We often find parents dealing with an issue wherein their babies or toddlers are always clinging to them. They start crying the minute they get separated from their parents primarily from mother. They cry because they feel insecure, scared and anxious. This fear of separation from parents and the inability of the child to cope up with separation is called separation anxiety. Separation anxiety begins at birth and continues to stay even when the child grows up. But the worst picture is seen when the toddler joins a preschool. We often see children crying their lungs out on day one of their school. Looking at a crying child can get panic attacks in parents. This can also get very frustrating for both parent and child. Overcoming separation anxiety is a process and this process should begin as early as possible.
Let’s look at some tips to overcome separation anxiety:
1. Begin early:
It is very tempting to hold a baby close to you all the time. While it makes the baby feel protected, it also makes them insecure the minute they are kept away. It is very important to place the baby away from you and let them explore their senses and freedom. Engage them from a physical distance. It helps them become independent and overcome the fear of separation. Family members should pitch in help mother in this phase.
2. Be Social:
Children tend to develop fear when they are surrounded by too many people. This results in more clinging and worsens the anxiety of separation. It is important to give the child a right social environment which helps them to interact with people apart from parents and gives them an opportunity to go away from parents physically to explore independently.
Books can essentially play a very important role in a child’s development years. Reading books about topics like going to school, the first day at school, talking to strangers and making friends can help instill a message in a child that its okay to be away from parents. Children absorb a lot from books and introducing books at an early age and reading regularly can help in overcoming separation anxiety in a more effective way.
Once the child starts talking there is no better way than communicating with the child consistently and calmly about separation. For instance, parents should talk to children about the need to go to school and why it is important to stay away from parents for some time while they are in school.
5. Instill confidence:
It is important for parents to let the child fall or fail at times. If the parents will always run to protect their child, the child will never be able to cope up in their absence. This adds up to their fear of separation. It is important to let your child explore and become independent as early as he can to instill self-confidence.
6. A Routine:
When children start going to school, it is very important that parents maintain a proper goodbye routine. A kiss or a hug followed by a bye should be it. This instills a belief in the child that it is a normal routine to separate with a bye and meet again after finishing school.
3P’s of parenting :
Patience, Perseverance and Persistence-these 3Ps play a major role in parents’ part to follow with their child. Every child is different and takes his or her own time to settle in a new environment or face a transition. These three Ps will help parents overcome separation anxiety better.
Parent’s mood, temperament, and vibes influence children a lot. As parents, it is our responsibility to help our children grow into independent adults. Overcoming separation anxiety is just the first step towards it.