Separation anxiety is described as the fear of abandonment a child or baby has when his or her parent has to leave without the little one. The baby or toddler especially does not fully understand that the parent will be back very soon.
The end result is the baby or toddler or small child will cry, scream, or even throw a tantrum. This can be hard to deal with for a babysitter, grandparent, or other temporary caretaker. Therefore, something has to be done.
Dealing with it
There are many ways to get rid of separation anxiety. Some ideas given below should help you:
- Do what you can to re-assure your baby or child that he or she is safe in the environment where you live him or her. If you’re young one sees that you feel confident that everything is going to be okay then the child is more likely to believe it to.
- Using the same babysitter always helps. Children or babies who are always brought to the same person to watch them most of the time get used to the routine. This routine can lessen the anxiety that a young one feels when mommy, daddy, or other parent leaves.
- Get a baby acquainted with new surroundings. For instance, if you at some point want to have your baby or child left at a relative’s house maybe bring that child to the house before the relative ever baby sits for the first time.
- Always keep your promises. This is especially important if your child is old enough to tell time. If you say you are going to be back at a certain time do your best to return at that time. Otherwise, call the sitter and talk to your child so the child knows you will be returning.
- Make sure your child has plenty to do, if that child is old enough to play with toys. This will keep him/her from being bored while waiting for you to return.
You will know if your child or baby has separation anxiety. Some signs of it include the following:
- Crying or screaming, and saying, “Don’t go!”
- Throwing a tantrum before parent leaves.
- Clinging to the parent (i.e. hugging the mom or dad’s leg)
- Remaining silent
- Showing unwillingness to participate in child care activities/lessons
One of the main ways to fight against the above symptoms of separation anxiety is to just keep your promise. You can also suggest activities to the babysitter to keep that child busy.