Changing the relationship of a clingy toddler

Vicki Hoefle, Professional Parent Educator, shares advice for parents on the best methods for changing the relationship of a clingy toddler
How to Deal with a Clingy Toddler
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Changing the relationship of a clingy toddler

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Clingy toddlers are trying to tell us something. And what they're trying to tell us is the world looks scary to me, or this situation looks scary to me, or these people are frightening to me. And that usually is the result of over pampering that happens in the house. Every time the child cries, someone is there to soothe them. They pick them up. They say are you okay? What can I do? Everything is wonderful. And the child doesn't really develop any sense of resiliency or confidence in themselves. If you think of it as a muscle, it's a very loose mental muscle kind of analogy. What a parent can do is start to help the child develop confidence inside the home, by not picking up at the first request, by allowing the child to kind of cry and struggle and get frustrated, because that all builds the kind of mental muscle this kid needs as they leave the home more frequently and more often, which is what's going to happen in their life. The other thing I think is really important is you get the other partner, and oftentimes dads, involved in taking care of younger kids. Putting them to bed, reading them the story, because oftentimes kids will demand mommy. and you know mommy's got to go. And the child develops this understanding that, only my mom can take care of me. Only my mom can keep me safe. Everyone else is a little bit dangerous. So engage dads. Engage older siblings. Allow the child to connect and bond with people beyond the primary caregiver, and that will do a lot to help the child feel more secure in their world, and that will result in a less clingy toddler or school-aged child.

Vicki Hoefle, Professional Parent Educator, shares advice for parents on the best methods for changing the relationship of a clingy toddler

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Vicki Hoefle

Professional Parent Educator

Vicki Hoefle is a professional parent educator with over 20 years experience teaching parents, educators and caregivers how to raise respectful, responsible and resilient children. Hoefle combines her expertise in Adlerian Psychology and as an International Coaching Federation certified coach to bring parents Duct Tape Parenting, a sustainable and proactive parenting strategy that provides time-tested tools for harvesting a happy and peaceful family life. Her informative and highly engaging presentation style keeps her in demand as a speaker, facilitator and educator. Hoefle is a mother of six and lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

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