Toddlers can turn from care-free and happy to anxious, scared and shrieking children suddenly and without warning, especially when you need to be away from them for any reason.
It can be a flattering feeling to know that your child adores you, and is terrified at the though of being without you. However, it can also be extremely inconvenient for you, and can easily stir feelings of guilt within you.
Sadly, there isn’t much that one can do to prevent separation anxiety, as every child will have to cross that bridge.
Looking on the bright side, you can make sure that they don’t have to get over separation anxiety on their own.
To ease separation anxiety woes, keep the following in mind:
Introduce your baby to other regular caregivers, such as relatives or a babysitter well before they are 6 months old. Your child needs to practice being away from you, preferably well before preschool.
Develop a goodbye pattern
When you are dropping your child off at a day care or school, develop a strategy like giving him a hug, and/or one kiss on each of his eyes. This way, when the time for departure arrives, your child will not be surprised by it, and with time your child will adjust to learning to let you go.
Keep your goodbye short
The extra time you spend hugging and wiping your toddlers eyes when you say good bye defeats the purpose of letting your child separate freely from you. Try to avoid the temptation of reappearing after you’ve left, as it only gives your child incentive to cry harder and longer next time, and also worry and think that there is something to be afraid off.
Avoid sneaking off
Parents often dash out of the door when the child isn’t looking, hoping that this will prevent a meltdown. Whereas, this just makes your child trust you less, lets face it, toddlers are smart! Say a short and effective goodbye to your toddler, then ask the caregiver to re-direct your child’s attention with her favorite toy or her favorite song.
Remind your toddler that you always return
Take time out during your good bye, to reassure your child that you will only be gone for a few hours and you always return. You are after all the person who they adore and cherish, why wouldn’t your teary-eyed angel believe you?.
Tags: Parentin g, Separation anxiety, Toddlers
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