By Shaharina Saad.
Mommy! Don’t go!
Have you ever been in situation where it is hard to leave your children on their own, even if it is for a while to go to another room? Separation Anxiety is perfectly normal for young children and is part of children’s development process. Parents have always been providing a safe base for them, therefore being separated from the parent will naturally increase their anxiety. This is especially true when being at unfamiliar places and surrounded with unfamiliar faces.
However you can help your child to overcome the anxiety by doing these:
- Slowly bring them out to meet new people, especially those that they can be safe around, for example your friends, or extended families.
Stay close with them especially when at an unfamiliar places, crowded places and when there are strangers around, but at the same time, talk to them about the new place and people.
- Give reassurance that they are safe, and show compassion and understanding for their fear.
- Be calm and confidence yourself, the children can feel it if their parents are feeling anxious and will feel the same themselves.
Take the time to build up this confidence in the child. Do not push them if they are not ready, as it will only create more anxiety in them. Read story books about this topic to them, to let them know that they are not alone. Share with them what they will discover and experience when they are able to overcome this and be independent on their own. Provide encouragement and reward when they manage to overcome their fear.
However be assured that this phase of anxiety will eventually pass especially after your child builds his confidence.
Activities like parent-child playgroups are excellent to develop the children’s confidence being in a new environment.