Today, I found myself dumbfounded at a child crying because her mum had to leave to catch the bus. I knew what she wanted. I knew she wanted to spend time with her mum. I knew she wanted to stay home and play with her favourite doll.
I hastily signed her in on the attendance sheet and approached the little girl. With many years of child development ahead of the child I wanted to comfort her and the only I could be to hug her. Tell you the truth; every child has separation anxiety whenever a parent drops them off in school or at the daycare and today wasn’t any different.
I asked the little child ” Are you sad that mummy drop you off and left?”
She responded with a tight hug ad nods continuously. I had my hand rubbing and tapping her back to calm her nerves.
” Oh, that’s okay. Mum will always come back to pick you. Remember mummy loves you, and she will come back.” I tried to let go, but she held on and wouldn’t release me.
Yes, kids do have separation anxiety and parents need to know when and how to prepare them for such a situation.
Books won’t tell you all these stuff but understanding each one of your children: their mood, state of mind and social interaction would prepare them.
The approach isn’t to do their bidding all the time because parents still need to be parents. They have a role to play in their kid’s lives. Therefore the approach is to listen, understand, and initiate the conversation with them. Prepare them before bed the previous night with kind words :
” Honey, I will have to drop you off early in school tomorrow, because mummy has to go to school/work/visit grandpa/on a trip but always remember that I love you and will be back to pick you up. ”
Then hug them kindly as the words you have spoken to them.
Separation anxiety occurs differently in children. It could be through crying, tantrums and finding faults with the parent. This chapter and two others will explore them.