Friday, February 3, 2012

Separation Anxiety

As I already implied on my previous post, we leave the house very early just so we can avail of the employees’ privilege of riding in the office’s shuttle bus. Today is no exception, only with a slight difference with the routine. As early as our waking time, mi bebe was also already awake (did we awaken her? I’m sure.). But unlike most kids, mi bebe is vibrant as soon as she sets her awake mode - ON. She would greet you with the sweetest and the most irresistible smile in the world. She’s energetic and ready to play whatever time it is, may it be dawn just like today. We were bit behind our morning schedule because as I told you she is irresistible. But are petting needed to be cut short because we have to face the fact that we have to say bye-byes. Did she cry? Of course, she cried. It’s normal for kids her age and it is termed as Separation Anxiety. During child’s younger years, crying, tantrums, or clinging are healthy reactions to separation. In fact, it is said that the child’s brain is functioning accordingly. See, mi bebe's reaction was brought about by her intelligence. Separation anxiety can begin before a child’s turns one and/or may last until they are four years old. But, you can ease your child’s separation anxiety by staying patient and consistent, and by gently but firmly setting limits. Overtime, I have gained skill in dealing with mi bebe’s separation anxiety by doing the following:

  • Practice separation. I did this by leaving her with her yaya for a brief period and short distances, say I just go to the other room and come back after few minutes. In that way she will feel secured that you will be back whenever you leave.
  • Schedule separations after naps or feedings. Simply because, kids are in the mood when rested and they are more irritated and prone to separation anxiety when they’re tired or hungry.
  • Develop a “goodbye” ritual. Don’t just disappear when they are not looking (this is the most common Filipino parents’ mistake), tell your kid you just need to go and will be back as soon as possible. Goodbyes reassure your child that they will be just fine, while a ritual can be as simple as a special wave or a goodbye kiss.
  • Make new surroundings familiar. When the family is away from home, let the kids bring a familiar object, it will provide them a feel-at-home vibe.
  • Leave without fanfare. Just go, don’t go back, don't look back. Sounds cruel, but don't you think repeating her anxiety when you leave again is more cruel?
  • Try not to give in with your emotion. Don’t think my heart do not break when I hear her cry, to be honest I cry one myself but I just have to be firm and consistent which in turn will benefit mi bebe.

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