Managing Separation Anxiety as a Parent
Getting the chance to have a child and raise them on your own is not only an achievement in itself that you can be proud to have reached as it is also a parent’s source of fulfillment, pride and joy for as long as you live. While the first couple of months during their infancy is often seen as quite challenging with all the sleepless nights and adjustments, nothing can compare to the feeling of anxiety that even parents can get when they have to say the first goodbye and be gone awhile for a considerable amount of time.
At one point or another, parents will have to be away from their children especially if there is a job waiting for them, which can be even worse if they work in a farther location that means they will have to be gone for a long time, but even if this is without a doubt emotionally challenging for the parents, children and babies are more prone to worse effects, and can even cause trauma in worst cases. Although separation is unavoidable, there are helpful steps that parents can take to make the separation process, especially the initial one, to be more bearable and less stressful for both them, and for children to better understand that the separation is only temporary, which can also help to make it a routine which they can relax about and trust in.
In the infancy stage of your child, engaging them in peek-a-boo games either with books or by yourself will help to build an idea within them that anything that disappears can always be seen again, which is a useful activity as well to start building their trust in you. If you are planning to leave for a significant period of time, leaving your baby with someone they know whom you can also trust when it comes to their welfare will help a lot in putting them at ease if ever they start to feel agitated once they notice you have been gone for a while already.
Talking to your child at least a few days before you leave to explain to them why you have to be away and to reassure them that you will be back soon will also help for them to directly understand the situation as time goes by. Allowing them to stay in a place they are already quite familiar with will also mean a lot especially when they have their favorite toys or baby comforters around them to keep them entertained and help them sleep better when they need it.
The trust you build not just with your child but also between them and their caregiver is the most important when managing anxiety issues in time of separation. Taking time to practice the process will also help for you to see how they will really react once it happens, so you can also address problems that may arise which you will probably not anticipate if you had not practiced ahead with your child.