Our expert says:
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.
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