What to do with my clingy 6 yr old?

I have a super clingy 6 yr old that acts like he has to be in the same room as me the ENTIRE day. We have a townhouse that has 3 stories. THis past year for Kindy we decided to use our main floor living space to homeschool and do it at our dining table, which is basically in the living room. Well, everything is in the living room. His toys, the 1 yr old’s toys, our hang out space, our dining area, and the homeschool area. It was all set up this way because basically my son wants to be around me all the time. Man, it sounds like I let him run things. haha. I really don’t.

There were a ton of days this past year I went a bit stir crazy looking at the same 4 walls every day. And it’s never tidy or clean because there is just so much stuff in one room.

Here are a few questions I’d love some feedback on.

We’re considering turning the office downstairs into a homeschool room/play area. Is this a good idea? My thoughts are to get a bunch of stuff out of the main living area. Plus our home business is closed now so we basically don’t use that space down there for much of an office anymore. This would give us an alternative hang out/school space besides the living room.

My son has no toys in his room and never plays in there…because he always wants to be near me. This drives me crazy of course, but my husband encourages me to let it ride out. Some day he won’t want to be near me anymore. I’m also wondering if we should send some toys upstairs to his room and have some mandatory quiet play every day in there so he gets used to being alone more.
Do any of you do this?

I’m thinking that if we have another area to do homeschool, I can make him do some work at “his desk” downstairs, while I clean the kitchen or something else. This would give us some separation, although most of his schooling we’re working on together right now. It would be a good start.

Then if he has more stuff going on in his room, maybe he’d be more excited about being up there by himself sometimes.

I hope that all makes sense. This has been on my mind a lot lately and I’d love to figure out some new habits before the Fall.

Thanks everyone!

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The office conversion sounds like a great idea - just to get the homeschool/playroom into a contained area and out of the living room. It might also make the homeschool items more findable, too. I don’t know about you, but I have shelves and shelves and totes of resources that I finally have gotten put away “Away” is not the true definition, maybe usable and findable is a better definition. Having a space to do that has been wonderful and I think you will enjoy that as well.
My sons have only stuffed animals in their room - no toys as we want them to use their room for SLEEP only.
As for being clingy, enjoy it and use the closeness to gently teach and train him.
Now a question, has your son’s clinginess increased or changed since the little one came? That may be a cause and maybe he feels left out from your attention . . . just a thought.

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My son does this as well. Everyone thinks it is wonderful and lovable and should be enjoyed, right? Well. . When I need two minutes to read something, or I would like a little privacy in the bathroom, or when I have a headache, or if i just need a little quiet - no. It is not enjoyable. I love my son. I have dedicated my life to my home and family but that doesn’t mean that my needs completely go away and the same is true for you. So please do not let people make you feel guilty for not completely loving every moment of it! Trust me, it has taken me a few years to be okay with expressing to my son what I need in the moment before I end up upset and stressed. (and I am still learning. Thank the Lord for grace!)

My son has quiet time in his room every day and I give him as much independent school work as he can handle for his age. I also try to make his closeness be useful - cleaning together or walking to the library, things that we can do together that have purpose. When we are just relaxing, I encourage him to engage himself in his own hobbies. We have family time in the evening and we talk all the time - I am not neglecting my son’s needs by encouraging his independence. You will not be either. Just work on one thing at a time. If you want to do quiet time, then make it 20-30 mins and increase it to an hour or however long you think it should be. Do not feel bad for needing time apart! Use that time to pray or read or something to refresh yourself. I even go into my bedroom and close the door if I need a few minutes. It is ok. It is better to be able to approach my son with a loving smile than a weary nod or even the nasty snappy comment if I get too tired. I have done a lot of apologizing over these 7 years!

hugs to you! Pray, figure out what you need, and explain it to your family. They are needs, not wants!!

Are you an introvert or extrovert? Do you need fore adult conversation or more quiet? I’m an introvert to an extroverted son - so park time with other mom’s is not refreshing to me but it helps him get his time with others. But the quiet time and independent school work refresh me. I also love to take him to the library. They have a computer for children with games on it - he plays while I read and it is fairly quiet and people tend to leave you alone in the library.

I am sorry for rambling. Your situation is so similar to mine and I feel for you. Give yourself some grace and determine your needs. hugs


We also made the switch this past school year to move our homeschool space out of our dining room and out into our large playroom area (like an attachment on our house that is the size of a two-car garage). I worried about having all of the toys in there along with the school stuff (distractions!) but with a 2 year old also running around and needing to keep him occupied and keep an eye on him, it has been the best thing for us. We all work together each morning for 15 minutes before school to clean up that space so that it is orderly before we begin and the playroom has never, in the past, stayed so picked up! I also have a 6 year old son who wants quite a bit of my attention. We also do a mandatory “quiet rest” time every day. Ours is usually 90 minutes (or longer if he [rarely] falls asleep). He goes into his room and his older sister who is 8 goes into my room and they play quietly with their chosen toys for that time or read books while the 2 year old naps and I get “mommy time” which, yes, is usually spent with a good book or Netflix (I’m not gonna lie folks! lol!). This afternoon time each day is what saves me every day! If I didn’t have that time “off” I don’t know what I’d do. Then I have the energy to face dinner preparations and the evening time. So I would say definitely give it a try to move the homeschool space into the former office space and encourage the daily rest/quiet time. I agree that lengthening that time a little bit at a time until it reaches what you are going for and what he is able to manage (since it sounds like it will be new to him) might be a good idea. I hope it brings you some relief and some manageability to the household. I, too, am an introvert. I describe myself to my friends as a “happy hermit” :slight_smile: Good luck! :slight_smile:


Thanks everyone. Lots of good ideas here. I had him do just a bit of quiet time today and it was SOOO nice. No wonder I’ve been feeling maxed out. I don’t get a break. :smile: