Thursday, July 31, 2014

on saying bye-bye [or separation anxiety]

Most of our days are spent at home, during the school year Bee spends her days with us and Emerson loves his sweet little playmate. If we ever have visitors they are usually family or Bee's parents, but when we  travel and visit friends Emerson usually warms up fairly quickly to them. Occasionally he is shy for a while around family he hasn't seen in a long time [or ever in some cases], but after a while he'll venture off as long as he knows I'm close by. He's a pretty happy and sweet little guy. If a repair man comes to the house, E just watches them really closely and will usually offer a smile and wave before too long. We are thankful for his sweet and friendly personality. 

Because most of our days are spent together at home we don't have a whole lot of separation anxiety issues. If I do go out without Emerson he is most likely with his daddy; I'll give him kisses and hugs before I leave and wave as I'm walking out. Sometimes he'll wave but usually he will cry and run over to me to come with me. So I'll kiss him again, tell him I love him and say bye-bye. As I turn away I hear his daddy suggesting they go outside or do some other equally fun activity. If his Granny and Poppy ever watch him he is so distracted by them that he will usually wave and blow me a kiss and before he even has a second to start thinking about the fact that I'm leaving his Granny will start singing a song or something to distract him. 

Church is the only place we usually have a big problem. He knows the minute we walk inside the building that he's going to be taken to the nursery and he clings on to me as tight as he possibly can -all through the check in process and while waiting to give him to a helper. When the helper holds their hands out to him he climbs me and hugs me even tighter. Like he's a koala bear or something. And he's strong I tell ya. It takes serious prying to get him off. And then he will most likely scream and cry as they carry him away from me. It's lovely really. But we are working on it, each week we talk about how he's going to play with other kids, read stories, sing songs, and how much fun he'll have... I try and sound happy and excited for him. This past Sunday a grandpa was helping and E went to him without qualm or fuss. It was nice. He had only done that one other time. We usually peak in the nursery window after they take him in and someone is either holding him or trying to show him a toy, but he's not screaming or crying which is a relief to me. 

When I lay [or rather stand] him down for his nap for bed time he used to cry and scream. I hated hearing him scream before I closed the door but didn't know how to stop it. Then one day I decided to turn around, wave, blow kisses, tell him night-night, and that I loved him. He fussed, but he didn't scream or cry like he used to. I guess he just wanted to see my face before he fell asleep? Once he stopped screaming I felt bad that I hadn't turned around to wave bye-bye sooner; I had just kept doing what I had since I had started laying him in his crib as a baby -laying him down and walking out of the room without looking back in hopes that he wouldn't cry.... Anyhow, that's sorted out now. 

So to sum it up: 
- wave bye-bye and blow kisses when you leave for a little outing, drop him/her off at a babysitter/nursery/daycare
- have things and people to distract the little one as soon as you leave: books, toys, puzzles, whatever... maybe a favorite toy or blanket
- try and talk about how much fun they will have at the nursery/daycare/babysitters and wave bye when you leave 
- if you are leaving the room make sure to say see you soon or something, look at them and wave or blow a kiss -try and make them smile and giggle [if possible] before you leave/close the door 

What are some of the things you have done as you and your little one[s] have dealt [are dealing with] separation anxiety? What has helped you? them? When are times that they are more anxious when you leave? I love to hear what you all have to say, so please share! 

Dealing with separation anxiety can be tough for any mama.  Be sure to check out the other mamas in our series for their helpful posts.  If you've got a post on separation anxiety, don't forget to link it up with us below!

July 10:  Keeping your marriage alive with a toddler
July 17:  Favorite summer toddler activities
July 24:  Helping Your Toddler to Communicate (Words, emotions, etc.)
July 31:  Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Aug 7:    Car Trip Necessities
Aug 14:  Deciding when the time is right for baby #2 (and/or how to handle these questions)
Aug 21:  Tricks for eating out with your toddler
Aug 28:  Feeling confident as a mom (How to feel this way, Your struggle with, etc.)

1 comment:

Courtney B said...

Love these tips! Keeping it simple and consistency is (what I feel like) the best way for our littles to learn that they will survive on their own for a little bit, and we WILL be back!