When Your Child is a Human Piece of Velcro

I’m not exaggerating when I say that my son is rarely alone for more than five minutes. I know this because I am rarely alone for more than five minutes. And, it’s exhausting! From the minute my 8-year-old wakes up until the minute he falls asleep — in my room on a mattress on the floor — he is attached to my husband or me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love quality time with my older son. He’s at such a fun age, so smart and funny. He loves video games, of course, and plays travel soccer. But when it’s time to play outside in the front yard, or take a shower, or go read quietly in the other room, the struggle ensues.

He never sits down — he’s constantly moving. I get it, most boys have a lot of energy. So, when we ask that he go outside and get that energy out in the front playing basketball or soccer, he inevitably asks one of us to sit outside while he plays. That’s fine, I love to be outdoors, but we had a baby a year ago and sometimes that doesn’t time well with my older son’s wishes. We live in a cul-de-sac, and he has plenty of room to go play. But, only if someone comes with him. I do invite his friends over often, so he has a buddy.

When the baby was born, he started sleeping in his own room for the first time in seven years. I liked the idea of him sleeping in bed with us because they grow up so fast, and I love to cuddle. But, realistically, the baby needed to be in our room and I didn’t want him interrupting his brother’s sleep. After a few days, maybe two weeks, he returned to our room even though we got him a new loft bed with a desk underneath for schoolwork and coloring.

Now that school is out, and summer is here, I notice his fear of being alone even more. He says he isn’t afraid, yet he refuses to go upstairs without a friend. If I ask him to turn off a light that I notice is on after we crawl into bed, he turns on another light to turn off the other light then beelines for the room.

I don’t know what is crippling him with fear — it’s as if he’s afraid of his own shadow. I have tried talking to him. I’ve thought about having him talk to a professional. I simply do not know what to do to make him feel at ease and less afraid.

Any suggestions from other moms in the same boat? I just want to help my son feel confident again.

Boy mom. Household CEO. Corporate leader. Outdoor lover. Social seeker. Sun worshipper. Curious traveler. Champagne enthusiast. These words describe me, Kerry Schicker, and contributor for Jacksonville Mom. I first approached founders Vicky and Megan after a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I had a very unpleasant experience with my OB at the time and I needed to get it off my chest so I wrote an anonymous blog that resonated with some of our readers. I have since written dozens of blogs mostly about motherhood. I have a passion for writing. My 20-year career has grown through some form of writing including TV news reporting and producing, magazine publishing, public relations, advertising, marketing, blogging and my current day job doing HR and employee communications for a Fortune 300 FinTech company. I am thankful that Jacksonville has such a supportive community for moms like me, and I can't imagine raising my two boys anywhere else.


  1. You should consider seeing a family councler or therapist. Sometimes as parents even with good intentions we enable or condition behavior’s into our children that seem disruptive but are often misunderstood.

    From what you’ve written I believe you have a wonderful son who is quite normal and very loved, but he may also need an outside professional to confide in and help the whole family understand this challenging phase.

  2. Dr. John Rosemond addresses this in his book, The Well-Behaved Child, and offers some techniques for solving this issue. Might be worth a read.

  3. Is it just with you and your husband? You mention in your bio/other posts that you work full-time. Does your husband as well? If so, what is he like with other caregivers at your home? How about at school? It would be helpful to know if his behavior is associated specifically with you and/or your husband or global.

    Also consider his ability to focus. The things you mention that you would like him to do — read a book, take a shower, practice soccer by himself outside — take self-organization and focus. What do his teachers say about his ability to focus at school? If he struggles, his coping mechanism might be having you/your husband/friend/structure of a video game as a buddy. (Note these are food for thought questions since you asked for ideas – not expecting you to answer details about your child on a public page).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here