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Dealing With Separation Anxiety



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hi I'm Dana today I want to talk about

separation anxiety a lot of people email

me and say you know my eight month old

my ten month old my two-year-old is

going through a period of separation

anxiety and I want to give you some tips

here today for dealing with that first

of all that is normal behavior right we

all get a little bit of separation

anxiety in fact if my husband goes on a

business trip I feel a little bit of

separation anxiety don't we all when

when a loved one leaves for a period of

time so completely normal reaction to

have but I want to help you minimize it

as much as possible now let me tell you

a little story about my own son I have a

son who is he has some high anxiety

that's just part of his personality and

I know that he looks for a lot of

reassurance around things but the truth

of the matter is that the reassurance

doesn't help right it almost makes the

problem worse it's like the person

that's afraid to fly they're looking for

reassurance from everybody that flying

is safe but there's no limp there there

is no end to how much reassurance they

need they need unlimited insurance

because they have that fear so that's

that can be the same thing with

separation anxiety that if you reassure

and reassure and never let the baby be

alone and always fly back into the room

every time they express some displeasure

about your leaving your you are

reassuring them but it's not helpful

okay so one of the main reasons why a

baby in particular what has separation

anxiety is because they don't understand

yet that just because you're out of

sight doesn't mean you've disappeared

from the planet

so they worry that you're gone you're

absolutely gone and you're not coming

back

so you can do little things like playing

peekaboo is a great way to introduce a

baby to the idea of object permanence

that just because I can't see you

doesn't mean you stop existing or just

get them engaged in an activity and walk

away for a minute or two and then

come back before they're upset right

then they realize oh she's walked away

but here she comes again and I'm not

upset about that distraction works

really well right if you have to leave

the room to go to the bathroom for

example you want to get your baby

engaged in something if they're playing

with a toy or building with some blocks

or doing some coloring or eating a snack

and they're distracted by what their

task is then they're not as likely to

have issue with you walking away for a

few minutes so distraction works really

well I'm not a believer in sneaking out

right a lot of people because their baby

gets upset they don't want their baby

upset so they sneak away right get the

baby engaged with babysitter and then

make your exit and that in my opinion

just kind of reinforces this idea that

if you're out of sight you you're gone

and I need to make a big production

about that so I believe it's better to

say goodbye to the baby that you are

leaving now and have the baby see you go

and yes she may cry but I want you to

keep in mind that that is not the end of

the world

it really isn't I think we've come so

oversensitive to our child's upset that

we're doing all kinds of wrong things to

prevent it so say goodbye and if she

cries she cries right the good news is

five minutes after you've left the house

she is having fun with a babysitter and

she's not crying anymore so I know

that's hard I'm a mom too I get it but I

I've even had I taught grade one and I'd

have you know at least one grade grade

one err every September you know cry and

chase his mom down the hallway and she'd

linger and she'd hang around and I'd

have to finally say Jessica just Oh once

you go he's fine you just have to go so

that's my biggest tip is just go I mean

you still have to leave your baby from

time to time and the more practice and

exposure they have to it the more they

will understand that right it's okay she

goes but she always comes back

all right I hope that helps you a little

bit thanks so much for watching today

sleep well