A parent asks for advice on dealing with a clingy 9-year-old. Amy suggests rewarding small shows of independence with praise, and offering quality time during your child’s preferred activity in return for accepting some time apart without complaint.
This week's parenting question comes from a listener in our Facebook group:
I have a clingy 9-year-old. I love her more than life itself, but I am having a hard time with feeling totally smothered. I go for a walk every morning for about 30 minutes (for sanity) and every morning she asks, "How long will you be gone? 30 minutes? Can I come? Pleeease?"
I stress the importance of alone time for me and that it makes me a better mama. She watches for me out the window. It's like having a puppy. Yes, it's anxiety related. I had anxiety as a kid and I recognize it, but we are together 24 hours a day and I feel like I'm starting to crack.
You're right to suspect that your super-clingy kid is motivated by anxiety. We can meet anxiety with empathy, but we need to beware accommodating it. Don't let those goalposts get moved: a half-hour walk is definitely good, both for your parental sanity and for your kid's realizing she can survive 30 minutes without you.
Amy offers a few suggestions that worked with her own clingy kid:
There are more great suggestions in this Very Well Family article by therapist Amy Morin:
Send us your parenting questions- we might answer yours next: email@example.com.
* Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcast app! * Join us on Facebook: https://facebook.com/whatfreshhellcast * Instagram: https://instagram.com/whatfreshhellcast * YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatFreshHellPodcast * Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/whatfreshhellcast * Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFHpodcast * questions and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices