make friends. This just adds to their anxiety which makes them cling more to you.

Always remember:

Always give them activities to keep their mind occupied

When a toddler becomes clingy, especially at home, boredom is usually the cause. Children get bored if they stop playing or their playmates leave. Their pent up energy gets directed towards clinging to their parents.

What can parents do?

  • Think of activities that encourages them to play, either alone or with siblings.
  • Try giving them a coloring book. Give them their own art materials and they’ll discover how to illustrate.
  • Let them play with pets or siblings.

Extend your patience in dealing with them

When parents deal with a clingy child, it may lead to annoyance as parents may lose their temper with the child. Both only want some time for themselves yet they fail to get it. In dealing with clingy children, parents need to extend their patience when they get clingier than usual.

Take them out to the park, let them meet other kids. That allows them to learn more about gaining friends as well as experiencing the neighborhood. Going to parks also boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem as they meet new people. In the end, they might end up being good friends when they grow up.

Always reassure them

For toddlers, they understand the concept of love through hugs and kisses. To them, the more their parents hug them, the more they feel loved. However, some parents are not expressive through action. This bothers toddlers, so they cling to their parents as much as they can. This is how they express their  emotions to their parents in the only way they can.

When parents sneak out of the house without letting their kids know, It can result in clinginess. To avoid making them feel clingy, tell them that you’re going out for a while and that you’ll be back.

Let them play with the neighbors’ kids

Just like the other tips, this involves scheduling playtime with the neighbors or with kids from playschool. Engaging in this activity allows them to develop their social skills, emotional intelligence, and physical attributes.

This also reduces their clinginess towards you. They can focus on a different thing which allows parents to spend time by themselves. Encourage them to go on playdates as this reduces their anxiety. Moreover, they get used to interacting with people other than their parents.


Managing a clingy toddler may be quite challenging for parents. However, when you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to manage the toddlers’ anxiety. Remember to drop by ABC Academy to learn more on how to manage toddlers and learn about their different programs!

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