Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My 13 month old is clingy and whiny

Dear Kay,

I have a 13 month old boy who has always been clingy and whiny. He only wants me or my mom who watches him while I work. He will play with my older daughter but he won't go to his dad or my sister either. He will smile at them from afar. It's really putting alot of stress in our family. I would like to know if I put him in daycare if that might help. I have read so much about separation anxiety and talked to his doctor. and am told that it will pass but I think it's severe. If anyone comes near him even with me right there he hides in me or starts crying. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Dear Cindy:

Treating separation anxiety with more separation would cure what exactly? I suggest getting down on the floor with him and playing interactive games with him with the other members of the family. Encourage more interaction with the rest of the family in a healthy manner.

Also, check his routines. Are they consistent? Children require consistent routines to provide the sense of safety and security they need. They have no sense of time (schedules) and therefore determine what comes next in their day by their routines. Something to include in his day is massage. First you massage him before bedtime and then ask dad to and others. Introduce dad slowly, like you massaging one leg and dad the other. Make a game of it and do things at his pace.

Separation anxiety if very normal at this age and if dealt with appropriately will fade in time just like other behaviors do with developmental growth.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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