9 Reasons People Will Say Your Kid’s Too Needy & Why They’re Wrong

Ad failed to load

My 5-year-old son isn't needy. I've seen needy, and trust me: he's just not it. Yes, I had a high-risk pregnancy — one that flipped my entire life upside down — and my labor and delivery almost killed us, but he's been the most independent boy I could ever ask for. So independent, in fact, that I'm the needy one sometimes. Like, can't he just let me love him already? So, honestly, I feel confident saying there are things kids do that don't mean they're "needy," regardless of what people say. Just take my son, for example: he might do some so-called "needy" things, but he has never been the needy type. No, really. I swear.

Just today, in fact, I was allowed to dress in my room almost completely undisturbed, was able to enjoy several solo trips to the bathroom, and even ate my breakfast with minimal interruption (only, like, seven times did I really need to stop and tend to either one of my children). When I think of a "needy" kid, I don't see my sweet babies. They're angels who'd never think of clinging to me when I'm trying to work. They play great together, without arguing, and feel just fine embracing the world around them without me looking over their shoulders.

OK fine, so my kids do all those things. Here's the deal, though: that doesn't make them "needy," it just makes them kids. So not only is my youngest the opposite of spoiled or needy, he's in a category all his own. Here's some of the things my kid does (that yours might, too), that's totally, definitely not so-called "needy" behaviors. Let's just decide, once and for all, to let kids be kids. After all, before us parents know it they won't need us at all.

Ad failed to load

They Grab A Hold Of Your Leg For Dear Life


If my son were to ever grab a hold of my leg in this manner, I'd assume it's because he's playing a fun game where I'm the car and he's the passenger — not because he's needy. If anything, it's a super creative way to get from one place to another. Plus, I get a great leg workout this way.

They Require You To Play


If I hear adorable demands for my time in order for my son to play with this "castle guy toys," it's because he needs an additional player to guard the tower. It's not needy, you guys. It's just necessary.

They Refuse Any Alone Time


Both my kids enjoy their alone time, but that doesn't mean my son doesn't want mom around all the time. I can't blame him, though: as a stay-at-home mom who works from home, I'm all he knows. It's less about him being needy, and more about him being a normal kid who thrives on a set schedule and/or routine. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claims all children benefit from a routine.  

Ad failed to load

They Make Goodbyes Last An Eternity


Alright, so my son isn't always considerate of my time. Then again, he's a child, so the entire concept of time and how it is, truly, a commodity, is lost on him. And rightfully so. I work hard to make him feel as though time is nothing more than an abstract. So, yes, I have spent some time straddling the door, halfway between the outside world and my life inside as mom. But when he doesn't want me to go, I know it's because I've been doing a kick ass job when I'm at home.

They Ignore Others To Spend Time With You


There have been more than a few times when I have dropped my son off at school, or take him to a birthday party, only to have him cling to me the entire time. I have never considered this a needy behavior, though. In fact, if anything it made me stop to think about how my son is feeling surrounded by a bunch of people; even people he knows. In fact, I even stopped to research the signs of anxiety in children, just to make sure my son wasn't trying to tell me something., however, says that parents should look for signs of irritability, trouble concentrating, restlessness or fatigue during waking hours, trouble sleeping at night or sleepiness during the day, and excessive worry most days of the week, for weeks on end, as signs of a potential anxiety disorder in a child.

My son wanting to hang by mom when we're in big groups? That's just him knowing that I will always be there for him when he feels uncomfortable. I can be his security blanket, and eventually he won't need that blanket anymore. Plus, if he prefers to remain at my side, it's probably because I'm just so awesome. Can you blame him?

They Always Want To Be Held


I don't think it's a "needy" behavior for a child to want to be held by their mother. Not with my kids, at least. If my son won't let me set him down — say, if I were out of breath and really struggling to hold him — it means he's tired or cranky or needs comfort. in fact, Tiffany Field, Ph.D. and the director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School, told that, "When you hold your child, you stimulate pressure receptors that help his body relax."

Wanting to be held isn't neediness, you guys. It's science.

Ad failed to load

They Push Between You & Your Partner


My partner and I have a great relationship and we hug a lot. I'm also the go-to parent (since I'm at home working while my partner works outside the home) so I'm my son's "person." Go on almost any online parenting forum and you'll find parents complaining about their children's aversion to their mutual and consensual affection towards their partners. While annoying, this possessiveness is actually very normal, especially in toddlers. Parent educator Judy Arnall, author of Discipline Without Distress, told Today's Parent, "This is a stage, a completely normal and healthy one. But it can also be annoying for parents, who worry that they need to nip possessive behavior in the bud, before it develops into unmitigated selfishness." Today's Parent goes on to say, "For a toddler, possession is everything; having an object in his hands means it’s his. Likewise, if someone dares to pick up his blanket, it may no longer be his — pretty scary for a 2-year-old."

In other words, it's normal, you guys. Your kid just loves you, and only knows how to express that love by being a little annoyingly possessive from time to time.

They Follow You To The Bathroom


I think  this is just par for the parenting course, you guys. Like, this is life now.

Plus, following you into the bathroom is one way your toddler may learn how to use the toilet themselves. Something of a "monkey see, monkey do" situation.

They Won't Do Anything Unless You Do It, Too


My kid just loves doing things with his momma (read: me). Staying by my side, no matter what I'm doing, isn't neediness. It's him telling me in his very own, 5-year-old way, that he can't imagine his life without me.

For now, I'm OK with it.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack