advertisement
Question
Posted by: Jenny | 2010/10/04

separation anxiety

Hi Doc,

what is the best way to handle separation anxiety in kids. I am a single pareng with my first child, he is 1 year old, he cries horribly, when i just leave the room, even to the bathroom, he cries when i have to go to work

it''s heart breaking i wish i knew how to help him know i''ll be back. i spend time with all the time when i am not at work, i talk to him when i leave, not that he can understand much, but i do. he just really cries and screams

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Excellent comments from R. Remember even when extremely young, kids are brilliant at sensing YOUR anxiety and amplifying it. And even when he doesn't understand the words you are saying, he can understand the way you are saying it.
ANd R also makes the important suggestion of training the child to tolerate gradually increasing absences - maybe starting with games of what used to be called "Peep-bo!", where you duck your head out of sight behind a cushion or whatever, just briefly and then return triumphantly and cheerfully, showing that you can disappear and yet will return. Sometimes you can play something similar involving the child's face being briefly hidden behind a magazine and then hapilly returning to make eye-contact with you. Gradually extend the length of time you're out of sight and yet return - till he's content for you to go to the bathroom, and TO KNOW YOU ARE THERE - and that you will return
This sort of problem reduces rapidly as a child matures - at first he doesn't have what psychologists's call Object Constancy - he tends to assume that whatever he can't see Isn't There At All, and gradually learns that there are many things not immediately visible that are still there and can return. Also, his sense of time is not yet developed, so even a brief absence feels like forever and as though i will last forever. Gradually he learns the difference between mionutes and hours, and between hours and days.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: R | 2010/10/04

I know exactly how this feels.
Keep talking to your child in calm soothing tones. Give him something to play with that interests him while u in the bath, but still keep talking to him.
Important - try not to be too anxious about him being alone when you''re in the next room, he picks up on this, therefore becomes anxious himself.
Be confident with yourself also, you are not abandoning your child.
Believe that he does understand what you are saying, the more you talk to him, the more he will understand. I believed my child understood everything I was saying to him at this age.
Don''t be too hard on yourself either, I''m sure your frustration levels also increase at times.
I also ''trained'' my child in a way to handle being alone for short periods of time, being out of his sight, but always keeping him within my sight, while cooking, etc.
Good luck, hope everything works out soon!

Reply to R
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/04

Excellent comments from R. Remember even when extremely young, kids are brilliant at sensing YOUR anxiety and amplifying it. And even when he doesn't understand the words you are saying, he can understand the way you are saying it.
ANd R also makes the important suggestion of training the child to tolerate gradually increasing absences - maybe starting with games of what used to be called "Peep-bo!", where you duck your head out of sight behind a cushion or whatever, just briefly and then return triumphantly and cheerfully, showing that you can disappear and yet will return. Sometimes you can play something similar involving the child's face being briefly hidden behind a magazine and then hapilly returning to make eye-contact with you. Gradually extend the length of time you're out of sight and yet return - till he's content for you to go to the bathroom, and TO KNOW YOU ARE THERE - and that you will return
This sort of problem reduces rapidly as a child matures - at first he doesn't have what psychologists's call Object Constancy - he tends to assume that whatever he can't see Isn't There At All, and gradually learns that there are many things not immediately visible that are still there and can return. Also, his sense of time is not yet developed, so even a brief absence feels like forever and as though i will last forever. Gradually he learns the difference between mionutes and hours, and between hours and days.

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement