How to Soothe Your Kid’s Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in children is when kids have issues leaving their parents or guardians. This usually happens with babies and toddlers. The most important trick for tackling separation anxiety is to prepare, quick transition and the evolution of time. Even though it feels awful and you as a parent will end up feeling the separation anxiety as much as your kid and you may feel you are doing it wrong, but you are not. This is where the transition is required for both you and your kid so he can be an independent human being. But as awful as it sounds we will try to help you to go through this transition without losing focus and make it easier for you and your kid to deal with separation anxiety.
How to soothe your kid's separation anxiety?
Here are some tips on how to calm your kid's separation anxiety:
Keep good-byes short
Giving all the right comfort but not being able to let go of your kid or lingering can lead to major separation anxiety. The key here is to give your kid a warm hug, a positive feeling towards the place he is going, maybe even a comforter like a blanket or a soft toy and then make an exit. Because the more you linger the more difficult it will be for your kid to get over the separation.
Have a tradition and repeat it until your kid learns this pattern; this can be otherwise called classical conditioning. According to the classical conditioning theory if you repeat a pattern of associating two unrelated things over and over for a person, he starts to associate the two unrelated things together subconsciously leading to the desired behaviour. If you are dropping off your kid somewhere regularly like to school, make sure to follow the same pattern each day. For example: Give him a hug, drop him at the same place, at the same time every day and leave. Do this until he gets into the habit of knowing that at that particular time, each day you will be dropping him and he will be separated from you, at that moment. This consistency will help your kid to be prepared for the separation every day and will ease the transition.
It is important that you provide complete attention and care to your kid before leaving him anywhere. Give him the right amount of attention and love, then quickly say good-bye and leave despite his antics and cries.
Stick to your promise
If you let your kid to be by himself and not hamper his away time from you, you build a confidence in him that he can take care of himself. It makes him more independent but if you keep running back to him to even check on him, you elongate the process of the separation anxiety. The best thing you can do is a promise to return after a time and show up then and only then; this will help your kid to not just be independent but also to trust you, build a healthy relationship and even soothe your kid’s separation anxieties.
Explain to him in his language
Kids are full of stories and imagination. Most of the time dishing them the truth might not help. There are possibilities that they might not accept the truth as it is. Hence, you must try to soften the blow by sugar-coating the truth medicine with stories and imagination to ease the truth to them for example if you are late at picking your kid up, make a story of how you were stopped in the forest by a bad wolf like the little red riding hood and hence you got late. This will help him relate and trust you more at the same time soothe the separation anxiety.
Practice makes man perfect
After a day away from you, don’t overwhelm your kid with your company excessively to make up for the lost time, and as cruel as it might sound, practice constrain and separation so that your kid can understand that you won’t constantly be available serving to his whims and cries. The separation will also soften the blow of separation anxieties that he fears so much and soothe your kid from the same.
Kids and toddlers constantly look for validation from their parents. If your kid is facing separation anxieties and he is trying to overcome it or is learning to put an effort into it, you should appreciate him to boost his confidence and encourage another try again soon.
These tips and tricks should help your kids’ transition to accepting independence and moving over separation anxieties. These tricks will also help you gain your kid’s respect, love and trust, and in the end a better relationship between the parents and their kids. Hence, embrace these anxieties and hold your kid through this, enough for him to differentiate and actually let independence seep in.