Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ways to Help Your Child Handle Separation Anxiety

Most of us have witnessed annoying scenes of little children bawling their lungs out in an effort to cling or for parentor caregiver to stay. As irritating as it could be to the surrounding adults especially to the ones involved, children at this stage are going through one of those usual but emotionally exasperating stages of learning how to gain their own independence. It is not easy for either party, but there are measures that we can undertake to help ready a child for instances of our absence and to reinforce his/her belief and confidence in our return or unfaltering support regardless of them.

When you leave, tell you're child about your departure and the reason for it and then turn away. Avoid repetitive or lengthy “goodbyes”, for it would only make him/her cling to you more. However, in informing him/her, make sure you do it in a way that he/she could understand it best. At all cost, do not attempt to leave without informing him/her, this would ruin your child's confidence in your reliability.

1. Maintain a tranquil and positive attitude. Possessing a strong sensitivity, babies and children would easily take notice of the slightest change in your behavior, expression, or gesture. Even if sh/she cries, remain steadfast. Their crying is only a means to convince you to stay with them. Turning back once they start fussing because of your absence, only strengthens their anxiousness. Thus, you should avoid it.

2. Make and maintain a simple “goodbye” procedure in the form of a friendly wave, blowing kisses, etc.

3. Familiarize him/her with new surroundings with your presence. If you have to leave a child with a relative for the very first time, let him bring a favorite object of his or yours to help him feel more at ease with the new environment.

4. As much as possible, have him/her stay in familiar surroundings. Instead of leaving him with a relative or anyone else, have the concerned person come over to your house.

5. Practice being away from him/her for short periods of time. You may gradually increase the amount of time as your child begins to become more tolerable of the situation. This will help reinforce his/her independence.

6. Should you wish to hire a caregiver, see to it that he/she stays from the time of your baby's infancy to his/her toddler years.

7. Because babies are more prone to feelings of anxiety when they are hungry or tired, schedule brief separations after their naps or feeding time.

8. Leaving your babies with a sitter for brief periods provided they respond to them well, helps get them acclimatized to the presence of different people.

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