Some emotions are vaguely ignored as they are either new to understand or not felt important. One such is Separation Anxiety among kids (mostly toddlers and preschoolers). It is one of the basic and initial emotion of a child being prepared for life ahead, hence, it becomes very crucial to handle it with utmost care, love and attention. Commonly parents (mostly mothers) are everybody’s #safeplace, irrespective of age, gender, place or background. Similarly, I find my ultimate solace in my mother, in any god damn situation! And who wouldn’t?
My son (RG) is of the same nature (99.99% kids are) and to be precise, he is nothing less than a Koala. As much as I love the hugs and cuddles, it also proves to be difficult in times of separation.
Separation anxiety is a real struggle among toddlers and preschoolers. This can be such a backbreaking situation than their usual #tantrums. That is when it becomes a serious concern and needs to be addressed orderly.
Listing 10 important pointers to deal with #separationanxiety , which helped me sail my boat
1. Practice being apart and give them a chance to know the emotion of separation. Grandparents, friends and family could help (babysit). This definitely creates a little bit of understanding and awareness of this emotion in the child. Short time – away from mothers can also count as little milestones on the path of achieving total success.
2. Create a background and let them know about the time they will be spending away. You are required to prepare them mentally and in a way yourself too. This way it is easier to do in actual when its time.
3. Quick good bye rituals lessens the anxiety.The earlier you leave the premises, the earlier they get adapted to the new place. The transition period should be shorter or else they would want it to never end.
4. Full attention before & while separating is utmost. The more lovingly you explain them about the situation, the more they will take it sportingly. Also, the attention given would assure them that they are important to us but also need to spend time with others.
5. Keep your promise about your return time. Exact time in hours can be difficult to understand for younger kids, but explaining them about our return in a way they can relate can be helpful. eg. I promise to return after lunch or afternoon nap.
6. Consistent routine can get them used to it sooner. The pick up and drop – off timing can be regularized and be on a fixed schedule. This will make them mentally ready every passing day and slowly, they shall be prepared for it on their own.
7. Leave a toy. A blanket or a toy may help them feel homely in a place where they don’t feel belonged yet. It can soothe their initial fear and anxiety.
8. Communication is the key. Having a pre and post conversation about the happenings in the school/day care and what did he do and name his friends could aid in easing up a bit and warming to the new place.
9. Getting them excited. This personally has helped me in person. To talk high and positive about the place and people there and praising all the events and activities that he might be doing and drawing a pleasant picture out of it.
10. Importance of social life. It might sound too early, but, it could be a good start to showcase them the need and fun to socialize. Their confidence can boost and so will their personality. However, every child takes his own sweet time to warm up and no time frame can define them. As much as the issue of separation anxiety is common in children, it is also seen widely in parents (again, mostly mothers).
As a parent, it is very important that you work upon it simultaneously and not fall weak while dealing with your child’s anxiety. A mother’s guilt of leaving the child behind and going for work is present almost in all working or non working moms. Having said that, it is a natural phenomena and does not mean anything is wrong on your