Handling Separation Anxiety with Your Child
Bearing and rearing your own child from birth is not just an important milestone in adult life that many people only dream of, as most of all, children can be our source of joy, pride, and fulfillment throughout their lives with us and even beyond that. While the first couple of months during their infancy is often seen as quite challenging with all the sleepless nights and adjustments, nothing can compare to the feeling of anxiety that even parents can get when they have to say the first goodbye and be gone awhile for a considerable amount of time.
Having to leave your baby is something that will eventually happen earlier or later especially for working parents who need to return to their jobs after some time, and while a lot of parents, especially moms, can find this emotionally overwhelming, the effect can be worse for children and may even lead to trauma in some cases. While it is of course unavoidable unless you have the luxury and resources to be a full time parent, parents can always do some steps to lighten the burden of anxiety and make each instance of separation acceptable for their children in order to turn it into a regular routine that they can eventually accept and not have to keep worrying about.
During their developmental stage in the first year of life, playing peek-a-boo with babies help them to understand that something or someone that goes away can come back, which is also important since this is also the stage where they start to build trust with people around them. If you are planning to leave for a significant period of time, leaving your baby with someone they know whom you can also trust when it comes to their welfare will help a lot in putting them at ease if ever they start to feel agitated once they notice you have been gone for a while already.
Talking to your child at least a few days before you leave to explain to them why you have to be away and to reassure them that you will be back soon will also help for them to directly understand the situation as time goes by. Making it a point to let them stay in a surrounding or home that they are already familiar with, along with their most favorite belongings like toys and blankets, while away from you, will also help to make them more comfortable.
The trust you build not just with your child but also between them and their caregiver is the most important when managing anxiety issues in time of separation. Taking time to practice the process will also help for you to see how they will really react once it happens, so you can also address problems that may arise which you will probably not anticipate if you had not practiced ahead with your child.
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