Separation Anxiety is something a lot of parents have to deal with, its a part of children coming to realise their own identities as people.
When my daughter Rylee was a new baby she was content enough to be held by other people, as she got a bit older that contentment was no longer as strong and she was not as willing to be held by males who weren’t her Dad or brothers. As she got a bit more older and aware of her surroundings she was again content with people she knew and the odd person who she wasn’t as familiar to her. Most times I was in close proximity which may have given her a sense of safety around people, I also think she was at an age where she had a sense of a persons temperament.
The Separation Anxiety seems to have risen again as the last couple of days she has been quite clingy. Even when dropping her off at creche where she has been going for a few weeks. I don’t know if its because of her age or because we have been planning a big holiday and the excitement around her may be a cause as at 26 months she wouldn’t understand what is going on.
Rylee is my third child that I’ve had the chance to parent through the terrible two’s, however that hasn’t made it any easier or helped it go smoothly. Maybe its because she’s my girl and I’m more protective of her than I was of the boys, in those times when tears are streaming down her cheek when I’ve had to leave her at creche makes me feel horrible; there is a part of me that knows she will be fine as I trust her teachers – that doesn’t make it any easier. Once I’ve been informed that shes fine and back to her cheery self, my own anxiety lessens.
I never thought I’d be so protective of my girl as I want her to grow up to be a strong confidant woman, that will try anything. I still have this overwhelming need to protect her. I have discovered that there is a fine line between protecting her and allowing her to have a tiny taste of independence.
I was a boy Mum for almost 5 years before my girl came along. Just as I want my boys to try their best at what they do I also believe that girls should be given the option to try anything and shouldn’t be discouraged because of their gender.
All children should be encouraged to have a growth mindset which adds yet on to can’t. They should be allowed to discover their own limitations and not defined by someone else, who may have the best of intentions or not.
When children are infants their encouragement often comes in the form of scaffolding where assistance is provided when needed. Children need to be given a chance to at least try something and not have someone do it for them after only one attempt, this may make it easier in the short term, but does not lead to a growth in confidence which their own successful attempts can provide.
If we as parents always make things too easy for them what does this mean in how they turn out as adults. If we try to solve all their problems, how will they learn about real consequences and learn how to solve their own problems when possible.
We don’t want to wrap our kids in cotton wool but we also don’t want them to constantly feel like their efforts are not enough and have a feeling of discouragement. Encouragement is a key necessity for growing well-rounded people, we all need encouragement sometimes and especially as children.