Cure for Screaming Clinger


John Rosemond shares how one mom dealt with her child's separation anxiety.

Clever Solution of the Week: A couple of generations back and more, when parents still sought child-rearing advice from grandparents and other wise elders, those wise folks often recommended a problem-solving approach they called "reverse psychology."

Good news. It still works.

A mother told me that whenever she tried to leave her generally well-behaved 5-year-old daughter in someone else's care, even someone very familiar, the child would cling and sob hysterically, begging her mother not to leave her. On these occasions, Mom literally had to pry her daughter off of her and leave, upon which, according to all, she calmed down and seemed perfectly content.

Mom writes: I don't know where I got this idea, but one day, as I was driving my little drama queen to a sitter's, I told her that I liked it when she screamed and cried and clung to me because it meant she loved me very, very much. "So," I said, "When we get to So-and-So's house, I would really, really like it if you would scream and yell louder than ever before." When we pulled up to the friend's house, I reminded her of what I wanted her to do. She looked at me like I was nuts, went inside, and that was the end of it.

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