It is normal for our small children to be anxious when we say goodbye. Leaving them will be the most difficult thing but we have to face but it is necessary at some point in time to teach them one valuable lesson in life – being independent. We cannot be there with them all the time so it is important that we start as soon as possible.
The anxious feeling of our children is called separation anxiety and it is a natural stage in development. As a parent, it is imperative that we understand separation anxiety and know the coping strategies to help the children cope up. The natural reactions to separation include tantrums, crying and clinginess. Separation anxiety lasts from a few days. Here are some tips on easing separation anxieties amongst children:
There is no way to get better than to practice. As a parent, make a conscious effort to practice separation so when the time comes, your child already knows how to proceed or react. Do it gradually. For instance, leave your child with a caregiver for brief moments and short distances.
Know proper timing
If you are dealing with babies, you need to know proper timing. You can do this by scheduling separation when the babies are full and well slept. Remember that babies tend to be vulnerable when they are hungry or tired.
Check the surroundings
When you leave a child, do not just drop him/her in an unfamiliar territory because he/she will surely be anxious. The best thing to do is to check the surroundings first and determine if it is familiar with the child. A familiar environment can make a whole lot of difference at the end of the day.
Develop a ritual
Rituals don’t have to be that elaborate when saying goodbye. A simple kiss or wave through the window may be enough to ease the tension of the child. The ritual will assure the child that you will be back in no time.
Consider a consistent caregiver
When you hire a caregiver, make sure that he/she is the same until the child learns how to cope up. Make an effort to keep the caregiver for the benefit of your child.
We did everything but our child is still having a hard time coping up. That may not be a case of separation anxiety but of a serious disorder that needs professional help. The child may be suffering from separation anxiety disorder. There are many professionals here in Singapore that we can refer for possible treatments.