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Child Clingy to Mom: What’s the Psychological Reason?

We always say that children “stick” to their mothers; in fact, mothers also “stick” to their children.

The child and the mother are closely connected and inseparable.

This is why we were all heartbroken when we saw the “infants and young children being isolated in separate” incident two days ago.

A mother said:
It is better to be infected yourself than to stay with your young children. You must never let your children go into isolation alone.

Another mother said:
If the child is yang and the parents are yin, I will choose to take care of the child at the risk of being infected; but if the parents are yang and the child is yin, then I will definitely choose to keep the child out of an environment where he is easily infected, even if he has to be separated.

Yes,This is our psychology as parents.

  1. What is the psychology of children always “clinging” to us?

We do our best to protect, love and care for our children and hope they are healthy and happy.

We take care of and love our children over time and “earn” their trust and attachment to us. When they are in need or scared, they come to us immediately. This is the psychology of children “sticking” to us.

Children “stick” to us and are a “sweet burden”. I think we should cherish it for two reasons:

First, this kind of “stickiness” will not last forever. Children are getting older and more independent; one day, they will leave us and live their own lives.

Second, it is not easy to establish a close and positive attachment relationship with children and make them feel safe and confident. It does not mean that the harder the parents work, the closer the relationship will be and the happier the children will be.

When parents and children get along, methods are very important, such as “positive attention” from the moment the baby is born.
Source: freepik photo created by user18526052

  1. What is positive attention?

Positive attention means that we let our children understand our love for them and the warmth and care between parents and children through the following methods:

Smile at your child.
Make eye contact and show affection through facial expressions.
Express emotions through body language, such as hugging your child.
Express encouragement to the child or feel happy for the child through language.
Show interest and concern in the things and activities that interest your child, or the results of your child’s efforts.

  1. Why is it important to pay active attention?

Related to self-confidence and security.

After babies are born, they need feedback from other people, especially the most important people around them, such as their mothers, to understand how they are. As parents, we give our children positive responses, expressions and attention. Children will gradually learn that they are valuable and can bring happiness to others, and will be recognized by adults.

Parents’ positive and loving expressions to their children, whether in language or actions, are conducive to the establishment of their children’s self-image. For children, it is very important to establish a positive and healthy self-image. It not only helps children to establish healthy relationships with others, but also helps to build children’s self-confidence.

The sense of security we often talk about in children actually comes from the positive interaction and response between us and our children.

When children come to us, we look at them with a smile; when children are scared or unsure, we can always appear in time and provide encouragement and be their solid backing. This process will make children feel safe and secure, and thus they will have greater confidence and courage to explore the world.

  1. How do children of different ages express “positive concern”?

In life, we have many ways and opportunities to express positive concern, including when changing diapers, bathing with children, and picking up children from school. We can increase the connection between children and us and express positive concern.

Regarding how to express “positive concern”, here are some examples by age, I hope it can give you a reference.

no matter how old

Look at the child and smile at the child.
Show interest in what the child is doing, such as asking the child what he is doing and telling us about it.
When children talk to us, listen carefully and carefully.

Set up some “fixed projects” for family parent-child activities and have some fixed parent-child time.
Set aside some time just for us and our kids to do things we both enjoy.

When children try new things or learn new skills, promptly acknowledge and encourage their efforts and express interest and concern.
For example, if a child is drawing, no matter how good the drawing is, we can say, “It’s great how you work hard at drawing. Where did you learn how to draw kittens?”

0-1 years old

Even if children cannot understand speech yet, they can “read” their parents through tone, voice, body language, facial expressions, etc.

For children of this age, we can try:

When babies smile at us, we smile at them.
When the baby is crying and upset, comfort him in time.
Whenever the baby makes any sound, we respond to them by imitating the same sound.

Talk to your baby about what you are doing.
Actively discover what your baby likes or what they like to do, and then encourage them to explore on their own.
For example, if your baby is interested in colorful rattles, you can demonstrate or teach your baby how to rattle the bells to make sounds.

1-3 years old

As babies grow older and understand more and more, they pick up information by listening to what we say and how we say it.

For children of this age, we can try to express positive concern by:

Enjoy alone time with your children and immerse yourself in it together, such as watching the ants move together.
When talking to children, when we have finished speaking, we have to wait and slow down so that the baby has time to respond and express.

When playing with your child, you can discuss it without correcting or asking your child to do things differently.
For example, when building blocks together, we can say, “Wow, baby, the building is so high, let me see how many more blocks you can build.”
Describe specifically and in detail the action or behavior that we like about our children. For example, we can say, “You help the mother pack the building blocks. Mom likes you very much as her little helper.”

3-5 years old

Children this age are more understanding, so we have more opportunities and ways to express our positive regard. for example:

Do things with your children that they like to do, such as building Lego together, painting together, etc.
When saying good morning and good night to your child, remember to look at the child, smile, and of course give the child a hug before saying good morning and good night.
When your child’s kindergarten is over, you can tell your child that you miss them. When you receive your child after school, you can give your child a tight hug, or listen carefully to your child’s interesting stories in kindergarten.

Write at the end,
In life, we cannot all be positive, positive, and happy; when it comes to our children, we will inevitably lose patience and lose our temper. However, if we can pay positive attention to our children most of the time instead of always criticizing or making negative comments, over time, the children will feel more secure, feel more cared for, and be more willing to “stick” us.

In addition, through lots of positive attention, even if we occasionally lose our temper with our children, or occasionally neglect or pay insufficient attention to our children, our children will not lose their sense of security or attachment to us.