combatting clinginess..............

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    so any tips on how to combat overly clingy children? difficult child clings so bad on a daily basis it's sick now.

    i have scheduled our 'seperate time" whereas she has to go do something on her own, play in room, listen to music, read a book, watch tv ALONE without me. i started at a certain time frame and i'm increasing slowly.

    Yet regardless of what i do its' always the same in the end. I return to her and shell ask hundred questions in matter of ten minutes, or she'll keep walking next to me in the kitchen, tell me when she goes to use the bathroom, when she walks down hallway.

    having her home is making it worse for her. it really is. in hospital she couldn't do that, i took my breaks.

    at end of day literally she's pulling on my robe or shirt as i walk away after i say good night to her its sad and pathetic and she even knows it and says it yet can't stop it. i feel as though my heads been put thru a vice at the end of each of our days, and like i need a shower to wash her off of me sounds crazy right?

    we're changing medication soon enough, yet dealing with-this behavior on an ongoing daily basis is interesting
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I have no idea. I deal with constant interruptions but it's not the same thing. I don't deal well with clingy from anyone, even though I know there are times I did it myself, knew I was doing it, hated it, but couldn't get a handle on it. Enforced distance was the only cure I found when I get clingy.
  3. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    she is 11? have you tried getting her to work with a counsellor on co-dependancy? my clingon is only 4 and i welcome his clingyness most of the time. when i find myself having the most issues with my own clingyness is when i am feeling depressed or coming down from being overly stressed out. my 12yo does tell me everything and follow me around for hours talking and asking questions which also gets irritating but thankfully now she finally has one friend and after spending some time with her i can ask her if she wants to call that friend... they will talk to each other for 2 or 3 hours and i will have time to deal with the other kids with one less person needing me.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    She's anxious (obviously!)... she'll either have to be distracted or have someone/something take the place of you when you aren't there for her to feel secure. This seems stupid, but could you have her wear your robe or a sweater during away time? Something with your scent? You may also want to look into a weighted vest to help calm her.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't think she is 11yo now- how old is she, Jen?

    It sounds like a double-edged sword- to me. She won't reach out to others, however, her entire world revolves around you and she has no one else she'll socialize with. In the regard, she'd be much better off in school where it's normal for kids to start developing (somewhat) "real" friendships as tweens and teens. I like the idea you mentioned in another thread of getting her back into a school setting that can help her adjust and get her back into a life in the real world. Otherwise, I just don't see this getting any better. I'd say that would have to be done as well as your structured time alone at home- not one or the other but both so she can feel a gentle pressure/encouragement/motivation to not let anxiety keep her from trying to make friends her age.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yea, she needs that school setting asap. Matt did this, only he was younger, and it was more with questions. He wanted constant engagement from me, until I would finally just leave and talk a walk. I would try ignoring her for periods of time. Like give her time periods in which you are "available", set a timer or whatever you have to do to let her know that "now" is not her time.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    When I first read the title of this thread - I thought of laundry!

    Just try some extra fabric softener...rub a dryer sheet directly on the clingy item.

    But now that I see you are talking about difficult child - not sure that a dryer sheet will work....LOL!

    In regards to clingy children -

    I think you need to work on building up a tolerance for difficult child. Is it possible to set up an arangement where difficult child can be 'alone' but still within sight of you? IOW - if you went outside to work in the garden....could she sit inside near a window? She's not "with" you - but she can still "find" you if she needs to...

    And gradually build up to longer and longer times apart and longer and longer distances...

    and finally moving to Mom takes a walk around the block (or two).
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Jena, this seems to be an anxiety/fear based issue.

    When the tweedles were placed with us they had been bounced back & forth between foster parents & bio mom. They couldn't trust a forever family; kt, especially was fearful & wouldn't leave my sight for any length of time (she missed a whole lot of school during the first 3 years here).

    Our therapist came up with an ingenious idea that I still utilize today. Both kt & wm have key chains with husband's & my photo's attached. When they are feeling anxious or unsettled they pull out our photos (of course we'd written little love notes on the back & had them laminated). The other thing we used (especially in school) was a hug box. husband & I sat down & wrote out little notes to each of the tweedles & put those "hugs" in an individually decorated box ~ again when kt or wm were at school & were feeling anxious they could go to SW at school & ask for a hug from mom & dad. It worked famously for years. I know kt has all of her old hugs in a memory box she's keeping.

    It's helped with the clinginess, the fearfulness & anxiety that are the tweedles.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    great ideas...... thank you! I also researched it and it says when a kid gets super clingy if the parent that being wonderful me :) does a quick shut down due to well pure frustration it just solidifies the childs' fear "mom doesnt' want to be near me" it says that empathy witha strong hand both used at the precise same time is the ticket.

    so i've been trying it, tried it last night and it worked like a charm. i don't freak out on her, yet i do say enough is enough in that stern ok your driving me nuts voice. gotta get rid of that voice.

    she would never stay in house alone. therapist and i talked to her today. it was a lengthy talk about what she wants versus what she's doing to make that happen. she sees she's being lazy not putting the work in and is basically fed up. he in no way thinks she should return to school until we break her and make her do this work the mental work. he said she'll go down fast there.

    so we're pushing. he gave her a job each week find two social situations where you "have to" talk to someone new a kid. so i'll keep providing them, the library is tmrw night again. we went last week and she left early. hopefully tmrw will be better. also horseback riding she isnt' talking to any kids, yet there are only a few there. she says she wants dance now instead. that's because riding takes alot of work. ms. thing doesn't like work.

    we change medications tmrw also
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Jen, I have to tell you- I think this approach is enabling her more than helping her reach more independence.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    And how old is she now?
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Jena - I think that klmno might be right. When I decided to homeschool Matt at 14 - he became even more interdependent and intertwined with me than ever, even tho he was 14. When he was 16 and my sister died, and I was being harassed at work, Matt was not able to separate his identity from mine. He felt all of my feelings plus his. Six months after my sister died, Matt tried to kill himself. It is a dangerous dynamic to have our kids this close to us. If I had to do it over again, I would have had him in school.

    To my knowledge, if the school district mandates inclusion classrooms, than they are obligated to provide those - no matter how far the distance. IOW you and husband should not have to move, in order to get her inclusion classrooms. I really think you need to focus your energy on what the school district can do for you - rather than what you can do for your difficult child.

    I know it is hard, as I struggled with the same thing with Matt. I wanted to protect him. Yet, I believe I harmed him more.
  13. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    what makes anyone assume she has the ability to do this with any success? providing here with an opportunity to talk to other kids may not be anywhere near enough--she may need extreme help, structured opportunities and formal training to accomplish this. i thought you've said before that she's has extreme social difficulties for a very long time....why is anyone assuming this is some behavioral issue alone? (even if nothing else, her level of anxiety still seems to be so crazy high that i can't imagine that doesnt factor in).

    i realize you need to start somewhere, but it seems to me that its in no ones best interest to set her up to fail if its something she has no ability to do.

    (and fwiw, she's not 5 anymore when kids just talk to other kids. she's at an age where by default, its weird to have some kid you dont know start talking to you, especially if there is a hint of uncoolness. this is an enormously difficult task for the average kid. she might have better success *starting out* by initiating conversation with a kindly adult. because the key really is in the initiating--not who she's initiating with)
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I have to wonder if that "talk to someone new" could be as simple as being in the stacks and saying "What do you like to read about?" to a kid standing next to her?