Handling Separation Anxiety with Your Child
Getting the chance to have a child and raise them on your own is not only an achievement in itself that you can be proud to have reached as it is also a parent’s source of fulfillment, pride and joy for as long as you live. While it is true that looking after your newborn is truly challenging and exhausting especially in the initial months where their sleeping pattern is typically irregular, having to go away after being with them for months can be an emotional challenge not just for the baby but also for parents.
At one point or another, parents will have to be away from their children especially if there is a job waiting for them, which can be even worse if they work in a farther location that means they will have to be gone for a long time, but even if this is without a doubt emotionally challenging for the parents, children and babies are more prone to worse effects, and can even cause trauma in worst cases. While it is of course unavoidable unless you have the luxury and resources to be a full time parent, parents can always do some steps to lighten the burden of anxiety and make each instance of separation acceptable for their children in order to turn it into a regular routine that they can eventually accept and not have to keep worrying about.
During their developmental stage in the first year of life, playing peek-a-boo with babies help them to understand that something or someone that goes away can come back, which is also important since this is also the stage where they start to build trust with people around them. If you know you will be gone for quite some time away from your baby, planning their care with a caregiver or relative you trust must be done as it is also important that they are left with a person they already know and trust too so that they can be comforted when needed once you are away and they begin to show signs of anxiety.
Reassuring them with your words even if they do not speak yet, well ahead of time before you go away will also help to make them feel safe and for them to start trusting that you are coming back every time you leave them so they can understand it is only temporary. Allowing them to stay in a place they are already quite familiar with will also mean a lot especially when they have their favorite toys or baby comforters around them to keep them entertained and help them sleep better when they need it.
It is important to understand that trust plays a big role in addressing anxiety problems related to separation, not only between parent and child but also with the babysitter they will be left with. A couple of days or weeks before you actually love, practicing with your baby can give you a better idea of how they will really handle the situation, which will also allow you to see potential issues before they even happen or get worse.