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One of the first dramas that parents and children experience is that of separation, either because, for example, the little one starts kindergarten, the parents have to go back to work, etc. When this separation occurs in the first years of the baby's life, these farewells are usually full of tears and tantrums. That is why it is important to teach your child to separate from you without drama.
The key in this whole process is what we can call the insecurity syndrome in children. Insecurity is a normal process that is a natural part of children's development. It works in the following way: children like repetitions, they give them security. Thus, when there are changes in the environment or the environment where the child is living, the little one, in search of his internal balance and being able to adapt to the changes that have occurred, offers responses in the form of pain, discomfort, fear and anguish that paralyze it as a method of defense.
As children grow, they respond differently when they have to separate from their parents. Children in their maturation and development are acquiring new capacities that will make them respond differently to the changes that take place in the environment and their environment. A) Yes:
- Before 6 months. When children are newborns we can see that babies adapt very well to other caregivers. Anxiety and distress appear more in adults than in children since at this time most babies adapt perfectly to other people as long as all their needs are met.
- Between 4 and 7 months. It is at this stage that children develop object permanence. Children learn that what they cannot see is not there. Therefore, if your parents escape from your vision, it means that they have disappeared. Also, they don't understand the concept of time, so they don't know their parents will return. Thus, for example, for a baby of this age it does not matter whether his attachment figure is in another room in the house or at work, or in another country since for the little one it will be the same and he will cry in response to the insecurity that it has been created.
- Between 8 and 12 months. Children are increasingly independent but feel insecure when separated from their parents. It is just at this stage when separation anxiety develops, children feel nervous when one of their parents tries to go. Children react by crying, clinging to their attachment figure, and resisting being cared for by another person.
The age of onset of separation anxiety can vary from child to child. In some children it may present later, between 18 and 36 months, other children may never experience it. It may also be the case that anxiety is triggered by the fact that a stressful event occurs for the child such as: the birth of a sibling, a move, starting a new nursery school, etc.
There are parents who choose to disappear without saying goodbye to the child, without him realizing it in order to avoid the anguish of seeing him cry, but doing so even though it seems the best way to deal with the situation is highly discouraged.
Not hearing the child cry does not mean that they will feel the separation less, but that it will get worse and will cause the child to experience the feeling of abandonment and anguish.
The best thing is that the parents say goodbye and explain, even if it is very small, that it will be back in no time. Even if this causes anguish for adults and a tantrum for the little ones, the children will verify that what was said is true and a climate of trust will be created. To do this, it is best to:
- Go preparing to notify him of our departure a few minutes before farewell.
- Avoid sad faces and worry.
- When saying goodbye, give a kiss and do not prolong it. When the parents leave, they won't come back and so on.
- If at the time of separation the child has been distressed, call to see if he is better.
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