Saying Good-bye: Separation Anxiety Pointers12:58:00 PM
It’s been a rough few days since Friday. We had one sick little girl—one of the twins ran a fever for 5 days. And now, having spent a lot of time with mommy, I think she’s decided to have a little bit of separation anxiety. It’s pretty normal for children to go through a couple of phases of this, and she’s just starting to go through the first one. It’s really hard to walk away from a child that wants you so badly, especially when they are just barely over one.
Seeing her get a little upset made me think of the strategies we’ve used to help minimize separation anxiety. Some have worked better than others. Some don’t work well for that first phase of separation anxiety—they are too little to understand. Take what works for you…and leave a comment on what worked for you!
This is the one that works the best for all ages. Make your good-byes fast. The less time you spend, the less likely the child will think that you are staying. Make sure they know you are leaving, and that you will see you soon. If they cry, keep walking. If you must, look through a window—out of their line of sight!—and see how long the tears last. Most of the time, it lasts less time than it took you to say good-bye!
Make sure you talk about where they are staying in a positive light. For us, daycare has always been “school” since before our eldest could speak. It made me feel better about leaving her, and once she knew what school was, it made it a more positive thing for her, too. Never talk badly about the care provider in the child’s hearing—even if there is a problem (this is hard for me). Talk about how much fun they have, and when you know an event is coming up, talk it up!
Have a good-bye routine, and be willing to let it evolve. My oldest presently gives us two different secret kisses, a hug, and a regular kiss (sounds like a lot, but only takes about 30 seconds). She loves that there is a “secret” to our good-bye. We used to go to the water fountain with her and then pick out a book for her to read. The twins get a toy or two from the bin by their sister, and mommy and daddy give them each a kiss. I know of a child at their daycare that gives “reluctant” mom a gentle push out the door. Use whatever works, but do it regularly. That way, they know what is coming.
Don’t let the child see you upset. If you tear up, you know that will upset them more!
So do you have any strategies? I dread the day when separation anxiety gets bad for both twins! I’d love to hear some more strategies from you, since we all know what worked for child #1 probably won’t work for the others!
Sometimes I link up at the following places: Friday Food at MomTrends, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Hooking up with House of Hepworths, The Finer Things and I Dream of Clean’s Spring Cleaning Challenge, The King's Court IV's What's Cooking Wednesdays and Organizing Junkie's Menu Planning Monday.