Your Baby & Toddler - - Front Page -

an hour or so at a time in the be­gin­ning, mak­ing sure your baby is con­tent and well fed be­fore you leave. As your child gets used to the idea that you do come back, you can make it longer. NEVER JUST DIS­AP­PEAR: Al­ways tell your child that you are leav­ing, who is look­ing af­ter them, when you will be back and say good­bye, even if you are just pop­ping down the road for milk. Just van­ish­ing will leave your child scared, and much more dis­tressed than say­ing good­bye will. HAVE A GOOD­BYE RIT­UAL: De­cide on a short and sweet good­bye rou­tine and stick to it. This way your child knows what to ex­pect, what to do and what to do next, re­plac­ing a sense of un­ease with pre­dictabil­ity. ONCE YOU LEAVE, LEAVE: It will only pro­long the tears and make it harder for you, the

or are not there, she will do any­thing to make you stay or to get back close to you. And she does this by crying out and crawl­ing af­ter you.

“No par­ent likes to hear their baby cry,” says Sarah, “and many don’t un­der­stand sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety, so are quite dis­turbed when their in­fant does cry as they leave a room. But all chil­dren go through it – some go through it quickly, some vis­i­bly and some go through very lit­tle.” De­spite all the tears, guilt and gnash­ing of teeth, sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety is ac­tu­ally a re­ally good thing – it is a sign that your child has a pos­i­tive and healthy at­tach­ment to you and is learn­ing that she will, and how to, sur­vive hard­ship or dis­tress. Psy­chol­o­gist Jill Back says, “Life is hard, you need to learn the skills, such as re­silience, to cope early.” And sep­a­rat­ing is one of the ways in which chil­dren can safely learn these skills.

Ac­cord­ing to teacher, coun­sel­lor, and re­silience spe­cial­ist Mag­gie Dent, re­silience is “one’s abil­ity to suc­cess­fully man­age life and suc­cess­fully adapt to change and stress­ful events in healthy and con­struc­tive ways”. It is how a par­ent or care­giver han­dles these good­byes, sep­a­ra­tion, and re­unit­ing that will set the foun­da­tion for how a child un­der­stands re­la­tion­ships, and starts to de­velop self-es­teem, in­de­pen­dence, and re­silience.

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