When a child is insecure, the first person they rush to is a parent which in most cases happens to be a mother. Little children are too attached to their parents and want to spend every moment in their presence. Even research has observed how kids are completely stressed out when going to pre-school or kindergarten. The long separation that stretches into hours can even impact their brain in a negative way. So what does one do to counteract such a problem? The problem becomes worse in the case of insecure kids who may throw tantrums at the school gate all because they hate the separation. Here is what you should do according to child experts.
The bond between parent and child shapes a child’s personality
Clinical psychologist Deborah Macnamara says in her book “Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers,” that the attachment and bond between parent and child are extremely important. This is what shapes and molds a child’s confidence and carrier in their formative years. It even shapes the personality of the child. Deborah declares the important rules to help manage the separation anxiety of children.
Get the child’s attention
Deborah uses a collecting ritual to connect with children. She shows how to get a child feel closer to you. In order to do this you to need to gain the child’s trust without taking them for granted.
Gain the child’s trust
Most parents take it for granted that they can do as they wish and impose their presence on a child without the child feeling anything. Don’t forget, this is the most crucial time when you need to maintain that bond of security and trust bred into a child since the time they were being carried in a mother’s womb. It is that prenatal security that carries on even after a child is born.
Enter their personal space
Do not impose but enter a child’s personal space gradually with a sense of friendliness. Make eye contact to get closer. Join in a game the child may be playing. Start conversing by asking them what they did during the day. This helps a child warm up to you and it will make a more meaningful relationship that makes them happier.
Improve a child’s communication circle
Because of work and our present lifestyles, parents can’t spend enough time with their kids as much as they would want to. Deborah’s matchmaking ritual helps to improve their circle of friends in the right way. It also helps parents to better parenting to see their child grow positively in future.
Build a reliable relationship
In order to make a child feel secure with you, you have to install within them a sense of being there. The fact that a child knows you will always be there for them is a huge type of security in itself. Moreover, you need to do some matchmaking with your child’s caretaker. You have to establish a strong relationship between your child and her nanny.
Make a warm introduction
Children are naturally shy. They will always try to resist a new face in their life. They will be prone to resisting contact and establish new relationships with anyone they don’t feel any sense of attachment to. To remedy this, make a warm and cheerful introduction. This encourages the child to be friendly and close to someone else. This also could apply to doctor’s visits too.
How to initiate the matchmaking ritual
Start by leading the process and taking the initiative. It is the parent who needs to introduce the child to the new person they want their child to get closer to. It conveys the message that my mom and dad approve of this person and the relationship. In this way, the parental role is also maintained.
Find similar features
Common features and elements between the two help establish the relationship faster. The parent should always employ a person who they know their child will like. The person should also share some common likes and dislikes with a pleasing personality. The parent should also steer the child’s focus to these similarities and emphasize on them. Common ground could mean anything from hobbies, interests to experiences and worries.
Establish trust and communication between adults
Kids usually imitate their parents. It is a common thing. If a child sees that the parent is confident and is behaving nicely and positively while in communication with another person, the child will in most cases do the same. In this way, a child’s interaction with others improves. Their sense of socializing also improves as they learn who to trust through their parents.
Keep a hierarchy of attachments
Regardless of how big the circle of a child’s interactions and communication may be, it is the parents who should adopt the role of the leader of this circle. Parents need to openly discuss such issues with their kids and explain to them tactfully who they should approach, trust or speak to when there is an emergency.
How to strengthen the connection
The best way to strengthen the ritual is to create traditions and rituals. This helps establish a safer environment for a child where they can understand their surroundings and feel safer within them. Maintaining a disciplined and constant ritual in daily duties related to the child, for example, picking them up from school nurtures a child’s trust of that environment and helps them adopt a positive attitude towards it. This also displays a good sign to the teacher. When you pick up your child, create a ritual such as a hug, kiss, greeting or even a small conversation of the day’s plan.
“Bridge” the separation with your child
This is the most important phase. For both parents and children, the separation phase can be overwhelming especially for toddlers below 6. You need to find a way to bridge this separation or distance by entrusting the child to a deputy which in this case isn’t a person.
Use things that help your child connect to you in your absence
You could use a toy with your scent on it, old photos, a small locket, and ribbon on a child’s hand, letters or a video call daily that assures your child you are always nearby. This feeling that dad or mom is close to me even when they are gone can become a source of immense security in a child even later in life. Remember secure parenting builds confidence in children as they grow older.
Tell your child about your future plans
Before you leave your child at school, discuss future plans with a child. Talk to them about a scheduled visit to a zoo, or the amusement park. This helps the child to overcome their anxiety with the feeling of looking forward to something which involves your presence. This will help the child overcome the separation and not notice the time.
Make school fun
One of the most important things to do before a child goes to school is to start nurturing the concept of school and being away from mom and dad. Show them pictures of the school and how much fun they may have meeting other children. Most of all make them feel that this separation is only for a few hours and not really a separation as mom and dad will always be there to pick them up and take them home.