Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Separation anxiety

 Separation anxiety can occur at any age however, it's during the infant/toddler years when children experience the highest level of separation anxiety. There are three reasons why children don't like separating from their parents. The first one is they enjoy being with their parents so when they leave it makes them sad. The second reason is because they're attached to their parents. They've formed a bond with their parents and know their needs will be met. The third reason is because the babysitter, child care giver, whoever is unknown to the child. This causes children anxiety as they wonder whether they'll be taken care of and if the unknown person will do everything the parents do to take care of them. This is why the first thing a caregiver needs to do is gain the trust of the child. Once a caregiver has earned the child's trust the caregiver can help build competence, confidence and self-assurance in the child.

Separation and attachment are affirmations of love. The attachment a child has with a parent seems to be an effective way of dealing with stress. When a child feels stress they can handle it better because of the attachment they have to their parents because the attachment provides a sense of security and safety to the child. An example of this is when a new baby is born or the family moves to a new home. Either of these events can affect how  a child deals with separation. When a situation occurs that affects a child's sense of security they need to learn nothing has changed with their relationship to their parents. Once a child knows this they can feel secure and safe again and their emotions lower to a level more appropriate for the child's age.

Next time we'll discuss the nine factors a parent needs to address concerning separation anxiety.

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