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2y/o boy I babysit is very clingy and dependent
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2y/o boy I babysit is very clingy and dependent

I watch a 2.5 year old and 4.5 year old Monday through Friday. They live across the street and I watch them at my house. The 2 year old boy is with me all day, while the other is in preschool until 11. The boy is very clingy. I can't be out of his line of sight, or he will start yelling "where are you?!" and come find me. I can't even go to the bathroom, or sit on the couch without him trying to climb all over me. My husband and I are very good friends with the parents, and they are more like family- we even go on vacation together. I know he is so clingy because he has 2 other siblings and with me he gets the only one on one time. It's gotten out of control. Even his parents are shocked how dependent he is on me. When he is at home he contently asks "where's Katie?" And he even calls his dad by my name. He saw my husband hold my hand one day and now has to hold my hand all the time. If my husband even sits next to me he freaks out. He can't stand anyone else showing me any form of affection. He saw my husband give me a quick kiss good-bye and he started yelling at us. Ever since, he will try to kiss me all the time and it's not appropriate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. He is very smart and the family doctor talked to them about behavioral therapy (for his temper.) I'm open to any advice, I really need help! While the love he gives me is wonderful, he needs to stop being so dependent on me.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  Well, first of all for a 2.5 year old, it is not uncommon that they want to be wherever their caregiver is.  Mine followed to the bathroom all the time . . .  pretty normal.  Developmentally they become more independent over time and some faster than others.  

Honestly, and I know this is not the answer you are looking for but I'd cease babysitting him every day.  This would be best for you both.  Maybe cut back to three days a week.  You will be less frustrated by him and he will be forced to branch.  It would be nice if his mother could work part time and spend more time with him.  This isn't always financially possible but would be a nice thing for this boy.  Next year I am sure he will begin preschool a morning or two a week which will also be good for all.  But I'd consider cutting back on your hours.

When he is with you, have a box of special items that you only pyll out when you need him to entertain himself.  My kids liked to look at books and do puzzles-------  so I kept a box of them that he only got at a certain time of day.  Then I'd let them have the items in this box and they'd possibly look through them for 15 minutes or so which is a huge chunk of time for a little guy/girl to be on their own and focus.  But you'll have to set him up close to where you'll be.  He'll probably want to see where you are.  

As far as the not wanting your husband to kiss/hug you or sit by you.  Don't react to how he handles it.  Ignore him.  Also try redirection where you distract his attention to something else.  

good luck
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757137_tn?1347200053
Good advice. But I wonder about the part-time thing. Might it make him even more fragile?
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973741_tn?1342346373
Yes, I see what you are saying allmymarbles, but I think that if a caregiver that is not the parent is frustrated with a child, then it is best they cut back on watching them.  Best for everyone.  I do worry about what is going on at home and why he is so bonded to a friend of the family.  I hate to say it but that is something social services looks for.  Who a child is bonded to and if it is not mom or dad------  it is a red flag if they live with them.  The child is either not spending enough time with mom/dad or abuse/neglect might be going on.  Hate to say that and know that the poster might not like that but that is how our city views such situations.  Perhaps the family friend is too convienent and a situation is created in which mom does her job less than she should.  I think the friend will have to step back for it to go back into balance.  

But heck, what do I know.  It IS normal for him to follow her around-------  and I hate that it frustrates her.  So just want her to know that this is fairly normal.  
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757137_tn?1347200053
Maybe it is just a case of spending more time with the caregiver than with his own mother. He bonds to the one he knows the best. Or maybe he finds the caregiver more sympatico. Sometimes you get the feeling that one of your children was born into the wrong family. One of my daughters adored my sister-in-law who was rough and ready - tumbling with the kids - climbing trees with them. Very unlike me. Or my nephew who was on the dreamy and artistic side, born into a family that rigid and science-bound. He loved spending time with me and my kids. Before I was married I fantasized about taking him with me on my travels - sort of like Auntie Mame.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Perhaps.  

But there are all kinds of situations out there that make me cringe.  And a child that should be spending time with mom glomming onto a neighbor is troubling.  And the caregiver is annoyed by him which is never a good child care situation.  

I hope they work it out. Luck to all.
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Avatar_m_tn
He is so bonded to me because his family and I are both living in a foreign country. We are so close because we are the only American's in our area. We travel together, and see each other everyday. His mother works from home and was unable to complete her work with a 2 year old and 4 year old demanding her attention all the time. Because we are overseas the children are very isolated and do not interact with other children, who speak the same language. The girl goes to a foreign preschool but this fall is slated to start kindergarten in an English school. The reason I asked for advice, is because I know our situation is very unique. Hopefully this summer his mother will be able to spend more time with them, and he will become less dependent on me. I'm not so much annoyed at the child, but worried about him becoming so dependent on me. My husband and I are moving back to the states in a year. I can't imagine how much more he will depend on me by that time, so I am trying to distance myself now, in order to make it easier for everyone involved when I leave.

I will defiantly try to watch him less during the week. His older brother (8) will be home from school during the summer so maybe having his siblings around will make a good distraction!
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