Separation anxiety is a totally natural part of growing up and for a mom who is returning to work or simply introducing their toddler to a play group, it is important that the toddler’s fears are acknowledged and put to rest.
A good way to calm the fears of an over anxious child is to give the toddler a special ‘treasure’ from mom or dad. This treasure can be a cheap necklace or a special teddy. The child will be given a task to look after the ‘treasure’ and this will allow their mind to be taken off the separation and the object will serve as a link between parents and toddler.
Parents can also take the time out to explain to the tot that the separation is temporary. Toddlers will seem overly anxious on the first few days, but soon it will become routine and they will consoled by the fact that mom or dad will come back to fetch them.
Parents should avoid making a fuss of the crying toddler. Funnily enough most children will stop crying the moment, mom or dad is out of sight. Give the toddler a hug and a kiss and walk away, do not return if the toddler begins to cry as this will only extend the trauma.
If returning to work, try and find a friend or babysitter to provide childcare for a few hours a day, this will help the toddler to deal with the separation and they will also realise that separation is temporary.