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HANDLING SEPARATIONS AND REUNIONS
I guess separation anxiety becomes an issue for all children at some point. To be honest it’s only recently reared it’s head for me. Little Man is normally a placid little thing and quite happy to go with anyone, but I think he’s finally got wise to the fact that there are times I will leave him (when he goes to his grandparents etc).
Incredible Years is great as there is a lovely, well equipped creche for the children as the adults relax and learn. Being a stay at home Mum means that Little Man and I don’t spend much time apart so I feel this ‘time away from Mummy’ is really important for him. The first few weeks were fine but now he does have a little cry when I go (most heartbreaking for me is when he calls out ‘mama!’ as I leave). Luckily, from my past experience as a Nursery Nurse, I have learnt that this upset doesn’t normally last long and that the worst thing you can do as a parent is look upset. Because of this I always try and look as happy and positive as possible.
Incredible Years has also taught me the importance of giving the child time for their mind to process these events (i.e. ‘we’re going to creche today’). Something I didn’t give much thought to is the fact that, as children can’t tell the time, a consistent routine is very important so that they are aware of upcoming events and feel secure.
Our homework for this week was to focus on establishing a good bye routine by having a consistent bedtime routine.
I feel that Little Man and I have a lovely bedtime routine. From 5 o’clock it’s dinner, bottle, ‘bedtime TV’ for a little while, brush teeth, story and then bed. He’s never been too bothered by books but within the last couple of months he’s discovered a passion for them, which is lovely to see. Because we have such a lovely bedtime routine it makes me realise how disorganised I am in other areas! Our morning routine is pretty consistant (ish) but I feel it’s not very efficient (not helped by the fact I am normally completely useless in the mornings).
This week I have taken the time to write down weekly schedule incorporating housework and Little Man’s activities etc. I have found that by listing these things out I can get a better idea of what is realistic. It has been an interesting activity, mainly because I have found that I am completely unrealistic with my time. This in tern makes me feel pressured and means that even less gets done. By writing out a schedule I have spread things out throughout the week and have lessened the stress I put on myself, which is a great feeling. This means a schedule is much more easily achievable and leads consistency for everyone. It’s still a work in progress but has left me feeling a lot more positive.