Managing Separation Anxiety as a Parent
Giving birth to your baby and witnessing them grow and reach milestones in their early life is always an unforgettable achievement for parents who are also given the gift of fulfillment, joy, and honor in every step of the way throughout their relationship as parent and child. While it is true that looking after your newborn is truly challenging and exhausting especially in the initial months where their sleeping pattern is typically irregular, having to go away after being with them for months can be an emotional challenge not just for the baby but also for parents.
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. While it is of course unavoidable unless you have the luxury and resources to be a full time parent, parents can always do some steps to lighten the burden of anxiety and make each instance of separation acceptable for their children in order to turn it into a regular routine that they can eventually accept and not have to keep worrying about.
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 know you will be gone for quite some time away from your baby, planning their care with a caregiver or relative you trust must be done as it is also important that they are left with a person they already know and trust too so that they can be comforted when needed once you are away and they begin to show signs of anxiety.
Speaking to them with a calm voice along with a reassuring body language is also helpful to put them at ease and for them to slowly understand the reason you need to be separated from them temporarily, no matter what age they are in. Making it a point to let them stay in a surrounding or home that they are already familiar with, along with their most favorite belongings like toys and blankets, while away from you, will also help to make them more comfortable.
It is important to understand that trust plays a big role in addressing anxiety problems related to separation, not only between parent and child but also with the babysitter they will be left with. A couple of days or weeks before you actually love, practicing with your baby can give you a better idea of how they will really handle the situation, which will also allow you to see potential issues before they even happen or get worse.
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