How do I deal with a clingy one-year-old?


Good morning brother,

I read your articles regarding the biblical way of teaching children. I have a one-year-old son and he always insists on being held. He is always crying. Not even a second was left me. He doesn't give me time to do work. Even if his stomach is full or his need for sleep is fulfilled, he still insists on being held. He is a very hyperactive baby. He does not play with anything for more than two minutes. He has become very addicted to me. There are only two people in the house, my husband and me. Sometimes I get angry and, yell at him and beat him. On the next second, I feel very bad for him and cry.

Sir, please help me to control my mind and also his. Sir, how to teach him from childhood?


It appears that the core problem is not with your son but with your expectations of how children should behave. He is just a year old. Of course, he clings to what is familiar (his mother). Such behavior is normal at that age. Having a short attention span is also normal.

Your taking your frustrations out on him is not helping matters. He isn't able to read your moods. Therefore, he lives in fear of lashing out from the one person he depends on for security.

Thus, the first thing you need to do is learn what a child who is your son's age can do, which is not much. Second, your job is to give him love and bolster his feeling of security. Just expect that you will have to have him by your side for a while. Plan your breaks around times your husband can watch him. Encourage family and friends to come visit and let them watch him for periods. If things don't get done around the house, oh well. He won't be young forever. As he gradually matures, you'll be able to do more things.

Never punish a child for your feelings or frustrations. If he is doing something wrong, such as reaching for something dangerous or getting into something that is unsafe, then that requires a "no" and a brief swat.

As he gains confidence in his world, he will start wandering off. At first, he will make sure he can see you. Later, he will be content to just be able to hear you. At times, he will run back to make sure you are still there. Before you realize it, he'll be off playing with the children in the neighborhood.


Good morning brother,

Glad to hear from you. I respect your advice. I am sorry for failing to open the mail. I had searched for the same problem on La Vista Church of Christ's website and there I found my mail reply. Sorry brother I didn't open your fast reply to my email.

Brother, I am in my seventh month of pregnancy. My one-year-old son needs me more. He is very stubborn but the same time has separation anxiety for me. Even though I am always in front of his eyes and take him to my lap, only God knows.

Sir, please suggest to me, as a Christian woman, whom to give the first preference during the day. Is it God, my husband, my toddler, or my upcoming delivery? Days and nights are passing, and I am unable to make time for prayers and Bible reading.  My whole time is spent with my toddler and I am unable to do my own work. My husband is helping me, but he is also having health issues. Everyone is busy in our family. I am very much scared about the future. Please reply to me brother because it helps a lot!


Everyone has limited time but we also have obligations. You cannot approach the problem with the idea that I will focus on one duty to the neglect of all others. God comes first in life, but realize that you are serving God by obeying His teachings. Included in those teachings are your obligations to your husband and to your children.

While it might be nice to spend an entire day doing nothing but praying and reading the Bible, that isn't practical and it isn't what God asks us to do. Your toddler is young and dependent on you right now, but he won't remain as needy. So deal with his needs now. You can fit in prayers and readings later, especially once he is off to school. Your husband is an adult. He is able to delay his needs, but they can't be put off forever. He needs you as his companion, so you make time for him as you can. God understands that this period of life is very busy for you, but make time for prayers when you can. Read a bit when moments arise, knowing that you'll be interrupted, but that is alright. Life won't remain busy and you can resume your prayers and reading when things slow back down.


Good morning brother,

Thank you very much, brother. It means a lot.

Today I followed the tips that you suggested in the first email. It worked well. My son did not cry today. I also did complete my household chores with him and we had some more time to do other fun activities.

Thank you very much, brother. I want to mention one thing: We live far from you and do not know you in person, but we are members of the church of Christ. Your words were really helpful to me, and I have seen the results. I wrote to you regarding my second pregnancy. I wanted to abort the baby because of scar pain and I wrote a harsh message, but you replied that it was just an excuse. Believe me, brother, that last email of yours caused me to change my decision regarding abortion. I am in my seventh month of pregnancy. I am full of energy and have no pregnancy symptoms at all. I really thank you from the bottom of my heart. You save my family.

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