How To Help Your Child With Separation Anxiety
December 29, 2009 · Posted in Infant Development, Parenting, Play, Preschoolers, Toddlerhood · Permalink

Hide_and_seek_by_AnniikaHide and Seek and Peek-A-Boo. Plain and simple. These games of childhood have withstood the test of time and exist across cultures because they provide an important psychological function for babies and children. In play, they enact and reenact losing and finding a special person. This helps children keep the presence of their caregiver in mind, while not in sight. Through the build up of nervous excitement, laughter, and relief — all the elements of a goodbye and reunion are there in compressed form.

So if your baby is starting to cry when you walk out of the room, or your toddler weeps when you leave for work, or your preschooler is glued to your leg crying at drop-off for school, play these games more at home. In addition to the reminder that you always come back, the soothing that the babysitter or teacher provides on the other end is equally important for emotional development.  These largely nonverbal, play and body-based games help your child grow in their ability to tolerate separations from those they love.

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