Saturday, March 20, 2010

Managing Separation Anxiety

It breaks my heart to see my daughter cry everytime we leave the house, but we have to go to work. Otherwise, we'll all starve to death or leech on our parents.

We used to sneak behind her back or plan to make her sleep before we leave. But then we noticed that it made her a very clingy, attention-hungry baby as soon as she sees us again. Because of that, rather than escaping her separation anxiety, we decided to face it and manage it. Now, separating from her is easier and seeing her again is the best thing in the world. How did we do it? Here are a few tips:

1.Ensure quality time with your toddler when you're off work. It's like you're encouraging your child to be fed up (sawa) of you in a good way. We want her to have good memories of you to keep and look forward to when you're not together.

2.Keep your toddler busy during the last few hours of your being together. Let her watch her favorite shows or play with her toys alone or with whomever will be left in the house. We want them to feel that having fun is not just by being with you.

3.Prepare to leave an hour before you really need to. This keeps you from worrying about being late for work since you have a couple of minutes to spare with your anxious toddler. The calmer you are, the easier it will be for your child to calm down too.

4.Discuss your errands with your child. We want her to at least get the idea of why you needed to leave and where you are off to so that she could understand how separating from her is inevitable but temporary. Assure her that you're going to be back as soon as possible. If the toddler is old enough, you can also teach him/her how to tell time and what time you're going to be back.

5. When your toddler displays separation anxiety, acknowledge her feelings. Let her know that it's ok to be sad because you feel it yourself and you know how it sucks that you can't be together.

6.Offer them something good when you return so that they can look forward to it the next time you have to leave. It's not just because of the goodie they'll receive, but it's extra assurance that you're going to return because of what you promised to bring.

Ella sometimes still cries whenever we leave, but it's controlled. She doesn't think of ways to stop us from leaving anymore. And we part with goodbyes, see-you-laters and I-love-yous more now too. Isn't that wonderful?

your every woman,

1 comment:

  1. That's wonderful advice! I'm looking forward to being a mum someday, and I think this is a great way to wean your child away from missing you too much. :) I remember being a young girl myself, and I eventually grew out of wanting my mum and dad with me because they gave me lots of activities to do while they were out. :D