Separation anxiety is a state and phase where a child fears being separated from his parents. This usually corresponds with tears, bawling and nightmares. Kids think that their parents, their source of comfort is leaving them and won’t come back. They do not understand or comprehend that you will be back and that leaving them is just for a short period of time.
For those who are facing this for the first time, this time can be very distressing both for the parent as well as the baby. But believe me when I say this that this phase is very normal and will pass as soon as your child realizes that you are not abandoning him or her.
This anxiety can go on for days, weeks or even months.
Here are a few tips that will make the separation easier:
- Start early
The key is to get your child in the practice of being with others the moment they reach 6 months. They need to get used to not having you around. The sooner he or she gets used to being around others the easier it will be to deal with anxiety issues of separation.
- Keep the goodbye’s short
Prolonging the departure gives your child the idea that there’s something to be afraid of. Do not reappear in between unless you want your child to cry longer and harder.
- Match your body language with your words
If you expect your child to be brave and not worry about the separation then you also have to show it in your attitude, word and body language. Be confident and cheerful in your goodbyes. If she senses the confidence of you leaving her with the person then she also will warm up to that person sooner.
- Never sneak away
The one thing a parent should never do to a child is to sneak away without telling her that he or she is left alone in the care of someone.
Ask the caregiver to distract her with toys and other activities and once you feel that he or she is settled you can bid your quick goodbye.
Do not worry this is just a phase and will pass sooner than you think.