I’m Worried That My Social Butterfly Daughter Is Suddenly A Homebody

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While clinginess is something that many kids go through, it normally happens a little earlier in the developmental phases. Brenna just had her fifth birthday and she’s been attending school and/or daycare since infancy. More than that, friends told me that their kids were attached to them, not to their homes. As long as they were with their parents, their little ones were alright.

Finally, I decided to speak with a specialist to find out just how serious our homebody behavior might be. Child psychologist Amy Rupp offered me some advice on how to handle my daughter’s new behavior, and when to start worrying. “Kids do go through phases, some at different times and for different reasons. In general, wanting to stay home more often shouldn’t be a huge concern.” At the same time, the change in behavior could be an indicator of a bigger problem and my husband and I needed to pay attention.

“In general, anxiety in social situations or a fear of leaving the home normally stems from some sort of insecurity. There are all kinds of events that can cause insecurity, but the important part is to try to make your daughter feel as loved, secure, and confident as you can,” she told me.

Looking back at the events of the last couple months, there are have plenty of stressful situations that could have added some fear and uncertainty into my daughter’s life. She had to cope with the death of a beloved grandparent. We’ve been helping to care for a family member whose parents are going through a difficult time. We found out that we won’t be having another child. Take your pick. We’ve had some stuff going on.

The idea that my daughter wants to be stay home because she’s somehow insecure about her life or her place in the world breaks my heart a little. It makes me want to hug her tighter, read one more book, and make sure that she knows exactly how loved she is. It also makes me really eager for the day when she gets in the car and says, “Mom, can we go to Mimi and Papa’s tonight?” It’s not that I mind spending my nights cuddled up on the toy room floor. It’s that I want my daughter to feel confident and secure enough to step back out of the house without a bit of hesitation.

Fingers crossed, I’ll get my social butterfly back soon. Until then, sorry for the cancelled playdates. We’re just going to be hanging out at home for a while.

(Photo: AlexSmith/Shutterstock)

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