Don’t you just hate it when people have children that have zero separation anxiety? They drop their kids off at daycare or school and their kids forget their parents were there before the they exit the building. This is not the case for you. The situation you are in, is among the most common. Children whether shy, outgoing, easy going, quiet…WILL turn into a screaming, snot dripping, howling, clingy mess when it’s drop off time. It doesn’t really get better and you dread it every morning. It ruins your day at work, causes you undue stress and may even result in you making drastic life changes just to accommodate your child being able to stay home, glued to your side…pretty much to make yourself feel better. Are you really helping your child?
If you are ready to take a step back, breath and see what you could be doing differently to be more successful with separating yourself from your child for a hours at a time like those “other” parents, you may be able to learn from them. Most parents have this overwhelming sense that they are being mean or cruel to their children if they walk away while they are crying. This is a widely fictitious belief. As a matter of fact, your being more cruel to yourself and your child by not just walking away and letting the child adapt.
Easier said than done right? I bet your thinking….”The person who wrote this obviously does not have kids.” Well…true or not, stop the cycle. This article may be a good resource for you if your a first time parent, or a veteran parent who just can’t seem to perfect the separation anxiety process.
1. It’s inconvenient and—dare I say—annoying.
Yes, using these words to describe attachment sounds a little bit horrible; but really, how would you characterize the feverish screams accompanying your attempt to move 10 feet away from your kid?
2. It causes guilt.
It could be work; it could be preschool drop-off; it could be finally peeing after you’ve held it for three hours. But eventually, you’re going to walk away from your kid; he is going to freak; and you’re going to feel terrible. Of course, parenting is all about guilt, and of course, you’re making all kinds of horrific mistakes sure to doom your kid to therapy later in life, but feeling guilty for going to the bathroom just in time to prevent another bladder infection is a bit extreme.
3. It hurts your kid.
Not to minimize your inconvenience and guilt—that totally sucks—but the panic your kid is enduring is worse. Imagine that you’re scuba diving and your oxygen tank keeps walking away. This is life for your kid.
So yeah, separation anxiety is pretty tough. But, it’s also a normal, appropriate part of your kid’s development, so she deserves your accommodation as you both get through it. Accommodation, however, is not the same as encouragement. The ultimate goal is to show your kid that she’s safe without you, not establish a dynamic where your kid controls your every movement.
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