What to do if the child is afraid of separation from you
When parents bring their children to school or kindergarten in the morning, they often experience anxiety. Psychologists call this fear of separation from parents separation anxiety. Especially often it manifests itself in preschool children. If you help your child overcome separation anxiety, it will create a healthy emotional foundation that will bring him great benefit in the future. At school and adolescence, he will be confident and independent.
But how can you help your child deal with separation anxiety? The imagination games will help you with this. This will help the child play his conflicts and situations that cause him fear in a safe environment. Children are better at handling emotional problems through games.
Every time mother brought four-year-old Masha to kindergarten, the girl grabbed her legs and begged her not to leave. The tears and expression of despair on her daughter’s face made her mother feel helpless when she left for work.
Masha’s parents thought that the game would help her deal with the problem. Together at home, they played the scene of coming to kindergarten. For this, Masha used dolls, soft toys and cubes. The girl was able to see the situation from the outside and find a way to make separation from her parents more comfortable during the day.
Five-year-old Dania moved to a new kindergarten after his family moved. He was glad that he made new friends, but at the same time he felt fear and anxiety. His parents were also worried about how his first days would pass in the new kindergarten – after all, it was difficult for him to move.
Parents explained to Dana what to expect on the first day in the new kindergarten. They offered to answer all Dani’s questions, but he was silent. Therefore, the parents decided to bring elements of the game into the conversation so that it would be easier for the boy to talk about it. They knew that Dania loved imaginary games, and thought that the game would help him deal with his fears.
Dania and dad played the scene using soft toys. Danya played with a teddy bear, and dad played with a hare. “I’ll go to a new kindergarten tomorrow,” said the hare. “And I feel … mmm, what am I feeling?” “Fear,” the bear answered. – “Yes! I’m scared because I don’t know what to expect. Don’t you know, hare? ” The hare suggested: “I do not know, but you can ask your parents.” “This is a great idea,” the bear answered.
In this vein, the game went on and on. The hare helped his friend Teddy bear express his anxiety over the new kindergarten, and the teddy bear began to ask questions that Danya wanted to ask his parents. Since Dania could ask questions and express his feelings in a playful way, he was mentally prepared to go to a new kindergarten and felt more comfortable.
Consider several ways in which parents can help their children more comfortable with separation.
1. Find out how children are treated in kindergarten. What does the teacher do when the child is upset and crying after the parents leave? Having learned about such nuances, parents can better support their child.
2. Prepare the child. Talking to him in advance about what awaits him in kindergarten, you will feel comfortable. Read stories about kindergarten with your child so that he imagines what awaits him. During a walk, go with him to the sports ground near the kindergarten. So he will quickly get used to the new atmosphere.
3. Find a buddy for your child. Meet the children who will be walking with your child in the same group, and their parents. When at the beginning of the day the child sees a familiar face, he will be more comfortable during the day without parents.
4. Practice active listening. When a child wants to share something with you, give him all your attention. Tell him you’re curious about what’s happening in kindergarten. But do not ask the child too many questions – let him tell himself what he considers important.
5. Let your child take the lead in the conversation. It will be easier for the child to express his thoughts and feelings if he feels that he can control the course of the conversation. Tell the child to let you know when he will be ready to talk or, conversely, take a break in the conversation.
6. Play games with your child that develop their ability to comfortably be separately from their parents (for example, hide and seek). Games in which objects and people disappear and then return help the child to understand that people are still nearby, even if the child does not see them.
Young children are often upset when parents leave them alone. This is normal. However, if at the same time your child experiences severe anxiety or sadness, he is crying or he has a sharp change in behavior, you should consult a specialist. A pediatrician or child psychologist can help you.