The majority of children experience separation anxiety. The peak is generally during the toddler years and fades away as their language and memory skills develop. They begin to realize that their parents are returning. They learn to reassure themselves with words like "Mom always comes back!" It is not uncommon for children to take cues from adults as well. Children may become more clingy and fearful if their parents seem anxious. The majority of children who become upset when their parents leave usually calm down shortly afterwards. Children should form attachments with other adults, and this can happen when another adult is able to soothe and calm them, making them feel better. Eventually, the child will trust the other adult and realize everything will be okay. For most effective results, do not delay or come back for one more quick hug. It can be tough even for you!
You can help your child cope with separation anxiety by following these 8 tips:
1. Ensure that your child is familiar with their caregiver. It could be a grandparent, a babysitter, or even a daycare teacher.
2. Make sure your child is prepared ahead of time by explaining what will happen and how long it will last
3. Let your child choose a game they want to play, as well as the pajamas they want to wear.
4. Make them look forward to something when you get home by preparing a special snack or activity.
5. Ask your child to draw a picture for you to have when you arrive home. 6. When your child leaves the house, let him or her bring something familiar, such as a special toy or doll. 7. You need to show your trust in them to handle you being away from home for a short period of time. 8. Prepare your caregiver with strategies for calming your child, such as toys, songs, books, or food.
Is there a routine you follow with your child when you have to leave for work? What do you do to combat separation anxiety? Share some ideas below.