early childhood education

Separation Anxiety

Sitting here after the longest, busiest week ever and also the week where I have spent the most time away from my Little One since before lockdown started, and i’ve realised that I miss her and she misses me.

Separation anxiety is real for children and parents. I hate leaving my Little One even though I was working, and she was with family.

My Little One has never stayed with anyone without me being there other than family, and by family, I only mean Grandparents or her Daddy. Even still I feel like I panic every time it comes to leave. I fuss over everything and explain about 1000 times that everything she needs is in her changing bag and what her routine is, even though everyone knows this by now.

It’s been a big week this week though as we have pretty much spent every waking moment together since March. We know each other’s routines and moods, and i can usually tell exactly what she wants if she can’t find the words.

Yesterday, me and Little One were separated for about 1 hour but when she came back and said “missed mum” I thought that’s it, no more working or phone until after your in bed and we’ve having playtime all afternoon. We both really enjoyed it after having such a busy week.

I think sometimes Separation Anxiety affects us parents more than the kids 99% of the time, but there are some ways in which can help:

💟Start with short little absences – This will help you and Little One understand that it’s time or ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’ to go now and by only going for a short while, you know you’ll be back soon and Little One can start understanding that your not going forever.

💟Start by leaving Little One with someone you know and feel comfortable with – If you leave Little One with a Grandparent or Best Friend to start with it might help you get used to the thought of leaving them when less familiar surroundings are needed.

💟Have a couple of trial sessions when you haven’t got to go to work and be unavailable (have a quiet coffee, do the cleaning without children running round) – Therefore if anything does happen and Little One really does need you, you can do pickup a little earlier.

💟Have something familiar with you and Little One – Maybe leave a soft toy with Little One that you brought (your always with them then) and if your at work maybe have the same small soft toy or a picture of them on your desk. I have a small passport sized baby photo of my Little One in the back of my phone case (yes, she’s my screensaver but there’s nothing like having an actual picture).

💟If your Little One is that little bit older and understands what is going on sit down and explain, that you have to go to work and you are going to pick them up later. Also if you drop into your everyday conversation that they will be going to Nanny’s or big school soon, they will get used to the idea and may even be excited when the time comes.

💟I have also seen some people draw a tiny heart or star on their hand and Little Ones hand, that way whenever Little One looks they feel a little comfort.

I hope by you seeing my story and some of the ways that I have found that help and relieve some of that anxiety, it can help you now or in the future.