We all get tired of our kids every once in a while. Hell, some more than most, and that’s ok. But, what do we do when our kids get tired of us at the tender age of 1? Some little ones, like my precious daughter, are socially advanced a little quicker than the average toddler her age. If she sees a kid she wants to run towards them and play. If she hears laughter she wants to know what all the happy fuss is about. At that moment she either wants to share in her joy with Mommy and Daddy pulling our hand to tag along or it will take her a full fledge 10 minutes before she realizes we are not by her side. That can take its toll. If you guessed the toll-taking part was on her you definitely got it wrong, because it for sure takes its toll on us!
We have found this awesome article on separation anxiety in kids from Parents.com but we would like to add to that Parental Anxiety. We at Moms In The Industry do not like pointing out problems without possible solutions so we hope these options from us and Parents.com can help.
Top 3 Strategies for Dealing With Separation Anxiety for Kids & Parents
FOR THE KIDS FOR THE GUARDIANS
Time Your Break Carefully
Although the hardest time for you to leave your child is probably in infancy, babies younger than 6 months old can often do fine without you for a night or two (especially if you’re not nursing). That’s because they haven’t yet grasped the concept of object permanence — that you exist even when you’re not with them. But by 7 or 8 months, children have become aware that when you leave, you’re somewhere out there, says Martha Farrell Erickson, Ph.D., so they’re much more prone to separation anxiety. That anxiety can last well past your child’s first birthday, so if your baby has a bad case, you might want to avoid traveling for a while. You also shouldn’t leave town if your child has just been through a traumatic change, such as weaning or a family move.
Keep Things Familiar
If possible, have your child stay in his own home with someone he knows well — grandparents, a caregiver. If he has to be away from home, don’t separate him from his siblings, and make sure he has his favorite blanket or comfort item. Routine is especially important for younger babies, notes Donna Holloran, owner of Babygroup, Inc., a Santa Monica, California, center that helps parents interact with their young children. Since a 4-month-old is too young to comprehend why Mom isn’t with him, the most you can do is keep his daily routine the same.
Tell Baby What to Expect
Children really need to learn to trust you, so forecasting and then doing what you say you’re going to do is very important, notes Martha Farrell Erickson, Ph.D. For kids under 3, a heads-up one or two days before you go is plenty. And don’t skip an explanation because you think your child is too young to understand. Your tone of voice and your attitude send a message to your kids before they understand all the words, Dr. Erickson explains.
Time Your Break Carefully
Mom Dad Guardian you need your break so think carefully about that when you find yourself feeling sad about leaving your child with a responsible person. Time it out that you spend all the time you can. Let them drive you just to the edge of crazy where you will be happy to leave them with someone you know will take care of them for the hour you can grab your sanity.
Keep Things Familiar
Trust me when I say that if it is your battlefield you will feel more comfortable. You know where all the dangerous items are and you know your child knows what to touch and what not to touch in your own home. Not making it a habit but have whoever watch your little one in your own space. It will be easier to deal with the anxiety of not really knowing what is in the caregivers home. Eventually though please let go.
- The Laundry Center
Communication is Key
Believe it or not, your toddler will understand. Don’t just leave. Think about what you would want to be done to you. Yes, it may take you telling them several times before you actually walked out the door, but how many times did you have to remind your spouse what to get from the grocery store before they actually left. Proof that communication and repetition are key. Now sometimes the butter is left at the store anyway, but we can’t win them all. The same is the case in communication with your toddler. Sometimes it is not going to matter if you communicate or not because they want what they want. Don’t give in. If you do not take care of yourself and give yourself those very important mental breaks who will take care of your little one?
One thing we use in our home is an app called Marco Polo. My teenager thinks its old but my toddler absolutely loves it. Recorded video messages have never failed us. She enjoys seeing the personalized messages and giving them. You are able to watch what your child is doing relatively live and like their messages with hearts or smile emojis.
Featured image of Kristen Bell courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel