The crying, screaming, tears and wailing – these are the sounds many of us are familiar with when we need to leave our children home with a caregiver, at daycare or school. Around 8 months, children learn that they can exert their influence over their parents with these dramatic outbursts. Separation anxiety can occur at any time, any age and sometimes without warning. However, just because these outbursts are difficult for us as parents, it doesn’t mean that we can drop everything we need to get done and stay home.
Remember that the crying usually stops within minutes of you leaving. Once you are out of sight and are distracted by the other caregiver, your child will probably quickly forget their angst and begin happily playing. Ask the caregiver to text you a picture or update once your child settles down. This will help to ease your anxiety, too!
Allow your child to have visits at the new location or school and meet the new caregiver a few times before you have to leave them there. If a child is familiar and comfortable with a new situation, she is more likely to have an easier time when it is time to say good-bye to you. Additionally, once you find a new caregiver, try and remain consistent with the person so your child is not constantly exposed to a new stranger.
Create a routine by allowing your child to bring a security item with them. If he is little, let your child bring a stuffed animal or blanket that might help them feel more secure. If they are older in school, they can bring something small in their pocket, such as a small photo of you or your family. Also, you can create a good-bye ritual to make the transition easier. Kids love consistency, so you can create a funny, noisy kiss or special hug to say good-bye that you do every time you leave.
Remind them that you will be back. We forget how little and innocent our kids are sometimes and forget that they might not realize that we are only leaving for a little while. Assuring them that you will return will help to set their minds at ease.
Meet The Bella Behind the Blog: Kristen Farley is a mother of three and a domestic goddess. She is a former teacher who enjoys spending lots of time with her kids, healthy eating, volunteering at school, and mommy blogging for the masses.