Your preschooler is clingy and has a tough time letting you out of her sight. Clingy kids are by nature a bit more timid and anxious. So while you can’t change your child’s personality and turn her into a little extrovert or social butterfly (nor should you), you can help your son or daughter feel more comfortable and secure without your presence. After all, those school years are approaching and one of the highest correlations to school success is getting along with others and doing so without you.
Begin by finding a babysitter, relative or friend who your child feels secure with. Ideally the “extended caregiver” should spend time with you and your child so she knows your child’s personality and routine.
Then establish goodbye routines like a special goodbye kiss, a little token (such as a pebble or rabbit’s foot) to touch that tells her “you’re thinking of her,” or even rehearsing goodbyes.
When ready, make goodbyes be matter of fact–not drawn out–and always return exactly when you say. Try giving your child a watch–even if she can’t tell time–and mark the return time with a watercolor pen. Point out that you returned at the stated time.
To maximize success try to implement this resolution into your daily routine. Gradually lengthen “time without you” as your child’s security grows.