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Children who are exhibiting anxious clingy behaviour can cause parents a lot of stress as they try to ‘get on with the day’ while avoiding an emotional melt down. They can exhaust parents with their demands, and drain parents energy trying to meet their emotional needs.
Negative feelings (like sadness, fear and anger) are normal and good – they show us that something is happening to our security and we are feeling vulnerable. Our bodies automatically react to protect us from feeling vulnerable and this often results in bad / undesirable behaviour.
Anxious Clingy Child: Causes
Anxiety and Clinginess is usually caused by a fear of loosing connection to the most important person in a child’s life – you (Mum & / or Dad). Their fear is a real fear and should not be dismissed.
If we play the hard, tough line when these feelings surface we run the very real risk of ruining or at the very least numbing the feelings of closeness and attachment the child has to us. When these feelings get numbed we loose influence in the child’s life and other (much worse) behavioural problems occur later (and we seldom realise that these problems are due to our response at an earlier time!).
So it’s absolutely vital that we work harder on our relationship with our child (helping them feel loved, secure and close to you), than we do on their behaviour. When we can fix the anxious clingy feelings – the need for more closeness – then the behaviour almost always fixes itself.
This 5 page intervention discusses attachment based insights into anxious clingy children and summarizes the key theory behind it’s cause. It then offers a detailed plan for parents and teachers to help comfort and resolve the issues.
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